Tuesday, 20 May 2008 10:35 AM

Confidence in Speaking English

I also realised how English is important when you travel overseas. I had a very bad experience the first time I got here. I went to the counter to explain that I just arrived. The lady at the counter looked at me and says, "I don't understand you". So I speak more slowly, she looked at me again and said, I don't "understand" (ples cold but me sweat na lo counter ia). Anyway, I finally got the key at the end. That was a learning experience. Now I can stand a good debate with any English speaker.

We will hold different views regarding this issue, but perhaps it is worthwhile for Solomon Islanders to know that Multinational Companies or Businesses have increasingly realised the culture of a host country which they are operating is important for the success of their businesses. It is part of their strategic business operation that international managers operating their subsidiaries in a foreign country must know and understand the culture of that place. That means it must learn the language, norms, values, practices and behaviour of the national culture.

Managers who failed to understand the culture of the host country will likely to meet conflicts within its organisation that may have severe consequences on its successful operation. Manager of a multinational company or business operating in Solomon Islands will need to understand the culture of Solomon Islanders, i.e, must learn the values, norms, practices and possibly the language (Pidgin English) to operate efficiently and maximising production.

This trend now is adopted by most multinational companies that have their subsidiaries operating elsewhere around the world. In this case it is fair that they learn our cultural values, but it is also worth while that Solomon Islanders must learn English generally for communication to ease strain (olsem me ia), misunderstanding and for academic writings

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Jackson Gege and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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