The Current Phase:
The fact that English is a global language is undeniable;
therefore the need for learning English has also grown many
folds. This has resulted in changing the way it is taught.
The need of the learner is not the same everywhere therefore
the curriculum for teaching English also has be learner
specific. This phase deals with learning English for either
academic purpose or for specific job or business purpose.
6 – Need Based language Teaching
for Academic Purposes
for Academic Purposes (EAP) entails training
students usually in a higher education setting, to use
language appropriately for study. It therefore is a challenging
and multi-faceted area within the wider field of English
Language . In addition, EAP practitioners often find that,
either directly or indirectly, they are teaching study
skills and often tackling differences in educational culture.
This trend has become more prominent as the number of
Chinese students attending USA or UK universities has
increased over the last decade. It is not only a teaching
approach. It is also a branch of applied linguistics consisting
of a significant body of research into effective teaching
and assessment approaches, methods of analysis of the
academic language needs of students, analysis of the linguistic
and discoursal structures of academic texts, and analysis
of the textual practices of academics.
To teach the four skills (listening, reading speaking
To develop study skills
To raise students? English levels
To teach grammar extensively
To help in the enrichment of vocabulary
To teach pronunciation
The difference between EAP and general English
EAP is an educational approach and a set of beliefs
about TESOL that is unlike that taken in general
English courses and textbooks. It begins with
the learner and the situation. Whereas general
English begins with the language.
Many EAP programmes place more focus on reading
and writing while general
English courses place more focus on speaking and
EAP tends to teach formal , academic genres while
general English courses tend to teach learners
conversational and social genres of the language.
analysis: Is fundamental to an EAP approach to
course design and teaching. If a general approach to an
EAP is taken the course usually consists primarily of
study skills practice with an academic register and style
in the practice texts and materials. But a need analysis
indicates that the study situation is more specific, many
of the study skills areas are still taught but with particular
attention to the language used in the specific disciplinary
context identified in the needs analysis. the language
is attended to at the levels of :
Lexical and grammatical features
Discourse : the effect of communicative context
;the relationship between the text/ discourse
ands its speakers/ readers/writers. listeners.
Genre : how language is used in a particular setting
such as research papers, dissertations , formal
analysis leads to the specification of objectives for
a course or a set of courses and to an assessment of the
available resources and constraints to be borne in mind
which in turn leads to the syllabus and methodology. The
syllabus is implemented through teaching materials and
is then evaluated for effectiveness.
development of EAP has been rapid since the recognition
of it as a legitimate aspect of ELT Nowadays it is accepted
that TESL /TEFL learners who are participating in formal
education through the medium of English should also be
exposed to a component of study skills preparation.
are study skills?
Study skills are strategies and methods of purposeful
learning, usually centered
reading and writing. Effective study skills are considered
essential for students to acquire good grades in school,
and are useful in general to improve learning throughout
one's life, in support of career and other interests.
raise students’ English level?
Sometimes EAP courses are intended to raise students'
English levels so that they can enter university. In the
UK, this often means endeavoring to help students get
a score of 6 or above in the IELTS examination. In the
US, this can mean helping students attain a score of 500
or greater on the Institutional TOEFL.
trends and directions
More emphasis is being laid on EAP in school levels
Thesis writing and dissertation supervision applying the
EAP approach has become more and more popular.
Framework for Teachers of English for Academic Purposes
the increasing globalization of EAP it is more important
than ever before to establish a description of the skills,
competencies and qualifications of a professional EAP
practitioner .Competency is here understood as „the
technical skills and professional capabilities that a
teacher needs to bring to a position in order to fulfill
its functions completely´ .The following draft list
of competencies is presented
and conventions of universities in relation to:
teaching and learning
different perspectives of members of the academic
community with regard to the above
work with characteristic materials/ tasks from students'
subject areas and engage with the ideas that they
work with subject specialists
structure of a typical course (lectures, seminars,
tutorials, lab. sessions, field trips)
modes of assessment
staff-student communication channels (mentoring,
committee for feedback)
describe work with materials/tasks or subject specialists
features of academic discourse compared with other
types of discourse.
specific features of academic genres
functional and rhetorical aspects of texts
language variety across disciplines and its relevance
for EAP teaching
importance of evidence based reasoning in academic
use appropriate material from a range of sources
to increase student knowledge of academic discourse
use academic language (form, register and style)
develop students ability to convey an argument (both
written and oral) providing evidence from more than
and compare an academic text, with a non-academic
and analyze examples of academic genres from different
disciplines in their institution in terms of their
purpose and audience and show how these inform the
organization and language choices
an academic text to show the main rhetorical purposes
and functions and the language through which these
expectations and experiences students are likely
to have when transferring from one academic culture
the language and skills students need in order to
acquire knowledge and understanding in their degree
language and skills students need in order to communicate
their knowledge and understanding
undertake a principled and systematic analysis
of the gap between students? competence and what
they need for their academic study
teaching to the specific needs of students
analysis of students' needs
of the needs of students taking different types
of EAP course, e.g. with respect to the content
and focus required
range of EAP syllabus types
need for progression and recycling in a syllabus
timetabling and other constraints on syllabus design
identify aims and objectives of an EAP course
based on needs analysis of students and the institution.
