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English for Business Studies in Higher Education Studies
Course Book with audio CDs
By Carolyn Walker With Paul Harvey Series edited by Terry Phillips
Category: English for Specific Academic Purposes
Level: Upper intermediate to proficiency
CEF: B2 to C2
IELTS: 5.0 to 7.5+
Series: English for Specific Academic Purposes
English for Business Studies in Higher Education Studies
The Garnet Education English for Specific Academic Purposes series won the Duke of Edinburgh English Speaking Union English Language Book Award in 2009.
English for Business Studies is a skills-based course designed specifically for students of business who are about to enter English-medium tertiary level studies. It provides carefully graded practice and progressions in the key academic skills that all students need, such as listening to lectures and speaking in seminars. It also equips students with the specialist business language they need to participate successfully within a business studies faculty. Extensive listening exercises come from business studies lectures, and all reading texts are taken from the same field of study. There is also a focus throughout on the key business vocabulary that students will need.
- Listening: how to understand and take effective notes on extended lectures, including how to follow the argument and identify the speaker's point of view.
- Speaking: how to participate effectively in a variety of realistic situations, from seminars to presentations, including how to develop an argument and use stance markers.
- Reading: how to understand a wide range of texts, from academic textbooks to Internet articles, including how to analyze complex sentences and identify such things as the writer's stance.
- Writing: how to produce coherent and well-structured assignments, including such skills as paraphrasing and the use of the appropriate academic phrases.
- Vocabulary: a wide range of activities to develop students' knowledge and use of key vocabulary, both in the field of business studies and of academic study in general.
- Vocabulary and Skills banks: a reference source to provide students with revision of the key words and phrases and skills presented in each unit.
- Full transcripts of all listening exercises.
The Garnet English for Specific Academic Purposes series covers a range of academic subjects. All titles present the same skills and vocabulary points. Teachers can therefore deal with a range of ESAP courses at the same time, knowing that each subject title will focus on the same key skills and follow the same structure.
- Systematic approach to developing academic skills through relevant content.
- Focus on receptive skills (reading and listening) to activate productive skills (writing and speaking) in subject area.
- Eight-page units combine language and academic skills teaching.
- Vocabulary and academic skills bank in each unit for reference and revision.
- Audio CDs for further self-study or homework.
- Ideal coursework for EAP teachers.
- Extra resources at www.garnetesap.com
Unit 1: The business of business
Unit 2: The organization of work
Unit 3: Getting the work done
Unit 4: The world of technology
Unit 5: People and markets
Unit 6: Products and strategies
Unit 7: Operations: producing the goods
Unit 8: Operations: efficiency, costs and quality
Unit 9: Managing financial accounts
Unit 10: Funding company activities
Unit 11: External influences
Unit 12: Strategy and change
"The book helped students to become more independent in their approach to studying in English ... The Teacher's Book is excellent ... The units provided a wide variety of topics and up-to-date material."- Lionello Fabris, University of Udine, Italy
"What has been needed is a book that applies foundational academic English language skills to business content and concepts. English for Business Studies does just that."- Elizabeth Morrison, Massey University, New Zealand
"... it has all the language as well as the academic skills."- Clark Stoppia, Lorrach Berufs Academy, Germany
"Both the coursebook and the teacher's guide have substance and relevance. I am impressed with how they progress through the units. They are great reference materials for students and teachers alike."- Linda Mombourquette for IATEFL Voices, Issue 228, September / October 2012
"English for Business Studies in Higher Education will be particularly welcomed by teachers who have been using general EAP or English for Business texts to prepare students for diploma or degree-level study of business.
Studying business subjects is substantially different from acquiring skills for communicating with English speakers in the global field of business. ESP Business texts for vocational purposes are aimed at professionals wanting to improve their English for working, hence the emphasis on taking telephone messages, booking hotel rooms and socialising with colleagues. On the other hand, EAP texts, even though they might have occasional texts on management and globalization, do not provide an introduction to the specific discipline. What has been needed is a book that applies foundational academic English language skills to business content and concepts. English for business studies in higher education studies does just that: it provides contextualized vocabulary development, strategic reading and listening, argumentation and paraphrasing, seminar discourse skills and analysis of texts as well as introducing students to key theories of motivation, organizational structure and accounting principles.
