Communication in the Global University
A Longitudinal Study of Language Adaptation
at Multiple Timescales in Native- and Non-Native Speakers
International graduate students make essential contributions to the excellence, vitality, and diversity of U.S. universities. This is especially true in STEM fields, where international teaching assistants (ITAs) play a critical role in the instructional mission. However, sometimes undergraduates have difficulty understanding their instructors' accents; and ITAs may experience trepidation at a perceived lack of engagement on the part of undergraduates. This NSF-funded project (2015-2020) systematically examines the scientific bases of communication, misunderstanding, and language adaptation between native and non-native speakers of English in the context of STEM higher education.