select and priorities language and skills to develop
a coherent syllabus
adapt or create materials from appropriate sources
and develop appropriate tasks
integrate assessment into course design
an EAP syllabus you have used or designed
identify the aims of the course
the selection of material
how outcomes of the course are assessed
approaches appropriate to teaching and learning
in the EAP classroom compared to the general EFL
range of teaching techniques and the rationale for
using them in different EAP contexts
plan a series of lessons based on a syllabus
between teaching language and content
reading, writing, listening and speaking for study
academic vocabulary and grammar into other skills
study skills into other skills teaching integrate
IT into delivery, to enhance IT skills and reflect
flexibly and exploit unplanned learning opportunities
plans, recorded lessons, observation notes and responses
analysis of a core textbook
of materials: adapted or original with rationale
feedback on teaching
3. Student critical thinking
elements of critical thinking how critical thinking
underpins academic practice
principles of student autonomy
to support student autonomy through individual tutoring
use of new technologies to support autonomous learning
modes of EAP assessment
the link between assessment and learning in EAP
purpose and structure of international proficiency
tests e.g. IELTS and TOEFL
provide opportunities and stimulus for critical
thinking in materials/ tasks/lesson plans/syllabus
link between critical thinking and study competence
explicit for students in materials/ tasks/lesson
development of critical thinking into sequences
of learning activities
opportunities and stimulus in materials/tasks/lesson
plans/syllabus for students to become autonomous
the link between autonomy and academic study explicit
to students in materials/tasks/lesson plans/syllabus
student autonomy through 1-to-1 tutorials
development of autonomy into sequence of learning
appropriate modes of assessment for EAP listening,
speaking, reading writing and integrated skills
or evaluate appropriate assessment tools in the
marking criteria consistently and to agreed standards
appropriate feedback on oral and written student
assessment outcomes to inform teaching & learning
assessment contain knowledge transforming tasks
review and evaluate learning aims/materials/ activities/assessment
student development across time, e.g. critical questions
about a text which students can now answer
student choice/ active engagement/ reflection/ students
how teacher has handed over responsibility to students
and justify examples of assessment instruments in
a specific EAP context
critically on the mode and appropriacy of feedback
given on a piece of student work
examples of papers which have been double-marked
with comments on the application of marking criteria
(for example) a revised lesson plan or assessment
tool with a commentary
importance of critical reflection on own practice
the role of ambiguity in academic enquiry
professional terminology the importance of continuing
clearly, coherently and appropriately
account of personal approach to teaching
this approach to a specific teaching context
an article/teaching journal
lesson plans including an account of the relationship
between procedures and techniques & target learner´s
from classroom research projects
of conference presentations
is a thriving and important aspect of TESOL that has so
far received less attention from researchers than it deserves.
Its greatest strength is its responsiveness to the needs
of the learner.
for Specific Purpose (ESP)
English for Specific purpose is actually designed to meet
specific needs of specific profile within a time frame.
This involves orientation to specific spoken and written
English required to carry out specific academic and workplace
– With the end of the 2nd World War an age of unprecedented
and enormous expansion in scientific, technical and economic
activity started on an international scale and for various
reasons role of English became very important.
crisis of the early 1970?s resulted in flow of western
money and knowledge of English to oil rich countries.
With this, it required English to be delivered as per
the needs, wishes and demands of the people.
1987 Hutchinson and Waters discouraged that the spoken
and written English vary. It was found that ESP had less
to do with learning and more to do with psychology.
consists of teaching English
• According to specific need of the
• Related in content to particular,
discipline, occupation and activities.
• Centered on appropriate language
to those of activities.
ESP may not be
Restricted to language skills to be learned.
- Not taught according to a pre determined
1. Defined to meet specific needs of the
2. Use the methodology and activities of
the discipline it serves.
3. Centered round the language, skills,
discourse & genre appropriate for the
1. Related to specific disciplines.
2. Using different methodology than that
used for General English.
3. Designed for Adult learners.
4. For Intermediate and Advanced level Students.
5. Suitable for those having some basic
knowledge of language system.
may be categorized as
a) English as a restricted language .For
example Air Traffic Controller or by Waiters.
b) English for Academic and Occupational
For Science and Technology
- For Business and Economic
- For Social Studies.
may be subdivided for - Academic purpose or Occupational
English for Specific Topics – IT is uniquely concerned
with anticipatory future needs like requiring English
to work in foreign institutions, attending conferences,
courses need to have 3 features –
1. Authentic material
2. Purpose related orientation
3. Self direction.
played a major role in Globalization. English is the de-facto
language of communication; it acts as lingua-franca with
other people of the Globe. ESP in business English and
Finance English is of major interest to University students.
Key Factors in Curriculum Designing of ESP
– Key issues in ESP curriculum design for ESL contexts
were examined. There are three abilities necessary for
successful communication in a professional target setting.
1. The ability to use the particular jargon
characteristic of that specific occupational
2. The second is the ability to use a more
generalized set of academic skills, such
as conducting research and responding to
3. The third is the ability to use the language
of everyday informal talk to communicate
effectively, regardless of occupational
context. Examples of this include chatting
over coffee with a colleague or responding
to an informal email message.
The task for the ESP developer is to ensure that all three
of these abilities are integrated into and integrated
in the curriculum Yet it is very difficult to strike a
balance of these abilities with that of a group of learners.
In reality, a large part of this responsibility is that
of the instructors; it is the instructors who are in the
best position to identify changing learner needs and who
are in the best position to ensure that all students receive
a balanced diet of language.
given website gives guidance to various specific language
needs of people in different occupation.
