The multilingual workplace realities of Polish truckers: A case study in the Netherlands

Bianca E. Dijkstra*, Matt Coler, Gisela Redeker

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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Although international truckers are essential to the European supply chain, we know little about how they deal with their frequent multilingual workplace interactions. This paper examines the effects of participants’ Individual Multilingual Repertoires (Pitzl, Marie-Luise. 2016. World Englishes and creative idioms in English as a lingua franca. World Englishes 35(2). 293–309. ) on their behavior and attitude toward multilingual interactions. Five Polish truckers and six Dutch logistics professionals were observed and interviewed. An ethnographic case study approach allowed us to consider interactions from multiple perspectives. Findings from the study reveal that some, but not all, Polish truckers struggle to interact in the most common lingua francas in the Netherlands: English and German. We show that some of the Dutch logistics professionals have a low opinion of foreign drivers’ linguistic abilities, which impairs the potential to find shared multilingual resources, and ultimately to improve communication skills. Results of the study contribute to an understanding of the dynamics of multilingual interactions in the workplace. Practical suggestions for logistics professionals and future research are identified.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)589–616
Aantal pagina's28
TijdschriftMultilingua - Journal of cross-cultural and interlanguage communication
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
Vroegere onlinedatum18-nov-2020
StatusPublished - 2021

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