International Journal of Applied Linguistics

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Volume 10 Issue 1 (June 2000), Pages 3-158

Talking English from 9 to 5: challenges for ESL learners at work (pages 125-140)

Getting along well at work involves a variety of sociolinguistic and pragmatic skills. Drawing on a database of over 300 interactions collected in a range of New Zealand professional workplaces, this article identifies some potentially problematic areas for those who are expected to communicate in English at work, although English is not their first language. The discussion focuses in particular on the topics, distribution and functions of small talk and social talk in the workplace.

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