ERIC Number: ED402734
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Languages in International Business: Some Implementational Issues.
Ingram, D. E.
The principal stimulus for language policy in Australia since 1990 has been economic development, particularly for promotion of international trade. Surveys show that Australian industry tends to be hesitant to enter new markets, and to focus on markets in the English-speaking world despite low growth potential. However, business and industry are beginning to acknowledge benefits of language skills and seeking to employ people having them. Surveys of industry language skill requirements suggest that where these requirements exist, they reflect high expectations that are not clearly articulated. Better specifications for vocational language needs and better methods for assessing them are needed. In addition, more language-learning resources should be made available to the business community. Greater emphasis must be placed on practical proficiency, a challenge encountered even in business schools that provide language training. A shortage of qualified language teachers also exists. In Australia, two primary policy thrusts should be: (1) refocusing of language education policy on quality, especially the attainment of useful levels of language proficiency, and (2) training language teachers to provide this proficiency level. Provision of self-supporting language services, such as telephone interpreting, to small and middle-sized companies would also be beneficial. Contains 13 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia