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TEFLnow Course in Teaching Business English

Unit i 3

BE 003

Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment


Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Synopsis In this unit we will cover a developmental process of course design by considering various stages of contact with our clients. From first meetings, level testing and a needs analysis (to find out what our students need or want to be taught), we will look at the types of syllabus we can use and how to 'create' one. Once the program is underway how do we evaluate it, and when?

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

First meetings One of our first considerations when meeting our students for the first time will be to make an assessment of what they know and what they need to know. You will find suggestions in many reference books for initial level testing of students followed at a later date by a needs analysis. However it makes more sense, particularly if you are working 'In company' with a large (50+) number of students to carry out both of these at the same time. If you test for level first and put your students into groups, then in the first lesson do a needs analysis with your group, you may find that 20 students need one thing and only two need another, whereas in the second group the situation is reversed. Therefore it is more efficient to undertake the needs analysis after the level test but before you group the students, so that you can make up your groups on the basis of what they need and their level.

What level test should we use?

What we are trying to ascertain here is their level of English proficiency, rather than any specific business knowledge. Therefore any General English level test will suffice, providing it is graded, i.e. gets progressively harder.

What levels do these tests show?

Again there are many different level descriptors used by different testing systems, we will adopt a five level scale as follows: Q Q Q Q Q

Elementary Pre-Intermediate Intermediate Lower Advanced Advanced

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Extract from a sample level test: Complete the sentences with the word/s you think fits best into the space, from the words given: 1. Too __________ coffee isn't good for your heart. many much some a lot amount. 2. Turn __________ the fan please, I'm hot. in on off down out. 3. I'm __________ the new boss next week. meet met meted meeting meat. 4. Singapore is the __________ countr y I've visited. cleanest clean cleaner most clean cleaniest 5. I didn't learn much English __________ I was at school. since for when during after 6. You __________ eat food in the library, as it's against the rules. should can must mustn't could 7. __________ I look old, I'm only forty-three. despite even so although when 8. The photocopier has been broken __________ Friday. on last since for in 9. The chairman said the profits had __________ . rose risen rosed rised rise 10. If I could be anyone I __________ be Tiger Woods. may might should would can

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Unit i 3 Co C ourrs se dev evelopme ment

Levels indicated from test (Typical descriptors) The following is an example of how interpreted, but you should bear in mind that the test on the previous w the results might be int page is only a part of a longer test, est, so the numbers given giv below belo are only an approximate indication of the students' level.

Elementary (1 or 2 correct): Has a basic command of the language required for a range of familiar situations.

Pre-Intermediate (3 to 5 correct): Has an effective but limited command of the language in a range of familiar situations.

Intermediate (6 to 8 correct): Has a generally effective command of the language in a range of situations and can take part in discussions.

Lower Advanced (9 correct): Has a good operational command of the language in a wide range of real world situations and can participate effectively in discussions and meetings.

Advanced (10 correct): Has a full operational command of the language at a high level in most situations;Íž can present an argument and use suasion.

Note: This scale is based on the European 5 level scale established by ALTE

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Needs analysis Having gained an understanding of the students' level from the level test, the next step is to present a needs analysis. The needs analysis is to give you an idea of the students' previous learning experiences, what they use English for in their job and what they feel would be the most beneficial areas for them to study. It will also help you to develop your syllabus. The needs analysis itself can take the form of a simple questionnaire, either written or computer-based (See example next page). For lower level students who wouldn't be able to complete the questionnaire, you can have it translated into their first language by the Human resources department or training manager. Using both the results of the level tests and the needs analysis, you are now in a position to arrange your groupings. Again this usually needs to be done in coordination with the Human resources/Personnel department, as the company may have their own requirements as to who and when people will be available. Your first lesson with each of your groups should have some time devoted to a needs negotiation. This would take the form of a class discussion and should focus on the areas that the students feel would be most useful to them as a group. By this stage you should have already worked out a preliminary syllabus and you can direct the discussion to show how their needs are being addressed. If your group is at a very basic level this stage of the process is best left out. There will always be some areas that one or two students need that the others do not. You can explain that any individual such needs will be addressed through homework and/or assignments, should the language point be outside of anything useful to the whole group.

