The Effects of Native Language and Gender on Procedure Performance
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OBJECTIVE: Evaluation of effects of native language-native (L1) versus nonnative (L2)-on procedure performance. BACKGROUND: Written procedures are used by global industries to facilitate accurate and safe performance of hazardous tasks. Often companies require that all employees be sufficiently literate in English and to use only English versions. METHOD: Industrial tasks were tested using a virtual reality industrial environment (Second Life®) to explore effects on procedural performance and safety statement adherence. Fifty-four engineering students (27 L2) participated in the study to explore the native language variable. The participants completed the procedures under time pressure and were scored according to procedure performance and hazard comprehension. RESULTS: Analysis of eight procedures showed significant differences between L1 and L2 for procedure performance (specifically for L2 females). There were no language fluency or hazard comprehension differences found between the two groups. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that (a) the lower procedure performance of L2 readers was not due to English proficiency but more likely to time pressure; (b) implications regarding single language procedures are not fully understood, particularly with regard to gender differences. APPLICATION: This research is applicable to high-risk industries providing single language, time critical procedures to multilingual workforces.
author list (cited authors)
Peres, S. C., Johnson, W. D., Thomas, S. E., & Ritchey, P.