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Reflections on EFL proficiency requirements in the business context: towards bilingualism in professional education in Finland.

1. Introduction

Lingua francas, common languages, can be assumed to have existed since the times humans started to communicate through speaking 40 000 years ago. (1) Their development seems to fluctuate with economic power; this explains the role of Latin in the Roman empire and the existence of a Latin-based lingua franca in the Mediterranean region towards the 15th century. (2) Similarly, the status of English in the world today can at least partly be explained through the dynamism of the American economy. Maybe in the future, the business community will press to learn Mandarin Chinese; many business people already are.

According to some scholars, (3) the World Trade Organisation, through its promotion of the English language, has a major impact on the linguistic future of the world. It is clear that English has not only secured its position as the number one global language; it has also facilitated globalisation. Generally, the business community welcomes this development, as it is seen to improve opportunities for business. Forming business relationships through translators and interpreters is more time-consuming and less successful, as it allows for less personal communication. Business people hardly see themselves as part of an 'EFL Army' set out to solidify an 'English-language-based New World Order', (4) nor are they particularly concerned about whether they promote linguistic ecology and diversity through their business activities. Such concerns belong to other communities, e.g. the European Commission, which has recommendations regarding the use of languages within the European Community. (5) The business community is simply interested in communicating efficiently in order to sell products or services for a profit.

The present article will not attempt to make a statement on whether the business community is right or wrong in its exploitation of the English language for professional purposes. Rather, it will attempt to discuss what the skills are that a business professional should master for a common business English language medium to function effectively as a means of promoting good business. The article will also reflect on the proficiency levels in English required of successful business communicators in the worldwide business community today, and discuss related pedagogical issues. Finally the language policies of Finnish society and the Finnish educational system are discussed in order to see whether they support the learning needs of future business communicators in the tertiary education, and particularly in professionally oriented universities of applied sciences (UAS).

2. Means of communication in international business

According to various surveys conducted among Finnish enterprises, (6) English is, according to the vast majority of the Finnish companies interviewed, the most used language in customer communication; Swedish and German are also used but to a much lesser extent. Additionally, also Russian, French and Spanish have been reported to be of importance for Finnish enterprises. (7) While English is being used for business purposes in a global context, researchers and practitioners alike ponder at what kind of English it should be. Business people have been reported to view such English communication as a cultureless code; (8) they see their particular discourse community as the relevant cultural group in a business context, e.g. sales engineers, (9) to a greater extent than their national culture. English as lingua franca (ELF), as English used in non-native speaker (E2) (10) communication, may be difficult to accept and manage as, besides artificially created languages such as Esperanto, we normally associate a culture and a country with native members as the bases behind a language. (11) Also, the norms for the proper use of language still largely come from the grammar and vocabulary of variants of standard native speaker English (El). The same goes for rhetorical aspects of writing English: the ways information is organised in writing.

ELF has not been found to be a single variant of English; (12) however, interesting results have been obtained by several scholars regarding some of its core features. (13) This may set new types of requirements for successful communication by placing less emphasis on the traditional view of mastery of grammar in English instruction, especially regarding oral communication. Yet, a variety of English with an oversimplified grammar would be unlikely to satisfy teachers or motivate learners as a standard to be used for instruction. (14)

English as an international language (EIL), i.e. English used in an international context, and involving both El and E2 speakers, can be defined as simplified English, (15) preferred in order to ease understanding in a professional context. The advantages of both ELF and EIL are that the language can be viewed as a 'no-wo/man's land', where all users can be considered to have an equal right to use their variant of it as long as it is successful in transmitting messages effectively (16). General guidelines suggested for E l speakers when writing in English for an international audience in a professional context could prove useful for ELF communication as well. These include features of language use that enhance clarity, simplicity, and brevity in order to communicate in a reader-friendly fashion. (17) Still, different types of communicative situations require different approaches, rhetorically, stylistically, i.e. regarding register of vocabulary, for example, and linguistically, e.g. concerning complexity of structure. Regarding the needs of E2 speakers, the emphasis is now placed on the need to be able to manage several types of literacy, (18) and this is undoubtedly a great challenge.

3. Communication skills in a business context: implications for pedagogy

According to relevant Finnish legislation on tertiary-level education in universities of applied sciences (UAS), the language instruction at UAS provides the students with the communication skills that are required in the future professions. (19) Consequently, the language training at UAS is professionally oriented. The skills that are required in professions today include e.g. existential competence, communication competence, people skills, and innovation skills. (20) More precisely regarding communication, future business graduates are seen to need an awareness of communication processes in particular professions, language-specific skills (linguistic, sociolinguistic, pragmatic), and analysis capacity regarding possible mistakes and errors. (21) This is in line with the results arising from numerous studies on business communication, which emphasise features of language such as strategic use of politeness, (22) modification of communication according to the age of the business relationship, 23 and teamwork and humour as important means of strategic communication in business. (24) Skills such as general management of rapport have been found important for business communication, (25) as aspiring negotiators tend to under-use face-saving speech behaviour and consequently, for example, have difficulty in creating a professional identity and maintaining professional distance in negotiation events.

