As I was getting ready to go out, “Made in China” tag of my shirt caught my attention. “My shirt traveled many miles to reach in my hands,” I said to myself. Then I looked at my shoes; they were made in Bangladesh. I called my computer tech; I was transferred in India. For a moment, I thought I was a citizen of a globalized society where borders did not exist. As a matter of fact, U.S companies invest more than $3.5 trillion a year to do business in other countries while foreign companies invest more than $2.3 trillion a year to do business in the United States (Williams, 2013, Intro to Management, 154). Our task is to set those numbers higher, which might not be an easy job if you don’t speak other countries language as they speak English. In order for a new generation to face globalization challenges, second language should be mandatory for all U.S students. As we grow global more foreign business in coming to U.S soil, and more U.S companies are reaching international market. I also hear people complaining of high levels of unemployment.
The company I work for is aiming to open another 500 hotels in Asia region. Bilinguals are in demand. Most of the qualified trainers must speak another language besides English. Preferably, Chinese or Indian. There is a demand for workers, but skill needed to do the job is missing. The company I work for has signed 21 new deals in China during 2010, compared with 18 all during 2009. “And development keeps growing,” says Harris Chan, Starwood’s vice president of operations support for China and Taiwan. Not only that, but according to the standards and policies of the company, every hotel should have a Chinese speaker in the team. Now I have a dilemma; should I spend 18 months going for my Master’s or should I use that time learning Chinese? Both options are valid for my working career. As I am working for a hotel industry, training is part of the job. The company sent me in Europe for a job training.
A week in Barcelona! I struggled so hard to sharpen my Spanish, before getting to Spain. The city was beautiful and impressive, but it would be better travel experience for me if would be able to tell the waiter how I wanted my eggs cooked, or how to ask for the bus station. What made me feel comfortable was the team I was working with. Everyone spoke another language besides their native ones. They all spoke English. I felt not confident using my broken English accent Spanish. I admit it was uncomfortable than everyone else spoke another language (maybe two) and I was the only one feeling comfortable only in English language. In fact, Spanish, Chinese, or any other language is not a bad idea in the country of melting pot. According to a study of an educational institution on 2010, below are the top ten foreign languages spoken in high schools of New York:
America is the land of immigrants. Along with their traditions, immigrants bring their languages also. That is part of the American culture also. It is our job to maintain it. Not everyone that comes in the U.S soil speaks English. Does that mean, we have to shut the communication with the new immigrants just because of the language barriers? We all agree that, building walls is not an option. From the census of 2013, the governmental authorities stated that “As the nation continues to be a destination for people from other lands, this pattern of language diversity will also likely continue.”
I believe that, separating from social events just because of the language barrier it is unhealthy for the overall society. Isolation makes people unsocial and less active in their communities, which leads them on building walls instead of bridges. Social health depends on proper communication. Our future generations need to fit in the multicultural and global environment. Our communities grow healthier and stronger is we are capable of speaking each other’s language. In a conclusion, I would say that a second language is a need for our generations. The latest global business events are requesting it, by developing new multilingual markets. A good portion of the US trade is done with non-English spoken countries.
Our future business achievements will depend on how well we will be able to communicate. Second, the American youth is facing an intellectual competition with foreign counterparts on language skills. While the average European teenager speaks two languages, most of the teenagers in the homeland speak only English. It looks like we are falling behind. Third, diversity plays a role in national and global business growth. Therefore, diverse language environment is common. Being able to speak more than English, it is not just a skill but a requirement in the new era of business globalization.
Lavrusik, V. (2010, April 4). Top 10 languages spoken by students at Manhattan International. http://archives.jrn.columbia.edu/coveringed/schoolstories10/2010/04/top-10-languages-spoken-by-students-at-manhattan-international/index.html Ryan, C. (2013, August 1). Language Use in the United States: 2011. http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acs-22.pdf
Williams, C. (2013). MGMT3 (5th ed). Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning Yu, R. (2010, October 26). Foreign hotels flock to China.