Knowing how to support these students meant understanding their workplace communication needs and their future linguistic practices. As a Samoan researcher, I am drawn to developing workplace communication opportunities within my community, focussing on identifying and enhancing successful communicative competence.
My PhD in Applied Linguistics involves following seasonal workers from their Samoan villages to their NZ orchard worksites. My research explores their communicative competence in the workplace, concentrating on ‘transactional and relational’ skills and making use of naturally-occurring workplace interaction strengthened by interviews in the form of collaborative interactions. My goal is to ensure a holistic understanding of their communication patterns.
My study centres on existing appeals in the discipline to acknowledge the significance of mobility in the labour market, the use of multiple languages in the workplace and ‘culturally-sensitive’ research methods. It is humbling to be part of LALS’ inspiring and motivating academic environment and most importantly, be involved in my participant’s expeditions.