Various professional situations require efficient oral communication skills as well as good reading and business writing skills. According to a study on English language skills to be learned in higher education, which involved students, teachers, and companies in Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands and France, training in cross-cultural communication differences was seen as particularly important. (26) In the four European countries involved in the study, efficient business communication by telephone was seen as more important in Belgium, the Netherlands and France, whereas the Finnish business people regarded electronic mail as a more important medium for communicating in business. This is interesting, as the Finnish people are generally known for their preference for limited use of socialising in business processes. (27) Hence they rather use email than telephone in professional communication. In the study, the Finnish business students themselves rated their oral skill as quite good. However, the Finnish business students' oral proficiency was estimated to be lower, by the Finnish teachers, than that of the students from the other participating countries. This could be related to the Finnish students' tolerance of silence (28), creating the image of non-communication. In order to improve the efficiency and relevance of teaching and learning communication skills in English, the study recommends a case-based method for instruction in business education. This enables the students to learn reading, writing, and oral skills simultaneously in authentic-type business situations and become thus aware of the strategic importance of communication. Similar recommendations are also made on the basis of other studies (29) as such case-based approaches enable acquiring business communication skills holistically rather than separated from the business context; this involves the need to consider not only language skills but also other business-related issues in order to function well.

The starting point for learning should not be mere linguistic sub-skills but rather communication skills as a whole. Instruction should be based on a relevant professional framework: examples of likely future professions, typical work tasks, and language proficiency requirements regarding structures and vocabulary--arising from oral and written tasks. (30) Language instruction should foresee and attempt to influence future changes at work in order to become an integral part of professional training of know-how; additionally, it should concentrate on passing on strategies for lifelong learning. (31) For example, as business communication will to an increasing degree use electronic mail for communication, (32) rather than traditional correspondence, which, due to its rapidity, increases the casual nature of written communication, attention should be paid in instruction to the carefulness in details of written communication. This will remain an important skill in designing business documents, such as proposals, contracts, and reports.

Professional language instruction can serve the business sector better by increasing cooperation between educational establishments and businesses, improving future graduates' oral communication skills, and teaching language skills holistically as integrated into the instruction of other skills and know-how that are relevant for particular professions. Encouraging future graduates to take on training posts abroad should be recommended, as this is a credible sign of improved language and communication skills. (33) This also allows for improved cross-cultural communication skills and plurilingualism (34)/multilingualism.

4. Proficiency levels in English business communication

Several studies support the findings discussed above: general communication skills are important in successful professional communication; interpersonal skills and team player skills likewise. In addition to this, however, language proficiency is still emphasised. (35) It is important to reflect upon the issue of proficiency levels and the proficiency requirements set forth by different professional fields and occupations within which future graduates will operate. An interesting concept, namely, that of 'proficiency face' has been launched by some scholars. (36) Second language speakers seem to have a proficiency face, which needs maintenance work in the same way as positive and negative faces (37), which demonstrate two basic human needs: the need to belong and the need for privacy. Proficiency face probably involves elements of both. But what is a sufficient level of proficiency in English as a foreign/second language for communicating successfully in professional contexts in general and business contexts in particular? Or to put it in another way, when does a language learner stop being a learner and starts being a professional communicator?

Students of the Finnish educational system generally enter the tertiary-level with a CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Modern Languages) (38) B2-level skills in English, namely, that of an independent user. On the CEFR scale, levels Al-2 stand for 'basic user', levels B1-2 for 'independent user', and levels Cl-2 for 'proficient user'. Many students are C-level speakers in English, i.e. proficient speakers, when they enter international degree programmes that are English--language mediated. Some have Bl-level skills, but according to some researchers, (39) through studying in English, the language skills of those students who start out with a weaker level may improve significantly. However, this does not necessarily apply to everyone. Why the language skills of some students are more 'fossilised (40) than those of others is an interesting question but not one that can be answered here. According to some scholars, (41) passing from one CEFR level to another requires several hundred hours of work, which is significantly more than is allowed for language studies in business degree programmes.

As there are ca. 360 million speakers of English as El in the world as opposed to 2 billion speakers of English as E2, (42) who decides what level of know-how is sufficient? A native speaker model undoubtedly serves as a convenient starting point for language instruction, but professionals and learners in each context decide to what extent they want to approximate to such a model. (43) It is natural to generate written teaching material from this starting point, with e.g. a standard UK or US variant of English--depending on the target audience, even though especially audio and video material with an English lingua franca approach would offer opportunities for learning in different types of authentic settings.

