Author Archives: GlobalEnglish Perspectives

South by Southwest is the “Most Valuable Business Weekend of the Year.” Are You In the Conversation?

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South by Southwest, the innovative event that takes over the city of Austin, Texas each year, has evolved from a music confab to a sprawling “ideas festival” where tech-based businesses from around the world try to outdo one another with eye-opening demos and jaw-dropping announcements. Despite claims that SxSW has “jumped the shark” in recent years by succumbing to hype and spectacle, forward-leaning businesses still consider the most valuable weekend of the year, according to a piece on Mashable from March 8, 2017.

“Smart marketers are recognizing that the real audience at SXSW isn’t necessarily the average attendee who comes for panels and the parties, but the people speaking on those panels and throwing those parties,” writes Mashable’s Ben Hindman.

GlobalEnglish CEO Karine Allouche Salanon engaged with other thought leaders during this year's SxSW.The piece reports that one out of every three people at SXSW self-identifies as a manager making more than $150K per year, someone with the authority to make deals and make things happen. And that’s why they attend. “People go to SXSW to be inspired. They go to learn about new ideas. They go to start movements and take risks,” writes Hindman.

While the public side of SxSW plays out on event stages and exhibit halls around the city, some of the real action happens in social occasions that dominate the night life. There, the boundaries between business conversation and personal passion blur as ideas and money start to fly. And because SxSW takes place in the capital of Texas in America’s heartland, the vast majority of those conversations are happening in English.

If your innovative business is trying to get attention at a forum like SxSW, every personal encounter is an opportunity. That’s why everyone on your team needs the skills and confidence to participate fully in conversations in Business English.

GlobalEnglish programs can help organizations prepare every employee for world changing conversations where and whenever they might happen, by providing solid and systematic instruction in Business English, and helping learners rapidly gain the proficiency they need to engage in business and technical conversations with English-speakers around the world.

Our unique style of blended learning empowers your talent to better manage other important global businesses challenges, including the ability to manage relationships with partners and resources around the world, adapting to new technology and business models, and leveraging technology for productivity and analytics. Our customers find time and again that as their employees gain a better foothold on Business English, they improve on overall performance.

We encourage organizations seeking to create a strong foundation of English competency to achieve business goals to talk with their local GlobalEnglish representatives to see how we can help them better navigate the future realities of global business.

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Japan is Seeing Mixed Results Accelerating English Learning

Night view. KOBE. JAPAN

Japan is one of the world’s largest economies, heavily dependent on global trade, transnational corporate structures and vast supply networks. Japanese companies have been at the forefront of adopting English as their official language even within Japan, with the ecommerce giant Rakuten often cited as a case study for its pioneering efforts in 2010. This week, Nikkei Asian Review reports that another Japanese giant, the consumer goods company Shiseido, announced plans to make English the official company language at its head offices by October, 2017, saying this was a step “necessitated by growth into a global enterprise.”

According to the report, the personal care group is moving toward having Japanese employees write out internal documents and conduct meetings in English. Shiseido’s President, Masahiko Uotoni said that the move is a response to the growing need for the central office in Japan to support business activities in other locations, and designating English as the common language would help achieve that goal.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Japan, efforts to step up general English language proficiency ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo are hitting a snag because secondary school teachers responsible for teaching English to 7th-9th grade students lack even baseline proficiency. Japan Today reports that only 16 out of 74 teachers in Kyoto were able to achieve a baseline score of 730 (out of 900) on the standard Test of English for International Communication, indicating the ability to meet minimum social demands and limited work requirements in a business setting. 14 teachers scored lover than 500, and the lowest score was 280, the average for students they would be teaching.

The Japan Today concludes that “Perhaps the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology should start by improving the level of English teachers as well as students. We’ve long professed our frustrations with English education in Japan, so perhaps a new idea is necessary to train both teachers and students for 2020 and beyond if the country truly wants to improve its English skills.”

The fact is that even well-resourced education systems and corporations can fall short of their goals in achieving English language proficiency if they do not adopt proven, systematic approaches. GlobalEnglish programs can help fill the gaps in educational systems and corporate training, helping learners rapidly develop the skills and confidence to participate in business and technical conversations with English-speakers around the world. Our unique style of blended learning empowers your talent to better manage other important global businesses challenges, including the ability to manage relationships with partners and resources around the world, adapting to new technology and business models, and leveraging technology for productivity and analytics. Our customers find time and again that as their employees gain a better foothold on Business English, they improve on overall performance.

Organizations seeking to create a strong foundation of English competency to achieve business goals should talk with their local GlobalEnglish representatives to see how we can help them better navigate the future realities of global business. Contact us today.

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How Business English Supports Learning and Development

 

LinkedIn Learning Report 2017

LinkedIn Learning Solutions recently released their 2017 Workplace Learning Report, presenting the top issues on the minds of L&D professionals in organizations across the US and Canada. Nearly 70% of their respondents said that developing the talent of employees is a key issue for organizational leadership, but that to gain additional resources and corporate commitment, L&D “must demonstrate a business impact.”

