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5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice 24-28 August 2014 in Davos, Switzerland

5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice 24-28 August 2014 in Davos, Switzerland

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CHANDLER-The role of first language reversion in communication and outreach-ID1540-IDRC2014_b Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Role of First Language Reversion In Communication and Outreach An Integrative, Multilingual Approach By Robert C. Chandler, Ph.D., Director Nicholson School of Communication University of Central Florida (UCF), USA 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org
  • 2. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 2 Crisis Communication Preparedness • During a natural disaster, industrial accident, pandemic or other crisis, successful incident notification and communication are critical to preserving life, health and safety • Breakdowns in communication (inbound/outbound) during such emergencies can have tragic widespread consequences • Effective communication must consider not only how messages are distributed, but also how messages are understood by those experiencing fear, panic, anxiety and heightened stress
  • 3. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 3 Common Communication Breakdowns and Failures Typical onsets of high stress and hyper-stress during crisis are caused by: • Sleep deprivation • Sensory overstimulation • Physical discomfort • Fear, dread, ongoing uncertainty • Isolation, grief • Incessant pressure due to threats or time-clock countdowns
  • 4. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 4 Human Cognitive Processes Impacted by Crisis Crisis stress can, at least temporarily, impact the following: • Reaction time • Ability to mentally focus, and to perceive and comprehend information, leading to inattention • Message loading: Number of message variables that can be received, considered and processed • General command of vocabulary • Changes in speech processing; ability to accurately elaborate and relay messages • Primary language orientation: Occasional, unpredictable reversion to first language, or “mother tongue,” in speaking, hearing and thinking This is one of the more surprising, dramatic, unsettling experiences reported by disaster victims and emergency responders related to cognitive function during extreme crisis. That they are bilingual (or multilingual), and that this function temporarily completely suspends its normal cognitive operation during high stress and hyper stress possibly presents an interesting, key finding useful to the study of crisis communication
  • 5. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 5 Human Cognitive Processes Impacted by Crisis For all audiences, including those fluent in one language only, crisis communication must take into account the effect of crisis on cognitive abilities and how they are typically impacted during each phase of crisis onset, management and resolution. Cognitive abilities: • Typically decrease as crisis stress increases Cognitive processes, involve: • Thinking • Reasoning • Remembering • Imagining • Learning People possess individual cognitive abilities and limitations, which additionally affect decision-making capabilities in a crisis
  • 6. Human Cognitive Processes Impacted by Crisis Crisis stress can affect critical operational attitudes and behaviors, such as: 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 6 In crisis communication, contending with such important variables requires multiple communication cues, messages, and interaction • Situational Awareness: − Ability to accurate perceive and understand one’s circumstances and surroundings (or, knowing what is going on so you can figure out what to do) • Risk Perception: − Ability to accurately perceive the present or future level of risk or danger Communicating risk is one of the more complex but important tasks during a crisis
  • 7. Low Stress High Stress 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 7 Human Cognitive Processes Impacted by Crisis Diminished Cognitive Abilities Normal Cognitive Abilities The Spectrum of Cognitive Abilities Recipients process an average of 7messages per communication episode Information processed at the “average” grade level (about 10th Grade, in the general population) Information processed at an average of -4grade levels, in the general population Recipients process an average of 3 messages per communication episode • Routine misinterpretation • Routine misunderstanding • Assumptions • Sequential Errors • Increased confusion • Inability to focus • Easily distracted • Increased misinterpretation • Increased number of misunderstandings • Unable to complete complex critical thinking
  • 8. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 8 Crisis Life Cycle Analysis Every stage of the crisis dictates your audience’s requirements and your response: 1. The Warning Stage What do we communicate? When? How do we say it?
  • 9. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 9 Crisis Life Cycle Analysis Every stage of the crisis dictates your audience’s requirements and your response: 2. The Risk Assessment Stage What do we communicate? When? How do we say it?
  • 10. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 10 Crisis Life Cycle Analysis Every stage of the crisis dictates your audience’s requirements and your response: 3. The Response Stage What do we communicate? When? How do we say it?
  • 11. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 11 Crisis Life Cycle Analysis Every stage of the crisis dictates your audience’s requirements and your response: 4. The Management Stage What do we communicate? When? How do we say it?