B1 level, that of an independent user, would seem to be the minimum level at which future business graduates could be envisaged to operate at in English in an international work environment. Naturally, different business contexts require different levels of proficiency; e.g. C1-C2 levels would seem a requirement for business negotiations in complicated industrial business affairs, where the mere reading skills needed for understanding proposals and contracts require in-depth knowledge of both professional content and use of language in terms of vocabulary and grammatical structures. However, some studies have shown that negotiations about basic business transactional terms, such as payment and delivery, can be successfully concluded at varying proficiency levels. (44)

Some results seem surprising; for example pronunciation obviously has a clear effect on intelligibility of communication. However, it seems some of the speakers' non-standard, shared features of pronunciation improve intelligibility, and only those features which are not shared by the speakers from other countries result in breakdown in communication. 45 Generally, individual features of language use are one reason for miscommunication; consequently, the use of mere native speaker norms for the description of expertise in language can be problematic. (46) Challenging the stereotypes of correct usage in connection with English lingua franca (ELF) can be healthy, as certain aspects of idiomaticity are difficult to master for E2 speakers; the role of such culturally loaded vocabulary items and idioms can be questioned in an international language. (47) However, although it may be useful to disentangle ELF from unnecessary native-speaker norms, maintaining features of English that serve its international users, seems important. (48)

ELF usage, as a community of practice, can be seen as empowerment of E2 speakers, as it allows a more varied use of linguistic resources--including both local and standard varieties. Homogenous standard English is not really a reality, as standard English is not a defining feature of native speakers, either. It is advisable to recommend standard English grammatical core, but native speaker accents and regionally distinctive items are not necessary for every ELF speaker to master. (49) E2-type idiomaticity should be seen as possible in ELF and EIL similarly to different World Englishes. Successful bilinguals are individuals with good intercultural insights, rather than a perfect accent and grammar; the ability to promote a personal identity is an important skill both in ELF and EIL. (50) For example, according to some negotiation scholars (51), rather than focusing on proficiency levels, the aim in negotiation training should be on increasing cognitive awareness of language as a negotiating instrument and gaining insight into negotiation strategies. This is seen to improve contributions and enhance the ability to analyse others' discursive behaviour. This is done through, rather than specific linguistic behaviours, focusing on functional possibilities of language and discourse, assessing speakers' own strategies and improving their use, and designing own interactive strategies. (52)

Research into the use of English as an international language has shown that competence in relevant professional substance is the core competence and minor differences in language skills and use do not hinder professional communication. (53) In a Nordic study, (54) it was shown that Finnish writers tend to be more direct than Swedes in English lingua franca email messages; yet, professional communication works. Also, Swedes were found to prefer interpersonal and interactive discourse strategies that encourage dialogue among the group--using discourse markers such as references to previous speakers, feedback and back- channeling, questions, addressing other speakers by name, as well as hedging; whereas Finns prefer direct strategies, fewer interpersonal and interactive elements, and a focus on the issue at hand. Swedes are discursive--Finns few-worded. (55) Yet, with an awareness of these differences, they communicate successfully.

Let us now turn to language instruction and policy issues in Finland in order to see whether they, from the future business communicator's point of view, support the development of the skills and proficiency levels discussed above.

5. Professionally oriented language education in Finland: legislation versus learning

Finland has a multicultural history having been part of the Swedish Kingdom for ca. 600 years and Russia for over a hundred years. In its capital city, Helsinki, the most commonly heard languages at the beginning of the 20th century, just before Finland gained its independence in 1918, were Finnish, Swedish and Russian. Further north, also the Sami language could be heard. The bilingual status of the country with the Swedish and Finnish languages was a political decision and became official with the 1922 Language Act, which was later re-enforced in 2003. (56) Since then the country has undergone a change in the field of communication, particularly in the business sector, where, along with Finnish, the other most commonly used language is English. This is the case, not only in international business communication but often also in domestic business communication, as many large corporations have chosen English as their official corporate language. Approximately 90 per cent of this English-language business communication is estimated to take place between non-native speaker business people. (57) National languages are used as well, whenever this is more functional but new forms of networking as a way of conducting business have created new models of organising businesses and managing them, which in turn have had an impact on the forms and needs of organisational communication. (58) Communication skills have been recognised by many scholars as an inherent part of business know-how. (59)

The development of language training in Finland reflects the rise of the English language as a lingua franca (ELF), a common language. (60) Towards the end of the 20th century, English has increasingly replaced other languages as the preferred choice by Finnish children for their first foreign language at school. Similarly in the professional tertiary sector, although other languages are studied as well, e.g. German, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Japanese, (61) the English language dominates in the number of courses taken by students. (62) In business education in Finland, a similar development is described at the Helsinki School of Economics, the number one business language educator in higher education in Finland, where the development has led from the instruction of the English language for the use by future business professionals in the import and export activities of companies to that of English for 'international business communication', as the business community has adopted English as a common means for conducting business locally and globally. (63)

A 'Mammoth Curriculum'

In the light of the recent developments regarding the use of the English language in the world, it is interesting, from a policy point-of-view, to note that only the national languages of Finnish and Swedish are obligatory languages that all students have to study in Finland. Foreign students study most often Finnish. English is widely studied throughout the educational system, but studying it is not mandatory in primary and secondary education. Previous scholars have described how societies develop and educational practices follow with a certain time lag. (64) This seems to be the case regarding language policies in Finland. The country was quite isolated from Central Europe until it became member of the European Union, and its language policies have remained practically unchanged although a need for change has been recognised.

