The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21, No. 0, pp.324-340
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Received 08 Mar 2021 Revised 31 Mar 2021 Accepted 15 Apr 2021

Conceptualizing Constructs of English in International Business Workplaces
Gwan-Hyeok Im
Researcher, Soonchunhyang University, Tel: 041-530-1592 (

© 2021 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study is to investigate how English users in international business workplaces use English to communicate with their business partners in Korea-based international business companies. Adopting the Global Communicative Competence, perceptions regarding the necessary abilities in international business workplaces were investigated through semi-structured interviews with 16 informants who were working for international businesses in Korea. Three themes were identified: Communication in business, cultural understanding and business knowhow. The finding of the communication in business illustrates the communication challenges the participants encountered in their workplaces, their coping strategies to deal with the challenges, and important aspects in international businesses they perceived. Furthermore, themes of cultural understanding and business knowhow pertain to other important aspects for successful international businesses such as understanding business partners’ cultures and business manners. It was found that English constructs in international business workplaces had complex dimensions beyond the linguistic capacity for businesses, as linguistic and non-linguistic factors were found. These findings contribute to learning and using English language for international businesses, e.g., understanding different varieties of English accents and using a range of communication strategies.

Keywords: communication challenges, communicative strategies, English as a lingua franca, Business English as a lingua franca

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