BUSINESS ENGLISH
cod. 1005837

Academic year 2020/21
3° year of course - Second semester
Professor
BRESNAHAN FRASER HARRIS
Academic discipline
Lingua e traduzione - lingua inglese (L-LIN/12)
Field
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
Related/supplementary
42 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in ENGLISH

Learning objectives

Upon passing the exam, students

1) Knowledge and understanding
- possess knowledge of the English language, having reached a level of at least B1 according to the CEFR;
- can remember a wide range of terms belonging to the discourse of economics, business and management;
- can understand the gist of written and spoken English used in everyday communicative events linked to their field of study.

2) Applying knowledge and understanding
- can apply their knowledge of English when communicating in professional contexts, by deploying a range of morpho-syntactic structures;
- can work alone and in groups and organise their tasks flexibly.

3) Making judgements
- can select data according to their relevance in order to formulate judgments in their disciplinary and professional domain;
- can evaluate pros and cons of a number of options to solve a given problem.

4) Communication skills
- can communicate effectively and correctly in English and convey general information pertaining to their area of study, by avoiding repetitions;
- can express viewpoints, provide clear descriptions and develop arguments cohesively and coherently;
- can interact with others using a register and level of formality as appropriate to the communicative context and purpose.

5) Learning skills
- can update and consolidate their linguistic knowledge;
- can hone their communicative competence;
- can relate this knowledge and competence to other disciplines in their degree course.

Prerequisites

Students are expected to have reached a B1 level of English according to the CEFR (self-assessment).

Course unit content

The course aims at helping students develop linguistic and pragmatic competences to be applied in international workplace settings where English is used as a shared language.

The activities are organised following the B1 level in English according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and focus on three areas:
1. in-depth study of the vocabulary belonging to the disciplinary and professional domains which are relevant to the students’ degree course;
2. thorough revision of morpho-syntactic structures of the English language;
3. reading comprehension and writing exercises.

The vocabulary is elicited from the exercises completed in class and for homework, and it deals with a number of topics, e.g.
- types of companies, company structure, employees and management
- health and safety issues at work
- mergers, acquisitions, sell-offs
- basic financial and accounting terms
- figures and currencies
- business across cultures
- human resources
- leadership.

The grammar areas to be reviewed include, among other,
- present simple and continuous
- past simple and continuous
- present perfect simple and continuous
- past perfect simple and continuous
- future tenses
- articles
- comparative and superlative adjectives
- modals and semi-modals: can, could, should, must, have to, may, might, need to
- conditionals
- relative clauses
- reported speech
- -ing forms and infinitives.

Writing production exercises focus on
- informal, semi-formal and formal emails
- short reports describing graphs, charts and tables.

Full programme

Bibliography

Cotton D., Falvey D. & Kent S. (2010) Market Leader Intermediate, 3rd edition, Harlow, Pearson Education Limited (Unit 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11).

Further compulsory material to prepare for the exam will be published on the course page in Elly.

The following resources are also needed for self-study:
- a monolingual dictionary of the student’s choosing, e.g. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary
- a grammar book at an intermediate level, e.g. Michael V. & French A. (2011) IELTS Language Practice, Oxford, Macmillan.

Teaching methods

1) Knowledge and understanding: teacher-fronted sessions, Socratic seminars.
2) Applying knowledge and understanding: practice sessions.
3) Making judgements: in-class discussions, group and pair work, peer feedback.
4) Communication skills: practice sessions, group and pair work, role playing.
5) Learning skills: homework, flipped classroom.

The teaching material will be posted in Dolly every week, including the slides projected in class and worksheets for self-study.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final examination consists of one written test. The exam paper is the same for attending and non-attending students. The exercises are to be completed in 90 minutes. No dictionaries are allowed. Devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, etc. are forbidden.

The exam paper includes:
A. nineteen grammar multiple choice questions
B. one grammar and vocabulary exercise with ten multiple choice, gap-filling options
C. ten business collocations that must be matched to their synonyms
D. two content questions that are taken from the required reading for the course
E. one email writing exercise (one question with all pertainent information included)
F. one short opinion or analysis essay (one question given with a provided text to respond to; minimum length 200 words).

To pass the exam, students need to obtain a total score of at least 18 out of 30. The “lode” is awarded if the highest score is reached in every exercise.

Students who complete all the required homework for the class may receive up to two bonus points.

The final grade is published in esse3 within eight days of taking the exam.

All the components of the final exam refer to the grammar areas, the lexis, the text typologies, and the topics covered during the semester, both in class and for homework, with a view to properly assessing the extent to which students have reached the learning objectives described above.

Other information