Drought on the Dutch Potato Farm: A Study of the Foreign Language Effect and Message Appeals in Climate Change Communication.

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The current article tries to study effectiveness of climate change communication (CCC) by investigating factual and emotional appeals, and by researching the difference between L1 and L2 and their influence on behavioral intention and attitude. The Foreign Language Effect (FLE), which states that information might be perceived as less emotional in the L2 than in the L1, was investigated through an online questionnaire. The participants were asked to read one of four created texts, followed by questions regarding behavioral intention and attitude. No significant differences between the different versions were found for behavioral intention, nor attitude. This could imply that the FLE does not play a significant role in CCC, but other explanations such as the rigidness and plentiful information input could also play a role, as well as the participants who showed early acquisition and possibly regular use of the L2 in emotional contexts. This might indicate a preference for a globalized language approach for climate change NGOs over a localized approach. However, given all possible explanations for these findings, as well as the nongeneralizable sample, this advice should be taken with a grain of salt.
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