Sessions / Pragmatics & Business Communication
Pragmatics issues in ELF/BELF: Views from a Business English perspective. Business English training in Japan has traditionally been pragmatics-oriented compared with ELT (English Language Teaching) at university and especially in secondary education which has often remained language-focused and accuracy-obsessed. This reflects a BE (Business English) training priority on communicative effectiveness demanded by human resource departments and employees with real work needs. However, like language in other ELT contexts, the pragmatics of BE training has been dominated by native speaker norms. The recent interest in ELF/BELF challenges this dominance. What might it mean for BE pragmatics if BE loses the native speaker orientation? Whose pragmatics should be taught instead? The speakers in this forum will draw on their history of teaching BE in both company training and in university classes and will discuss the issues and possibilities. The audience will be encouraged to join in the discussion.