Becoming Equipped to Communicate (BEC)

A practical guide for learning a language and culture

By Mike Griffis and Linda Mac

Becoming Equipped to Communicate (BEC) is a guided culture and language learning program designed to equip people to communicate fluently and at a deep level in cross-cultural situations. It employs sound and proven learning principles that are universally applicable. Learners will become a normal part of the life of the community, and will learn to function in their new community – to speak, to listen, to interact in natural ways and to take part in people’s lives. BEC is the English version of a culture and language learning program developed in 2005 in New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Its purpose is to equip people to communicate fluently and at a deep level in cross-cultural situations. BEC was produced by a team of developers based on their culture and language learning activities as they gained proficiency in a people group vernacular in Papua New Guinea. Although BEC was specifically written with a PNG community context in mind – requiring minimal dependence on technology and a straightforward, uncomplicated process for first and second generation literates – it employs sound and proven learning principles which are universally applicable.


BEC was a God-send for not only my wife Tammy and me, but also for our whole team working in a remote village. Even though most of the men of the village are low-level bilingual or monolingual mother-tongue speakers and the women are monolingual, we were able to make some minor adjustments to BEC that allowed us to use it with good results. Those good results go beyond just language proficiency to include significant relationships and cultural awareness. Since the BEC program was designed with relationship in mind, it’s not surprising that this is the case. Low-level bilingual and monolingual contexts are a challenge for any culture/language acquisition program; but after having successfully used the BEC program in precisely that kind of context I can say wholeheartedly that I know of no better program than BEC and highly recommend it!
Jamie Millier, Learning a tribal language in South America

I heartily recommend the BEC curriculum as a tool to learn culture and language.  Using the culture itself as a textbook to direct the learner has proven to be exceptionally effective in the culture and language acquisition process for our team in Asia.  It results in learners who are able to function in a cross-cultural context as insiders, people who communicate clearly because they have been able to identify with the culture of those among whom they live.  If you’re looking for a proven, evidence-based solution to the problem of language and culture study, this is it.
Jesse G B.Sc., Culture and Language Acquisition Consultant in North Asia

I have a doctoral degree in education so my natural tendency would be to turn to classes and textbooks to learn. However I put the BEC method to the test and learned an Asian language without either one. Also, I have difficulty hearing tones but I learned to speak a tonal language by following BEC. I was a skeptic; now I’m a believer in the BEC method.
Marshall Hamilton Ed.D., Learning Cantonese in Hong Kong

icon-angle icon-bars icon-times