India: the language of business

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Oct 9 14:49:13 UTC 2006

The language of business

Malini Sen
[ 24 Sep, 2006 2023hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

English has become a core skill akin to ICT to enhance employability in a
global world. Responding to the business needs of English, the Open
University, UK, has decided to develop course material for the delivery of
English Language Teaching (ELT) in India.

The OU is keen to collaborate in the area of professional communication
through the medium of Eng-lish. The course material would be developed in
partnership with local universities in India and would be delivered via
the distance mode. During his recent visit to Delhi, Mark Krzanowski, ELT
consultant for the OU, said: "We are keen to customise the course material
for different needs and clients. Our local partners will benefit from the
expertise and experience of the Open University UK, a leader in distance

Since the focus would be on English for professional communication, "the
people who would need the training would be working full-time, so the
training would be done after work hours. Therefore, a distance module
would be an ideal option," he added. The OU is looking at different
collaboration models such as joint development of new material and
courses, joint adaptation of existing material and courses, consultancy,
among others. At present the focus will be on the IT sector, but in future
the OU plans to make forays into other sectors like health.

David Graddol, a British linguist, is his book English Next, which was
commissioned by the British Council, traced the global development of
English. He attributed the language's rising popularity to globalisation
of higher education and outsourcing of services to Asian countries.
However, ELT specialists feel that for India to protect its dominant
position of the outsourcing market, it needs to invest in global English
proficiency programmes.


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