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Subjects

Bilingualism, Limited English Speaking, Intercultural communication

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to understand how the Hispanic community size affects the telephonic interactions between FEP (Fluent English Proficient) customer/social service representatives and LEPs (Limited English Proficient). I hypothesize that the larger the Hispanic community in a state, the more tense bilingual telephonic interactions will be. I evaluated a total of 179 English/Spanish consecutive interpreting calls over the course of nine days. I took note and counted various aspects of the interaction: voice, use of profanity, use of sarcasm to express disgust and sudden telephone hung ups from the LEP customer/client and attitude, tone, use of pleasantries, listening/allowing the LEP to talk, interest to help and whether additional assistance was offered from the representative, and also call state and nature of the call. I found 92 percent of the time, the larger Hispanic community representation in the state where the call originated, the more animosity ridden was the telephonic interaction. The reason for this correlation might be rooted on different factors such as the LEP desire to conduct business in their own language and the representative desire to keep their workplace a monolinguistic environment. Further study is needed to establish causation

DOI

10.15760/anthos.2014.3

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12591

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