The effects of second language on ethical judgement in accounting
The number of participants in accounting practices and academia who use English as their second language is significant and growing. Many of them are involved in making ethical judgements based on information provided in English, which is their second language. It is important to know the effect of the second language on their ethical judgement. In this study, using 211 undergraduate accounting students whose native language is Arabic from an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited business school located in the Middle East, we test the effect of second language use on ethical judgement. We find that the ethical judgement is significantly better when the ethical dilemmas are presented in the participants' native language (Arabic) compared to when the same dilemmas are presented their second language (English). The results hold true in both within and between subject designs. Implications are discussed.