Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Animating Business English Learning Pt 1

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At present, numerous factors can inhibit these learners from attaining high level of proficiency in business English. One of them is due to how business English courses are conducted.

For instance, often English Foreign Language syllabi put excessive emphasis on formal aspects of grammar, while learners are taught at a common pace without taking into account their background or individual needs. Adult learners are often not accustomed to acquiring formal
knowledge, and have different levels of exposure to English in their daily and professional lives, requiring an individualized approach, particularly for weaker students.

This problem is further compounded by the choice of teaching and learning materials. Traditionally, the most common type of teaching material used to teach business English are textbooks. The major problem with using textbook format is that it is non-interactive and lacks stimulation. Apart from textbooks, audiovisual materials which only provide one-way interaction, such as video and audio cassettes, may also be used. Boring!

Teaching materials that lack interactivity in combination with high student to teacher ratios in the classroom often result in learning environment that is not conducive to developing communication skills.

In most cases, these learning materials are imported from overseas, and are targeted at non-native speakers who either work or study in native speaking contexts and almost invariably interact with native speakers.

So, what is an effective alternative? Professor Winn uses scenario-based learning for business English.

Find out more about scenario-based learning in our next post.

For an animated approach to learning English (business, legal, medical, etc), please call Professor Winn at 1160 461 342 in Buenos Aires or send an email to mrenglish101@gmail.com.

Anyone interested in English-language services or translations (Sp/Fr/Pt>En) may send an email to mrenglish101@gmail.com for a prompt evaluation.

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