ESP i.e. English for Specific Purpose caters to the various
needs of different people in this Globalised world. English
is used for both Academic and Occupational purpose. It
is the language to carry on meaningful communication for
people attending foreign institutions, or traveling abroad
to attend conferences or to pursue higher studies.
the following questions
1.Distinguish between EAP and ESP. (100 words)
What is the role of the teacher in ESP? (100 words)
to Business English – features and components
Business English Teaching as a course aims at developing
English communicative skill for adults working in business
of one kind or another, or preparing to step into the
field of business as millions of people all over the world,
using English in their daily activities.
is the act of buying and selling or more broadly, exchanging
and exploiting resources and capabilities. It uses the
language of commerce, of finance, of industry of providing
goods and services. It is about people coming together
to accomplish things they could not do as individuals.
It is about design and innovation, traditions and values
about the exciting and mundane. It is about cooperation
negotiation and conflict. It is about persuading and understanding
power and control explaining and finding solutions to
This business arena could include large multinationals,
small private companies or even government undertakings
in product and service sectors. In short
business English is communication with other people within
a specific context.
purpose behind taking up Business English varies from
person to person. For some it is a necessary part of their
job. For others it is an investment which brings status
and possibly financial reward. The needs are very specific
for some whereas the others want to improve their English.
Some people may be near the end of their working lives
and others may just be starting a new job or career or
project. This might require developing generalized business
skills (e.g. making presentations), or something far more
technical or academic
if the student´s work is highly specialized or if
the students need to learn how
to take notes and participate in meetings or prepare for
a training course conducted in English.
length of the course and the venue of the training (in
company / in language school / other rented premises)
might vary as well. Despite this wide variety the learners
together can be grouped in generally accepted categories.
experienced learners belong the category with little or
no experience of the business world. They probably are
university or secondary school students who embark upon
English learning with intentions to follow a business
career. Because of their lack of experience they will
often need the teacher to provide a window to the business
learners know a lot about their business and their own
jobs and often have very precise notions about why they
need business English. In contrast to pre experienced
learners, they do not need or expect the teacher to help
them understand the world of business.
third category comprises learners who may already have
a certain amount of work experience, but who are learning
English in order to move into a new job or for a specific
purpose. Thy might be identified as general business experienced
falling somewhere between the two.
The approach to business English learning differs with
learners at different level of the company. The senior
managers for example may wish to focus on specific skills
like presenting or negotiating or may wish to have 1-to-1
lessons because of their status within the organization.
The more junior staff on the other hand might not have
such defined needs or may not be enabled enough to manage
and influence their training needs. The company under
such circumstances might arrange for classes separately
for senior managers and clerical staffs.
and education to a large extent is determined by varying
national cultures, traditions and values. To match with
this, sometimes, the learners are split up in separate
groups. A private language school in say, the UK, the
US or New Zealand might decide to teach its Asian and
Hispanic learners separately owing to their different
styles of communication. This fact might otherwise interfere
with the learning process.
some learners the teacher is reached for certain very
specific needs. For example they may be about to join
an international project team, or need help answering
a company telephone hotline, or want to describe their
company´s products to new customer. Others might
look for a less focused course as their general aim might
be to improve their English. The third category may comprise
of learners belonging to similar genre of jobs like secretaries,
accountants, technicians, where the companies might vary
but characteristics and demands would be parallel.
times learners are grouped according to their roughly
similar language proficiency. The predetermined levels
might be „beginners?, „advanced? or „level
three? which are assigned to each learner depending upon
English teaching contexts
Business English generally caters to a number of contexts:
Educational institutions such as school, university are
typical setting for teaching young adults. In tertiary
education environment, teaching might involve written
texts and perhaps preparation of oral or written assignments
which can be graded. These assignments often bear very
distant link with future working context but might heavily
be influenced by the needs and traditions of the educational
establishment. In some cases students also attend other
(non-language) classes in English. These learners normally
nurture preconceived notions and expectations about the
class. They may unduly expect the teacher to be an expert
on the business world as well as language expert and give
priority to other subjects more than learning English.
relatively large classes would contain learners with widely
disparate language levels and skills, ignorant of the
exact usage of English in future. Here, the focus on a
specific target gets difficult to achieve. However, compared
to a more constrained in-company group, the setting makes
it easier for the teacher to cover areas better.
in most major cities of the world, private language schools
are often part of franchises or
Chains or at times, autonomously owned small organizations.
may take place in the schools own premises or the teacher
may be expected to
travel to the customers? location.
Customers may vary from private individuals on a drive
to improve English in order to apply for a job to large
multinational companies with employees
posted all over the world. In some countries schools are
required (or can
volunteer) to submit to outside inspection, to ensure
maintenance of certain standards.
teaching comes with an added advantage operating from
the learners´ workplace with a very prominent idea
of their need for English and a setting ensuring mental
comfort for the learners. Clients premises and can vary
from a couple of hours a week to a full time job.
They are generally given their own training room with
an access to resources such as company intranet. The trainers
are often invited to attend meetings,
do work shadowing (accompanying an employee doing his
normal job and giving feedback as necessary) or help with
written documents. In the course of time the trainer might
as well become indispensable to the company, contributing
in various manners like designing content-based training
employees´ induction and thus facilitating cost
reduction for the company. Besides teaching, the company
trainers are often steeped in administration handling
that might include booking rooms, ordering for stationary,
attending fire practices etc. They often need to walk
about and meet people in different
departments, getting self-updated about the internal happenings
and also confirming their own presence. The teacher is
suggested to maintain an
intranet presence keeping the concerned informed about
the times & locations of classes, different possibilities
of learning English and useful links.
The company normally expects the teachers to use relevant
materials. The new teacher gradually builds up a bank
of such resources. The teacher is advised not to overload
his or her teaching schedule as there is simultaneous
load of lot more work and many distractions as well. Twenty
hours of scheduled teaching is probably realistic assuming
a 40hour working week.
