ADVANCED BUSINESS ENGLISH
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Upon passing the exam, students
1) Knowledge and understanding
- possess extensive knowledge of the English language, having reached a level equal to B1+/B2 according to the CEFR;
- can remember a wide range of terms belonging to the discourse of economics, management and business;
- can understand not only the gist but also the lexico-grammatical and syntactic features of a variety of written and spoken texts in English, including technical discussions in their field of specialisation.
2) Applying knowledge and understanding
- can apply their knowledge of English when communicating in many professional contexts, by deploying a range of complex lexico-grammatical patterns;
- 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.
4) Communication skills
- can communicate effectively and correctly in English and convey both general and specific information pertaining to their area of study;
- can express viewpoints, provide clear descriptions and develop arguments cohesively and coherently.
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.
Students are expected to have reached at least a B1 level of English according to the CEFR (self-assessment).
Course contents summary
The course aims at consolidating students’ receptive skills (reading and listening) in the domains of economics, management and business. The teaching activities are organised following the B2 level in English according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and they integrate a detailed investigation of the vocabulary belonging to the students’ disciplinary field with a thorough revision of morpho-syntactic structures of English.
As regards vocabulary, particular attention is devoted to compound nouns, collocations and idiomatic expressions which are common in economics, management and business. The lexis is elicited from the written and spoken texts analysed in class and for homework, and it deals with topics such as
- cultural differences in the workplace
- employment and career
- change and innovation
The grammar areas revised encompass
- present and past tenses
- future forms
- adjectives and adverbs
- countable and uncountable nouns
- relative clauses
- -ing forms and infinitives
- passive voice.
The 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.
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 in one written test. The exam paper includes 60 closed questions, it is the same for all students, and it is to be completed in 90 minutes. No dictionaries are allowed.
The exam paper includes the following components:
A. Reading comprehension
1) Matching sentences with short texts or with paragraphs of a long text (4 points)
2) Sentence level gap-filling (5 points)
3) Multiple-choice questions and completing sentence stems (6 points)
B. Listening comprehension
1) Gap-filling (7 points)
2) Multiple-choice questions (8 points)
C. Grammar: multiple-choice questions (15 points)
1) Matching words/phrases with their definitions (7 points)
2) Gap-filling (8 points)
To pass the exam, students need to obtain a total score of at least 36/60, and the final grade ranges between 0 and 30. The “lode” is awarded if the highest score is reached in every exercise.
The final grade is published in esse3 within 8 days of taking the exam.
All the items in the final test refer to the grammar areas, the lexis and the text typologies covered during the semester, with a view to properly assessing the extent to which students have reached the learning objectives described above.
At the beginning of the course, attenders will take a diagnostic test to determine whether they meet the minimum requirements in terms of grammar and vocabulary knowledge. The test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and lasts 45 minutes. A book to revise basic grammar and vocabulary will be suggested to those students who fail the test.