English in the 21st Century Global Knowledge Economy

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Dr. Kathi Bailey, TIRF President and Professor at the Monterey Institute, discusses the role English plays in the 21st century global knowledge economy at the Association of Binational Centers of Latin America, Cali, Colombia.

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English in the 21st Century Global Knowledge Economy

  1. 1. English in the 21 st Century Global Knowledge Economy: <ul><li>The Implications of Some Research Findings </li></ul><ul><li>Kathleen M. Bailey </li></ul><ul><li>July 29, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Association of Binational Centers </li></ul><ul><li>of Latin America, Cali, Colombia </li></ul>
  2. 3. TIRF <ul><li>T he I nternational R esearch F oundation </li></ul><ul><li>for English Language Education </li></ul><ul><li>Visit TIRF’s website at </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.tirfonline.org </li></ul>
  3. 4. TIRF <ul><li>TIRF established by the TESOL Board of Directors in June, 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>TIRF recognized as a charitable foundation under US tax law in 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>TIRF gives Doctoral Dissertation Grants (up to US $5,000) </li></ul>
  4. 5. TIRF’s Four Major Goals <ul><ul><ul><li>1. To implement a research and development program that will generate new knowledge and inform and improve the quality of English language teaching and learning </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 6. TIRF’s Four Major Goals <ul><ul><li>2. to promote the application of research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to practical language problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. to collect, organize, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and disseminate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>information and research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>on the teaching and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learning of languages </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. TIRF’s Four Major Goals <ul><li>4. to influence the formation and implementation of appropriate language education policies, being cognizant of the complementarity </li></ul><ul><li>of English as an </li></ul><ul><li>international language </li></ul><ul><li>and indigenous languages </li></ul><ul><li>and cultures worldwide. </li></ul>
  7. 8. TIRF’s Four Major Goals <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Development </li></ul><ul><li>Dissemination </li></ul>Activities in Three Domains
  8. 9. TIRF’s Four Major Goals <ul><li>TIRF’s Current Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting research and best practices </li></ul><ul><li>that will improve the use of English in </li></ul><ul><li>the emerging global </li></ul><ul><li>knowledge economy </li></ul><ul><li>of the 21st century </li></ul>
  9. 10. Key Questions Initiative <ul><li>Key Questions Initiative started in 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Focus chosen by the Board of Trustees as a matter of international interest – within the language teaching profession and beyond </li></ul>
  10. 11. Key Questions Initiative <ul><li>The Impact of English and Plurilingualism in Global Corporations (TIRF, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Free downloadable PDFs of the full paper and the executive summary are available free on TIRF’s website: </li></ul><ul><li>www.tirfonline.org </li></ul>
  11. 12. Globalization <ul><li>Globalization: “an ongoing process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a globe-spanning network of communication and trade” (Wikipedia). </li></ul><ul><li>“ Three out of four multinational companies now manage networks of 20 or more overseas operations” (Feely & Harzing, 2003, p. 37) </li></ul>
  12. 13. Globalization <ul><li>Globalization unfolds in two stages: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Global media and business extend their reach into new domains throughout the world,” and </li></ul><ul><li>They are “relocalized in order to best meet the economic and social imperatives of functioning in different regions of the world” </li></ul><ul><li>(Warschauer, 2000, p. 511) </li></ul>
  13. 14. Before Globalization <ul><li>Networks of Multinational Corporations </li></ul>
  14. 15. Result of Globalization <ul><li>Percent of Non-Native English Speakers in Global 1000 Companies </li></ul><ul><li>1996: 30% </li></ul><ul><li>2006: 50% </li></ul><ul><li>2011: 70% </li></ul><ul><li>(Source: World Trade Organization) </li></ul>
  15. 16. After Globalization <ul><li>Networks of Multinational Corporations </li></ul>
  16. 17. Evolution of Global Corporations and the Global Human Network 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 1950
  17. 18. Evolution of Global Corporations and the Global Human Network 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 1950 Local Languages Dominate. English Used For Supply/Customer Chain Regional Offices Geographic Autonomy
  18. 19. Evolution of Global Corporations and the Global Human Network 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 1950 . . . But Not Imperative Local Languages Dominate. English Used For Supply/Customer Chain Global Integration Begins English Importance Growing Regional Offices Geographic Autonomy
