Multilingual teams in which people speaking different native languages work together are increasingly common in modern organizations. Previous research suggests that multilingual teams have the potential to incorporate information and human resource at a global scale. This potential, however, is hard to fulfill when language related issues, such as a lack of fluency in a team’s common language or clustering in native language-based subgroups, impede team members from communicating efficiently. In this talk, I will discuss my prior work on understanding how members of multilingual teams handle communication problems through daily practice of language use. Based on this research, I will introduce my ongoing projects that aim to facilitate multilingual teamwork through the design of computer-based tools.
Ge Gao is an Assistant Professor in the College of Information Studies (iSchool) at the University of Maryland. She obtained her PhD in Communication at Cornell University. Her research interests lie in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) with specific focus on computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), human-centered computing (HCC), and computer-mediated communication (CMC). Her recent work draws on both quantitative and qualitative methods, including lab experiments, surveys, ethnography, and social sensing, to examine the joint effects of technology use and language diversity on teamwork.