BELF Courses and Iranian Learners’ Perception Regarding Success in Business Communication

Mojgan Rashtchi, Rahim Joze Ramezani

Abstract


The present qualitative study aimed to investigate the role of Business English as Lingua Franca (BELF) courses in learners’ success in communication in an Iranian company. In doing so, 25 adult BELF learners were selected from an automotive parts manufacturing company in Tehran, Iran. They were the employees of a company consisting of men and women in the 30 to 45 age group who worked in different departments as bosses, middle managers, top managers, and directors. Their English proficiency levels were elementary, pre-intermediate, and intermediate. The participants took part in the interviews and answered a 20-item questionnaire. The questionnaire mainly focused on using English in the workplace. The interviews primarily focused on eliciting the respondents’ views regarding the benefits of using English at the workplace. The interviews and respondents’ answers to the questionnaire showed that BELF courses lead to job performance efficiency, higher self-confidence when communicating, willingness to use more English at the workplace, and fewer misunderstandings. It also could enhance participants’ language proficiency level and communication skills. Moreover, participation in BELF courses could facilitate English in the workplace and encourage a professional atmosphere compared to the past.

Keywords


BELF, Business Contact, Communication, Learners’ Perceptions

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bjørge, A. K. (2010). Conflict or cooperation: The use of backchannelling in ELF negotiations. English for Specific Purposes, 29(3), 191–203. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2009.04.002

Bloch, B. (1995). Career enhancement through foreign language skills. The International Journal of Career Management,7(6), 15–26. https://doi.org/10.1108/09556219510098073

Böhringer, H., Hülmbauer, C., & Seidlhofer, B. (2008). Introducing English as a lingua franca (ELF): Precursor and partner in intercultural communication. Synergies Europe,3(1), 25-36. https://www.jdb.uzh.ch/id/eprint/13643

Boniadi, A., Ghojazadeh, M., & Rahmatvand, N. (2013). Problems of English for specific purpose course for medical students in Iran. Khazar Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences,16(1), 48-55.

https://doi.org/10.5782/2223-2621.2013.16.1.48

Charles, M. (2007). Language matters in global communication. Journal of Business Communication 44(3), 260–282. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021943607302477

Cotton, D., Falvey, D., Kent, S. (2012). Market leader (3rd ed.). London: Pearson.

Ehrenreich, S. (2010). English as a business lingua franca in a German multinational corporation. Journal of Business Communication, 47(4), 408-431. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021943610377303

Harzing, A. W., & Feely, AJ (2008). The language barrier and its implications for HQ-subsidiary relationships. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal 15(1), 49–61. https://doi.org/10.1108/13527600810848827

Harzing, A., & Pudelko, M. (2013). Language competencies, policies and practices in multinational corporations: A comprehensive review and comparison of Anglophone, Asian, Continental European and Nordic MNCs. Journal of World Business 48(1), 87–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2012.06.011

Hoare, R. (2012). Workers told, ditch local languages for English. CNN International 18.5.2012. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/18/business/englishlanguage business/index.html.Cited 21.11.2013.

House, J. (2002). Developing pragmatic competence in English as a Lingua Franca. In K. Knap & C. Meierkord (Eds.), Lingua franca communication (pp, 245_268). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Jenkins, J. (2000). The phonology of English as an international language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kankaanranta, A., & Louhiala-Salminen, L. (2013). “What language does global business speak?” -The concept and development of BELF. IBERICA, 26(1), 17-34. http://www.aelfe.org/?s=revista

Kankaanranta, A., & Planken, B. (2010). BELF competence as business knowledge of internationally operating business professionals. Journal of Business Communication, 47(4), 380-407. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021943610377301

Leong, F. T. L., & Hartung, P. J. (2000). Adapting to the changing multicultural context of career. In A. Collin & R. A.Young (Eds.). The Future of career (pp.212-227). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Louhiala-Salminen, L. (2002). Communication and language use merged corporations: Case Stora Enso and Nordea. Working paper no. 330. Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki School of Economics.

Louhiala-Salminen, L., & Kankaanranta, A. (2011). Professional communication in a global business context: The notion of global communicative competence. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 54(3), 244-262. https://doi.org/10.1109/TPC.2011.2161844

Luo, Y., & Shenkar, O. (2006). The multinational corporation as a multilingual community: Language and organization in a global context. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(3), 321–339. https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400197

Lustig, M. W., & Koester, J. (2013). Intercultural competence: Interpersonal communication across cultures. Boston, MA: Pearson.

Marschan-Piekkari, R., Welch, D., & Welch, L. (1999a). In the shadow: The impact of language on structure, power and communication in the multinational. International Business Review, 8(4), 421–440. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0969-5931(99)00015-3

Marschan-Piekkari, R., Welch, D., & Welch, L. (1999b). Adopting a common corporate language: IHRM implications. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 10(3), 377–390. https://doi.org/10.1080/095851999340387

Moattarian, A., & Tahririan, M. H. (2014). Language needs of graduate students and ESP courses: The case of tourism management in Iran. Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics, 5(2), 4-22. https://rals.scu.ac.ir/article_11009_1201.html

Mouer, R., & Kawanishi, H. (2005). A sociology of work in Japan. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Neeley, T. B. (2013). Language matters: Status loss and achieved status: Distinctions in global organizations. Organization Science, 24(2), 476–497. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1120.0739

Ojanpera, M. (2014). Effects of using English in business communication in Japanese-based multinational corporations. (Unpublished master’s thesis). Oulu Business School, Oulu, Finland.

http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201402131106

Piekkari, R., & S. Tietze (2011). Introduction. A world of languages: Implications for international management research. Journal of World Business, 46(3), 267-269. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2010.07.001

Piekkari, R., Vaara, E., Tienari, J., & Säntti, R. (2005). Integration or disintegration? Human resource implications of a common corporate language decision in a cross-border merger. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16(3), 330–344. https://doi.org/10.1080/0958519042000339534

Piekkari, R., & Zander, L. (2005). Language and communication in international management. International Studies of Management & Organization, 35(1), 3–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/00208825.2005.11043726

Rantanen, J. (2001). Work and working conditions in globalized economies. In J. Rantanen, S. Lehtinen, K. Kurppa, K. Lindström, & K. Saarela (Eds.). Work in the global village: Proceeding of the international conference on work in the21st century (15-17 October 2001). Helsinki, Finland: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Rashtchi, M., & Keyvanfar, A. (2007). ELT Quick ‘n’ Easy (3rd edition) Tehran: Rahnama Press.

Rashtchi, M., & Porkar, R. (2020). ESP courses and identity formation: The case of introvert students. International Linguistics Research; 3 (1), 29-41. https://doi.org/10.30560/ilr.v3n1p29

Rogerson-Revell, P. (2007). Using English for international business: A European case study. English for Specific Purposes, 26(1), 103-120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2005.12.004

Steinbock, D. (2001). The Nokia revolution: The story of an extraordinary company that transformed an industry. New York, NY: Amazon.

Takino. M. (2017). Power in international business communication and linguistic competence: Analyzing the experiences of non-native business people who use English as a business Lingua Franca (BELF). International Journal of Business Communication, 57 (4), 517–544. https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488417714222

Thomas, C. A. (2007). Language policy in multilingual organizations. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, 22(1), 81–104. http://repository.upenn.edu/wpel/vol22/iss1/5

Welch, D., Welch, L., & Piekkari, R. (2005). Speaking in tongues. International Studies of Management & Organization. 35(1), 10–27. https://doi.org/10.1080/00208825.2005.11043723




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.11n.6p.83

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2021 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.