ERIC Number: ED383014
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Speaking in English Scares Me: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Native and Non-native Language Use on Communication Orientations in Micronesia.
Burroughs, Nancy F.; Marie, Vicki
By the year 2010, it is projected that in the United States no single ethnic group will hold the majority. Even though a variety of other languages will be represented, English will probably remain as the "common" communication tool between and among ethnic and racial groups. An investigation focused on the impact of language and cultural diversity on communication in college classrooms. More specifically, students (n=131) from the Community College of Micronesia, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia), a culturally mixed population which speaks English as its second (third or fourth) language, were asked to indicate their apprehensions about communicating, their willingness to initiate conversations, their level of extroversion/introversion or talkativeness, and how competent they perceived themselves to be while communicating in English and in their native language. The ages of respondents ranged from 16 to 48 with a mean age of 23.21. Comparisons indicated significant differences between orientations of students in the two cultures and within the Micronesian culture itself, as well as between the sexes. Perhaps the study's most significant contribution is its support of the conclusion that when individuals are asked to communicate with one another, their communication orientations may be influenced directly by the language they choose or are required to use. That is, when individuals are forced to use a non-native language to communicate, their overall orientation to communication may change. In this case experience increased apprehension, decreased willingness to initiate communication, and decreased perceptions of communication competence. (Contains 29 references and 5 tables of data.) (TB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Micronesia; Nonnative Speakers
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western States Communication Association (Portland, OR, February 10-14, 1995).