This book is part of Garnet Education's English for Specific Academic Purposes series. Other titles in the series include Tourism and Hospitality, Law, Medicine and Banking. Each title combines a common core of academic vocabulary and writing, listening, reading and speaking skills with discipline-specific language and content. English for Business Studies assumes an IELTS score of 5 so it is appropriate for Foundation level students or those preparing for the New Zealand Diploma in Business.
The course book is attractively and clearly laid out with good-sized font and large coloured graphics. Each of the 12 units follows a four-lesson format of vocabulary, reading or listening skills development and extension followed by a parallel text to apply newly acquired skills to. Writing and speaking tasks alternate throughout the 12 units. Each unit has a vocabulary and skills bank section, clearly marked in blue for easy reference. Additional reference resources consist of definitions of management accounting documents and a business wordlist. It comes with two CDs with well-paced complete lectures, as well as shorter extracts and seminar discussions. The listening material is linked to the unit theme and is interesting and challenging, while still making the content and lecture structure explicit.
Students new to the study of business will benefit from the lectures and reading texts on management, marketing, accounting and finance in which fundamental concepts, theories and terminology are explained and illustrated. Key ideas of Drucker, Herzberg and Maslow, for example, are covered as are MBO, SWOT and TQM. As well as providing a grounding in particular academic content, the book's approach is underpinned by a solid approach to building vocabulary and developing competence with complex grammar structures and academic literacy. Sound practices such as systematic note-taking, analysing assignment questions and making writing plans are introduced and reinforced.
All in all, this book could serve as the basis of a preparation for tertiary level business studies very well. While thorough and serious, it also has an attractive 'briskness' and student-focussed feel to it. It comes with an impressively comprehensive Teacher's Book with excellent teaching notes and photocopiable resources such as discussion and role play task cards, templates and model texts including two short research reports."
"This book blends EAP, English for academic purposes and, to give the full title, English for Business Studies in Higher Education. The twelve units provide suitable business content for pre-experience learners, and focus on areas such as products, finance and strategy. The EAP approach provides some excellent material. The teacher's book is exceptionally thorough and contains sound supplementary material. The diagrams are good, and the content provides solid input from the business world.
The mixture of EAP and business studies is intriguing. Of interest to those on pre-sessional courses with a business focus."
This is part of a new series from Garnet Education entitled English for Specific Academic Purposes. The publisher informs me that around 25 titles are planned, with Environment, Medicine and Mechanical Engineering to come this year. Management, Banking and Tourism & Hospitality are already available.
English for Business Studies provides a 50 to 80 hour course covering organisation, technology, people and team skills, markets, products, operations and finance, ending with units on external influences and the management of strategy and change. It is aimed at undergraduate students on foundation or pre-sessional courses at IELTS 5/CEF B2 level, and the units alternate in emphasis between listening/speaking and reading/writing.
As befits a serious course designed to match a general Business Studies education, it's not a book to 'jump in and wing it'.
I'm taking as an example the half-dozen exercises on pages 70 to 71 in Unit 9, which include a lot of high-frequency language for Financial Accounts. Exercise A is 'match the words' (e.g., 'cost - savings'). Exercise B involves reading parts of phrases in another box and filling in the missing word (e.g., 'to some extent'). C turned out to be a nice discussion activity - photographs on the opposite page depict individuals in a variety of situations (I always like it when a picture shows context, not just a talking head) and the questions for discussion include 'What is each person's connection with Cheapco?' 'What aspects of the company's finances in each person interested in, and why?' There is a 'match-the-quote' exercise attached. This section allowed discussion to off at a tangent according to the opinions and reactions of the group. D is a 'match words and definitions' exercise (budgets ... cashflow ... liabilities ... ) and it proved quite challenging. E is 'complete the table': the example is 'audit (base word) - auditor - audited' and other base words include 'credit'; 'expense'; 'liquid'). These two pages provided about an hour of work, and it could well have been more with a bigger group.
With this density and variety of material, navigation can be tricky, and sometimes you have to read every word of the rubric in order to follow the route correctly. The exceptionally comprehensive Teacher's Book offers a tremendous amount of support, talking the teacher through virtually every step of the activities, and it includes some quite technical information in the Language Notes. Given that teachers may be non-native or non-specialist, this help is invaluable.
