Journal of Intercultural Communication, Issue 21, October, 2009

Benjamin Breggin

Intercultural Language Trends at a Quadriethnic English-medium University in the Baltics


This article examines intercultural communication in the context of student social life at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. The undergraduate students at this institution represent all four major ethno-linguistic groups of the Baltics, their native languages being Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and/or Russian. All of them are also fluent speakers of English, the only study language of the university. Through the analysis of survey and interview data, their trends in language choices and perceptions are established with an eye towards possible future developments in the increasingly English-savvy Baltics. A sociocultural synopsis of the Baltics is provided at the beginning of the article to aid readers not yet acquainted with the region.

Key words: Baltics, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, intercultural communication, English, Russian, lingua franca

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