Business English teaching, 1to1 (private lessons with
one teacher and one student) is quite a common arrangement.
The job might involve preparing the learner for a specific
project, coaching over a longer period checking or helping
with presentations correspondence reports and so on.
The requirement might be as pressing as fast acquiring
sufficient language skill for a new employee.
Sometimes a highly motivated management level
learner prefers the idea of 1to1 as well.
1to1, the teacher is able to focus entirely on the learner´s
needs and develops him as the main resource. The teacher´s
task is to:
Reformulate the learner´s language working
towards an improved version either orally or written
form, addressing grammatical & lexical errors
and going further beyond. For example let´s
consider the case of a learner who wants to give
a presentation and who starts with an introduction
and improving it. This may mean correcting some
mistakes and also starting from scratch about
what to include in a introduction about presentations
training. This singular focus on the learner and
his or her language makes 1 to 1 teaching so different.
However, the concept of the content of learning
being entirely provided by the teacher is rarely
the most effective way to do 1to1 teaching.
One to one learning is a process intensive enough,
therefore excessive keenness, effort and maximum
input may add to a stressful situation. Teachers
are well advised to remember the value of silence
and the need to vary the pace and intensity of
In some cases the teacher and learner strike up
a personal relationship or build a special rapport
with each other. The 1to1 situation is far less
contrived than a classroom situation and it can
feel much more like real communication.
a Business English training the teacher- trainee relationship
is a symbiotic one;
The teacher is the master in language and communication
whereas the trainee knows more about his job and
The teacher with considerable awareness about
the business world should be able to make informed
decisions about language & language learning
with credibility and professionalism.
The teacher should be able to adapt a particular
teaching concept and be open to learn and upgrade
On most effective courses, students and teachers
work in partnership to build a constructive learning
environment which is appropriate to
individual students? professional and personal
Students, as clients often provide information
and material and the teacher as and agent on the
other hand provides service and expertise.
Within the field of Business English, many teachers
identify themselves as trainers, coaches or even consultants:
In the world of business trainers are a common concept.
There is a fundamental difference in approach:
• The teacher is traditionally seen as a virtual
educator having far flung influence on the trainee?s
all-round success in life. The trainer on the other
hand conditions the trainee?s behavior, ability to do
a specific job.
• Training is job oriented while teaching is person
• In contrast to the language teacher who helps
the students to learn a language for a variety of (often
unspecified) purposes, a trainer steers the trainee
linguistically and pragmatically – in a certain
helps the learner to take advantage of the learning opportunities
in his/her own working environment, better understand
his or her strengths and weakness and plan accordingly.
It?s the concept of learner?s autonomy where the learner
is almost fully responsible for his or her learning.
consultant is necessarily an expert who is introduced
in the organization for his or her skills and knowledge.
In Business English, this expertise can:
• Cover a wide area including the ability to analyze
communication and communication needs.
• May require the teacher to recommend a training
• Might involve a teacher negotiating with a number
of hotels to choose the best location for a course for
Many freelance teachers operate as consultants. They create
market for themselves roping in potential clients employing
techniques like discussing contracts, needs analysis –
interacting with the learners as well as their sponsors
for language training services, also evaluating training
delivery and outcomes. Eventually they are often in privileged
position, being the only person in the company with open
and direct access to all at every level.
language studied is governed by student´s needs
and can involve a high technical content, with frequent
use of common business terms. It also means a focus on
styles of speaking or writing which are appropriate to
the student´s working environment and to the tasks
they have to perform. This means students will need to
develop a keen awareness of style – formality vs.
informality, directness vs. indirectness. Most importantly,
through language study in class students will need to
become aware of the cultural context of language use,
i.e. national or local cultures, industrial cultures and
cultures. As well as the language specifically studied
in class teacher talk (i.e. a teacher´s meta-language)
can also provide valuable input and exposure for students.
In order to capitalize on this opportunity, it is important
to make this meta-language as adult and business-like
The language of business English includes everyday English.
When used by a business person in a business context,
it gets coined as Business English.
B: Hi. Can I help you?
A: I hope so. I´m looking for room
142. Mr. Plummer´s office.
B: Yes, of course. It´s the 3 rd suite
down the corridor on your left.
What do you suggest? B: I agree with you.
A: Are you sure….we get it delivered?
B: Yes of course, ok?
these conversations can be categorized as everyday English.
The first can be identified on a visit to a principle"s
office and the second, exchanges between husband and wife
deciding on selection of upholstery. However, when used
within business context, they attain the dimension of
Business English – the first being a visit to a
client and the next a discussion between two colleagues
on an important deadline.
application of everyday phrases thus also takes different
dimension Some groups of people use language in other
ways too, ways that are not as familiar to outsiders.
They use specialist words and jargons that make communication
within the group easier and more efficient. It is common
for almost every individual profession, each of which
definitely bears an individual linguistic identity. Business
communities use specific language to communicate in specific
Use the language of accounting (specific lexis) to talk
about accounting matters (specific context) Sales engineers
use specific language to discuss
their product specifications with their customers. Despite
both are being business communities, their dedicated vocabulary
will not be identifiable to each other. This is described
by the term ESP (English for Specific Purposes), often
used to describe language that is inaccessible to people
who are not members of a particular language community.
Can we talk about gearing after lunch? I´m
hungry. (in accounting) We?ve had some SF6
leakage. (in the power industry)
May be we need to revisit the escalation
clause? (in real estate)
It´s OTC. (over the counter, in e.g.