At the same time, half of the learning professionals in the survey said that they are “challenged to get employees to make time for learning and development,” and that employees are demanding modern format for learning beyond simple classroom training.

In short, organizational leadership and employees want relevant skills training, delivered efficiently, with measurable return on investment. One area of learning that meets all of these requirements is Business English. The demand for English language competency is growing worldwide, driven by globalization, outsourcing, and the need for workers at every level to work with partners, colleagues and customers across linguistic barriers.

Business English not only provides individuals with useful, marketable skills, it develops organizational competency that can be quantified, measured and reported to stakeholders.

Business English not only provides individuals with useful, marketable skills, it develops organizational competency that can be quantified, measured and reported to stakeholders. Using training programs developed by GlobalEnglish, companies can satisfy the demands of workers for relevant and effective learning delivered using convenient, modern technology – not just classroom training. And workers throughout the organization can take pride in their language skills expanding day-by-day, month-by-month, until they are able to confidently communicate their ideas and participate in business conversations in English anytime, anywhere, in any role.

GlobalEnglish programs can help L&D professionals meet the emerging challenges of organizational learning and talent development. Our unique style of blended learning empowers your talent to better manage other important global businesses challenges, including the ability to manage relationships with partners and resources around the world, adapting to new technology and business models, and leveraging technology for productivity and analytics. Our customers find time and again that as their employees gain a better foothold on Business English, they improve on overall performance.

We encourage organizations seeking strategies for learning and scientific innovation in the global marketplace to talk with their local GlobalEnglish representatives to see how we can help them better navigate the future realities of global business.

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Standing on the “Giant Shoulders of English”

GlobalEnglish Science Economist Feb 14 2017 Shoulders of Giants

Standing on the “Giant Shoulders of English”

The Economist from February 4, 2017 offers additional insights on the spread of English as the global language of business, following up on a previous piece from April, 2016 (“Of Two Minds,” discussed here). The new column focuses specifically on the ubiquity of English in the sciences, discussing how the majority of important scientific research is reported in English-language journals (see The giant shoulders of English).

“A scientific lingua franca has advantages,” writes the columnist “Johnson” (an Economist house byline). “A few moments imagining scientists toiling away in different countries unaware of each other’s successes and failures is enough to show for that.”

The column makes an argument for the value of linguistic diversity in the sciences. It encourages Anglophone scientists to learn a foreign language to develop a broader perspective and more deliberate habits of mind. It also acknowledges the reality that scientific discourse in the 21st century takes place mostly in English.

Economist Shoulders of Giants“The bilingual scientist who can [gather data from remote experts in native language and] write it all up in English has a competitive advantage.” Consequently, “more and more young scientists will learn English as a matter of course. They should ensure that clear English abstracts and keywords from their papers are available; this may be more important than the original abstract itself.”

If your organization relies on scientific research to fuel innovation and influence the market, are you ensuring that your global talent pool of scientists and engineers has the confidence and skills to express themselves effectively in Business English?

GlobalEnglish programs help organizations and individuals quickly and easily learn English optimized for business, science and professional environments to share ideas with colleagues, partners and customers anywhere in the world. Our unique style of blended learning empowers your talent to better manage other important global businesses challenges, including the ability to manage relationships with partners and resources around the world, adapting to new technology and business models, and leveraging technology for productivity and analytics. Our customers find time and again that as their employees gain a better foothold on Business English, they improve on overall performance.

We encourage organizations seeking strategies for learning and scientific innovation in the global marketplace to talk with their local GlobalEnglish representatives to see how we can help them better navigate the future realities of global business.

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Business English Offers Subtle Work and Personal Advantages

Business English Offers Subtle Work and Personal Advantages

In a 2016, The Economist ran a thought-provoking column called “Of Two Minds,” which explores the cognitive and social benefits of conducting professional conversations in a foreign language. Specifically, the piece looks at how the perceived difficulties of communicating in a non-native tongue, such as having to speak slowly and deliberately, can actually provide speakers with more time to formulate good ideas. The article explains:

…there may be a feedback loop from speech back into thought. Ingenious researchers have found that sometimes decision-making in a foreign language is actually better. Researchers at the University of Chicago gave subjects a test with certain traps—easy-looking “right” answers that turned out to be wrong. Those taking it in a second language were more likely to avoid the trap and choose the right answer. Fluid thinking, in other words, has its down-side, and deliberateness an advantage.

There are also social advantages. People who lack linguistic fluidity because they are speaking in a second language, either with an accent or simply taking more time to choose words than a native speaker would, tend to get underestimated by listeners. This offers them a chance to impress their audience with their ideas, not their polished words.

Economist-of-two-minds“Hopping from language to language is a constant reminder of how others might see things differently,” observes the Economist. In a world of complex ideas and business challenges with multiple stakeholders, that perspective can be invaluable.

