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Language policy and international business linked according to American research group

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Published: 28 Jan 2005

Purdue University's Center for Business Education and Research (CIBER) has published a special issue of Global Business Languages in which it highlights the link between the international business curriculum and language policy. McGill University academic James Archibald contributed to this study through his description of how both international and national organizations can serve to protect language particulars when faced with the onslaught of the influence of a language with world dominance, such as English.

In presenting the research, guest editor Maida Watson, from Florida International University, notes that a region like Quebec uses both international associations and regional ones to ensure the survival of differences versus the hegemony of a dominant language. The Francophone position, "which has been referred to as Anglophobic, sees the dominance of English as a threat to its existence"; yet, in Watson's view, "alliances with other groups may, in fact, provide collective assurance of language and cultural survival" in what has been called protection by association. This attitude is also supported by the "growing international consensus on the positive aspects of cultural and linguistic diversity."

Notwithstanding the fact that most French-speaking polities are not ready to relinquish legislative and regulatory authority in matters of culture and language, Watson points to Archibald's recognition of a "greater willingness to work toward a common good."

The research concludes that despite the seeming opposition between policies of association and disassociation in Francophone states, both orientations may indeed have similar effects.

For more information:

Susan Y. Clawson
Publications Coordinator
Foreign Languages & Literatures
Purdue University
Tel.: 765-494-3828
Fax: 765-496-1700
clawsons [at] purdue [dot] edu

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