Let us look at an excerpt from the guidelines of the National Curriculum by the National Board of Education in Finland regarding the content of studies of the obligatory second domestic language, i.e. Swedish for 94 per cent of the population. Only 6 per cent of the population speak Swedish as a first language. For the majority of the student population, the obligation to study a second minor Nordic language rather than a free-choice major world language feels like a 'mammoth curriculum', a curriculum which trains future graduates for a world gone by. (66) It also places a tremendous effort on the shoulders of children and young people.

Instruction in the Swedish language will develop students' intercultural communication skills. It will provide them with skills and knowledge relating to the Swedish language and its use and will offer them opportunities to develop their knowledge of bilingual Finland... The aim is for the students to reach CEFR level BI in Swedish.

Not all students are motivated to study Swedish as an obligatory language in the Finnish educational system. Some have, due to motivation problems, clear difficulties reaching the required level B1 on the CEFR scale. The fact also remains that when the Finnish speaking Finns travel to Sweden or otherwise interact with the Swedes or Swedish speakers, they mostly use English, even if they have spent a minimum of six years studying Swedish at school. For many, the effort put in learning Swedish as an obligatory language seems wasted.

A similar description applies to the study of foreign languages; again the extract 67 below is taken from the guidelines provided by the National Board of Education in Finland. Students are obliged to take one foreign language, English being one among the languages offered.

Instruction in foreign languages will develop students' intercultural communication skills. It will provide them with skills and knowledge relating to language and its use and will offer them the opportunity to develop their awareness, understanding and appreciation of the culture within the area or community where the language is spoken. In this respect, special attention will be given to European identity and European multilingualism and multiculturalism.

Depending on the chosen syllabus (years of study of a language), the aim in English is for students to reach CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) levels A1-B1-B2. The above guidelines emphasise European multilingualism and multiculturalism. The present language policy in Finland is not grounded in a needs analysis based on the present state of the world but rather on history and traditions. Students are interested in developing a European identity through their language choices (68), and not just a Nordic one, which the current language and educational policies promote. The European Commission (69) recommends that European students study and acquire a good working knowledge of at least two other European languages. In Finland, due to the present language policy, this means that the majority of the population will study two minor domestic languages, Finnish and Swedish, besides one foreign language.

Luckily, educational practices are often more swiftly adaptable to real future needs than policies. European countries which offer an ample amount of business training in English include countries with a non-international native language, such as Nordic countries. The Netherlands is also particularly strong in this sense, whereas in countries such as Germany and France, which have strong national language identities offer less training in English. In Finnish tertiary-level education, there are at present twenty-six (26) degree programmes in business (24 programmes at universities of applied sciences; 2 programmes at theoretical universities) which lead to the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration that are conducted fully in English. Finnish business education that leads to the same degree, but in the Finnish language, number 38, so they still outnumber English-language training in the field. Master-level English-language business training is offered in 15 degree programmes at Finnish universities. (70) The UAS-sector has developed strongly since the 1990s, which is when most of its English-language business degree programmes were created. This development of offering business training in the English-language has been inevitable due to the strength of the language as the most important means of communication in international business. It has already enhanced the bilingualism of Finnish youth in English. The Bologna process of creating a common European education area (71) has also increased the need for tertiary-level education in English as this facilitates student and staff mobility in the European educational sector. The more theoretically oriented universities offer clearly less training in business education in English at the Bachelor level than the more work-life oriented universities of applied sciences (UAS); their focus here is mainly on the Master-level education.

Language policies and tertiary-level business education in Finland

A country's language capital can be seen to be influenced by at least two factors: (i) language policies and language planning decisions regarding educational objectives in different languages, (ii) globalisation of not only the professional world but general interaction between people around the globe, e.g. through tourism and the internet. (72) In Finland, the present legislation on the two national languages sets language proficiency requirements for civil servants and states that the speakers of Finnish and Swedish are to be treated with equality. This legislation and its implications for the Finnish educational system are grounded, on the one hand, in an intention to value the country's historical link with Sweden and, on the other, political agreement between relevant important stakeholder groups of the country. (73) At present in the professional tertiary sector, in many UAS, only Swedish for Finnish-speaking Finns and Finnish for Swedish-speaking Finns are compulsory languages that all students have to study. In Finland, the legislation on national minority languages traditionally covers Swedish (as of 1922) and Sami (as of 1992). However, Finland has ratified the European Charter on Regional or Minority Languages (74) and the European Framework Convention also for other non-territorially bound languages, which may mean that e.g. Russian may be granted a minority language status in Finland. (75) This would be understandable particularly in the eastern part of the country, where an increasing amount of commercial activity is taking place across the Finnish and Russian border, and where the population have limited contact with Swedish speaking Finns and Swedes. The situation is reverse in the western and southern parts of the country, where the majority of the Swedish- speaking Finnish population mainly live. It is only natural that the position of the Swedish language in professional tertiary education remains strong there.