  19. 20. Evolution of Global Corporations and the Global Human Network 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 1950 . . . But Not Imperative TODAY Defining Period: ● Global Integrated Strategies ● Digitally Connected Global Human Network Local Languages Dominate. English Used For Supply/Customer Chain English Proficiency Imperative Global Integration Begins English Importance Growing Regional Offices Geographic Autonomy
  20. 21. Tipping Point: 2005-2011 for Human Network Low High 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 English Skills Required Tolerance for Poor English Skills
  21. 22. Tipping Point: 2005-2011 for Human Network Low High 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 English Skills Required Tolerance for Poor English Skills Huge English Skills Gap
  22. 23. Tipping Point: 2005-2011 for Human Network Low High 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 English Skills Required Tolerance for Poor English Skills Huge English Skills Gap Digitally Connected
  23. 24. Tipping Point: 2005-2011 for Human Network Low High 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 English Skills Required Tolerance for Poor English Skills Huge English Skills Gap Global Human Network Digitally Connected Globally Connected Welcome to the
  24. 25. Survey of Employees of Global Corporations <ul><li>91% of respondents indicate English is critical or important in their work. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 9% indicate their current level of English is sufficient for their job. </li></ul><ul><li>From the Globalization of English (25,000 respondents from 300 of the world’s leading companies, including GE, Pfizer, P&G, Unilever, HP, Reuters, etc.) </li></ul>
  25. 26. What Corporations Want <ul><li>Global Corporations Want Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>That deliver consistent results </li></ul><ul><li>That can be rapidly deployed </li></ul><ul><li>That are measurable on a global basis </li></ul><ul><li>That are cost effective </li></ul><ul><li>That are scalable </li></ul>
  26. 27. What Corporations Want <ul><li>“ GlobalEnglish has conducted case studies of the language challenges, solutions, and impacts faced by its global corporate partners.... Revenue and cost impact are the two main areas where English proficiency adversely affects the corporate bottom line” (TIRF, 2009, p. 16). </li></ul>
  27. 28. What Corporations Want <ul><li>British Telecom – Latin America </li></ul><ul><li>(Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico) </li></ul><ul><li>Example : Help desk operator – client calls, </li></ul><ul><li>emails, and conference calls (ave. 4/week) </li></ul><ul><li>Explaining a problem in English, asking for </li></ul><ul><li>and giving clarification, (dis)agreeing, and </li></ul><ul><li>understanding clients’ varied accents </li></ul>
  28. 29. What Corporations Want <ul><li>British Telecom – Latin America </li></ul><ul><li>Negative Impact of English Deficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Delays & mistakes in commercial proposals </li></ul><ul><li>Poor communication with clients </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety for employees </li></ul>
  29. 30. 21 st Century Skills <ul><li>Corporations want workers with </li></ul><ul><li>strong academic skills, </li></ul><ul><li>strong social, emotional, and cognitive development </li></ul><ul><li>professionalism, teamwork, communication, and critical thinking </li></ul><ul><li>(Corporate Voices, 2008). </li></ul>
  30. 31. 21 st Century Skills <ul><li>“With employees from diverse linguistic </li></ul><ul><li>and cultural backgrounds, strong </li></ul><ul><li>language skills are needed to facilitate </li></ul><ul><li>effective communication” (TIRF, 2009, </li></ul><ul><li>p. 49) </li></ul>
  31. 32. Two Case Studies <ul><li>Reuters </li></ul><ul><li>Emirates Bank </li></ul>
  32. 33. The Case of Reuters <ul><li>The Need </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wanted to improve communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>among regional offices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Wanted to manage the negative consequences of the complexity of managing projects across times zones, cultures, and languages </li></ul></ul>
  33. 34. The Case of Reuters <ul><li>Reported Business Results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to produce and understand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>English emails: 86% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to participate in meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in English: 79% </li></ul></ul>
  34. 35. The Case of Reuters <ul><li>Reported Business Results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to provide assistance and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>answer questions in English: 81% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to help other non-native </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>speakers use English: 54% </li></ul></ul>
  35. 36. The Case of Emirates Bank <ul><li>The Need </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change from a regional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to a global company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. English abilities of employees were not at a point where they would easily support this transition from regional to global markets </li></ul></ul>
