非英語系國家如何提升英語能力

How Non-English-Speaking Countries Stack Up on English Proficiency
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英語是國際商務語言,但一般非英語系國家公司的英語能力普遍不夠好,若要提升英語能力,請參考〈加強商用英語七訣竅〉

英語是公認的國際商務語言,因此難怪有些研究顯示,英語能力較佳的國家,創新能力和經濟實力都更強。雖然今日有許多企業是全球性的,但新研究指出,我們仍遠遠不算是全英語的世界。作者調查了51萬名專業人士,分屬40個國家的16個主要產業,這些國家的主要語言都不是英語。

他們發現了五個趨勢。

第一,世界各地的英語能力差異很大。英語能力最差的國家多半在拉丁美洲,而英語能力最高的國家主要在歐洲。但研究中沒有任何國家的勞動人口,英語能力符合「進階」等級。

第二,作者發現,許多需要國際溝通的主要產業,如航空和物流,英語熟練程度都很差。只有工程、顧問諮詢、專業服務,始終呈現較佳的英語能力,但即使是這些行業,也有很大的改善空間。

平均來說,世界各地的女性英語能力優於男性。這可能是因為教育差異:與男性相比,女性往往接受更多年的高等教育、更可能上大學,也更可能學習人文學科。

高階主管的英語流利程度,多半不如受他管理的中階主管和低階員工。這或許是因為年齡差異,年輕專業人士接受訓練的環境更加全球化。

最後,公司規模似乎也有影響。年銷售額低於一百億美元的較小型企業,排名可能較後,這似乎說得通,但年銷售額六百億美元或以上的最大型企業,英語能力也不如中型企業。

這可能是結構上的差異,因為大型企業能夠讓不會說英語的員工,只在國家層次運作,或者這些公司是較成熟的企業,負責經營的高階主管在傳統上不必用英語執行業務。如果國際成長是公司的目標,只能靠提升語言能力來達到這個目標。

(劉純佑譯)


English is the default language of international business, so it's not surprising that studies have shown countries with higher English proficiency to be more innovative and have stronger economies. But although a lot of business today is global, new research shows that we’re a long way from a fully English-speaking world. The author surveyed 510,000 professionals across 16 major industries in 40 countries where English isn't the dominant language.

They uncovered 5 trends.

The first is that English skills vary dramatically in different parts of the world. The majority of countries with the lowest proficiency are in Latin America, while the most proficient are largely in Europe. However, not one country in the study showed a workforce English proficiency level that qualifies as “advanced.”

Secondly, the authors found that many major industries which demand international communication - such as aviation and logistics - are severely lacking in English proficiency. Only engineering and consulting and professional services showed consistently strong English skills, and even these had plenty of room for improvement.

On average, women around the world have better English language skills than men. This could be due to educational differences: women also tend to receive more years of higher education, are more likely to attend university, and are more likely to study the humanities than men.

Fewer executives speak fluent English than the middle managers and junior staff they oversee. It's possible that an age gap is to blame, and young professionals are being trained in a more global environment.

Lastly, it appears that company size also plays a role. It makes sense that smaller firms making less than $10 billion in sales might lag behind, but the largest companies that makes $60 billion or more also showed lower English proficiency than mid-size companies.

This might be a structural difference, where large companies can afford to isolate their non-English-speaking employees to the national level or perhaps these are more mature companies, run by executives who traditionally didn't need to conduct business in English. If international growth is the goal, improving language skills can only help you get there.



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