Working within the context of 'multinational organisations who use English as an official language', our research aims are to discover:

  • the difficulties that non-native English speakers experience when working in English
  • the effects of non-understanding
  • what native English speakers do to help understanding

Our research project is called ‘Business English in International Organisations' - BEIO.

The BEIO research project

Our starting point was to review the existing literature on 'English as Lingua Franca' (ELF) and related topics.  We also narrowed our area of interest to focus on idiomatic language as it was clear from the literature that idiomatic or figurative language was somewhat problematic for non-native English users. 

Research at SAP

Our first study began in late 2012 at leading software company SAP.  We sampled email correspondence to discover how idiomatic language was used.  Download the preliminary report below.