Article published in:Asian Business Discourse(s) Part II
Edited by Francesca Bargiela
[Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 16:1] 2006
► pp. 51–75
An interactional model of English in Malaysia
A contextualised response to commodification
This article argues for an interactional model of English as contextualised language use for localised business purposes. Two observations on the ground provided the impetus for the argument. One, that business communication skills training in English in Malaysia is invariably based on the prescribed usage of commercially produced materials. Two, that communication skills training in English is a lucrative model-dependent industry that supports the logic of the triumphalism of specific models of English as an international or global language (Smith 1983; Crystal 1997), or as the language of international capitalism. Yet a functional model of interaction operates actual workplace settings in Malaysia. Such evidence counters marketing mythologies of purportedly universal forms of language use in business contexts worldwide. It exposes the dichotomy that exists between the prescribed patterns of English usage such as those found in the plethora of commercially produced materials, and those of contextualised language use, as business discourse in real-time workplace interactions. Not least of all, it provides support for an indigenous model as an appropriate response to a pervasive global ideology at work. To ignore this phenomenon is to deny the pragmatic relevance of speaking English as one of the languages of localised business which is just as vital for national economies as the big business of international capitalism.
Published online: 11 May 2006
Cited by 8 other publications
Bargiela-Chiappini, Francesca, Ora-Ong Chakorn, Grace Chew Chye Lay, Yeonkwon Jung, Kenneth C . C . Kong, Shanta Nair-Venugopal & Hiromasa Tanaka
Guo, Shujian, Hyunjung Shin & Qi Shen
Kassim, Hafizoah & Fatimah Ali
Zhu, Yunxia & Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini
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