The use of English as a global language in multinational settings and the implications for business education

Publication Year:
2005
Usage 4547
Downloads 4547
Repository URL:
https://research-repository.uwa.edu.au/en/publications/87748610-aa2d-4757-9c17-63a9e712f763; http://research-repository.uwa.edu.au/en/publications/record(87748610-aa2d-4757-9c17-63a9e712f763).html
Author(s):
Carmela Briguglio
Tags:
English language; Business English; Study and teaching; Foreign speakers; Business communication; Intercultural communication; China; Hong Kong; Malaysia; International business enterprises; Employees; Training of; Case studies; English as a global language; Multinational companies
thesis / dissertation description
[Truncated abstract] This study explored the use of English as a global language in multinational settings, particularly in regard to business contexts. The study was undertaken from an applied linguistics perspective with an education focus. An ethnographic approach, combining both qualitative and quantitative data-gathering techniques, was employed. An analysis of the language practices in two multinational companies, one in Malaysia and the other in Hong Kong, served to explore the global role of English. Such observation helped to identify the English and intercultural communication skills that business graduates will require to operate successfully in multinational contexts. Among the skills that were found to be important were the use of English for email communication; greater tolerance for and accommodation of the different accents and varieties of English; the ability to write informal reports in English; development of both oral and written communication skills in English to high levels; and the ability to work collaboratively with people from different national, cultural and linguistic backgrounds . . . More carefully considered teaching and learning approaches, which fully utilise the rich cultural diversity already existing in Australian universities, can assist the development of business graduates who will be more culturally sensitive and able to operate in international/ intercultural contexts. There is scope for further research on similar themes with other multinational companies in the same or different locations; there is also much scope for further work in the area of internationalisation of curriculum, which aims particularly to develop graduates’ intercultural communication skills to enable them to operate confidently in global and multinational settings.