  36. 37. The Case of Emirates Bank <ul><li>Reported Business Results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Earned the first European Association of Quality Language Services (EAQUALS) Certification awarded in their region </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Increased number of employees trained in English by over 300% through use of online learning </li></ul></ul>
  37. 38. The Case of Emirates Bank <ul><li>Reported Business Results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3. High satisfaction and completion rates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of English programs (85%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4. Improved job performance after three </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>months due to improved English </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>abilities </li></ul></ul>
  38. 39. Some European Survey Data <ul><li>German exporters : Esmann et al., 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>French exporters : Marchessou et al., 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish exporters : Ali et al., 1999 </li></ul>
  39. 40. (Esmann et al, 1999, p. 79) <ul><li>Languages Used </li></ul><ul><li>by 171 German Exporters </li></ul>
  40. 41. (Esmann et al, 1999, p. 79) <ul><li>Most Important Languages </li></ul><ul><li>for 171 German Exporters </li></ul>
  41. 42. Language Skills in Use <ul><li>(Esmann et al., 1999, p. 71) </li></ul>2% 2% 11% 17% Cultural knowledge 13% 24% 42% 84% Writing 14% 25% 45% 82% Reading 14% 26% 48% 87% Listening/ speaking Spanish Italian French English
  42. 43. Most Important Skills <ul><li>English, listening/speaking 30% </li></ul><ul><li>English, writing 19% </li></ul><ul><li>English, reading 16% </li></ul><ul><li>French, listening/speaking 14% </li></ul><ul><li>French, reading & writing 8% </li></ul><ul><li>Italian, listening/speaking 8% </li></ul><ul><li>(Esmann et al., 1999, p. 71) </li></ul>
  43. 44. Situations Causing Barriers (Esmann et al, 1999, p. 77)
  44. 45. (Marchessou et al., 1999, p. 103) Language Use by 86 French Exporters English 73% German 8% Spanish 4% Italian 1% Dutch <1% Portuguese <1% English 83% German 44% Spanish 42% Italian 17% Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, & Russian each 2% Japanese, Arabic, & Czech each <1% Importance of Each Languages Used
  45. 46. (Marchessou et al., 1999, p. 104) Language Skills Used 69% 28% 33% 10% 2% 2% 0.8% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% 73% 33% 36% 12% 2% 2% 0.8% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% 78% 36% 35% 14% 2% 2% 2% 2% 0.4% 0.4% English Spanish German Italian Portuguese Dutch Russian Chinese Czech Arabic W R L/S Language
  46. 47. Languages Causing Barriers (n=86) (Marchessou et al, 1999, p. 108)
  47. 48. Situations Causing Barriers (Marchessou et al., 1999, p. 107)
  48. 49. Languages in Use by 124 Spanish Exporters (Ali et al., 1999, p. 83) % of companies
  49. 50. Most Important Languages for 124 Spanish Exporters % of companies (Ali et al., 1999, p. 85)
  50. 51. Language Skills Used by 124 Spanish Exporters (Ali et al., 1999, p. 87) 66.1% 43.5% 12.1% 7.3% 6.5% 69.4% 48.4% 13.7% 11.3% 11.3% 70.2% 47.6% 15.3% 11.3% 10.5% English French German Italian Portuguese W R L/S Language
  51. 52. Situational Language Use (Ali et al., 1999, p. 89)
  52. 53. Some Implications of These Research Findings <ul><li>For English </li></ul><ul><li>Learners </li></ul><ul><li>For corporations </li></ul><ul><li>For us as teachers and </li></ul><ul><li>directors of language programs </li></ul>
  53. 54. Some Implications of These Research Findings <ul><li>For corporations </li></ul><ul><li>Hiring plurilingual employees pays off </li></ul><ul><li>Providing English training </li></ul><ul><li>to key employees pays off </li></ul>
  54. 55. Some Implications of These Research Findings <ul><li>For English language learners </li></ul><ul><li>English skills are valuable </li></ul><ul><li>in the job market </li></ul><ul><li>and for promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Speaking and listening skills </li></ul><ul><li>are especially important </li></ul>
  55. 56. Some Implications of These Research Findings <ul><li>For us as teachers and coordinators </li></ul><ul><li>Curricula for many (future) employees should include telephone skills, negotiating, correspondence, participation in meetings, & English for traveling, exhibitions & presentations </li></ul>
  56. 57. Some Implications of These Research Findings <ul><li>Lessons should include exposure to many different accents and varieties of English due to the need for </li></ul><ul><li>Communication with NSs of English from many countries and regions </li></ul><ul><li>Communication with NNSs of English, where English is the lingua franca </li></ul>
  57. 58. Closing Comments <ul><li>Next Steps for TIRF </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to support research </li></ul><ul><li>Seek major sources of funding from corporate and private sponsors to support targeted research projects </li></ul><ul><li>Influence policy makers and the public with the findings of research </li></ul>
  58. 59. Closing Comments <ul><li>TIRF is pleased to share many reference lists with researchers throughout the world – including one on the role of language in business and industry. </li></ul><ul><li>The lists are stored as Word documents so that they are </li></ul><ul><li>dynamic tools. </li></ul>
  59. 60. Closing Comments <ul><li>You are also welcome to contribute new references to these lists, or send an entirely new reference list to share. </li></ul><ul><li>Please visit www.tirfonline.org and click on “Resources for Researchers.” </li></ul>
