Nabelah Haraty, Ahmad Oueini, Rima BahousSpeaking to Domestics in Lebanon: Power Issues or Misguided Communication?
The Lebanese use a combination of Arabic and English telegraphic speech, along with
gestures and other forms of speech adjustments to address their domestics. This pattern
of inadequate speech is based on the misconception that domestics understand exactly
the same way they speak. Using interviews, questionnaires, and participant observations,
the researchers identified some of the underlying issues, power and trust, related to
this form of fragmented speech. The investigators recommended that communication
with domestics be in one language and in complete sentences, not only for the sake
of language acquisition but to ensure a fair treatment of foreign helpers.
Keywords: Foreigner Talk, Critical Discourse Analysis, Code Switching