So how is your organization helping to prepare its people to capitalize on the advantages of communicating in Business English?

GlobalEnglish programs help organizations and individuals develop the skills and confidence to express themselves effectively in English so they can share ideas with colleagues, partners and customers anywhere in the world. Our unique style of blended learning empowers your talent to better manage other important global businesses challenges, including the ability to present on complex and technical subjects at events and professional gatherings, adapting to new technology and business models, and leveraging technology for productivity and analytics. Our customers find time and again that as their employees gain a better foothold on Business English, they improve on overall performance.

We encourage organizations seeking strategies that will serve them well in a less predictable global marketplace to talk with their local GlobalEnglish to see how we can help them better navigate the future realities of global business.

Reach out today to discover how GlobalEnglish can help your organization bring the advantages of multiple languages to your talent.

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Why English is your Passport in a Multi-Polar World

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The first two weeks of the Donald Trump Administration in America signaled an abrupt departure from the consensus that governed American policy since the end of World War II. “America first, Americans first,” declared the new President in his Inaugural Address. He has proceeded to back up his words with a series of actions affecting trade, immigration and other aspects affecting America’s relationship with the wider world.

So does this mean the end of globalization? It seems unlikely. The economic and political forces that propel international trade, outsourcing and the spread of knowledge did not changed overnight. The trillions of dollars invested in global supply networks and the billions of transactions that take place across borders on a daily basis aren’t about to just grind to a halt.

Instead, the election of President Trump may simply accelerate a dynamic that has already been taking place for more than a decade: a shift from an American-led brand of globalization to a more multi-polar world where regional powers like China, India, Russia, Germany, Turkey and Brazil lead in different directions, focusing on different priorities. The spread of the Internet and the ubiquity of mobile devices means that even the most underdeveloped parts of the world enjoy ever increasing access to information, resources and markets. The innovation once centralized in New York, London and Silicon Valley is now more evenly distributed around the world.

A multi-polar world churns uncertainty. A less predictable world means that organizations need to listen and collaborate more closely to take advantage of opportunities—and avoid risks—anywhere in the world. They need to prepare to engage a variety of trading partners and resources, working around America when it becomes difficult to work with it.

Those conversations, even when they do not take place between English-speaking partners, are likely to take place in Business English, which remains the international language of commerce regardless of the policies of America and the UK with respect to global trade. A multi-polar world without a clear center makes the ability to communicate confidently in English even more important.

So what is your organization’s strategy to up-level the Business English skills of your worldwide team?

GlobalEnglish programs help organizations become more resilient in the face of global uncertainty by opening up new avenues of communication, collaboration and commerce with other English speakers around the world. Our unique style of blended learning empowers your talent to better manage other important global businesses challenges, including confident and fluid interaction with English-speaking audiences in professional settings, adapting to new technology and business models, and leveraging technology for productivity and analytics. Our customers find time and again that as their employees gain a better foothold on Business English, they improve on overall performance.

We encourage organizations seeking strategies that will serve them well in a less predictable global marketplace to talk with their local GlobalEnglish team. Reach out today to discover how we can help your organization better navigate the future realities of global business.

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Can Business English Help Close the Global Wage Gap?

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Can Business English Help Close the Global Wage Gap?

Last week, issues of economic inequality were much on the minds of the global business leaders who met at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Trends in automation and globalization make it more difficult for workers to gain wealth, with global wages rising only 1.6% since 2012 (0.9% worldwide if you exclude China, where growth was unusually robust). Meanwhile, return on capital is booming: the Dow Jones Industrial Average just cracked 20,000 for the first time in history (25 January, 2017). The result? Owners are getting richer while workers continue to fall further behind.

One solution: upskill workers such that their value to employers justifies higher salaries and greater job security. According to a post on the WEF site by Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Federation, the earnings differential between more and less-skilled workers can be dramatic.

“In Europe, the top 10% of best paid employees take on average 25.5% of the total wages paid to all employees in their respective countries, which is almost as much as what the lowest-paid 50% get (29.1%),” writes Ryder. “The share of the top 10% goes even higher in some emerging economies, for example Brazil (35%), India (42.7%) and South Africa (49.2%). In Europe, the top 1% earn about 90 euros per hour, which is 8 times more than median wage earners, and 22 times the average wage of the bottom 10%.”

One core skill that can make that kind of difference? The ability to communicate clearly and effectively in Business English.

GlobalEnglish programs help organizations build greater value into their workforce and provide workers with more value, earning power and economic security. Our unique style of blended learning empowers your talent to better manage other important global businesses challenges, including confident and fluid interaction with English-speaking audiences in professional settings, adapting to new technology and business models, and leveraging technology for productivity and analytics. Our customers find time and again that as their employees gain a better foothold on Business English, they improve on overall performance.

We encourage organizations seeking to improve the capability and capacity of their leadership pipeline to talk with their local GlobalEnglish to see how we can help them achieve their goals, including being ready for the learning-centric workplace of the 21st century.

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