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Section 2. Grammar workout

Identify and correct errors involving word order

It is said that (from the Pacific the first refugees of climate change will come/the first refugees of climate change from the Pacific will come/the first will come refugees of climate change from the Pacific/the first refugees of climate change will come from the Pacific).

In the midst of this ocean's tropical regions (far away from/away so far from/from so far away/away from so far) populated continents (small 50,000 islands are scattered/are scattered 50,000 small islands/50,000 small islands are scattered/scattered are 50,000 small islands), 8,000 of them inhabited.

(Particularly vulnerable they are/Particularly vulnerable are they/They are particularly vulnerable/Vulnerable they are particularly) to the impacts of global warming.

(With the objective of understanding the processes/To objectively understand the processes/Understanding the processes with the objective of /Should they understand the processes objectively) of the use of English, as mother tongue, second language and international language in Europe the linguists have modified Kachru’s concentric circles framework of world English use (as the model suggested/as the model suggesting/like the model suggested/as the suggested model) to take into account the various, dynamic roles of English in different European countries.

(However democratic citizenship in Europe is to be internationally based/ Since democratic citizenship in Europe is to be internationally based/ If democratic citizenship in Europe is to be internationally based/ Although democratic citizenship in Europe is to be internationally based), it is crucial to ensure diversification in language teaching so that citizens in Europe can interact in their own languages, rather than through English as a lingua franca.

Items involving parallel structures

In certain structure items, the correct use of parallel structuresis tested. Parallel structures have: the same grammatical form and function. Look at the following sentences:

She spends her leisure time hiking, camping, and fishing.

He changed the oil, checked the tire pressure, and filled the tank with gas.

Nancy plans to either study sociology or major in sociolinguistics.

Nancy plans to study either medicine or biology.

All of the structures in italics are parallel. In the first, three gerunds are parallel; in the second, three main verbs; in the third, two simple forms; and in the fourth, two nouns. Many other structures may be parallel in certain sentences: adjectives, adverbs, infinitives, prepositional phrases, noun clauses, and others.

The most common situation in which parallel structures are required is in a sequence in the first two sentences above. Parallel structures are also required with correlative conjunctions such as either...or, not only...but also, both ...and, as well ...as.

Examples:

Yalta has not only a pleasant climate, (but also exciting scenery/ but also has exciting scenery/ but also the scenery is exciting/but the scenery is also exciting), and many fascinating neighborhoods.

Until recently, most of the research on intercultural communication has focussed on native /non-native speaker interaction (both in the context of immigration and minorities and/either in the context of immigration and minorities or/not only in the context of immigration minorities but also) in intercultural politics and business..

 

Unit 1-20. THE USE OF ESP FOR THE WORKPLACE

Section 1. Guidelines for reading texts on the use of international English in European business



Business English as a lingua franca (BELF) has come to dominate as the shared code used to “get work done” in international business. In this article, Evan Frendo explores internationally operating business professionals’, teachers’ and trainers’ perceptions of BELF communication and its “success” at work, based on selected data from surveys and in-depth studies conducted in European multinational companies. The findings show that BELF can be characterized as a simplified, hybridized, and highly dynamic communication code. BELF competence calls for clarity and accuracy of content (rather than linguistic correctness) and knowledge of business-specific vocabulary and genre conventions (rather than only “general” English). In addition, because BELF interactions take place with nonnative speakers (NNSs) from a variety of cultural backgrounds, the relational orientation is perceived as integral for BELF competence. In sum, BELF competence can be considered an essential component of business knowledge required in today’s global business environment.

Text. 1-20. ENGLISH FOR THE WORKPLACE: SHARING THOUGHTS WITH TEACHERS AND TRAINERS OF BUSINESS ENGLISH AND ESP

(Based on Evan Frendo’s presentation in BELF101)

Over the last couple of years BELF (Business English as a Lingua Franca) has been gaining prominence, with articles appearing in various publications. Last year the Journal of Business Communication devoted an entire issue to it. And Vicki Hollett has invited several prominent speakers to discuss the issue in the next BESIG webinar. What I would like to do in this post is to introduce the idea of BELF and discuss some its implications for us as teachers and trainers of business English.

Note: BESIG, the Business English Special Interest Group of International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL), is a truly professional body representing the interests and serving the needs of the international business English teaching community.

 

First of all, what is ELF?

English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) has been around (and hotly debated) for a while now. (See the Wikipedia page for a useful list of references). Research by people like Jennifer Jenkins and Barbara Seidlhofer have worked on looking at various features, but there is still a lot of discussion about just how useful ELF is to teachers and trainers. For example, Jenkins (2007) says that “ELF emphasizes the role of English in communication between speakers from different L1s, i.e. the primary reason for learning English today.” On the other hand Swan (2009), argues that “In a pedagogic context, … there is little justification for its use: it is both redundant and confusing, and we would do better to avoid it.”

The crux of the issue seems to revolve around how we define ELF. For ELF researchers it seems to be a way of talking about how English is used between people who do not have English as their own native tongue. They are not suggesting that ELF is a specific variety of English, although there have been some attempts to try and describe its general characteristics, or “common core”. Indeed for some researchers (Firth, 2009; Jenkins, 2007) ELF is about a new attitude to English as a language – it should not be seen as a sort of incorrect or deficient type of English, which non native speakers (NNS) use in their communication with each other, but rather as a language in its own right. In ELF it is the end result that matters, not whether interactions contain “mistakes” when measured against some standard variety of English. The problem is that as teachers and trainers we have become used to providing a model (normally our own variety of English) for our learners to aim at – this is difficult with an ELF approach, where there is no easily identifiable model. As Seidlhofer points out, “spontaneous ELF communication always has an element of adhoc negotiation of relevant norms, because speakers’ systemic/linguistic and schematic/cultural backgrounds vary from case to case, by definition”(2006)

And what about BELF?

This article explores the role of English and other languages as perceived by members of upper management in a family-owned German multinational corporation in the technology sector. The findings show that, in the 21st century, English has become an indispensable “must” in the company and that there is a general understanding that staff at all levels develop their language skills as they see appropriate for their roles within the company. What needs to be learned, however, is not English as a native language but communicative effectiveness in English as a business lingua franca, which – as an international contact language – brings together nonnative as well as native Englishes from various linguacultural backgrounds spoken with varying degrees of proficiency. Learning to cope with the challenges of such diversity, in the context of business communication, seems to happen most effectively in business “communities of practice” rather than in traditional English training. The study also shows that, despite the dominance of English, other languages are not disappearing from the scene but are, indeed, used as a pragmatic or strategic resource. In particular, German, as the headquarters’ language, maintains an important role among individuals and within the organization.



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