Use of English in the Thai workplace


  • Kulaporn Hiranburana Chulalongkorn University Language Institute, Bangkok 10330, Thailand


business English, business English communication, English in the workplace


     A number of features of business discourse in English in a Thai workplace, for example, in e-mail memos, are integral to modern business operations. In this study, a questionnaire was used to find the important situations in which English is used in business communication. For this purpose, Thai businesses were requested to provide samples of written business correspondence-mostly e-mails in English. These e-mails were examined using genre analysis to identify typical moves and steps in order to understand the use of English at the linguistic and discourse levels. Genre can be defined as a class of communicative events, with the members sharing some set of communicative purposes. Interviews were also conducted to gather data in order to describe in-depth, the nature of English language communication and possible problems arising in a Thai business context. The findings showed that despite a large number of errors in usage in the English samples, they rarely caused problems with the running of the business as Thai communicators employed a move/step structure in their e-mails and other communications strategies including follow-up inquiries for clarification. Pedagogical implications are discussed.


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How to Cite

Hiranburana, K. (2017). Use of English in the Thai workplace. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, 38(1), 31–38. Retrieved from



Research articles