The CIBER Business Language Conference provides the opportunity for teachers, scholars, policy makers and business leaders to discuss business language education. The conference thus responds to the overarching mission of the U.S. Department of Education’s CIBER grant program to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. business globally by linking the human capital and information needs of the U.S. business community with the international education, language training, and research capacity of universities across the United States. Next year, Penn Lauder CIBER and the Lauder Institute will host this important event, which ties into the larger national discourse about the ways that language education must keep pace and meet future challenges for applied language programs in light of research, trends, and needs of the changing economic environment. We are pleased to partner with the Penn Language Center to extend the breadth of expertise and reach.

Through the lens of literacy as a critical construct in the fields of second language acquisition and education, scholars, practitioners and speakers will be invited to share ideas and charter new directions for language and cross-cultural training. The notion of literacy frames the discussion of cross-cultural training as situating appropriate understandings and meanings in proper contexts (discursive practices in specific cultures and contexts depending on factors such as who is speaking, what they are speaking about, and the channel of communication). In addition to providing the platform for exchanges between language instructors and program administrators, the hosts propose the following strands in the call for papers:

Concept of Literacy & Its Application to Second Language Learning for Specific Purposes

Literacy & the World of Business: Approaches to Cross-cultural Training

Literacy & Study Abroad/Immersion Program Design: Issues for Regional Expansions (e.g., problem of teaching MSA vs. regional variants, Spain/Latin America, immersion in emerging economies)

Heritage Learners & Literacy in Professional Contexts

Problems with the Construct of the Educated Native Speaker & Proficiency Testing

Challenges for Assessment: Language for Specific Purposes & Proficiency Measurement

Implications for Curriculum Development & Implementation (modes, standards, proficiency)

Technology & Literacy: The Impact of Channels of Communication for Business Language Instruction

The Corporate Visit & the Job Interview: Discursive Practices & Classroom Approaches

Limits to Global Expansion in the Global Economy: Case Studies of Companies Limited by Trained Managers


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