There is also a language which is clearly business English,
but can be understood by most proficient users of English.
This is sometimes described as general business English,
used in general business English course books or in trade
& business magazines. These industry-specific business
jargons understood by most proficient users of English
are to be considered as well.
Sales have fluctuated since we introduced
the new sales strategy. The team is responsible
for the China project.
Has everybody had a look at the minutes?
They´ve terminated the contract.
Business English thus comprises of –
• General everyday English
• General business English
Business English is a mixture of general everyday English
but much beyond strict business world context. Advertising
language uses a lot of metaphors and popular business
books have its vocabulary resources in literary compositions
community employs English to communicate in varied contexts
like socialize, predict, analyze, negotiate, buy, write,
persuade, compromise, telephone, market, sell, produce,
interview, train, travel, plan, investigate, deal, advertise,
explain and so on with business aim. But the skill in
language is inherent in certain techniques to get the
message across and not in mere words and language. So
business English is used in conjunction with business
from the native English speaking used by first language
users, business English develops with the course of time
to cater to specific needs. The language of the learners?
might have only certain characteristics to share with
the teacher?s own version of English.
areas of business English and ESP lack reliable information
due to difficulty in recording natural discourse. An effective
example is the matter of small talk which has a business
relationship building accessory feature rather than the
direct business content. Certain parts of business English
teaching also rely on the teacher?s and the learner?s
learners? learning need would range from business English
to country / region specific English (British, US, International)
to and ESP or a mixture of all these. The objective is
to do business and not just talk about business through
successful usage of the language across a wide variety
of culture, business skills, context and participants.
up things for success – need analysis
Analysis is the effective pre-course work for in-company
or in-house Business English courses which not only makes
the beginning of courses smoother but also help to make
courses successful overall. The teacher needs to negotiate
his/her school´s political structures carefully
and make sure that communication channels remain open
and are enhanced by the teacher"s involvement. The
contributions which are known and well explained to the
students & the organizers are likely to be welcomed
helps the teacher to understand the difference between
the position of the learners´in terms of communicative
competence and where they need to be to meet their business
aims. Sometimes this needs analysis is minimal and simply
limited to a series of brief question which give the teacher
rough idea of the needs of the group.
needs analysis in its most basic form is essentially a
blend of information – gathering activities which
use a variety of different perspective. However simply
collecting data is not enough – it is in the interpretation
and use of this data where the needs analysis really makes
its power felt.
the other hand, need analysis can also be a more substantial
proposition. A large scales need-analysis or a language
audit can be formulated on the basis of the organization
– working out its strengths and weaknesses in terms
of communication in English. The purpose is to build up
a picture of the current situation and balance that against
strategic goals as well as short terms needs, involving
all levels of the company. The process may include gathering
information about future markets, customers, suppliers
and even competitors. Clearly in any company there will
be major budgetary implications in terms of the expense
of data collection and analysis and of interpreting it
to decide the way forward.
analysis could generate issues like-
The level of language competence expected from
certain post holders
How language competence might figure in recruitment
The evaluation of current language training provides,
and so on.
The language audit can emerge as a key stage, helping
the organization develop and maintain a language strategy,
allowing it to deal effectively with language problems
in various markets and supply chains.
analysis collect critical information about the current
situation, the position of the learners, evaluate them
and trace out the strategy to reach the target situation.
The course designed (syllabus, methods, constraints, learning
strategies and so on) bridges the training gap between
the two situations.
Primarily the need is to be identified & clarified
• Need of the learner.
• Need of the company or organization paying
for the training.
• The school, university or training provider
is also a factor.
o The learner"s perceived needs represent
the view of the other stakeholders in the equation,
such as the teacher, the sponsor the co workers.
In a sense these are the „experts"
who can identify needs based on their own experience
and knowledge. The felt needs are those needs
which represent the learner"s perspective.
o Need could be considered in terms of what &
how to teach.
Need could possibly be translated into a list
of products which the teacher can deliver to the
learner. It could be a list of language items,
list of skills such as giving presentations or
asking question in meetings or be seen in terms
of process of delivery with emphasis on how the
learning takes place.
Training here is considered from the individual learner´s
How does a particular learner learn?
• What affective factors need to be considered?
• What methods should the teacher be using?
As ever in language teaching the answer probably draws
on both perspectives.
• Context –
what are the motivations, expectations,
numbers, resources, available hours, classroom
space, and other factors involved in the
teaching situation. Creating a “profile”
of the course to be taught in logistical
and conceptual terms.
– defining the challenges to be faced
in terms of: expected results, numbers,
mix of motivations, different needs, time
limitations, learner “readiness,”
etc. Problematization is a matter of trying
to focus on the specific elements in a situation
that require the most attention.
• Setting goals and objectives
– determining final results in performance
terms, and „enabling" objectives
that will assist in achieving
• Conceptualizing content
o What do the students want to learn given
who they are, their needs and their purposes
o What are the options for “what”
they can learn
o What are the resources and constraints
o What are the relationships among the options
o How can these be organized into a working
o What is the driving force, or unifying
principle that will bring things together
English Teaching (BETT) as a course aims at developing
English communicative skill for adults working in business
of one kind or another, or preparing to step into the
field of business. This business arena could include large
multinationals, small private companies or even government
undertakings in product and service sectors. The length
of the course and the venue of the training (in company
/ in language school / other rented premises) might vary
Business English course in its designing process reflects
a series of decisions based on information gathered during
a needs analysis. The way to start is to decide on the
course aims and objectives: what we (and others) want
out of the course. Aims are general statements about why
the course is happening.
course / curriculum framework is a process, not a product.
