'Do I make any sense?' An experimental study into the Actual and Perceived Effectiveness of ELF and Receptive Multilingualism in Dutch-German online communication.

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In today’s globalizing world effective communication is essential to maintaining international relations. There are several modes to use for communication in a multilingual situation, but some modes are more effective than others. Speakers can also use a number of communication strategies to make communication more effective or to indicate that they cannot make themselves clear. Earlier research already observed differences in the effectiveness of modes and the number and type of communication strategies that were used, but some results were conflicting. The current study therefore aimed to contribute to the existing knowledge about the effectiveness of communication modes, and the use of communication strategies in different modes. The actual and perceived effectiveness of two different modes were investigated in an online experiment, for which 34 Dutch and German police officers did one spot-the-differences task per mode. The number and type of communication strategies participants used were measured as well. Actual effectiveness was measured by counting the number of words used per person per task and by counting the number of differences found. Perceived effectiveness was measured by asking participants how they perceived the communication. The communication strategies used in both modes were also counted and analyzed. Findings indicated that there was no significant difference between the two communication modes in terms of actual and perceived effectiveness, and communication strategy use. Further research should be done on the effectiveness of different communication modes and the use of communication strategies, because there remain conflicting results. Future research should also point out what the results are for effectiveness of different communication modes across other languages.
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