Multilingual communication in educational settings: the case of international students at Middle East Technical University

Kaffash Khosh, Ahmad
The aim of this study is to investigate the communication strategies and language choice strategies of international students who come to study at METU. To this end, two groups of new-comer international students with no prior contact to Turkish were chosen based on their linguistic background: Turkic and Indo-European language backgrounds. These two groups were chosen based on the two languages that were used on the campus: English and Turkish. Four means were used to collect data about the multilingual behavior. First, the participants completed a language background questionnaire. Second, they were given multilingual communication act problems. That is, they went to the post office, ICO/Registrar’s Office, pharmacy, a friend of theirs, and their instructor with specific problems determined by the researcher. They asked their questions and solved their problems while their interaction was being voice recorded. Third, after each task was completed the participant and his/her addressee were interviewed for how they managed their communication. Finally, stimulated recall of the participants provided more details about the tasks. The oral data were transcribed using the transcription software EXMARaLDA. With regard to language choice strategies, the results of the data analysis indicated various modes of multilingual communication being used by the participants. The Indo-European group more used English as a lingua franca, while the Turkic group tended to use Turkish more, receptively and in code-switching mode. As for communication strategies, participants used various devices to solve their communicative problems. The Turkic group used Turkish in some of their communication strategies.


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Citation Formats
A. Kaffash Khosh, “Multilingual communication in educational settings: the case of international students at Middle East Technical University,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.