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Business English as a Lingua Franca in the Global Business Discourse Community: Reflective Essay

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First lecture

Our first lecture of Global Business Communication started with the definition of BELF (Business English as a lingua franca). BELF has three contextual features which are important to communicate efficiently in a business environment: “its domain of use, the role of its users, and the overall goal of the interactions” – in other words, global businesses, business professionals and getting the jobs done. (Kankaanranta & Louhiala-Salminen 2014).

BELF can be described as a neutral, shared and equal way of communicating as it is usually neither of the speakers’ mother tongue. It is shared by millions of people around the world and is used for conducting business within the global business discourse community. BELF is seen as an intercultural way of communicating because it is not owned by anyone and its users come from different linguistic backgrounds.

During our lecture, I discussed with my group what does BELF mean to us, the importance of “B” and how we communicate in our discourse community. To me, BELF means communicating in the business world with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds – it is a shared language by the speakers to get things done and crucial for multilingual and multinational companies to perform efficiently. How I communicate in my discourse community differs from time to time.

Second lecture

Our second lecture started with an exploration of the term accommodation. Usually, when we hear this word, we think of a place for some to stay, live or work in. In global business communication, the meaning of accommodation can be different. Macmillan dictionary defines accommodation as a change in behavior or attitude that helps people work together or end a disagreement. In other words, it can mean to make an effort to adjust. It is content and clarity that makes people understand you and your choice of words. Sharp, clear and easy-to-understand way of speaking improves your connection with other people and creates more engagement to the conversation. It also reduces misinterpretation and communication inefficiency – a shared business context creates less misunderstanding.

During our in-class discussion, we talked about business community of practice. Communities of practice create an important framework for businesses that helps companies to achieve their goals and share knowledge. In companies, people who share common interests usually engage with each other in collective process of learning. These people belong to different organizational structures and at the same time these communities in different business units shape the organization. In the article of designing and managing business communities of practice in Journal of Knowledge Management, Mariano Corso and Andrea Giacobbe found that a high level of commitment in different parts of the organization and between colleagues had a great effect on the efficiency of the community in supporting learning and knowledge management processes. That is why we must find out what are our business practices, areas of expertise and language used in BCOP.

Third lecture

On our third lecture, we explored the term ´rapport´. According to our lecture slides (Spencer-Oatey & Franklin 2009), rapport means peoples subjective perceptions of harmony, smoothness-turbulence & warmth-antagonism in interpersonal relationships. It means how people understand each other and how good is someone’s ability to communicate well with others – it is an agreement or a sympathy between different groups of people.

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According to Spencer-Oatey & Franklin (2009) there are “number of competencies associated with the management of rapport.“ These competencies have relationship between politeness theory. Rapport management competencies include contextual awareness, interpersonal attentiveness, social information gathering, social attuning, emotion regulation and stylistic flexibility. These rapport building behaviors are used to manage positive rapport. The competencies can be seen as a behavior that individuals should use in everyday social interactions. For example, I should be attentive to the context of the situation to create positive rapport.

Our groupwork focused on the framework notes. We talked about situations where we have been misunderstood, how we reduced the tension and what type of contextual factors affected in our context. I think I have been misunderstood when it comes to IT. I do a lot of work with computers, so I sometimes forget that not everybody knows the same terms and applications that I know. Usually, there is no tension if I have been misunderstood. I just have to explain more in detail what I meant.

Fourth lecture

The final lecture of “intern” level of BELF discussed the meaning of discourse community. It is a group of people who share common goals, interests and purposes - a group of people who are involved in a particular field, topic or issue such as advertising or banking. In discourse community, members of the community are trying to achieve these common goals or objectives through the use of intercommunication. (EN 15 slides 2019).

John Swales (1990) has created six different characteristics of discourse community that defines the concept of discourse community: (EN 15 Slides, 2019)

Discourse community is built on these characteristics. In other words, missing one of the above characteristics means that the community is not a discourse community.

Our in-class discussion focused on questions about discourse community that our team is conducting the research project on. Understanding our discourse community is important to our team. Understanding how the community speaks and how language is used is really important factor. When the common goals and lexis of our community are clear, it is easy to get our point across our audience. This understanding goes also beyond words and understandings, it also tells how community members process the information. (Mascle 2008)

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Business English as a Lingua Franca in the Global Business Discourse Community: Reflective Essay. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
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