Traditionally, language instruction in the language centres of theoretical universities in Finland taught listening comprehension and reading comprehension, but much has changed from those early days. (76) Professionally oriented language training in UAS took a different perspective right from the beginning when they were created in the 1990s. This was a natural continuation from language instruction at vocational upper secondary education, where content and language instruction were merged together in order to produce professional, communication-oriented, interactive language instruction: (77) special emphasis was put on efficient oral communication situations rather than grammatical accuracy. However, even at this level, the 'Mammoth Curriculum' applies. English is widely studied in UAS, but it is still not an obligatory language at a national level, although Swedish is, due to being protected by special legislation on bilingualism requirements for civil servants in Finnish and Swedish. (78)

The present legislation, which regulates the development of the language capital of Finland needs modification. Language policies and educational planning should carefully consider the future needs of a population, besides its ability to stay in touch with its history and the future. (79) Luckily, a good example of such activity is the increasing number of English-language degree programmes in the tertiary-level educational system, discussed above. This allows, despite the 'Mammoth Curriculum', for an increasing amount of international exchange of student and staff populations, contributing thus towards an international exchange of not only people but also ideas. This development also significantly contributes towards improving the bilingualism of participating students (80) in the English language, creating for them a more functional bilingualism than the one enforced by legislation. It is important that such developments are systematically monitored and evaluated regarding their impact and relevance for language planning and policy issues. (81)

6. Conclusions

On the basis of the present discussion of the latest results on the use of the English language in a professional context, with reflections on the given policy situation in Finland, it can be concluded that the world changes and language and educational policies should change accordingly. English is a vital tool for communication in the world today and this should have an influence on national language policies and educational curricula more strongly than is the case at present in Finland. The Language Act of 1922/2003 should be updated, allowing for a strengthening of a European identity. The fact that English language degree programmes have been created in the tertiary level does significantly contribute towards improving students' and future professionals' bilingualism in English alongside with the development of their native language, but this is not a sufficient measure, as only a minority of the country's student population attend these English language-mediated degree programmes.

The views on the skills and proficiency requirements in English discussed above show that there is a clear movement away from the approach traditionally taken in language instruction, namely, a focus on specific linguistic skills, and a tendency towards a more holistic approach to learning professional content and communication skills together in authentic type settings. Although it may useful to use simple grammar in English as an international language or lingua franca order to facilitate professional communication in some contexts, (82) it is important to carefully consider the pedagogic implications of such an approach. Language learners would probably not favour the idea of being taught by language teachers who do not adhere to standard forms of the English language. Nevertheless, students' and learners' own use of language and creativity with the language should be encouraged. (83) Regarding the skills and proficiency requirements in professional contexts, it is clear that situational factors--and perhaps even individual ones--are decisive. At least as yet, no clear answer can be given to the question of when an aspiring business professional stops being a language learner and starts being a professional communicator. Reaching a functional level in a language will continue to require hard work and a motivating learning environment; particularly in a professional environment, language and communication skills are learned best in action.

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Phillipson, Robert. Linguistic imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Planken, Brigitte, "Managing rapport in lingua franca sales negotiations: A comparison of professional and aspiring negotiators." English for Specific Purposes, volume 24, number 4, 2005, 381-400.

Prolang-project, "Developing a Common System for the Recognition and Validation of Language Skills in Occupational Contexts," 1999. http://www.edu.fi/projektit/prolang/english/index.html (accessed June 2nd, 2008.

Prodromou, Luke, "Is ELF a variety of English?" English Today 90, volume 23, number 2, 2007, 47-53.

Poyhonen, Sari and Minna-Riitta Luukka, eds., Kohti tulevaisuuden kielikoulutusta. [Towards future language education] University of Jyvaskyla: Centre for Applied Linguistic Research, 2007. Ruohotie, Pekka, Oppiminen ja ammatillinen kasvu. [Learning and professional development] Juva: WSOY, 2000.

Rauto, Eeva, "Changes in the interlanguage grammar of engineering student studying in an FL-medium programme, "Exploring dual-focused education. Integrating language and contentfor individual and societal needs, edited by Bj 6klund, Siv, Karita Mard-Miettinen, Marina Bergstrom, and Margareta Sodergard, Vaasa: Vaasa University Publication. Research and reports, 2006, 134, 71-84.

Rogerson Revell, Pamela, "Meeting talk: a stylistic approach to teaching meeting skills." Business English: Research into Practice edited by M. Hewings and C. Nickerson, Longman England, 1999, 55-71.

Sajavaara, Kari, Richard, D. Lambert, Sauli Takala, C. A. Morfit, eds., National foreign language planning: Practices and prospect. Jyvaskyla: Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyvaskyla, 1993.

Sajavaara, Kari and Jaakko Lehtonen, "The Silent Finn Revisited." Silence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives edited by A. Jaworski, 1997, 263-83. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Sartoneva, Pirkko, ed., Vieraiden kielten osaaminen Suomessa-aikuisten kielitaidon arviointi. [Know-how of foreign languages in Finland--evaluation of adults] Helsinki: National Board of Education, 1998.

