Revisiting Languages in the International Business Curriculum

Abstract

Business school graduates, especially international business majors, now begin their careers in a globally linked economy that requires crosslinguistic and cross-cultural communication skills. Related research areas—including studies on the impact of language on multinational businesses, the internationalization of business school (and related) curriculum instruction in Language for Specific Purposes (LSP), and the role of translation and interpreting (T&I) in the language classroom—have developed independently, limiting opportunities for dialogue and collaboration. This current study encourages a transdisciplinary approach that brings scholars from these related research traditions into dialogue. Following an overview and synthesis of these research areas, this study presents a summary of language requirements in 208 international business programs at US undergraduate institutions. Finally, four strategies to incorporate LSP and T&I in business school curriculum are outlined, including recommendations to promote T&I literacy, develop content-aligned language instruction, encourage collaboration between language and business faculty, and engage business school accreditors to spur change. The objective is to promote the mutual development of curriculum between business schools and language programs, specifically by encouraging international business programs to recognize the value of LSP and T&I instruction to promote career readiness.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.4079/gbl.v22.2