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Sample Needs analysis questionnaire

Please complete the following questions uestions in English.

Section 1 Name _________________________________________ Job title _______________________________________ Department ____________________________________ Number of years with the company _________________

Section 2 Please number the following skills: 1 = least used in my job to 4 = most used in my job Speaking ( ___ ) Writing ( ___ ) Reading ( ___ ) Listening ( ___ )

Section 3 Speaking Please use words like never, sometimes, often, every day, to say how often you have to speak in the following situations. On the telephone …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… In your workplace ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… At meetings ……………………………………………………………………………….………………………………………………………… With customers …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Presentations ……………………………………………………………………………………..………………………………………………

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment Section 4 Writing of Please use words like, never,, sometimes, often, every day, to say how often you have to write in the following situations: Letters ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Faxes ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..………………………… Reports ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. E-mails ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………. Agendas for meetings ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Minutes of meetings …………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………... Notices …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Company website ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Presentations (in-company) ……………………………………………………………………………………..……………….. Presentations (To customers) …………………………………………………….………………………………………………

Section 5 Reading What English language newspapers, journals or magazines do you read, and why? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment Section 6 English language learning uestions yes or no, for your English language learning. Please answer the questions I learnt English at school. Y / N (for __________ years) I have had English lessons since school. Y / N (for __________ years)

Section 7 Needs Please give a score for your need to learn each of the skills below. 1= least important for me to 4 = most important for me. Speaking ( ___ ), Writing ( ___ ), Reading ( ____ ), Listening ( ___ )

(You may also wish to include some form of listening activity to assess their needs in this area, but this will probably need to be done as a separate activity.)

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Syllabus design You may wish to read through some of the extensive literature available for designing a language syllabus. The first thing you will find is that there are many different 'theories' as to what a syllabus should be designed around. You will see such terms as: Q

Q

Q

Q

The structural syllabus (based on sequencing by grammar complexity) The functional/notional syllabus (based around communicative purpose) The learner led syllabus (students have input to the design) The situational syllabus (based on situational needs rather than grammar)

These may be broken down further still, to: Q Q

Q

The student syllabus (what the students will see) The material syllabus (the materials required at each stage of the syllabus) The Organizational syllabus (how groups ,resources will be organized)

You will find a lot of material which relates the syllabus design to particular learning theories. See for example: Approaches to Foreign Language Syllabus Design (http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-928/design.htm) Syllabus Design (http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=xp7h2xT907kC&dq=syllabus+design&printsec=frontcover&sour ce=web&ots=qdF1l3FRsK&sig=x2OGifl-tm7mXKZ9xLOXYzuxd4&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#PPR5,M1) Having ploughed your way through this material you may ask yourself if there is an easier way of going about this process. There probably is. When they have completed a needs analysis, which tells you what the students need to know and how this language needs to be used, all you really need to do is to string these concepts together. They need to form a logical sequence using whatever materials you have available for your teaching. It doesn't really need to be complicated any further than this!

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

So let us run through ough a 'Mini design" process pr so that all the parts of the syllabus design can be seen in context. Firstly, this group was from the level test at Pre-Intermediate. as arranged fr Secondly, what did the needs analysis show? There are 4 main areas of need, which we will refer to as units: Q Q Q Q

Writing a job description Presenting information to clients Describing a new product Describing the company to clients

Our course is for 10 hours split into ten one hour blocks. Start by removing all the time that will not be spent on teaching and practice. This will probably include the first lesson which is going to be a needs negotiation, followed by explaining the syllabus you have designed. You will also need at least one occasion for student assessment, say at the end. This is a further one hour. It makes sense to leave some flexibility in your program for things that will come up over the duration of the course, say one further hour. We now have seven hours left to deliver our curriculum. As there are four topics we can dedicate two lessons to three topics and one lesson to a fourth. If we now consider the actual items of language, grammar and vocabulary, that each topic needs to cover then we can come up with a syllabus order.

