It has been argued that acquisition of skills in the use of foreign languages is comparable to the development of competence in other skills (Drew & Ottewill, 1998). The foreign language learner must actively participate in the learning process and practice the skills required in order to achieve success. Thus, learning to communicate in a foreign language emphasises experimentation and concrete experience. On the other hand, abstract conceptualisation, reflective observation, and the development and testing of theories and ideas are more important for business studies. However, language studies and skills acquired are often related to the development of the soft applied skills of business communication and workplace competence. This paper argues that the two approaches to learning foreign languages and acquiring business competence are complementary and supportive. This can be accomplished by providing in two ways. First, courses in Languages for Specific Business Purposes can be offered that draw on an interdisciplinary approach based on recent studies in business discourse (Bargiela-Chiappini & Nickerson, 1999, 2002, 2003; Charles & Marschan-Piekkari, 2002; Planken, 2005; Poncini, 2003). Second, one can provide communicative activities, such as case studies and simulations emphasizing conceptual models and reflective observation, as well as language teaching related to business discourse situations and the strategic nature of the communicative event.
Ainsworth, Judith A.
"Integrating Methods and Strategies from Language Teaching and Business Studies in Languages for Specific Business Purposes Courses,"
Global Advances in Business Communication:
1, Article 7.
Available at: http://commons.emich.edu/gabc/vol1/iss1/7