Monash University (AUSTRALIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 3672-3681
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Globalization is now a fashionable buzzword (Steger, 2009) which intensifies worldwide social relations (Giddens, 1990) and the consciousness of the world as a whole (Robertson, 1992). Globalization and English language are said to work as pull factors for one another. While on one hand the English language plays a major role in the progress of globalization (Phillipson, 2001) by facilitating political understanding, economic activities and cultural exchange, on the other hand globalization functions as a driving force to strengthen the position of English as a global language (Bamgbose, 2003). English can therefore be said to be the language of globalization (Crystal, 1997, 2000; Graddol, 1997).

It is also argued that such relationship between globalization and the English language implicates employability in the job market. Although the effects are uneven in different occupational groups and in different countries (Spilerman, 2009), such relationship is growing in significance to policy makers (Lall, 2002). English plays an increasingly vital role in the employment market (Dustmann & Fabbri, 2003; Kossoudji, 1988; Rivera-Batiz, 1990; Shield & Price, 2002; Tainer, 1988). In a study on English language proficiency vis-à-vis economic achievement of immigrants from non-native English speaking countries to the USA, Rivera-Batiz (1990) examined the impact of English language proficiency. The results indicated that English reading proficiency in English was a major constraining factor in wage earning for immigrants. Similarly, Shield and Price (2002) argued in their study that speaking fluency is associated with significantly higher mean of hourly occupational wage among ethnic minority immigrants in the UK. According to Tainer (1988) English language proficiency has significant positive influence on earnings. She notes that the earnings of overseas-born Hispanic and Asian men relative to their European counterpart are most affected by their English language proficiency. Indeed in human capital framework, language proficiency is considered as language capital (Dustmann, 1999`, cited in Dustmann & Fabbri`, 2003) which is often a decisive factor in employment opportunities with higher earnings and in organizations aiming at higher productivity.

This paper will explore the hitherto unstudied relationship between English language proficiency and employment and success of Bangladeshi graduates in Australia in the interface of globalization, to establish how English language skills influence the employment mechanism in the Australian job market for Bangladeshi graduates. The study will be carried out following an interpretive approach as its overall aim is to understand the role of English language skills of university graduates in determining the employment opportunities and career prospects of Bangladeshi graduates in Australia. The research findings may inform educational policy planners, teacher educators, teachers, employers and career advisers to identify the appropriate English language learning programs that supports increased employability through English.
Globalization, English, employment.