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It is proposed that business language training be based on results of a language audit, designed to identify the skill levels required to carry out specific tasks, propose training solutions, and monitor progress. A British organization has established a framework for assessing five levels of language skill in this context. These standards define skills and competence and may be used by institutions to offer courses meeting employers' needs, and by employers to evaluate staff skills, recruit, and develop job descriptions. Several tools may be used for language auditing, but in general the process requires the auditor's understanding of the company or individual's long-term strategy and its aims and objectives within constraints of time, availability, and finance. When languages are perceived as a source of profit or loss, the audit gains paramount importance for managers and decision-makers. The audit has four stages: (1) general overview of the organization seeking language training; (2) identification of personnel involved; (3) assessment of individuals by questionnaire, interview, or meeting, incorporating the standards; and (4) report to the organization, including a plan of action for training. Several different approaches to analysis of training needs are available. (MSE)

Descriptors: Business Administration, Business Communication, Competition, International Trade, Job Skills, Language Role, Language Skills, Second Language Instruction, Second Languages, Testing

Autor: Greensmith, Catherine


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