Monday, May 20, 2013

Issues of Global Corporate English - Part V

Part V - "Migrate the Environment"

In the course of such a program as presented in Part IV, the employee’s / team’s environment should be migrated to an English work environment.

It may be helpful to think of such a corporate migration as similar to the roll-out of new hardware or software.

Such environment migrations are also executed in phases or stages in accordance with need or priority of a particular organization, group or team.

Change the Environment - in stages
Software programs that future English communicators use should be migrated – in stages – to English language versions (Office applications, Email, SAP, etc.)
  • Glossaries can be provided with native language equivalents to ease the transition.

Corporate newsletters and other communications received should be the English version. These communication means can be supplemented with English / native language glossaries.

Presentations to teams / team meetings can also be migrated –
  • Initially with an English slide presentation accompanied by native language oral presentation and discussion, to
  • English test and oral presentation, until...
  • An exclusively English language affair.

Option: Combination Intensive - Weekly
At intervals, training participants could be sent on intensive trainings in order to bump them into a higher-level training group.
  • Participants for this could be identified on the basis of the organization’s need for his/her skills, and/or
  • To reduce the number of training groups (which are based on competence level), thus,
  • Reducing time “overhead” and making better use of group member  synergies.

The best approach here would be to schedule such intensive ("crash") courses shortly before the participants are expected to confront a significant increase in English language communication.For example, 1 -2 weeks before:
  • business travel to an English language venue
  • participation in an important meeting / conference in which English will be dominant
  • taking over a new position or role in which English play a larger role in daily work

Do not schedule such courses without a plan. Intensive language weeks are great, but their effectivity decreases with time.

I know of people who have taken such courses and returned to work with some well-deserved confidence. However, many were not required by their jobs to USE their English for weeks or months afterwards.

If you don't use it, you will use it!

First Steps
A pilot program would make sense here.
  • An organization / team / group should be identified for training
  • It would be advantageous for said group to contain a supportive leader and at least one member with good – very good English 
A company / corporation needs to decide on a real plan for supporting its international communication strategy.

English (or any language) will not become a productive means of global communication by accident.

Well, and that is essentially it for this series!
I will be happy to answer any questions.
Cheers and thank you for your attention,
Duane March, Ph.D.

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