It is not a specification of what should be taught
but rather a guide for how to set up a program
for each student that meets the criteria.
• It helps set realistic objective for each
course, it can be adapted to a variety of needs
and program lengths.
• It makes use of the initiative and creativity
of the instructors, and it provides them with
a set of guidelines that they can draw on, with
advance notice to develop their course.
A framework component is useful for several reasons.
It provides an organized way of conceiving of
a complex process.
• It sets forth domains of inquiry for the
teacher, in that each component puts forth ideas
as well as raises issues for the teacher to pursue.
• It provides a set of terms currently use
in talking about course development and thus a
common professional vocabulary and access to the
ideas of others.
of a course design are specific in nature and break up
the aim into smaller elements of learning so that the
outcomes are better understood and are embedded in more
precise terms. Very often other stakeholders, such as
a sponsor of a course, will want to look at these objectives
too, and may even assist in writing them.
useful acronym to use when writing objectives is SMART.
While designing a course, objectives are to be kept specific,
measurable, achievable, relevant, and
time-bound (that is, limited to a certain period).
objectives are to be so planned that they could best serve
our clients and our students through the training that
would enable learners, with the assistance of their instructors:
to assess their learning needs; analyze their
learning styles; define learning objectives that
were specific, measurable and achievable within
a given time; and participate in planning and
program that would meet those objectives.
• to implement that program plan through
the practice work carefully selected learning
strategies to achieve those objectives.
• to design a self-study plan to continue
their learning after their on-site work with us.
This concept for learning, with its three key
elements, also had the advantage of conforming
to the mission of our institution, which is dedicated
to serving the whole individual and to empowering
people to be independent and in control of their
own lives and their own learning.
Objectives can be expressed in different ways, depending
on the context.
(behavioral) objectives typically describe what
the learner is expected to do, under what conditions,
and to what level or standard. Such objectives use words
like will learn, will be able to, and can.
or training objectives, unlike performance objectives,
do not normally specify what the learner will be able
to do at the end of the course. Instead, they give the
teacher useful guideline, and may use technical words
which learners may not be familiar with.
can be valuable to get learners to write their own objectives,
and these can then be discussed in terms of how relevant
or achievable they are. For example, learners can be asked
to complete the following sentence: At the end of this
course I hope to be able to………
In practical terms, it is often difficult to describe
language or business communication skills with the desired
precision, and sometimes such skills are
hard to quantify and measure. In such cases a compromise
may be least typical behaviors that might be expected
of the participant
objective may be quite different from performance
or teaching objective. The real business objective
may be to negotiate successfully, in order to maximize
the company´s profits in a new market (the aim).
In other words, the outcome of the course can be seen
not only in terms of what has been learnt (focusing on
the learner), but also in terms of changes in the workplace
or in business results, resulting from the training having
taken place (focusing on the business). Such issues relate
to course evaluation and accountability (who is responsible
for the success of course, or for ensuring best value
return on expenditure?), and are becoming more common
as organizations and schools try to get as much as possible
out of limited budgets. A useful technique for designing
a course is to use a grid or framework which sets out
the aims and objectives, followed by all the elements
that we believe are necessary for someone to be able to
meet those objectives.
main components of the framework are based on the linguistic
competence, discourse competence, and intercultural competence
together with the guidelines offered by communicative
language teaching, and our own understanding of what our
learners need. The syllabus will take into account not
only what is to be learned, but also how it is to be learned.
It will normally consist of a combination of the following
components that would weave through the course, holding
for course planning:
• Use a range of planning techniques so
as to tap into both your logical and your intuitive
• Check and recheck that you planning reflect
the priorities established during the pre-course
• Be realistic about timeframes, i.e. about
what can be achieved in a given time.
• Remember that any back-up paperwork you
produce, such as a course outline, will act as
• Get and take account of any feedback you
receive on draft plans from students or colleagues.
• Keep everyone informed of your pre-course
• Update people whenever you make any changes
to your course outline.
The teaching is best judged and effectively moulded by
`Evaluation´. Its critical attributes involves asking
questions, gathering relevant information and forming
opinions staying within a specified context aiming at
definite purpose and goals. Needs analysis, placement
tests, selection of materials are all forms of evaluations.
A sponsoring company may wish to evaluate decisions about
materials. A sponsor may wish to evaluate a course that
is on the market, or learners´ language skills may
be assessed to see if they are ready for an exam.
What is evaluation :
• Judging fitness for a particular
• Matching needs to solutions
• Concerned with the effectiveness
and efficiency of learning
• Asking systematic questions and
acting on the responses
• To have value, the process must
It is important to evaluate the success and effectiveness
of your courses so that you could make improvements on
an ongoing basis. It is also important so as to ensure
continued survival, since students and sponsors act on
their own evaluation of our courses (formal or informal).
The teachers´ responsibility of evaluation would
involve checking of the objectives – whether fulfilled
or not, whether the teaching methods require further improvement.
These would generally be conveyed through questions. Answering
such questions can take up a lot of time and effort, so
the first question to ask is whether it is worth doing.
The probable questions would be:
• Who will do it?
• When will it be done?
• How will it be done?
• What will be evaluated?
The answers to these questions will however depend on
Evaluation can be concerned with:
- Attitudes – how positively are our courses viewed?
- Effectiveness – how well do we achieve our objectives
in terms of real learning?
- Appropriacy – how appropriate are our programmes
to our clients´ real needs?
