Original Paper

Language Policy

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 99-120

First online:

Foreign language management in Lazio SMEs

  • Ersilia IncelliAffiliated withDipartimento di Studi Geoeconomici, Linguistici, Statistici e Storici per l’Analisi Regionale, Facoltà di Economia, Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’ Email author 

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Abstract

This paper investigates the foreign language management strategies of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Lazio, Italy. Based on empirical data from a questionnaire survey and ethnographic interviews, it also aims to validate the hypothesis that macro-level language planning (on a national scale) may not reflect language problems occurring in the micro-dimension of a company or region, giving rise to discrepancies in the language education system. Using this approach, I have attempted to build on the Language Management Theory framework proposed by J. Nekvapil and M. Nekula [Current Issues in Language Planning, 7(2&3):302–327, 2006] in their study of Czech multinationals. There will be a high price to pay for companies that fail to have the linguistic competence to play a full part in a competitive global market increasingly centred on English as the lingua franca as well as on multilingual communication. This leads to the need to carefully observe the relationship between macro- and micro-level language planning and reconsider national education policies.

Keywords

English as a lingua franca Language and culture in communication Language management Small- and medium-sized enterprises Quantitative and qualitative data analysis, Written discourse