Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Globalisation and Daniel C.

Globalisation and Daniel C.

1. What have been the effects of globalisation on world cultures?

As cultures world societies are increasingly influencing and influenced by other cultures through expansion of import and export trade market reach. There are local and global considerations mostly related to expanding business contacts and inter-linkages. For example world trade volumes have mostly expanded about 35 times since the late 1950s and the extent to which various nations have increased their balances of trade also influences their relative and comparative rates of globalization. Such growth did not previously occur since the late 1880s a previous growth age which fueled two world wars over three generations of finance trade growth. Mineral and resource rich nations have expanded and effectively minimized the costs of extracting natural resources since the 1950s to the point that several essential supplies appear to be reaching periods of peak consumption.

A movie I viewed in the last year or so is called Home by Yann Arthus Bertrand. It is available free on youtube through corporate sponsorship. My blog discusses how I used this video to generate student writing assignments on the state of the world environment and to explain why this is important to the future of international trade.

2. What have been the benefits or drawbacks of globalisation for world economies?

Reduction in unit costs by rationalizing materials design, assembly and logistical supply has expanded the original Ford assembly line concept to virtually all forms of service and manufacturing costs across the globe. This has allowed rapid growth in economies of scale to allow the age of the dollar store to rise in the Walmartization of supply chain and consumer-driven production cycles. Lag and lead times have shortened due to increased global competition and the drive to produce and consume is stressing global resources to a possible zero sum game in terms of limits on economic growth. Our world economy is perhaps in fact a runaway train in terms of sustainability.

3. What advantages and challenges has globalisation presented companies?

First entrant, niche market, and export driven growth has established GDP growth for several resource poor nations in terms of FDI and vertically or horizontally integrated assembly and supplier relationships. However the growth of corporate finance and limited liability stock supported companies not only created the world financial markets of the present but also decision-based strategies for global companies. Export growth is a secondary stage of a generally stable domestic market service or product sector or company. By comparing international market risks and opportunities companies may choose to expand through branch or JV led market entry through a host of franchise, consignment or supplier agreements contracts abroad. Globalisation has provided many new markets to many corporations through trade pacts, standardized logistics and regional standards. The challenges include: rate of return on foreign investment, competitors in market and quality or service desired by local markets abroad.

4. What does globalisation mean for English teaching?

The world provides many nations where opportunities for an English teacher to earn a crust of bread have been multiplied by global demand for experienced and trained English instructors. While among many developed nations English instructors remain a dime a dozen with low wages, higher benefits and salaries accrue to those willing to move farther from home in Asia or elsewhere where demand for English instruction remains competitive and perhaps an experienced "teacher's market."

5. In what ways has globalisation impacted on you and your own culture?

Canada as a regional nation has not embraced globalisation as uniformly as many other countries. For example, there are few national standards in terms of teaching accreditation therefore few teachers can easily transfer to work from one province to another among many disciplines. In addition Canada has few free trade agreements in place with local union and free-rider political intrigues reducing international competitiveness. As Canada is a federal assembly of provincial entities there remain many inter-regional trade barriers which make the country appear a little slow to open borders and streamline regulations across provinces. My own province of Nova Scotia faces a declining birth rate, aging population, increasing trade deficits and tax burdens as well as high demand for well paying jobs all in short supply.

I would say Canada and Nova Scotia have possibly been facing a brain drain considered re-mediated by high rates of immigration with over five million new Canadians arriving in the last 15 years. However statistics suggest as many as 10% of Canada's working population lives and works abroad. In comparison as little as 1-2% of the US working population is living and working abroad. But considering Canada's 10 times smaller population and economy that comparative expatriation appears rather high.

6. Would you use globalisation as a topic for a business English lesson? If so, can you very briefly sketch out how? If not, why not?

It is a general topic of most if not all my lessons. The Korean mantra is,"Learn English because it is a global business language." The topic however in Korea is often broken into several sub-contexts. For example, the need for Chinese market specialists in Korea is also high and learning Chinese is also on many of my students' menus. For example, my lessons often consider approaches for doing business in different countries, customs and differences. For example, students would be asked to describe the course of a tourist trip in Seoul for foreign visitors. What would they choose as interesting things to see and do? Based on a list of foreign visitor preferences do you think every visitor would want to see or do the same things?

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