ABSTRACT: Foreign language teachers have developed commercial foreign language courses partly in response to recent reports and studies that have deplored the lack of foreign language competence among Americans, especially those involved in international commerce. Large corporations consider foreign language and international studies skills as a tool to be used with functional business knowledge. Commercial language courses should foster the linkage by including practical exercises that improve students' business knowledge. The two research assignments described here were designed to develop some business skills in a junior-level commercial French course.
The assignments require students to use reference works available in the business section of the library. As a result of their work, students become familiar with business concepts such as corporate organization, economic sectors, and financial worth. They also gain competence in reading and interpreting business publications. The use of directories of multinational corporations reinforces the vocabulary and concepts learned in class. The article includes an annotated bibliography of references containing information on multinational corporations that are used by business students as well as businessmen and -women.