How to evaluate?
most common approach to evaluation is to collect comments
or ratings using feedback forms distributed at the end
of each course, and then to interpret them.
Another important approach is to sit back and reflect
on what seems to constitute successful practice in your
particular teaching context.
A third, often revealing approach is to collect and analyze
objective data from
registration and re-registration figures, attendance figure
and test or exam results.
information – statistical or impressionistic, objective
or subjective – will need to be considered in relation
to the course"s objectives, course format (intensive
or extensive, with or without self-study component, etc),
teaching approach and materials used ….. amongst
other things! You will need to take care to find out whether
any variable was in effect which might distort your conclusion.
For example, it could be that materials were adequate
but either your approach or your attitude unhelpful. You
will also need to be careful not to assume that things
are effect, when they might be causes. For example,
student absences could either be an indication of deficiencies
in a course, or a cause of failure (if no absence policy
was in operation).
Evaluating would differ from situation to situation –
a one-off in-company course demands treatment that is
separate from a university course that runs ten times
model of evaluation commonly found in business English
training (particularly in-company) is based on Kirckpatrick?s
work in the 1960s. This model is built on five level of
evaluations, all interrelated.
• Level 1 involves the learners"reaction
to the teaching – were they satisfied?
The focus here is on the course itself and
its delivery: the teacher, the materials,
and so on.
• Level 2 relates to the learning
– what was actually learned? Typically
this involves a pre-test and post-test.
Here the focus is on the learner.
• Level 3 has to do with the transfer
of what has been learned to the workplace
– is the learning work-relevant? Are
the learners using their new skills? The
focus is on the learner and the workplace.
• Level 4 is concerned with results
– has the teaching resulted in any
business impact? Are the participants more
successful in their negotiations, for example?
Have their telephone skills improved?
• Level 5 looks at the return on investment
(ROI) – what (and how much) tangible
(e.g. employee motivation) benefit has the
training led to, relative to its cost?
Approaches to evaluation can be categorized as:
• Formative evaluation
is related to ongoing development and improvement.
It considers what was good and not so good
on a particular course, and forms a basis
for change and future action. In other words,
the aim is to make improvements. For example,
an end-of- course questionnaire might ask
participants to comment on the quality of
the hotel used to run the course –
adverse comments may result in the next
course being run in a different hotel.
• Illuminative evaluation
relates to what is happening in the teaching
/ learning processes, designed to facilitate
our understanding of the processes within
the course – typically this will look
at issues like classroom interaction, or
learning strategies used by the participants.
• Summative evaluation
is carried out at a pre-specified or a particular
stage in a course (such as the end), and
looks at whether or not the
course objectives have been achieved, or
how effective, or efficient the course was
at achieving those objectives. A typical
method is the use of tests.
Evaluating questions require systematic collection of
data as well as analyzing and interpretation of results
that leads to an innovative or corrective
judgment. The business English teaching context commonly
operates with two types of data –quantitative and
data are those expressed by a numerical value (e.g. the
results from many tests, checklists, or surveys)
Qualitative refers to the quality, type
or depth of whatever is being evaluated (often richer
yet more subjective in nature). Examples of qualitative
data include the notes made during interviews, classroom
observation, and case studies (such as verbal descriptions
of how a particular learner has progressed through a course).
process of measuring, using such data, is known as assessment.
It is important not to use only one measure, since this
may give unreliable results, it is better to use two or
more different assessment tools. Using different perspective
to assess the same thing in this way is called triangulation
in a research context and 360 degree assessment in the
business world. For example, if we wanted to know how
effective a course on telephonic skills has been, we might
test the participants using a series of role-plays, interview
then to see how they feel about their telephonic skills,
and record some “real-life" conversations to
see how they cope.
Assessing the students
is essential to ensure that students are making progress
on a course and to show this progress in quantifiable
and comprehensible terms to both students and their bosses.
Formal or less formal assessment procedures can be used
with the following points noted:
• Tests and other assessment tools
must be as valid as possible if they are
to be useful and fair on individuals - whose
career prospects might be affected by them.
• Tests need to be practical to administer,
faking the constraints of the context into
account (e.g. absentees or factory noise).
• Tests must demonstrate a good time-results
ratio (i.e. the time invested must be worthwhile
for the information gained).
• Tests need to be given at an appropriate
time if you intend to use them to 'fine
tune' your teaching programme so as to cater
more effectively to students' needs. When
you have information on what students can
and cannot do you will need to have time
to do something about it.
• Test results and feedback must be
given sensitively because they can have
a devastating effect on motivation and,
indeed, on students' careers if misinterpreted
by students' bosses.
and case studies
business English learning involves successful production
of workplace- language by the learners. Therefore, these
activities categorized as role-play, simulations, and/or
case studies need to be designed more into the course.
A role-play is an activity where the learner takes on
a role; they do not play themselves. Their opinions and
behaviors are also pre-conditioned by the
instruction cards. The language used may also be pre-taught
in some way.
Information gap is another typical feature
of role-play where none of the participants know all of
the relevant information.
instance cited below is from Market Leader Pre-Intermediate
by Cotton et al. Such materials are good for pre-experienced
learners because most of the information they need is
given. They may well have no personal experience of the
featured situation to bring to the role-play. One disadvantage
is that unless there is enough time given to preparation
– in this case, memorizing the details on the card
– the role play is interrupted by learners having
to look at their cards to remind themselves of what they
are supposed to say.
are at a conference. You recognize someone you met
at a conference two years ago. Introduce yourself
and make small talk. Use your role-card to prepare
for the conversation.
met B two years ago at a conference on Customer
Care in Frankfurt.
