SELECT helps overcome language barriers
To help business people overcome linguistic and cultural barriers, the SELECT project, funded under the European Commission's Telematics Applications programme, addresses these specific needs facing European enterprises. According to Professor Stephen Hagen, a specialist in the field of cross-cultural communication in business, a sizeable proportion of European companies lose business due to language barriers. In an article in "LE Journal", he notes that about one in five Spanish companies, one in eight British and French companies, and one in ten German companies face these problems. Factors determining the success of overcoming such communication barriers include the size and age of a company, and its experience of exporting. The aim of the SELECT (Strategies for European Language-Engineering Enhanced Communication Training) project is to respond to this need by building an intelligent Learning Manager, or knowledge organiser, for managing self-directed cross-cultural communication training in an interactive learning environment. The SELECT learning model has a key additional dimension. It is designed to enable users to select existing linguistic resources and cultural information made available through interfaces with the Internet and local Intranets. The interfaces, which enable access to these resources, can be broadly termed the Language Learner's Workbench (LLW), and are intended to provide a learner with all the learning resources and tools they might need.