Monthly Archives: November 2008

English – the only currency for global communications

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An ESL Innovation for International Schools

Technological ESL Innovations for International Business Schools
CEEMAN NEWS
Issue 50 Winter 2008
Posted with permission from Glenn McInnes.

Business schools have a vested interest in ensuring that all students are proficient in English to properly prepare them for a global business world.

More and more business schools located in non-English countries offer English MBA programs to prepare graduates for the worldwide “language of business” while enrolling foreign students with a tested English proficiency to “internationalize”.

Most students with English as a second language, who often constitute 10 to 20 per cent of American and Canadian business schools, have acceptable English (as measured by TOEFL) but don’t fully understand oral English (pronunciation and comprehension). They usually read more slowly, have an English accent which is often difficult to understand, and it’s not clear that they comprehend everything being said.

While these students nevertheless complete their program through very hard work and many extra hours, one of the authors has observed that in North-American, European and Asian MBA classes, foreign students are often slowly segregated as courses commence, and cultural and social diversity is not always enriched. Often international and multi-cultural enrichment does not compensate for the risk of lower grades and additional work for local students. They neither want limited communication to hold back their working groups nor to be in charge of all the reports and/or presentations.

These observations demonstrate an absolute need for better oral (and written) English skills to improve the educational outcome of all students with English as a second language entering the global business world.

Universities frequently address this problem with expensive ESL labs and English tutors. Many MBA programs also offer classes on business report writing and presentations which don’t address the serious communication deficiencies of non-native English speaking students who require individual tutoring and mentoring. Few, if any, MBA program have the resources to tackle individual deficiencies.

Non-native English speaking students will soon have a fairly inexpensive but quite effective personal online ESL tools accessible from anywhere in the world through a PC and an Internet connection.

One that is not much different than English tutoring will be “Business as a Second Language” (“BSL”) which will be available in 2009 from BusinessWeek at an expected price of $20 per month. BSL will be an electronic English tutor that will help intermediate and advanced English learners perfect English pronunciation and oral and reading comprehension at “normal” speaking and reading speed. It will provide business content, with instant feedback on pronunciation.

These web-based tools will individually tutor and coach individuals with basic English who need to perfect their oral and reading skills. They will allow students to speak and:

• Measure pronunciation instantly and in reports
 
• Playback – how it should sound

• Practice  correct and perfect
 
• Comprehend – dictionary lookup

These new technological innovations have the potential to reduce business schools’ ESL lab capital investments and ESL tutoring operating costs while graduating more proficient students.

You may obtain your own free trial subscription of Business as a Second Language from www.businessweekbsl.com/2020.

Jean-Louis Malouin Ph. D. is Past Professor and Dean of the Business Schools of the University of Alberta, Laval University in Quebec City and the University of Ottawa. He presently teaches an MBA Business Strategy course in Asia.

Glenn McInnes is the President of 2020 Higher Education International and was the founding president of the University of Fredericton which offers a fully online EMBA. He is the chair of the Canadian Bureau for International Education SIG on e-International Education and past national president of the Canadian Information Processing Society. glenmci@magma.ca

2020 Higher Education provides strategic guidance on best academic and business practices for international online universities.

The Central and East European Management Development Association (CEEMAN) was established in 1993 with the aim of accelerating the growth in quality of management development in central and Eastern Europe. Gradually CEEMAN has become a global network of management development institutions interested in quality of education and innovations in this field, as well as in the broad area of subjects related to change. CEEMAN has expanded to include 170 institutional and individual members from 42 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia. 

 

Is your child ready to be a global citizen?

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Global Indian Foundation to set up 15 schools in India

By    IANS
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
 
New Delhi: The Global Indian International School, a Singapore-based non-profit organization, which has its branches in seven countries and imparts education with an Indian spirit, is all set to open 15 more schools in India by 2010. The Foundation has 15 schools in seven countries with more than 17,000 students from India, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Thailand and Singapore.

The goal of the schools, according to Atul Temurnikar, co-founder and chairman of GIF, is quality  quality education, and affordable education with global standards.

He said though in India, the standard of value education is remarkable but GIIS has its own role to play as they serve and nurture Indian students to become global players who can be placed in any part of the world with the increase in trade and culture relations in Asian economies.

"This is a part of our "flip-a-generation" program," he added.

Some of the 'Indianness' that GIF tries to inculcate in its students through their curriculum are through compulsory Sanskrit classes – so every student, no matter how his pronunciation is, recites Sanskrit shlokas – and a Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Values and Thoughts, which has a library of books on Gandhi.

Plenty of jobs in a land where education is valued – India!

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It is raining jobs in India amid global crisis

By    siliconindia news bureau
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
 
Bangalore: Even as the deteriorating economic conditions are rendering thousands jobless worldwide, India seems to be bucking the trend. In just one week, companies have unveiled plans for massive hiring.

The IT outsourcing sector now has huge hiring plans, despite being vulnerable to the global slowdown. The top five IT companies are set to recruit over 80,000 people this year even after revising earlier hiring targets. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys Technologies – both have adopted a strategy of staggered recruitments – did not so far have scaled back its hiring targets announced earlier this year. TCS, in fact, is set to hire around 48,000 people – just a few thousand short of the number its top customer Citigroup announced it plans to shed in the coming months.

Life insurance companies, the Indian units of foreign drugmakers and the outsourcing sector are clearly on a hiring mode. MetLife, Max New York Life, Tata AIG, Bharti AXA and Aviva are some insurance companies that are in a ramp-up mode as the sector looks forward to boost its staffing levels by around 50 percent over the next few months.

While MetLife India is looking to recruit about 2,000 managers and a whopping 30,000 advisors in the coming months, global management consultancy firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is planning to hire 3,500 employees in the country, aiming to take the total headcount in the country to 12,000 in the next three years.

The industry could hire up to 300,000 financial planning advisors and some 30,000 managers by the end of this financial year to end-March 2009, as it girds up to tap a virgin market, industry officials say.

"Insurance products are perceived as long-term investment tools and people will continue to buy irrespective of the financial crisis. We plan to expand our operations and spruce up recruitment in the next few months," said Max New York Life Insurance director & head of agency distribution, Rajender Sud. The company has around 61,000 agent advisors and 15,227 employees, of which around 21,000 agents and 8,000 managers were hired in the last six months. It plans to add 70,000 agents and 10,000 employees by the end of 2009.

The sector was long dominated by state owned LIC. The companies expect a good financial performance by the sector to justify their hiring spree. Private players have recorded a growth rate of around 42 percent in first-time premium collections for the first half of the current financial year, indicate data available with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

Source: The Economic Times & Business Standard