chapter  13
24 Pages

What It Means to Speak the Same Language: An Ethnolinguistic Study of Workplace Communication

One need only look around any Chicago workplace-bank, store, factory, hospital,

government or business office-to see evidence pointing to the changing face of the

Chicago workforce. The faces of Chicago employees are becoming older, more female,

and more likely to be of color than they were 50, 20, even 10 years ago. If one listens to

the casual conversations that take place daily in these same workplaces, one also is likely

to hear, not just more accents, but also languages other than English, especially Spanish.