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ERIC Number: EJ1099073
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
Reflections on EFL Proficiency Requirements in the Business Context: Towards Bilingualism in Professional Education in Finland
Vuorela, Taina Helena
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2008 n1 Spr 2008
Language education has a long tradition in the Finnish educational system owing to the official bilingualism of the country with the Finnish and Swedish languages, its geopolitical location, and the limited possibility to use the national languages in international contacts. Since the end of the 20th century, English has gained ground from other foreign languages in the number of courses taken. However, this is not reflected on a policy level in the educational system of the country. In a globalising world, questions such as what variant of English should be taught to future business professionals who speak English as a foreign language (EFL), and what proficiency requirements different business professions set for the English language instruction in the professional tertiary sector remain largely unanswered. In addition to the present main strands being taught in the Finnish educational system, namely, the UK English and the US English, an English lingua franca (ELF) approach is gaining ground. ELF may be a difficult concept from the point of view of language instruction and testing. However, its use as a reference in business English instruction would seem to reflect the reality of the worldwide business community. In such a community, categories such native speakers and foreign/second language speakers have fuzzy edges, as the latter may be more fluent in English in specialist industrial domains than the speakers who use English as their first language. The present paper also discusses the types of communication skills required in English in the business professions in the light of the latest research, and their possible implications for pedagogic and policy issues.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A