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Business English & Business Writing

Course #:PDC 011-1
Lecturer:Patricia EbanksEmail: PEbanks@ucci.edu.ky
Start Time:Spring 2021Tel: (345) 623-8224
Course Name:BUSINESS ENGLISH & WRITING

Course Description 

The purpose of this course is to enable students to communicate effectively in professional business contexts.

Course Objectives: This course will cover— 

  • Mechanics—basic grammar and sentence structure, and basic business vocabulary.
  • Business Writing—standard letter formats, memos and summary/report, with attention to style, audience, and purpose.
  • Personal and professional presentations in a variety of business contexts—use of telephone, negotiating, teamwork, interviews etc.
  • Critical analysis skills—analyzing passages to gain an insight into misleading, manipulative communication, as opposed to more effective ways of conveying information. Identifying main points and supporting evidence.

Implementation

Lectures, discussions, in-class assignments, role playing, and group and individual assignments and presentations

Start Date: January 20, 2021

End Date: March 25, 2021

Duration: 8 weeks, at 4 hours each week, totally 32 teaching hours and 16 hours tutorial, totalling 48 hours

Instructional days: Tuesdays and Thursdays

Time: 2 hrs. on instructional days, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Suggested tutorial: Weekly group or individual tutorials by appointment as needed.

Course Grade

Students will be graded on the basis of mastery of content on a continuous-assessment basis, for a total of 70% of final grade. The remaining 30% of final grade will comprise a group project involving a written critique of an advertisement of students’ choice, at 10%. Students will make a related presentation on the final day of the course, for 20% of the final grade.

Text: Barron’s Business English, Fifth Edition.

Student course evaluation

Student course evaluation is performed in accordance with guidance issued by the University College.

MODULE 1: Commencing, January 20/Ending February 4

Course Content Outline

 

Week I
Jan. 20: Introduction
  • Course outline and approach
  • Students’ role and responsibilities

Achieving “buy in” with customers, peers, and supervisors

  • Brief intro to the physiology of processing information
  • The persuasion cycle
  • The core rules for persuasion

Basics of office protocol

Phone protocols and meeting procedures

  • use of phone/role play:
    • checking & clarifying information;
    • diffusing situations;
    • notetaking/follow through;
    • confidentiality
Use of English
  • Vocabulary building
  • Identifying subject and verbs
  • Subject-verb agreement
Week II
Jan. 26/28

Meeting procedures/role play

  • Preparing for meetings
  • Conducting and contributing to efficient meetings, and
  • Putting results to productive use

Practicum: Core Rule 1 for persuasion

Assignment: practise Core Rule 1 and report.

Handling a company’s correspondence

  • In-house correspondence
  • Composing business letters and email communication
  • Different types of business letters
    • “Request” and “Reply” letters
    • “Complaints, Claims, and Adjustment” letters
    • “Sales and Public Relations” & “Social and Business” letters

Assignment 1: Draft a standard business letter

Practicum: Core Rule 2 for persuasion

Assignment 2: Practise Core Rule 2 and report

Use of English
  • Vocabulary building
  • Verb forms
  • Choosing appropriate tenses
Week III
Feb. 2-4

Composing

Achieving authenticity in report writing

  • Plagiarism
  • Basics of summarising

Identifying essential ideas and lines of thought

Reports and news articles

  • Informal and formal reports
  • Numerical reports

Practicum: Core Rule 3 for persuasion

Assignment: Practise Core Rule 3 and report.

Practicum: Core Rule 4 for persuasion practicum

Assignment: Practise Core Rule 4 and report.

Use of English
  • Vocabulary building
  • Sentence completers

MODULE 2 Commencing February 16/Ending February 25

 

Week IV
Feb. 16/18

Comprehension

  • Identifying thesis, supporting evidence
  • Different types of “appeals”
  • Misleading arguments
  • Identifying literary devices
  • Audience awareness
Use of English
  • Vocabulary building
  • Identifying key ideas
  • Identifying and avoiding pitfalls:

Fallacies, ambiguity, verbosity, clichés, tautology, colloquialism

Week V
Feb. 23/25

Analysing and critiquing advertisements

Practicum: Core Rule 5 for persuasion

Assignment 1: Practise Core Rule 5 and report

Assignment 2: write a critique of an advertisement of your choice, due on Tuesday, March 9

Use of English
  • Vocabulary building
  • Introduction to clauses and phrases
  • The sentence vs.
  • fragments vs. run-ons
  • Identifying complete sentences
  • Pronouns/antecedent agreement

MODULE 3, commences March 9; course concludes March 25

 

Week VI
Tuesday, Mar. 9.

Employment Correspondence

Job interview

Objective writing in work context

Written Ad Critique due

Use of English
  • editing for subject-verb agreement/pronoun antecedent 
          agreement/sentence structure
  • Mechanics: punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, numbers
Thursday, Mar. 11

Social networking

  • speed networking;
  • small talk;
  • turn-taking;
  • business conventions

Feedback on Ad Critique

Practicum Core Rule 6

Assignment: Practise Core Rule 6 and report.

Use of English
  • Advanced sentence structure
  • Vocabulary building
  • Editing for grammar and mechanical errors
Week VII
Tuesday, Mar 16

Presentation skills

  • Organizing a presentation
    • Introducing a topic effectively
    • Presentation body
    • Presentation close
  • Responding to questions
  • Delivering your presentation

Practicum Core Rule 7

Assignment 1: Due final day: Presentation based on critique.

Assignment 2: Practise Core Rule 7 and report

Use of English
  • Vocabulary building
  • Editing for grammar and mechanical errors
Thursday, Mar 18

Review of presentation skills

Practicum Core Rule 8

Review of achieving “buy in” / Role playing

Use of English
  • Vocabulary building
  • Editing for grammar and mechanical errors
Week VIII
Tuesday, Mar. 23

Practice presentation and feedback

Use of English
  • Vocabulary building
  • Editing for grammar and mechanical errors
Thursday, Mar. 25

Final Session

Oral group presentations based on critique

Evaluation

Use of English
  • Vocabulary building
  • Editing for grammar and mechanical errors
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