Scollon, Ron and Suzanne Scollon, Intercultural Communication. A Discourse Approach. Cambridge, USA: Blackwell.

Seidlhofer, Barbara, "Closing a conceptual gap: the case for a description of English as a lingua franca." International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 11(2), 2001, 133-158.

Seidlhofer, Barbara, "English as a Lingua Franca," ELT Journal 59 (4), 2005, 339-341.

Selinker, Larry and U. Lakshmanan, "Language Transfer and fossilization: The 'Multiple Effects Principle." Language Transfer in Language Learning, 1993, 197-216.

Simon, Heli and Taina Vuorela, Ammatillisuus ammattikorkeakoulujen kieltenopetuksessa [Professional language training in universities of applied sciences], accepted for publication in Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences Publication Series, 2008.

Takala, Sauli and Kari Sajavaara, "Language policy and planning," Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 20, Port Chester, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2000, 129-146.

Timmins, I. Corpora, context and classroom: The place of spoken grammar in ELT. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Nottingham, 2003.

Vuorela, Taina, Teamwork as an interactional resource. A case study of a seller-buyer negotiation. Unpublished Licenciate Thesis. University of Jyvaskyla, 2000.

Vuorela, T. "How does a sales team reach goals in intercultural business negotiations?" English for Specific Purposes, 24, 2005, 65-92.

Vuorela, Taina, "Teaching business negotiating: book learning vs. reality." Sprak & Marked, 31, 2005, 23-52.

Vuorela, Taina, "Laughing matters. A case study of humor in multicultural business negotiations," Negotiation Journal, Volume 21, Number 1, 2005, 105-130.

Vuorela, Taina and Heli Simon, "Learning languages for professions: a development project in tertiary-level language instruction in Finland, 2005-2006." Conference Proceedings of the International Nordic--Baltic Conference of the World Federation ofLanguage Teacher Associations innovations in language teaching and learning in the multicultural context, Riga: FlPLV, 2007, 81-89.

Weiss, Edmond, H. The Elements of International English Style. Armonk, U.S.: M. E. Sharpe, 2005.

(1) Calvin, William, H. et al., Lingua ex Machina. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2001.

(2) Knapp, Karlfried et al., eds., Lingua Franca Communication. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, 2002.

(3) e.g. Phillipson, Robert, Linguistic imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

(4) cf. Niu Qiang et al., Is EFL a modern Trojan horse? English Today 84, volume 21, number 4, 2005: 55-60.

(5) The European Commission on languages http://ec.europa.eu/education/policies/lang/languages en.html

(6) e.g. Airola, Anneli, 2004; Sartoneva, Pirkko, 1998; Huhta, Marjatta, 1994; Koskinen, M-L, 1994.

(7) Prolang-project, "Developing a Common System for the Recognition and Validation of Language Skills in Occupational Contexts," 1999. http://www.edu.fi/proiektit/prolanp-/enp-lisli/index.html See also Huhta, Marjatta, 1999.

(8) Louhiala-Salminen, Leena, "The Business Communication Classroom vs. Reality: What Should We Teach Today?" English for Specific Purposes, volume 15, number 1, 1996, 37-51.

(9) Vuorela , Taina, "How does a sales team reach goals in intercultural business negotiations?" English for Specific Purposes, 24, 65-92, 2005.

(10) for abbreviations E 1, E2, see Weiss, Edmond, H., The Elements of International Style, 2005.

(11) Seidlhofer, Barbara, "Closing a conceptual gap: the case for a description of English as a lingua franca." International Journal ofApplied Linguistics, 11(2), 2001, 133-158.

(12) Mollin, Sandra, Euro-English. Assessing Variety Status. Tubingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 2006.

(13) Jenkins, Jennifer, 2002; Seidlhofer, Barbara, 2001; Dewey, Martin, 2007.

(14) Timmins, 1. Corpora, context and classroom: The place of spoken grammar in ELT. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Nottingham, 2003.

(15) Weiss, Edmond, H. 2005. The Elements of International English Style. Armonk, U.S.: M. E. Sharpe.

(16) see e.g. Louhiala-Salminen, Leena et al., "English as the Lingua Franca of International Business Communication: Whose English? What English?" English for International and Intercultural Business Communication, edited by Juan Carlos Palmer-Silveira, Miguel F. Ruiz-Garrido, and Immaculada Fortanet-Gomez, Bern: Peter Lang, 2006, 27-54.

(17) Weiss, Edmond, H. 2005. The Elements ofInternational English Style. Armonk, U.S.: M. E. Sharpe.

(18) Bhatia, V.K., "A generic view of academic discourse." Academic Discourse, edited by J. Flowerdew, London: Pearson Education Limited, 2002, 21-39.

(19) Ammattikorkeakoulu asetus. [Decree on universities of applied sciences] http://www.linlex.fi/fi/laki/aiantasa/2003/20030352 (accessed June 4, 2008)

(20) Ruohotie, Pekka, Oppiminen ja ammatillinen kasvu. [Learning and professional development] Juva: WSOY, 2000, 40.