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

The language requirements could include: (i) Writing a job description Vocabulary will be specific to the job Grammar may include: Present simple, Adverbs of frequency, Present continuous (ii) Presenting information to clients (Describing trends) Vocabulary will include nouns such as: rise, increase, fall, drop, cut, reduction, etc Grammar may include: transitive verbs: raise, expand, decrease;; and intransitive verbs: rise, expand, fall, decline, etc (iii) Describing a new product Vocabulary may include: adjectives such as, shape, size, colour, etc Grammar may include use of comparative and superlative adjectives, adjective order, etc. (iv) Describing the company session)

Vocabulary and grammar will be similar to that already covered (we will use one hour for this

Our syllabus should tell those interested: Q Q Q Q Q

What the unit is called What skills it covers What grammar/vocabulary is involved What tasks or functions this language has What resources will be used – textbooks, activities, etc.

So we will cover the four units above in this order: (i), (iii), (ii), (iv) We can now go about presenting our syllabus.

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Syllabus of the group Monday to Friday 10.30 - 11.30 am Lesson

Room 6a Content

Resources

1

Introducing/getting to know you Course introduction and explanation

Ice breaker games and activities

2

Jobs vocabulary and articles

Coursebook pp 8 - 12

3

Writing a job description

Coursebook pp 14

4

Adjectives, shapes and colors

Coursebook pp 22 - 26

5

Comparative and superlative adjectives

Coursebook pp 28 - 32

6

Nouns for trends and change

Coursebook pp 33 - 36

7

Transitive and intransitive verbs

Coursebook pp 78 - 81

8

Flexible

As needed

9

Company description summative activity

Proformas

Progress test

BE2, PT 001

10

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Unit i 3

Co C ours rse dev evelopme ment End of course assessment of students

It is most important, for both yourself and your students, that some regular form of testing or assessment of learning takes place. This will allow you to measure the efficacy of your program and allow your students to monitor their progress. It will also provide you with information to guide any modifications or improvements to your course. What type of tests should you give, and how often? Let's start by looking at the type of tests available and what they are designed to tell us. Types of test include: Q Q Q Q Q Q

Diagnostic Placement Aptitude Achievement Proficiency Progress

Diagnostic tests are designed to assess the students' knowledge and skills in specific areas that have accrued due to past learning experiences. These tests would take place before your course begins. Placement tests are designed to enable you to group students by their current ability in a range of areas rather than anything specific. These tests often take the form of multiple choice style questions to make the marking quicker. Aptitude tests are designed to predict students' probable future performance on a course. They try to assess if the student will be able to use the language. Achievement tests are designed to assess the students learning of a body of known work, e.g. a syllabus. They are usually constructed to give maximum discrimination between the students so that individual progress can be monitored.

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Proficiency tests ests are designed to assess the students' current kno knowledge and reference this forward to xample, ple, will this student be able to t study Medicine in the medium of the English some future task. For example, language at a UK University? sity? Progress tests are designed to assess students' progress in learning specific areas taught in the class. They tend to be less formal than external achievement tests and are often 'created' by the teacher themselves. They can inform the teacher of the efficiency of their program and motivate students by their 'knowing what they don't know'. In terms of our 10-hour course and syllabus, an end of course progress test would be suitable. For a much longer course we may have had a mid-course progress test and end with an achievement test. Most book series offer progress tests in their texts, or you can adapt tests set for external examinations by cut and paste for relevant questions. You will also find many tests available on various websites on the internet (See webliography) Whatever method you use to generate these progress tests you should always try to ensure the following: Q Q Q

That the tests are marked very shortly after they are given. That they are annotated and returned to the students as soon as is practicable. That some form of remedial teaching takes place to cover common areas of weakness indicated in the test results.

