For international businesses, language barriers can create enormous challenges. According to a recent study conducted by GlobalEnglish, it does not look like this barrier is going away anytime soon. The researchers analyzed an English placement test that was given to more than 100,000 employees of 216 companies around the world and found that the worldwide average English-fluency score has decreased 7% since last year. Their study highlights:

  • Nearly four out of ten global workers were ranked as English beginners where they cannot understand or communicate during in-person meetings, write professional emails in English, or deal with complexity or rapid change.
  • 60% of global workers scored at a level below Intermediate English. They can understand basic information on the phone or in person, but are unable to take an active role in business discussions, presentation development, or negotiations.

As more and more companies enter the global market, international communication is vital. While English has been the dominant international business language for years, the value of speaking a second language should never be underestimated. Fluency in a foreign language will only make you a stronger, irresistible asset to global companies. Added bonus: on your next trip abroad you’ll be able to connect with locals and venture beyond the standard group tours.

[via CIO]

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Brittany Thomas is digital advertising professional, with a passion for emerging technology, media, continuous learning and travel. Her first professional role after graduating from the University of Michigan was at a large advertising agency in Chicago where she was responsible for researching and recommending the best digital media practices for a major CPG client. She currently resides in Chicago and works in advertising sales for a top online publisher.