2014 Summer Symposium

13th-. 14th June 2014

Putting the research to work: research, practical applications and materials in business English teaching

Graz, Austria


Copyright: Graz Tourismus

This event took place on 13th and 14 June 2014

You can download slides and handouts from speakers at this event below: 

Yulia Avsiukevich - Application of experiential interactive learning to teaching lifestyle communicative behavioural patterns

Evan Frendo - "And why not?" Exploiting the Enron email corpus in the business English classroom (slides)

Anne Hodgson - Dive off the page and into the workplace: personalising an advanced level course book (slides)

Olena Koral - Let's help our students be competitive (slides)

Simona Petrescu - TIP: How to design a course syllabus systematically (slides)

Marjorie Rosenberg - How to write business English activites (slides)

Helen Strong - "I thought her presentation was good." Techniques for developing higher level, constructive peer feedback in presentations training (slides)

Rob Szabó - Systemic Functional Linguistics and Business English writing lessons (slides)

Paul Walsh - Decentralised teaching (slides) and handout

Erica Williams - Those Mad Men... and Women: Business English for marketing communications (handout)

Our plenary speaker, Evan Frendo, will be speaking on:

Exploring Business English

Research in corpora linguistics, genre analysis and English as a Lingua Franca is providing fresh insights into how we approach the teaching of business English. In this talk I will start by analysing different examples of authentic spoken business discourse, such as excerpts from telephone calls, meetings, small talk and negotiations, in the light of this research. What does it tell us about business discourse and the way we look at key issues such as miscommunication, specificity, communities and so on. After drawing up a set of characteristics of business discourse, we will look at how the ELT industry influences what we do in the business English class. For example, we will examine course books and the pressure publishers are under to produce books that appeal to large groups of both pre-experienced and in-work learners in as many markets as possible, with the result that many books are simply not designed to help teachers deal with the needs of individual learners in specific contexts. We will also look at testing, and discuss how practical limitations due to issues of cost, validity and reliability, as well as the difficulty of separating content knowledge from language knowledge, mean that we are not necessarily testing what we need to test. I will finish off by discussing key concerns that we as a profession might like to consider, specifically the need to understand more about the language we are teaching, the very different priorities of teaching ELF communication and traditional ELT, and the benefits of moving outside the classroom into informal learning contexts.





Evan Frendo, BSc (Mech Eng), LCCI Dip TEB, MSc TESP 

Evan Frendo is a freelance trainer, teacher trainer and author based in Berlin. He has been active in business English and ESP since 1993, mostly in the corporate sector. A frequent speaker at conferences, he also travels regularly in Europe and Asia to run courses or to work as a consultant, and has trained hundreds of business English teachers over the years. One of his current destinations is Chaozhou in China, where he a Visiting Professor at Hanshan Normal University. Evan has also published nearly twenty course books in the fields of business English and ESP, including methodology books for trainers such as "How to teach Business English" (Longman, 2005), as well as a number of books aimed at specific industries, ranging from "English for the Oil Industry I & II" and "English for Construction I & II" (Pearson 2011- 2012) to the recently revised "English for Accounting" (Cornelsen 2013). He also instructed on the ESP module of the New School´s MA TESOL programme in New York. Visit his blog "English for the Workplace" to find out more.


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