How often you should carry out progress tests? Certainly a minimum of once in any course, probably at the end if it is a short duration course (10 hours), or as soon as a reasonable 'chunk' of the syllabus has been covered in longer courses.

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Examinations It is not unusual to have to prepare students for specific examinations in Business English. Students of English in any sphere are always keen to put themselves in for examinations to give them a more formal qualification, which may be useful for their own professional development. The first important fact your clients need to be aware of is that these examinations are written and produced with Native English speakers in mind. Unless their language is at lower Advanced or above (see page 4 level descriptors), they would struggle to cope with the style and format of the questioning. Not all the business examinations focus on writing only (see below) and your students may have more operational English usage in the spoken skill as opposed to reading and writing. If you have to help students out with exam preparation you will usually have an official syllabus to work from. Here are some of the business examinations available: Q

Q Q

Cambridge Certificate in English for International Business and Trade (CEIBT) Spoken English for Industry and Commerce London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations(LCCI)

Some of these examinations are only available at certain times of the year. You can check on their websites when and where they are held.

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Course evaluation On completion of any course it is advisable to do some form of evaluation. This is useful for a number of reasons: Q

Q

Q

It will help you to evaluate your material and suggest improvements that you can make to it. It gives your students an opportunity to feedback on your course and evaluate its efficiency against your initial stated aims. It can be quite difficult for teachers to ask their students to give feedback on their teaching, but you will find that the information they give you, both good and bad, will be the most valuable feedback that you can get. Students are rarely critical in a malicious sense when given the opportunity to feed back in this way and their comments are usually insightful and helpful. Finally it provides you with useful information that can form the basis of a report that you can give to your employer, which they are quite entitled to expect from you. Rather than giving your own personal general impressions you can show the actual feedback comments from the students.

Student evaluation: an efficent way to gather this information is through the use of an end-of-course questionnaire. On it you should remind students of the initial aims of the course and ask them to rate various aspects of the course on a 1(poor) to 5 (excellent) scale. It is also useful to know why they have given the particular grades, so after each question leave five or so blank lines for them to add additional comments. Try to ask questions on the whole range of the course, including the syllabus, materials and teaching style. Ask the students to offer suggestions for improvement both in terms of what you do now and what you could add in the future to make the course more rounded, balanced and useful to them. Your evaluation of the students: you may well be required to do this by your employer and you should be able to supply evidence of, attendance, progress grades, achievement grades and so on.

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Task sheet Unit 3 Check your knowledge before attempting the unit test.

Note: not all the information needed for the answers can be found in the unit, so you may need to research from other sources. Go to www.alte.org and http://www.alte.org/attachments/files/alte_cando.pdf, then answer the following questions:

1. What does ALTE stand for? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………

2. What are the four skills we wish our students to use? Productive: (i) ………………………..………………… and (ii) ……………………………..…………… Receptive: (iii) ………………………..………………… and (iv) ……………………………..……………

3. Give two examples for each of the skills above, at A2 (ALTE Level One), which would be suitable for study in a business context: (i) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………… (ii) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………… (iii) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………… (iv) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

4. Using the lesson plan below, devise a lesson plan based around any one of the four skills above, at A2 (ALTE Level One). ……………………………………........................................................................................................................ ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………

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Unit i 3 Co C ourrs se dev evelopme ment

Lesson Plan   Teacher:

Time:  

Date:

Class level:

Room:

Expected number of students:  

Context: Teaching aids: Learner objectives: For the students to be able to

Personal aims:

Anticipated problems for students:

Anticipated problems for teacher:

Solutions:

Solutions:

Procedure  

Phase

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Timing

Interaction

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

Procedure (continued)

Phase

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Timing

Interaction

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Unit i 3 Cours Co rse dev evelopme ment

5. Describe the main differences erences between a structural and situational syllabus: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… 6. In terms of testing and examinations what is the difference between norm referencing and criteria referencing? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………���………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………

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Be unit 3