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Preparation for Overseas Assignments: Is It Good Enough Now?
Roberta Rettner
American Ways & Language
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Most Asian businessmen study English intensively before beginning American assignments. They have studied English in school and college and have learned something about American culture.  But have they learned the right things, acquired the right skills?  How well do they function once they arrive in the U.S.?

The authorís 1988 JALT paper reported results of a survey of businessmen from Japan, Korea and Taiwan who were currently working in the U.S. for their home companies. A 1991 TESOL presentation broadened participation.  In 1999, the author revisited the issue with expatriates from those countries, added additional Asian countries and, when available, women.  Again, both particular skill and intercultural areas that can be addressed by instructors in preparation for overseas assignments will be examined. Although surveys and interviews are based in the U.S., implications for English as the world language of business will be discussed.