  • 12. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 12 Crisis Life Cycle Analysis Every stage of the crisis dictates your audience’s requirements and your response: 5. The Resolution Stage What do we communicate? When? How do we say it?
  • 13. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 13 Crisis Life Cycle Analysis Every stage of the crisis dictates your audience’s requirements and your response: 6. The Recovery Stage What do we communicate? When? How do we say it?
  • 14. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 14 Lost in Translation? An emerging area of interest for disaster communication researchers is that of target populations proficient or fluent in more than one language. Much crisis communication strategy can be easy to lose in translation: • Crisis is tied to fear, dread, uncertainty, fatigue, pressure to act, frustration, impulsivity or reticence, and other feelings • Such stressors evoke heightened, variable emotional and physiological responses. They can cause “freeze,” “flight,” “shutdown” or other behaviors • Linguistic studies show that language is tied to emotion
  • 15. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 15 Language Research Terminology Category Description First language (L1) A language that a person is as proficient in as an average native individual who speaks no other language but that language. Sometimes called “native language” or “mother tongue” Second language (L2) Any language learned after the first language or native language in which varying levels of proficiency is achieved. Sometimes called “auxiliary language.” Simultaneous bilingualism Occurs when a person becomes bilingual by learning two languages at the same time Sequential bilingualism Occurs when a person becomes bilingual by first learning one language, and then another Language attrition Loss of a first or second language or a portion of L2 language skills by individuals Limited English Proficiency (LEP) The inability to communicate effectively in English because a person’s first language is not English Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA) Apprehension associated with a non-native speaker of a second language
  • 16. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 16 Lost in Translation? Needs of Aging Multilingual Populations: • Language is also an important issue for areas where there is a growing aging population among whom are those who speak more than one language. • There can be a shift to first language in the elderly, under even everyday conditions, among those who have been proficient in a second, later-learned language − Those who are more home-bound or isolated. (Bilingual couples begin to prefer communicating in first language, over time) − Those beginning to suffer from cognitive decline, due to: • Alzheimer’s disease • Conditions of normal advanced aging that impact cognitive processing
  • 17. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 17 Related Issues • Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English can be limited English proficient, or "LEP." − These individuals may be entitled language assistance with respect to a particular type or service, benefit, or encounter (LEP.gov) • In the USA most emergency messaging is primarily in English, even in geographic regions where there are predominate non-English speakers, limited English proficiency speakers, and where English is spoken largely as a second language.
  • 18. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 18 Preliminary Survey Among Crisis Communication Practitioners In a 2011 poll, surveys were collected from 100 international crisis practitioners. Research sample comprised L2 English speakers from the USA and Thailand, who participated in answering these two questions: 1. To what extent do L2 speakers report instances of L1 reversion during high cognitive stress contexts which affected their ability to perceive, select, decode, understand/comprehend, process, or respond to communication (messages received) in L2 language? 2. To what extent do L2 speakers report instances of L1 reversion during high cognitive stress contexts which affected their ability to encode, speak, write, or communicate (messages) in L2 language?
  • 19. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 19 Key Survey Findings • Roughly 78% of bilinguals in this survey reported that they do have language reversion under some level of crisis severity The below cognitive processes were anticipated by those surveyed to possibly or likely be affected in terms of language reversion during crisis: • Thinking • Recalling key information • Situation analysis • Understanding complex concepts • Assessing Risks • Making Decisions • Determining reactions • Changing course of action • Crisis communication resource: − Bilingual individuals surveyed rely primarily on televised media, for their crisis communication needs
  • 20. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 20 Compounding the Language Issue: Jargon, Context, Unfamiliar Phenomena… Some survey respondents volunteered that they had experienced difficulty during a crisis situation in interpreting (from English messaging) key data about such issues as type of threat and threat level due to vocabulary specific to the crisis situation or disaster response concepts (“threat level orange,” for example) that at the time was missing from their second-language vocabulary. Language choice will always require consideration over jargon and context issues as key challenge areas in crisis communication planning. • For example, newcomers to a geographic area may not have knowledge of the type of natural disasters which occur in their new location, and therefore not have a frame of reference from which to make decisions during a weather-related disaster. − Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., may be foreign and unknown phenomena to certain migrant communities, for example, requiring preventative communication outreach to any linguistically isolated communities that reside in disaster-prone areas.