  60. 61. Closing Comments <ul><li>TIRF’s initiatives are supported by contributions from </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations </li></ul><ul><li>Funding Organizations </li></ul>
  61. 62. Closing Comments <ul><li>Main Sponsoring Organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Cambridge University Press </li></ul><ul><li>Delta Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Educational Testing Service </li></ul><ul><li>Heinle, Cengage Learning </li></ul><ul><li>LaCentra-Sumerlin Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>National Geographic </li></ul>
  62. 63. Closing Comments <ul><li>Main Sponsoring Organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Pearson Education </li></ul><ul><li>The Society for Testing English Proficiency </li></ul><ul><li>The Spencer Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>TESOL </li></ul><ul><li>University of Cambridge ESOL Exams </li></ul><ul><li>Walt Disney Corporation </li></ul>
  63. 64. Closing Comments <ul><li>TIRF is an all-volunteer Board of </li></ul><ul><li>trustees </li></ul><ul><li>Your help is needed </li></ul><ul><li>Donate online by </li></ul><ul><li>credit card </li></ul><ul><li>Donate by check </li></ul><ul><li>in US dollars </li></ul>
  64. 65. Closing Comments <ul><li>Levels of Support </li></ul><ul><li>Founders : Over $75,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Benefactors : $5,000 </li></ul><ul><li>to $74,999 </li></ul><ul><li>Patrons : $1,000 to $4,999 </li></ul><ul><li>Supporters : up to $1,000 </li></ul>
  65. 66. Closing Comments <ul><li>For Further Information </li></ul><ul><li>To learn more about TIRF, The International Research Foundation for English Language Education, please visit our website: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.tirfonline.org </li></ul>
  66. 67. Many Thanks! <ul><li>Conference Organizers </li></ul><ul><li>Ryan Damerow </li></ul><ul><li>(research and help with the PowerPoint) </li></ul><ul><li>Heinle-Cengage Learning </li></ul>
  67. 68. References <ul><li>Ali, N., Vicente, M. J. G., Bragado, J. F., & Hagen, S. (1999). Foreign language use and the needs of Spanish exporters in central Spain. In S. Hagen (Ed.), Business communications across borders: A study of language use and practice in European companies (pp. 83-99). London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research. </li></ul><ul><li>CILT (The National Centre for Languages). (2006). ELAN: Effects on the European economy of shortages of foreign language skills in enterprise . London, United Kingdom: CILT for the European Commission. </li></ul>
  68. 69. References <ul><li>Embleton, D., & Hagen, S. (Eds.) (1992). Languages in international business . London: Hodder & Stoughton. </li></ul><ul><li>Esmann, N., Linter, P., & Hagen, S. (1999). The language and cultural needs of German exporters in Swabia and Augsburg. In S. Hagen (Ed.), Business communications across borders: A study of language use and practice in European companies (pp. 69-82). London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research. </li></ul>
  69. 70. References <ul><li>Feely, A. J., & Harzing, A. W. (2003). Language management in multinational companies. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 10 (2), 37-52. </li></ul><ul><li>Forey, G., & Nunan, D. (2002). The role of language and culture within the accountancy workplace. In C. Barron, N. Bruce, & D. Nunan (Eds.), Knowledge and discourse: Towards an ecology of language (pp. 204-220). Harlow, England: Pearson. </li></ul>
  70. 71. References <ul><li>Grin, F., & Vaillancourt, F. (1997). The economics of multilingualism: Overview of the literature and analytical framework. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 7 , 43-65. </li></ul><ul><li>Grosse, C. U. (2009). Change, challenge, and opportunity in business languages. Global Business Languages, 14 , 17-28. </li></ul>
  71. 72. References <ul><li>Hagen, S. (1999). Overview of European findings. In S. Hagen (Ed.), Business communications across borders: A study of language use and practice in European companies (pp. 1-16). London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research. </li></ul>
  72. 73. References <ul><li>Marchessou, F., Guérineasu, I., & Hagen, S. (1999). The language and communication needs of French export companies in the Poitou-Charentes region. In S. Hagen (Ed.), Business communications across borders: A study of language use and practice in European companies (pp. 101-115). London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research. </li></ul>
  73. 74. References <ul><li>Reeves, N., & Wright, C. (1996). Linguistic auditing . Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. </li></ul><ul><li>TIRF (The International Research Foundation for English Language Education). (2009). The impact of English and plurilingualism in global corporations . http:// www.tirfonline.org/index.html . </li></ul>
  74. 75. References <ul><li>Warschauer, M. (2000). The changing global economy and the future of English teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 34 (4), 511-535. </li></ul><ul><li>Please visit www.tirfonline.org for a more extensive reference list about language in business and industry, as well as other reference lists on professional development and a range of research topics. Click on “Resources for Researchers.” </li></ul>

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