(21) Huhta, Marjatta et al., eds., Tyoelaman kieli- ja viestintataito. [Professional language and communication skills] Helsinki University of Applied Sciences Publications, Series A: Research and reports 8, 2006.

(22) Yli-Jokipii, Hilkka, "International Perspective on Business Communication Research; Europe: Business Writing." Business Communication Quarterly 61 (3), 1998, 85-93.

(23) Charles, Mirjaliisa, "Layered negotiations in business: interdependencies between discourse and the business relationship." English for Specific Purposes, volume 15, number 1, 1996, 19-36.

(24) Vuorela, Talna, Teamwork as an interactional resource. A case study of a seller-buyer negotiation. Unpublished Licenciate Thesis. University of Jyvaskyla, 2000.

(25) Planken, Brigitte, "Managing rapport in lingua franca sales negotiations: A comparison of professional and aspiring negotiators." English for Specific Purposes, volume 24, number 4, 2005, 381-400.

(26) Penttinen, Marj atta, Needs for teaching and learning English in BBA studies as perceived by students, teachers and companies. University of Joensuu Publications in Education, number 75, 2002.

(27) cf. Saj avaara, Kari and Jaakko Lehtonen, "The Silent Finn Revisited." Silence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives edited by A. Jaworski, 1997, 263-83. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

(28) ibidem

(29) Louhiala-Salminen, Leena, 1996; Vuorela, Taina, "Teaching business negotiating: book learning vs. reality." Sprak & Marked, 31, 2005, 23-52.

(30) Huhta, Marjatta et al., eds., Tyoelaman kieli- ja viestintataito. [Professional language and communication skills.] Helsinki University of Applied Sciences Publications, Series A: Research and reports 8, 2006.

(31) Kantelinen, Ritva et al., Ammattikorkeakoulujen kieliopinnot. [Language studies at universities of applied sciences.] University of Joensuu, Department of Applied Education, 2002, 105.

(32) Kankaanranta, A. (2005a) "Hej Seppo, could you pls comment on this!"--Internal Email Communication in Lingua Franca English in a multinational company. Jyvaskyla: Centre for Applied Language Studies, 2005. http://ebooks.j_yLi.fi/solki/9513923207.pdf

(33) Prolang-project, "Developing a Common System for the Recognition and Validation of Language Skills in Occupational Contexts," 1999. http://www.edu.fi/proiektit/prolane/enelish/index.html

(34) see Common European Framework for Reference for Modern Languages, 2001. http://www.coe.int/T/DG4/Linguistic/CADRE EN.asp

(35) Karjalalnen, S. and Lelitonen, T., eds., "Etta osaa ja uskaltaa kommunikoida." [To know how to communicate--language needs at the workplace as they are pictured by employees and employers.] Helsinki: University of Helsinki, 2005.

(36) see e.g. Ahvenainen, Tarmo, Problem-solving Mechanisms in Information Exchange Dialogues with English as a Lingua Franca. Licenciate thesis. University of Jyvaskyla, 2005.

(37) see Brown, Penelope et al., 1978; also Scollon, Ron et al., 1995.

(38) see Common European Framework for Reference for Modern Languages, 2001. http://www.coe.int/T/DG4/Linguistic/CADRE EN.asp

(39) Rauto, Eeva, "Changes in the interlanguage grammar of engineering student studying in an FL-medium programme." Exploring dual focused education. Integrating language and content for individual and societal needs, edited by Siv Bjoklund et al., Vaasa: Vaasa University Publication. Research and reports, 2006, 134, 71-84.

(40) Selinker, Larry et al., "Language Transfer and fossilization: The 'Multiple Effects Principle." Language Transfer in Language Learning, 1993, 197-216.

(41) Fiueras, Neus, et al., "Relating examinations to the Common European Framework: a manual." Language Testing, volume 22, number 3, 2005, 261-279.

(42) Crystal, David, English as a global language, 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

(43) Kuo, I-Chun, "Addressing the issue of teaching English as a lingua franca." ELT Journal, volume 60, issue 3, 1 July 2006, 213-221.

(44) Firth, Alan, "The discursive accomplishment of normality: On 'lingua. franca' English and conversation analysis." Journal ofPragmatics, volume 26, issue 2, August 1996, 237-259.

(45) Deterding, David and Andy Kirkpatrick, "Emerging South-East Asian Englishes and Intelligibility." World Englishes, Vol. 25, Issue 3-4, 2006, 391-409.

(46) Seidlhofer, Barbara, "English as a Lingua Franca." ELT Journal 59 (4), 2005, 339-341.

(47) Prodromou, Luke, "Is ELF a variety of English?" English Today 90, Volume 23, Number 2, April 2007, 47-53.

(48) ibidem

(49) ibidem

(50) ibidem

(51) Mulholland, Joan, The Language of Negotiation. London: Routledge, 1991.