  • 21. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 21 Compounding the Language Issue: Jargon, Context, Unfamiliar Phenomena… Even for fluent bilinguals, medical terminology may, of course, not be an area of high fluency • Pandemic/epidemic communication especially will be critically important to address in related research. This is vital for the common good, regardless of political and logistical barriers: − During pandemic, every person who may be in contact with pathogens will be not only a potential victim, but also possibly a potential vector (or carrier) of deadly disease pathogens, should proper precautions fail to be understood and followed
  • 22. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 22 Compounding the Language Issue: Jargon, Context, Unfamiliar Phenomena… In addition, for many single-language individuals medical terminology may not be teachable via the printed word • Communication strategy for pandemic must also be advised by current knowledge on creating effective health-related materials designed for all audiences, including those who are not able to not read. − Literacy issues are often hidden, undisclosed, and significantly widespread. This may be particularly true in highly populated communities, which may have areas lacking education resources, and/or other factors for low literacy. http://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/pdf/simply_put.pdf
  • 23. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 23 Proactive emergency messaging strategy addresses populations’ language-related needs Population demographics involving language are changing worldwide. Meanwhile, available options for emergency messaging and crisis information are also changing/reducing for many audiences • Emerging media channels not available to all audiences • Analog TV for basic media reception, now difficult/missing • Triple-digit-cost for average monthly TV service cost • Radio/media emergency reporting responsibility issues (political, security-related, regulatory issues) Hispanic or Latino Population as a Percent of Total Population by County: 2010 (U.S. Census) SOURCES and more information: http://www.pewhispanic.org/ http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acs-22.pdf http://www.fcc.gov/document/ pshsb-extends-comment-period-eb-docket-no-04-296-public-notice
  • 24. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland 30% www.grforum.org 24 Proactive emergency messaging strategy addresses populations’ language-related needs As of 2011, up to 30% of U.S. individuals who speak a language other than English at home say that, under everyday circumstances, they speak English either “Not Well” or “Not at all.” Combining this vulnerable population segment with fluent bilinguals who may experience first-language reversion during a crisis, the argument for multi-language emergency messaging capability grows.
  • 25. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 25 A Sampling of What These Numbers Mean in the U.S., By State
  • 26. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 26 2011 U.S. Census: Among Spanish-speaking citizens, those who know they speak English less than very well is large A possibly useful new interactive tool on the U.S. Census Bureau’s website is the 2011 Language Mapper. It is possible to select a language and subset (in this case “Spanish-speaking population who speak English less than very well”), then zoom in to a region for details. In this view, each colored dot represents approximately 100 people. Crisis planners can potentially use this tool as one part of researching language needs, especially in most densely populated areas. (link below) http://www.census.gov/hhes/socd emo/language/data/language_ma p.html See next page
  • 27. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 27 Enlarged example: Central Florida, USA Area This View: One dot = approximately 10 people
  • 28. In planning crisis communication messaging: • Know your various audiences • Know how they are changing • Know how they are able to receive messages • Know how they will likely be interpreting (and sharing) messages, including their access (and lack thereof) to various communication channels 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 28 Key Recommendations Some key planning factors: • Densely populated areas are at high risk during disaster, and most urban populations will have varying language proficiencies and needs • Some groups are completely isolated linguistically (some migrant groups; homeless populations, etc.) • More isolated aging populations, if bilingual, will often shift to first language • Literacy rates, and corresponding need for relevantly designed communication plans • Statistical likelihood for epidemic/pandemic outbreak increasing due to more widespread public travel
  • 29. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 29 Key Recommendations Develop messages in multiple languages, in advance Attempting to develop messages as a crisis is occurring adds an unnecessary additional step to the response procedures. Keep messages simple. Consider the readability of messages and amount of processing required to understand the message. Words matter. Not only should differing levels of vocabulary, comprehension, and education levels be taken into account, but also the differences of word meaning within a language dialect and situational context of the crisis. Deliver messages in multiple languages. Multilingual or alternative language messages should be considered for target audiences who are L2 speakers of the primary language, particularly for use during urgent peak warning messages. Deliver messages using multiple modalities. Ensure that multiple language messages are delivered using the same changes as messages in the locale’s official (majority) language.
