Teach English in Dasi Zhen - Taizhou Shi

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As the realm of conducting business has continued to become more connected to the world outside of the home country for many companies and corporations for some time now, the demand for specific language learning for business contexts persistently rises. Courses in English for business purposes continue to attract a great deal of attention at colleges and universities worldwide attached to programs in business, trade, and commerce. Even so, there is a surprising lack of material in the form of course books published for classroom use on the subject of Business English, and if that is the case then to ask how to employ practical teaching methods on the subject would not be a question without merit. In the following paragraphs, examples of teaching methods that have produced competent English language skills for business students and working professionals alike will be explored. It may first be beneficial to define exactly what Business English means for the purposes of this essay. Sampath & Zalipour (2010) then give us the most apt definition of Business English for our purposes in stating that it is “...English taught to a wide range of professional people, and students in full-time education preparing for a business career.” Used this broadly, the term encompasses anything from language used for answering the phone and presenting in meetings to drawing up contracts. In this essay, we will explore two teaching methods that have proven effective in teaching students more than the rules of grammar and the vocabulary to memorize, but language that will enable them to communicate with proficiency in their work environments while speaking, listening, writing, and reading. The first of the teaching strategies we will discuss is called Communicative Language Teaching (CLT). In an essay written by Dr. Giedre Klimoviene, Raminta Barzdžiukienė, and Dr. Nijolė Račkauskaitė, they reject the notion that foreign language could be adequately acquired by memorizing vocabulary and grammar, and they point to CLT as a strategy that would prove more effective. Klimoviene, Barzdžiukienė, & Račkauskaitė (2016) credit the success of this teaching method to the fact that it encourages the development of skills “...such as grammar, vocabulary [and] phonetics...being taught and mastered alongside with communicative skills.” In this study, three steps for how to go about employing CLT in the classroom are laid out. In the first step, activities such as matching exercises and writing exercises that encourage the use of the language the students have learned and are learning for Business English gives the students the practice that they need to become more confident in using said language. The second step involves creating situations that students may, and probably will encounter in the business world and having them engage orally. Activities that adhere to that criterion include debates, meetings, and role-plays. Creating these scenarios which will very much be rooted in reality for the students will increase their acquisition of conversational skills. Finally, the third step focuses on encouraging continued communication as it centers around group assignments and projects. In the business world, it is not uncommon for collaboration to be expected from one’s employer. The other teaching method we will cover involves incorporating the use of authentic materials in the classroom. Authentic materials are defined as “materials that have been produced for a purpose other than the classroom (ITTT Unit 4). Examples of authentic materials might include business magazines, company product brochures, or advertisements. Similarly to the second step in employing Klimoviene, Barzdžiukienė, & Račkauskaitė’s CLT, authentic materials can be excellent for teaching and learning as they provide context from the real world for the students. For instance, Sampath & Zalipour (2010) highlight how access to business news would allow students to “get familiar with the business concepts and vocabulary that are being used in the business world”, and how access to excerpts from BBC can help improve their listening skills. With a cache of data as complete as the internet, teachers and students will find a wealth of authentic materials from which language learning in the context of their careers can take place. A bit of creative thinking is all that is needed alongside making use of the resources the internet can provide in terms of authentic materials and the activities that communicative language teaching offer in order to ensure there are successful and effective teaching strategies in use in one’s classroom. Bibliography Klimovienė, Giedrė, et al. “Developing Students’ Communicative Competence in Business English.” Studies About Languages, Kalbu Studijos, 2016, kalbos.ktu.lt/index.php/KStud/article/view/14265. Zalipour, Arezou, and Dilani Sampath. “Effective Teaching Strategies for Learners of Business Communication: A Case Study from INTI University College, Malaysia.” Academia.edu - Share Research, Intercultural Communication Studies XIX, 2010, www.academia.edu/1196068/Effective_Teaching_Strategies_for_Learners_of_Business_Communication_A_Case_Study_from_INTI_University_College_Malaysia.