Achieving Mutual Understanding in the Global Workplace: A Questionnaire-based Survey of BELF Users’ Perceptions and Practices


  • Valeria Franceschi Università degli studi di Verona



Maintaining mutual understanding is one of the pillars of ELF communication, and even more so in the business context, where high-stakes interactions often take place. In order to achieve their communicative goals in and outside the professional context, ELF users engage in proactive, cooperative behavior to ensure that comprehension is achieved, employing a range of strategies to prevent or solve instances of miscommunication. This study aims at contributing to the investigation of workplace interactions by exploring BELF users’ perceptions and practices through a questionnaire-based survey including close-ended and Likert-scale questions. The survey, aimed at non-native speakers who use English as a Lingua Franca for professional purposes, focuses on both oral and digital interaction, analyzing these contexts separately due to their inherently different nature. Respondents, recruited through network sampling, were asked to identify what they perceive to be the essential aspects of successful communication and those that on the contrary may lead to mis- or non-understanding. The survey also aims at shedding light on which Communication Strategies users employ when faced with potential challenges, and at comparing preferences of use in different oral and digital media of communication.

Author Biography

Valeria Franceschi, Università degli studi di Verona

Valeria Franceschi received her PhD in 2014 from the University of Verona, where she is currently a junior researcher in English Language and Translation at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. She teaches courses at undergraduate and graduate level. She has published mainly in the field of English as a Lingua Franca, including Exploring Plurilingualism in Fan Fiction: ELF Users as Creative Writers (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017). Lately, her research in ELF has focused on plurilingual practices and on the business context (BELF). In addition to ELF, her research areas of interest include digital communication and corpus linguistics.




How to Cite

Franceschi, V. (2020). Achieving Mutual Understanding in the Global Workplace: A Questionnaire-based Survey of BELF Users’ Perceptions and Practices. Status Quaestionis, 2(19).