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Data-Driven Problem-Solving in International Business Communication

Examining the Use of Bilingual Web-Based Tools for Text Production with Advanced English as a Foreign Language Professionals


Alexander Zielonka

This study challenges the traditional approach of focusing on English as a foreign language learning in international business settings. The primary objective in such settings is to successfully create a linguistically correct document. Rather than relying on accumulated incomplete individual language knowledge, an alternative approach is to «solve a written language problem» by employing online tools to search for certain unknown technical terms. The author of this study advocates that the use of bilingual text search engines as a more viable problem-solving tool than traditional online dictionaries. Therefore, he examines how well participants are able to select correct verb-object expression using either an online dictionary or a bilingual text search engine.

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5 Discussion of Findings and Outlook


The purpose of this study was to elaborate a model illustrating how adult foreign language problem-solving takes place, taking into consideration the limitations prevalent in business settings and to test this model by means of an empirical study. The first step was to assess the differences between native language acquisition and foreign language learning in order to identify the relevant factors in foreign language learning. Since there has been no dedicated model of foreign language problem-solving found in the author’s literature research, the author needed to resort to insights gain in the foreign language learning domain in order to examine the cognitive factors responsible for foreign language processing. By combining these cognitive factors with affective and business-related factors and pairing them with Anderson’s model of general problem-solving, the author was able to create his own model of foreign language problem-solving.

Two freely available online tools, an OnDic and a BiTeSeN, were selected to examine how the performance of the participants, consisting of young EFL business students with an advanced level of English-language aptitude, on three different tests would unfold. The first analysis sought to compare mean values between the OnDic and the BiTeSeN group in order to assess the overall performance of both groups. Hypothesis 1 assumed that there should not be a significant difference in general English-language aptitude between the two groups which was confirmed. Thus, the random assignment of participants to either group resulted in a balanced distribution which facilitated subsequent analysis using a...

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