Each unit contains a 'vocabulary bank' and 'skills bank' section. Texts are semi-authentic, suitable for this level, but look authoritative rather than patronising (for example, the item on Japanese Management Practices in Unit 8; or the Robins Transport case study in Unit 12; though I do find the highlighting distracting).
Diagrams, flowcharts, mind maps, graphs, organigrams, Gantt charts and tables are scattered throughout the book, giving it a workmanlike appearance. Concepts such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in Unit 3: Getting the Work Done; the Boston Matrix in Unit 6: Products & Strategies; and Market Maps in Unit 5: People and Products, are appropriately placed. References to the classic gurus of management - Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, Douglas McGregor, John Adair, Frederick Herzberg, Charles Handy - provide a link to more in-depth business studies. In this regard, the more wacky students might look in vain for examples of 'out-of-the-box' thinking; but it seems to me that a course of this type, at this level, should be based on conventional management theory. And we all know what the application of extreme innovation has done to our banking system.
The course book comes with two audio CDs. The tracks mostly contain simulated lectures related to the theme of each unit; speakers are variously British, American, Antipodean. At first hearing they sound a little slow and contrived; but if the trainer follows the advice in the Teacher's Book to play the passages only once, as in a real lecture, for practice in detailed note-taking, I think they are about right for this level.
If I were an employer proposing to take on a young person who had successfully completed this course, I think I would feel that a satisfactory initial grounding in business English had been achieved.
I would like to thank Richard Edwards and Pauline Eden for their help in compiling this review.
Of the many business English ESL course books available, only a handful are high-level. Garnet Education has filled the gap by introducing a series of three business course books for upper intermediate-level international students entering undergraduate university business or management programs. The three are English for Business Studies, Banking and Tourism and Hospitality.
The content of English for Business Studies combines business subjects with academic skills for students who have completed a general English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course and have at least an IELTS 5 (iBT TOEFL 61). The academic content, however, is still relevant for business professionals who need to practice writing, summarizing, and notetaking skills. The text is thus adaptable to almost any high-level business English class.
Many of the good business English course books are British, with British idioms and vocabulary and British pronunciation in the listening resources. Although the authors of Business Studies and the series are not North American, the content focuses on academic and business Englsih that is useful anywhere. The authors and publisher have also succeeded in producing CDs that reflect a variety of English accents including North American. Conveniently, the CDs are included with the text.
To interest students and teachers, the text has been designed so that chapters are not carbon copies of each other. Odd-numbered chapters focus on listening and speaking skills, whereas even-numbered ones focus on reading and writing. Each chapter is eight pages. Activities in each chapter follow a similar sequence of vocabulary terms and phrases; reading or listening practice; and extending skills with more vocabulary, writing, or pronunciation practice. Each chapter concludes with a useful vocabulary bank and skills bank; both are thoughtfully prepared and useful for first-year academic students. Individual practice exercises and the content of the skills banks vary from chapter to chapter, bringing spice to the pattern.
Other features include colors in varying shades of blue balanced with a judicious amount of white space: not so much that it cheats you of your dollar, but not so little that it cramps readability. Complete transcripts at the end of the book are readable in a full-size typeface, so teachers are spared the nuisance of enlarging and then cutting and pasting transcripts of individual listening tasks.
Each of the 12 chapters focuses on a theme: general business, organization, productivity, technology, people and markets, products and strategies, production, efficiency, finances, funding, external influences, and change. The source of much of the content is a fictional Hadford University. The authors thus were free to create material that would not become quickly outdated, a common problem with copyrighted material. Also, rather than design language practice and vocabulary around material with copyright permission, the authors were able to create language objectives first and then develop practice exercises and text together. The result is a wealth of useful language.
The Teacher's Book is a complete guide to teaching with the text and well worth purchasing. It lists all the key vocabulary from the chapter and includes objectives and skills/vocabulary foci and detailed lesson plans. An activity bank has excellent supplemental resources. Use the Teacher's Book in lesson planning, add your own creativity and imagination, and the result will be an excellent lesson.
This is a well-planned, well-organized text with will-written content sure to interst both students and teahers. Academic business ESL teachers will find the book particularly useful, but so will any business English teacher of high intermediate-level students. The Teacher's Book is full of useful ideas including answers, extra resources, teaching suggestions, and strategies: it is sure to please both experienced and novice teachers.- Ellen Pilon for TESL Canada Journal, Vol. 26, No 2, Spring 2009
Contains full colour photos, tables and illustrations
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