You own a small firm which sells office equipment.
It´s your first day at the conference,
you arrived late last night.
You haven´t seen the city yet.
You are staying at the Grand Hotel in the city
centre ( a good choice : room service and the
facilities are excellent).
You are leaving in three day´s time.
You think the conference will be very interesting.
met A two years ago at a conference on Customer
care in Frankfurt.
are the sales manager for a large telecommunication
You have been at the conference for three days.
You have visited the city (beautiful old cathedral,
interesting museum, excellent restaurants, but
You are staying at a small hotel outside the
city (a bad choice: room too small, too far
from the centre of the city).
You are leaving tomorrow.
The conference is boring, the speakers talk
too much and go over time.
refers to an activity involving the learner in
person and ideally imitates his/her actions in
real life. Within the boundaries of a classroom a situation
is created which prepares the learner for future dealings
in his/her job context. A presentation rehearsal is an
example of simulation.
For a batch consisting of more than one learner, a common
simulation is a difficult proposition as it can be irrelevant
to some students. For example in a buyer-seller negotiation,
if the two learners involved both come from a purchasing
department (which normally only buys items), then clearly
one of the learners will be playing a selling role. Although
it contributes a lot to the learning process giving a
perspective of the other side, it fails to have immediate
Simulation activity should have a realistic reason
to be presented in English (else the students will tend
to speak in their native language, at least in a monolingual
group) The aim is to create suspension of disbelief,
fully involving the learners in the activity without any
distraction caused by the venue (classroom). A sign of
successful simulation is where the participants carry
on discussing the issues outside the classroom.
Simulations are particularly useful for in-company groups
where people have real jobs to focus on.
Another approach involves using good speakers of English
to come in take part. They might role-play a visiting
customer, for example, with learners
simulating their real jobs by having to pass on information,
or perhaps by persuading the visitor to buy the product.
A visitor might also play a customer or a partner who
wishes to discuss clauses proposed for a consortium contract.
The preparation time is relatively minor on the visitor?s
part (and on the material writer´s), but the benefit
to the learner is enormous; they have to communicate with
a stranger who knows their subject,
but is not a teacher.
Simulation might involve a learner simply discussing work-related
issues with the teacher in a fashion similar to discussion
with a new boss, or a customer,
or a partner. The focal point is that the activity should
simulate the type of discourse the learner would have
in real life. Checklist for preparing a simulation:
day prior to the simulation:
What is the aim of the activity? Are the activities
carried out for a business communication purpose
or for a language learning purpose? Is the simulation
relevant to the learner´s needs?
• Is there a logical sequence to the planned
• Are the activities realistic? Could they
really take place? Have the details been cross-checked
with someone with relevant business
• Is there enough variety, challenge and
• Can all participants contribute?
• Can the participants be creative or use
their knowledge and experience?
• Is there more than one solution (if the
simulation is about a problem)?
the day of the simulation:
• Should be made sure that everyone fully
understands the situation; check by asking questions,
• Give people enough time to prepare (sometimes
this preparation time might be significantly longer
than the actual simulation).
• Should be made sure the learners understand
the rationale behind the activity and its aims
• Can consider using observers to assist
with the feedback.
• Feedback should surely include the business
task, as well as language- related points.
In case of in-company simulations, most groups will be
more than willing to give the teacher feedback, leading
to possible improvements. In effect, the last stage of
the simulation is that the learners redesign it with the
A case study analyses a particular business problem from
various perspectives. The problem may have nothing to
do with their own line of business, and they may or may
not be asked to produce a solution. Case studies are suitable
for all types of business English learners because the
information needed to address the problem is normally
included in the data provided, although with some pre-
experience groups additional background information may
be necessary. However case study is not suited for those
learners who are still at a low level of English language
Case study can be beneficial to in-company training in
two ways – it can closely mirror the actual requirements
of the job and also infuse interesting materials not directly
related to the job yet initiates some variety and useful
language practice. Case studies prepare d by teachers
are expected to be tailor made to fit the learner-specific
situation and needs. But the flip side is that the teacher
might disagree to invest much time and effort in a study,
not to be used more than once.
Case studies are an amalgamation of various skills like
writing, speaking, presenting, listening and others working
toward completion of a task set.
case studies can be very complicated. The extract below
is taken from a teacher´s notes for a case study
written for a group of project managers from an international
corporation. The course was run in a hotel, and the last
two days were devoted to the activity. This outline or
`route map´ is a particularly useful tool to help
the teacher manage the overall situation; often there
is need for the teacher to be flexible, for example, to
skip some stages, or to provide additional as the case
study progresses. Likewise the times given for each activity
are only a guideline; different groups will progress through
the study in their own way.
Argue in agreement and disagreement of the following statement
about Business English: Business is serious and business
English teachers should not waste time of fun and games
in the classroom.
2. You are freelance Business English Trainer. You are
currently working in the HR department of a multinational
company in Bangkok. The HR Manager calls you in and asks
you to run a course for a group of engineers in the company
who are due to join an international project team. Their
task will be to work on site wit engineers from other
companies and other countries, and supervise the installation
of new machinery in a hydroelectric power station. You
will have the group for 6 hours every day for a week,
and the course will start next week. The learners have
all been doing regular English training, and are all at
intermediate level or above.
• What materials would you consider using for such
a course? Discuss the benefits and drawback of using commercially
published materials and making your own bespoke (tailor-made)
• What types of activities do you think would be
most appropriate for such a
group and why?