  • 30. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 30 Need for Accountability, Metrics and Critique Research and Discussion Needs: • To positively effect survival rates during future disasters, ongoing collection and sharing of research data is needed. − Language data research, such as described in this presentation, is one area requiring critical oversight and attention, especially as multilingual populations continue to shift geographically • Can data from existing government and public service agencies (such as, in the U.S., FEMA, NIST, CDC, WHO, NOAA, NWS, and others), in concert with private industry’s capabilities, perhaps ideally provide new avenues for research and development to better address these issues as they evolve? • As available digital messaging/alerting technology continues to rapidly advance, − Can we support efforts to capture and properly utilize collected crisis communication data? − What are the implications, needs, problems to overcome?
  • 31. Author Contact Information Robert C. Chandler, Ph.D. Professor and Director, Nicholson School of Communication University of Central Florida P.O. Box 161344 Orlando, FL 32816-1344 USA Phone: 001 (407) 823-2683 Fax: 001 (407) 823-0557 E-Mail: Robert.Chandler@ucf.edu http://robertcchandler.wordpress.com/ Chandler has published more than 100 articles and papers and is the author or co-author of nine books, including “Emergency Notification,” and “Surviving the Pandemic.” He is also convener of the annual International Crisis & Risk Communication (ICRC) Conference, held each year at the UCF campus in Florida. For details, please visit: http://communication.cos.ucf.edu/icrc/
  • 32. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 32 Added value for the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • 33. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 33 Added value for the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Main gaps, needs and further steps to be addressed in the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in • Research: • Stress experienced by crisis-impacted individuals causes key changes in physiological, psychological and emotional response, negatively impacting their cognitive functioning and behavioural compliance with emergency messaging during crisis. • It is widely observed that cognitive impairment affects vocabulary comprehension levels. • It is also potentially changes language-specific functioning, as commonly reported among crisis response professionals with regard to multilingual audiences during disasters. • Crisis often introduces hyper-stress, involving fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and physiological stress caused by lack of sleep, worry, and hyper-vigilance. • Such states can alter audiences’ ability to perceive situational dangers and to interpret and comply with recommended action. • It is essential that crisis messages be devised accordingly, and further detailed research into this area is warranted.
  • 34. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 34 Added value for the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Main gaps, needs and further steps to be addressed in the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in • Research (cont’d): − It is misguided to withhold immediate public notification of sudden crises due to fear of widespread panic. Sending the correct message at the right times, to the correct audiences and with the proper terminology is essential. Reducing vocabulary sophistication and volume of words is one aspect. Yet, this objective is no simple matter to achieve; it entails creating many separate, strategized messages, prepared differently for the type of crisis, audience and phase of the crisis. Certain crisis stages call for short, direct instruction. Others require more detailed messages. − Much of the existing advice in this area is derived from knowledge gained by the overlap of investigated cognitive science research findings in concert with what is discussed among crisis communication professionals. However, additional empirical research is needed. Opportunities may be emerging which should be recognized and funded. As we gain increasing technological sophistication in digitally automated emergency messaging, options to strategize messages increase. It is recommended to further research simultaneously capturing data which may be useful in accurately analysing effectiveness of messaging strategies.
  • 35. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 35 Added value for the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Main gaps, needs and further steps to be addressed in the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in • Education & Training: More elaborate, sophisticated training is required as to several facets of emergency communication during disaster, including lessons learned and best practices as they pertain to various disaster contexts, phases and audiences. In addition to education regarding issues of cognitive functioning during crisis, it is important to know which communication channels are available and effective in various areas and which are changing. Within the social media channel, for example, options vary depending on demographics. Moreover, there should be training as to uses of channel redundancy during various phases of crisis.
  • 36. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 36 Added value for the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Main gaps, needs and further steps to be addressed in the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in • Implementation & Training: Communication needs to be a featured focal area of crisis preparation – not merely a peripheral sidelight. While logistics of crisis response are often complex, the importance of a core understanding of foundations of effective communication cannot be understated. The fact that radios are working does not necessarily mean there is successful communication. Speaking the same language as the audience does not inherently mean that anyone is “speaking the same language.”
  • 37. 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 ‘Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice‘ • 24-28 August 2014 • Davos • Switzerland www.grforum.org 37 Added value for the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Main gaps, needs and further steps to be addressed in the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in • Policy Dialogue: Involvement of social science communication research findings and expert researchers in the development and stipulation of policies, regulations, requirements and minimum standards of compliance/performance is essential to effective policy dialogue.