This study illustrated the perceptions of native English speakers about difficult conversations with non-native English speakers. A total of 114 native English speakers enrolled in undergraduate communication courses at a regional state university answered a questionnaire about a recent difficult conversation the respondent had with a non-native English speaker. A thematic analysis of their responses revealed that helping occurred when the non-native speaker was considered to be a customer, in-group member, or "fellow human being." Helping behavior was characterized by actions that fostered understanding between the interactants and aided the non-native speaker in completion of a task or goal. Non-helping occurred when the non-native speaker was considered to be an out-group member violating role expectations or cultural norms.


Difficult Conversations, Helping Behavior, Group Identity, and Intercultural Communication

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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