An interactional model of English in Malaysia: A contextualised response to commodification

Shanta Nair-Venugopal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article argues for an interactional model of English as contextualised language use for localised business purposes. Two observations on the ground provided the impetus for the argument. One, that business communication skills training in English in Malaysia is invariably based on the prescribed usage of commercially produced materials. Two, that communication skills training in English is a lucrative model-dependent industry that supports the logic of the triumphalism of specific models of English as an international or global language (Smith 1983; Crystal 1997), or as the language of international capitalism. Yet a functional model of interaction operates actual workplace settings in Malaysia. Such evidence counters marketing mythologies of purportedly universal forms of language use in business contexts worldwide. It exposes the dichotomy that exists between the prescribed patterns of English usage such as those found in the plethora of commercially produced materials, and those of contextualised language use, as business discourse in real-time workplace interactions. Not least of all, it provides support for an indigenous model as an appropriate response to a pervasive global ideology at work. To ignore this phenomenon is to deny the pragmatic relevance of speaking English as one of the languages of localised business which is just as vital for national economies as the big business of international capitalism.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-75
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of Asian Pacific Communication
    Volume16
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Fingerprint

    Malaysia
    language
    Industry
    capitalism
    workplace
    communication skills
    capitalist society
    communication
    national economy
    mythology
    interaction
    ideology
    Communication
    Commodification
    Language
    Interaction
    marketing
    speaking
    pragmatics
    Marketing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Communication

    Cite this

    An interactional model of English in Malaysia : A contextualised response to commodification. / Nair-Venugopal, Shanta.

    In: Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2006, p. 51-75.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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