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ERIC Number: EJ798335
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1080-5699
English as the Language of International Business Communication
Kuiper, Alison
Business Communication Quarterly, v70 n1 p59-63 2007
In teaching business communication, instructors usually can take for granted that English is the language of business communication in a globalised world. Even in a multicultural and multilinguistic country such as Malaysia, the assumption that English is the language to use is shared by those who manage programs, those who teach, and students. The unquestioned assumption that English is the language of business pervades the teaching of business communication in Anglophone Asia. This was the situation the author faced when teaching in Malaysia for a New Zealand university that was contracted to provide a business programme in a private Malaysian university. To test whether learning how to conduct business communication in English would be the best preparation for the students in their employment, workshop exercises were provided and an action research was conducted. The results showed that the students saw English as a language for formal situations and for cross-linguistic communication in a business context. English was not the first choice for communicating with those with whom they shared home languages. When prompted, the students revealed a significant degree of awareness of how much variation there is in language use in Malaysian business. Apparently, Malaysian students do not seek English business degrees in the expectation that standard English will be the sole or primary means of communicating in the business world, but they recognise the gatekeeping power of speaking English. The students aspire to work in multinationals, but most are more likely to find employment in Malaysian companies and local businesses. As teachers, therefore, providing opportunities for students to practise business communication in their local languages, although the predominant classroom discourse was English, appeared to be appropriate.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; Malaysia; New Zealand