International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Role of Shared Foreign Language in Intercultural Communication: A Case of Working Environments
Niina Kovalainen, Katja Keisala

In this paper, experiences of sharing a common foreign language in intercultural communicative contexts among foreign students and ITC experts will be introduced as case studies with a view to applicability of lessons learned to other sectors. Recruiting internationally entails that an increasing number of people exercise their occupation in two or more countries and therefore building a third culture (cf. Kramsch) in intercultural communication contexts as well as reciprocal learning is paramount. Highly skilled professionals and students are increasingly going international, pulled by higher income and life opportunities elsewhere, or pushed by lack of opportunity at home. Globalization and geographical distance also have an effect on expectations of intercultural communication parameters. Transnational mobility of students and skilled migrants is facilitated by technology, globalization, easier transport and communications, and active recruitment by countries that are facing skills shortages. What kind of professional competences are needed; what is the role of language skills; which languages are used, with whom and in what kinds of situations? How do nonverbal skills and accents affect the third culture? A work place third culture needs to incorporate and self-analyze individual attitudes, social skills and emotional competence in order to successfully exist, since work and everyday life contexts are largely shaped by individuals’ readiness and willingness to use and learn languages in a manner needed or required.

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