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Language Learning in Higher Education

Journal of the European Confederation of Language Centres in Higher Education (CercleS)

Editor-in-Chief: Szczuka-Dorna, Liliana / O’Rourke, Breffni


CiteScore 2018: 0.24

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.130
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.290

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2191-6128
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Plurilingual proficiency as a learning objective for a multilingual curriculum in the study of business in Finland

Joachim Schlabach
  • Corresponding author
  • Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku, Rehtorinpellonkatu 3, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland
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Published Online: 2016-10-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cercles-2016-0027

Abstract

Plurilingual skills are among the key skills required in international business communication. Employees working in international business operations use multiple languages concurrently, switch between them, and mediate between different languages and cultures. Up until now however, the language teaching accompanying business studies at universities has aimed at developing proficiencies geared to single languages. Plurilingual skills such as language alternation, code-switching, mediation, and transfer strategies have not been taken into account. Learning objectives that satisfy the particular requirements of multilingual individuals are thus missing from the curriculum. The Pluriling study, a didactically aligned analysis of the language requirements of the alumni of the Turku School of Economics, presents empirically reliable data that, in the first instance, describes the use of multiple languages in international business communications. Based on answers to open questions, typical plurilingual skills and strategies are defined and summarised under the term plurilingual proficiency. This new learning objective not only provides a framework for a new study module comprised of plurilingual courses, but is also of value when developing curricular plurilingualism. Its implementation in plurilingual courses as regards approaches and methodology are discussed in the final section of this article.

Keywords: multilingualism; international business communication; plurilingual proficiency; language needs analysis; plurilingual language courses

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About the article

Joachim Schlabach

Joachim Schlabach is a lecturer in German language and business communication at the Turku School of Economics. His main area of interest is teaching professional communication, quality management in education and assessment. His research interests include multilingualism in international business communication, language needs studies and plurilingual curriculum.


Published Online: 2016-10-06

Published in Print: 2016-10-01


Citation Information: Language Learning in Higher Education, Volume 6, Issue 2, Pages 495–507, ISSN (Online) 2191-6128, ISSN (Print) 2191-611X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cercles-2016-0027.

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