Code Switching in Student ELF Interactions: An Analysis of Cultural Expressiveness through Lexical References
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The ways in which people interact with each other are, for a great part, influenced by people’s linguacultural backgrounds. Especially in this globalizing world, with an increase of international relations, the field of intercultural communication studies has acquired a lot of attention over the past few decades. One of these international relations, which will be examined in this study, is the intercultural interaction between students from different linguacultural backgrounds. This study will focus on these students’ ability to express or display cultural identities via the use of different languages in English lingua franca (ELF) conversations. This thesis thus takes a socio-linguistic approach where code switching, a situation in which “the speaker makes a complete shift to another language for a word, phrase, or sentence and then reverts back to the base language,” will be regarded as a method to express and display cultural identities which are employed by international and local Dutch student participants from three different research groups (Grosjean 51-52). . In contrast with previous studies, however, this study offers a comparative analysis of code switching features between three different group conversations, where the participants, who consist of local Dutch and international students, will make up a mix of different linguacultural backgrounds. Via three authentic, informal dinner conversations, which will take place in homely settings, code switches within ELF conversations will be localized, transcribed and eventually analyzed in relation to the expression of cultural identities.