DEVELOPING INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR WORKPLACE INTERACTIONS IN LINGUA FRANCA

H. Wisniewska

Kozminski University (POLAND)
Effective workplace communication requires appropriate interpersonal and professional relationships. They are , to a great extent, dependent on the quality of interpersonal communication which can be defined as ‘a distinctive form of human communication that occurs when you interact with another person and mutually influence each other , usually for the purpose of managing relationship.’ (Beebe et al., 2002:6). Thanks to modern technology such relationships can be developed without face-to-face encounters . Yet, the choice of lexical items, the tone and style used to convey the message may have different relationship cues, therefore determining the quality of the relationship. Some people are better communicators than others but there are ways to enhance the quality of interpersonal workplace relationships, particularly when communicating in a foreign language.
As language is closely connected with culture, there may be different discourse and communication practices in various communities. Any speaker communicating in a foreign language should be aware of such cultural peculiarities and take them into account when entering the communication process. LSP courses preparing learners to use the language in professional and workplace interactions should provide opportunities for developing interpersonal communication skills. Yet, as Koester (2006:162) notices ‘the interpersonal dimension of language has been largely neglected in teaching of General and Business English.’