European Integration - Realities and Perspectives 2012
A Cross-cultural Approach to Business English
Violeta Lilians Negrea
Abstract: The cultural competence training is becoming a must for the Romanian professionals in economics
to get them ready to integrate the multicultural family in Europe. The article makes reference to the cross-
culture competence engineering and training t hrough business English programme carried out b y eMulticult
project (91068/2007-10) which produced an educational portal for interactive learning. The research follows
the European Commission Strategy for Multili nguism and it de velops specific cross-culture concepts and
theory. The pedagogical approach is based on the 199 0’s revised version of Bloom’s taxonomy carried out by
Anderson and Krathwohl (2000). The res ults and conclusions are drawn by surveys and case study r esearch
and dedicated to the development of a new strategy of academic applied English programmes. The key
contribution of the paper lies on the pedagogical insights of cross-cultural approach in business English.
Keywords: business English; cross-cultural competence; corporate culture; professional integration
The cross-cultural competence and globalization in international cooperation are derived from
professional openness, understanding, and flexibility which make possible the development of
multinational businesses, free movement of human resources and sky-rocketing o utcomes of research,
technology and innovations in all professional domains.
It is high time for the education and instructional policy makers to focus on the need to match the
cultural competence training with the business effectiveness needs of the cross or mixed cultural
corporate groups. It is time to train the cross-cultural competence to get the Romanian professionals
ready to join the big professional cross-cultural family of European Union. This demands not only
cultural literacy, but also in-depth and application-oriented understanding, openness, tolerance to the
otherness of a new culture patterns and integration skills.
2. Cross-Cultural Competence
The cross-cultural approach in teaching business English proposed for the academic education is based
on the four perspectives model of Ulla Lundgren (Lundgren U., 2004; 2005): a) communication skills
in a foreign language, b) cultural competences specific to the foreign language, c) intercultural
competences facilitating the natural behavior in the cultural environment of the foreign language, and
d) organizational communication competences, that develop the ability to interact efficiently in a new
organizational culture, where the foreign language learned is the formal language of the organization.
The specific competences targeted are translated into the reference framework of foreign language,
cultural knowledge and organizational culture knowledge which are compared to the student’s mother
tongue and its set of cultural values, facilitating the development of a natural behavior in a different
professional culture environment.(see Table 1)
Professor, PhD, Christian University “Dimitrie Cantemir”, Romania, Address: Splaiul Unirii, Bucharest 030134, Romania,
Tel. +4021.330.87.20; Fax: +4 021.330.87.74, Corresponding author: email@example.com.