Dutch and German L1 speakers in ELF interactions within an online setting.

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Upon the ongoing globalisation and digitalisation, conversational settings tend to become increasingly multilingual and within a digital environment. Therefore, this study examined the effect shared language background/ non-shared language background, and visibility/ nonvisibility have on the evaluations of communicative success and interlocutor evaluation within an online setting. Within an online zoom experiment, participant pairs (German/ Dutch or mixed) were presented with a spot the difference task and assessed the differences via a collaborative dialogue task. Based on this and a post-experiment survey, the number of differences spotted, the communicative success, the perceived language proficiency of the interlocutor, as well as likeability and solidarity were measured. Results showed that sharedness and visibility had no significant effect on communicative success or interlocutor evaluation as opposed to what was expected. However, several correlations for communicative success and solidarity could be found. The variables for communicative success and solidarity positively correlated with each other, as well as with likeability and competence. Moreover, there was a positive correlation of solidarity and number of differences spotted. These findings are also in line with previous research of language convergence and identity processes within interaction. Nonetheless, the findings of this study are restricted by the limitations such as a limited test sample and similar linguistic systems of the participants. Thus, further research must be done to investigate the cultural factors that could also affect the communicative process absent of the previously mentioned limitations.
Faculteit der Letteren