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Certificate in International Business English Training Business English Trends as reflected in course book content
Certificate in International Business English Training Business English Trends Twelve examples taken from a selection of business English course and resource books Methodology / Approaches Influence of Management Training Skills – vs – Language Economic and Technological Trends Cultural Awareness
<ul><li>Methodology / Approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Examples from </li></ul>Basis for Business Market Leader In Company
The opening pages in this unit from the course book Basis for Business provide a good example of traditional predominantly grammar-based activities. 1
This activity taken from In Company - Intermediate is typical of the emphasis on lexis that is a common feature of modern course books. Note the overlap between teaching a business skill – telephoning – and vocabulary building. 2
In this series of activities from Market Leader - Intermediate the focus is functional language for a typical business activity – taking part in meetings. The build up to a concluding role-play is again a common feature of this approach. 3
<ul><li>Management Training Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Examples from </li></ul>Intelligent Business In Company Case Studies Market Leader
Course book authors have increasingly looked to ideas, business models and theories that form part of business studies and MBA programmes. In these activities from Intelligent Business , for example, learners are asked to consider a real case and employ SWOT analysis, and later the 4 Ps of the marketing mix, to develop a business strategy. 4
Case studies are used extensively in MBA and Business Studies programmes and have now been widely adopted by business English course book authors. One of the first examples was Market Leader , as this example illustrates. 5
This unit from the in Company Case Studies book again shows the prevalence of case studies, but it also shows how authors draw on business games, fashionable concepts and buzz words such as ‘thinking out of the box’. Course books also reflect modern business practices, such as, in this case, the team building events companies organize these days. 6
<ul><li>Skills – vs - Language </li></ul><ul><li>Examples from </li></ul>In Company The Business
As we have already seen in this module, English teachers in business contexts have increasingly assumed the mantle of the soft skills coach and this is also reflected in course book content. Here are two examples that focus on presenting skills. This first from The Business which focusses on PowerPoint is followed by one from In Company that deals with delivery. 7
<ul><li>Economy and Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Examples from </li></ul>In Company Pass Cambridge BEC Vantage
Course books have also responded to economic trends . Many now include material based on the rise of China as a world economic power, and here in an edition of Pass Cambridge BEC Vantage dating back to 2001 we find an example of material based on another major trend that has grown steadily in significance, namely globalisation. 9
As well as economic trends, books also respond to technological developments. This unit from In Company reflects this with vocabulary and listening activities to quite recent Web 2.0 developments and the use of Internet technologies in business. 10
<ul><li>Economy and Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Examples from </li></ul>The Business Market Leader
For some time now the interest the business world has shown in understanding the impact of cultural diversity has been reflected in the inclusion of cultural awareness topics in course books of all levels. Here is an example from a relatively old book New Insights into Business (2000). 11
We conclude this brief look at trends in business English teaching with a look at some pages from The Business that again illustrate how cultural issues are dealt with in course books, but also show how the trends we have been considering often overlap. So, here we have activities which also display the influence of management training ideas such as Edward T. Hall’s model of high and low context cultures and integrate vocabulary building, language work (grammar) and business skills (negotiating). 12