International Educator - March/April 2012 - S1

EDUCATOR
LANGUAGE SUPPLEMENT

International

2 0 1 2

The Language of Business
Foreign language proficiency is on the rise in global MBA programs.

I

BY ALAN DESSOFF

COVER ART: ILLUSTRATED BY CHERYL DENISE COLLINS

IN MOST PARTS OF THE WORLD, ENGLISH STILL IS THE STANDARD LANGUAGE OF BUSINESS, but it’s not the only one in an increasingly global business environment, as more universities with master of business administration (MBA) programs are recognizing. From the familiar Spanish and French to the less familiar Arabic and Mandarin, administrators of many global MBA programs in the United States, aware of the ambitions of their students and the experiences of their alumni, are concluding that to operate effectively in business in another country, it helps to know its language(s) as well as English.
Accordingly, a growing number of business schools with global MBA programs are requiring their students to be proficient in at least one language in addition to English. At many schools, it is a requirement for admission to the program. Spanish appears to be the additional language that applicants most commonly present, although at some schools where significant numbers of students from other countries are applicants, English is the additional language in which they must demonstrate proficiency. Some MBA programs are bilingual, usually in Spanish or French as well as English. Other schools have built foreign language instruction into their programs and students learn while on internships in other countries. Flagship Program in the Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida. Its two-year-old Ibero-American MBA program, with a focus on Latin America and two-thirds of its courses taught in Spanish, requires students to be bilingual in Spanish and English when they start. “Especially in Central America or Latin America, if you don’t know Spanish or Portugese, I don’t think you will be able to do business there,” agrees Chino Rao, director of the international MBA program that was launched two years ago at the University of Texas at
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR | 2 0 12 L A N G UAGE S U PP L E M E N T

San Antonio and that also requires foreign language proficiency for admission. Knowing a country’s language enables a better understanding of its culture, which is important in building relationships and demonstrating “a genuine interest” in the country to employers, business colleagues, and customers, Rao says. He adds that it also has “symbolic” relevance at home, assuring the MBA program’s admissions committee that a student has a serious international interest in the first place. Even if English is the language most commonly spoken in business interactions, “there are nuances that often are missed when people are conversing in another language,” asserts Martin S. Roth, professor and chair of the Sonoco International Business

Proficiency Increasingly Important
However they do it, administrators of global MBA programs agree on the importance of foreign language proficiency. “Students who want to do international business need to speak multiple languages if they are going to be successful. If you want to be involved in understanding how business takes place in a particular country, you need to live there and understand its history and culture and also be able to speak the language,” declares Jeffrey E. Michelman, professor of accounting and director of the International Business

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2012

International Educator - March/April 2012
Contents
From the Editors
In Brief
Voices: University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi
Overcoming Chaos
Degrees of Distinction
Macalester College
Foreign Student Affairs
A View from Out Here
In Focus
Language Supplement
The language of Business
Launching Pad: Community College Programs
Intensive English Language Directory
Intensive Foreign Language Directory
International Educator - March/April 2012 - International Educator - March/April 2012
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Contents
International Educator - March/April 2012 - From the Editors
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 8
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 9
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 10
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 12
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 13
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Voices: University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 18
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Overcoming Chaos
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 24
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 28
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Degrees of Distinction
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 38
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 39
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 40
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 42
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 44
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Macalester College
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 47
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 48
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 49
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 50
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 51
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 52
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 53
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 54
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 55
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 57
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 58
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 59
International Educator - March/April 2012 - A View from Out Here
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 61
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 62
International Educator - March/April 2012 - 63
International Educator - March/April 2012 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Cover4
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Language Supplement
International Educator - March/April 2012 - BB2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover1
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - The language of Business
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S2
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S4
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S5
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S6
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S7
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S8
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Launching Pad: Community College Programs
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S10
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S11
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S12
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S13
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Intensive English Language Directory
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S15
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S16
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S17
International Educator - March/April 2012 - Intensive Foreign Language Directory
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S19
International Educator - March/April 2012 - S20
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover3
International Educator - March/April 2012 - SCover4
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