(52) ibidem

(53) Nikko, Tuija, "Skapandet av, betydelser pa sammantraden vid finsk-svenska fusionerade foretag." [Creating meanings in meetings in Finnish-Swedish company mergers] Ordens makt och maktens ord [Power of words and words of power] edited by Olli Kangas and Helena Kangasharju, Helsinki: Swedish Literature society, 2007.

(54) Kankaanranta, A.(2007). "Could you pls comment on this!" E-post pa engelska mellan finlandare och svenskar. Ordens makt och maktens ord, 2007, 448-464.

(55) Charles, Mirjaliisa and Leena Louhiala-Salminen, "English as the Lingua Franca of International Business Communication: Whose English? What English?" 2007.

(56) Language act 1922. http://www.finlex.fi/fl/laki/ajantasa/1922/19220311

(57) Louhiala-Salminen, Leena, "Englanti bisneksen toisena kotimaisena. Mukautuuko opetus? Pysyyka valmennus perassa?" [English as a second domestic language in business in Finland? Does language instruction follow the trend?], 2006.

(58) ibidem

(59) see Rogerson Revell, Pamela, "Meeting talk: a stylistic approach to teaching meeting skills. "Business English: Research into Practice edited by M. Hewings and C. Nickerson Longman England, 1999, 55-71; and Vuorela, Taina, "Laughing matters. A case study of humor in multicultural business negotiations." Negotiation Journal, Volume 21, Number 1, 2005, 105-130.

(60) Latomaa, Sirkku and Pirkko Nuolijarvi, "The Language Situation in Finland." Language planning and policy in Europe: Finland Hungarv and Sweden edited by Robert, B. Kaplan and Richard, B. Baldauf Jr., Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 2005, 125-232.

(61) see e.g. Vuorela, Taina et al., "Learning languages for professions: a development project in tertiary-level language instruction in Finland, 2005-2006." In Conference Proceedings of the International Nordic - Baltic Conference of the World Federation of Language Teacher Associations innovations in language teaching and learning in the multicultural context, Riga: FIPLV, 2007, 81-89.

(62) AMKOTA database on universities of applied sciences. http://www.minedu.fl/OPM/?lane=en

(63) Charles, Mirjaliisa and Leena Louhiala-Salminen, "English as the Lingua Franca of International Business Communication: Whose English? What English?"In Intercultural and International Business Communication, Volume 38, Linguistic Insights, Studies in Language and Communication, edited by Juan Carlos Palmer- Silveira, Miguel F. Ruiz-Garrido and Immaculada Fortanet-Gomez, Volume 11, Number 1, June 2007. Bern: Peter Lang.

(64) see e.g. Benjamin, Harold, The Saber-Tooth Curriculum, McGraw Hill, New York.

(65) Poyhonen, Sari and Minna-Riitta Luukka, eds., Kohti tulevaisuuden kielikoulutusta. [Towards future language education] University of Jyvaskyla: Centre for Applied Linguistic Research, 2007.

(66) National core curriculum for upper secondary schools 2003. Finnish National Board of Education: Helsinki, 84.

(68) National core curriculum for upper secondary schools. Finnish National Board of Education: Helsinki, 2003, 102.

(68) see e.g. Simon, Heli et al., Ammatillisuus ammattikorkeakoulujen kieltenopetuksessa. [Professional language training in universities of applied sciences], accepted for publication in Seindj oki University of Applied Sciences Publication Series, 2008.

(69) The European Commission on languages http://ec.europa.eu/education/policies/lane/languuags en.html

(70) National Board of Education, Korkeakouluopinnot Hogskolestudier [Tertiary-level education] 2007-2009. Helsinki: National Board of Education, 2007.

(71) The Bologna Process. http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/ho~eronderwijs/bologna/

(72) see Takala, Sauli et al., "Language policy and planning. "Annual Review ofApplied Linguistics 20, 129-146. Port Chester, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

(73) ibidem

(74) www.coe.int

(75) Takala, S. et al., "Language policy and planning." Annual Review ofApplied Linguistics 20, 129-146. Port Chester, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

(76) Foley, R. and Varmola, U. Kielilla pitkalle. [With Languages Forward.] Rovaniemi: Language Centre of University of Lapland, 2003.

(77) see Vuorela, Taina and Heli Simon, 2007; and Simon, Heli and Taina Vuorela, 2008.

(78) Language act 1922. http://www.finlex.fi/fl/laki/ajantasa/1922/19220311

(79) see Sajavaara, Kari et al. National Foreign Language Planning: Practices and Prospects, 1993.

(80) see e.g. Rauto, Eeva, 2006.

(81) see Takala, Sauli et al. "Language policy and planning. " Annual Review ofApplied Linguistics 20, 129-146. Port Chester, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

(82) Weiss, Edmond, H. 2005. The Elements of International English Style. Armonk, U.S.: M. E. Sharpe.

(83) Prodromou, Luke, "Is ELF a variety of English?" English Today 90, Volume 23, Number 2, April 2007, 47-53.

Taina Helena Vuorela, Principal Lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
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