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English communication skills in the ready-made garments industry in Bangladesh: a case study

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thesis
posted on 23.02.2017, 03:20 by Roshid, Mohammod Moninoor
English as a lingua franca (ELF) is playing an imperative role in communication in multilingual settings. The importance of English in global communication demands the necessity of English communication skills for operating a business worldwide. Constructing a conceptual framework for this research grounded in theories of ELF and communicative competence for language learning, this study explored understandings of the English communication skills required for business professionals working in the ready-made garments industry in Bangladesh and who are engaged in communication with business personnel from different linguacultural (language and cultural) backgrounds. The study further looked at how and how far the identified required skills correspond to the university education these professionals had experienced in Bangladesh. A qualitative case study was applied to conduct the research. The findings of the study show that for successful communication in an international business, the RMG professionals require a set of skills that embrace five core areas such as linguistic skills, sociocultural skills, discourse skills, pragmatic skills and professional skills. Deploying these skills in an integrated way was understood by the professionals as necessary to bring about an effective outcome in international business communication. The finding also demonstrates that despite vast differences in the ways the participants in the RMG business understood, conceptualised and practised English in their business communication; in the end, they all agreed that any kind of mix in language is effective in communication as long as their counterparts understand. The findings further reveal that the set of skills RMG professionals needed for effective operation in a global business were overlooked in university education. The finding identified potential gaps between university and industry in preparing graduates with necessary communication skills in English as per the demands of international business communication. The results of this thesis carry potential lessons and directions for university, industry, government, researchers and educators to narrow the gaps between what business professionals need and what can be realistically taught in universities. The insights derived from this research could potentially be an important addition to both local and global knowledge.

History

Campus location

Australia

Principal supervisor

Sue Webb

Year of Award

2014

Department, School or Centre

Education

Course

Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type

DOCTORATE

Faculty

Faculty of Education