The main objective of the Business English course is to develop the skills and strategies necessary to independently create written business documents. On completion of the course you will:
be able to produce various types of written business documents.
enhance your knowledge of business-related vocabulary.
be familiar with various aspects of writing, such as style (the way words are used and put together), tone (the overall impression or feeling created by words) and mechanics (grammar, spelling, layout and punctuation).
have a repertoire of writing strategies as well as criteria for deciding which strategies to use in a given situation.
be able to synthesize information from two or more texts on a related topic to create a written document.
Course requirements Classroom activities and participation (20%) Active participation based on participation in class, on Moodle discussions and submission of class tasks. 20% Homework Assignments (20%) Homework assignments and tasks on time via Moodle or directly to instructor. Late assignments will not be accepted. Showcase Portfolio (20%) Three writing assignments are selected, revised and submitted in a portfolio along with a guided reflection on the writing process. Mid-term Exam (15%) In-class exam with writing tasks Final Exam (25%) Two-hour exam with writing tasks (in a computer lab)
Two primary components in an EFL business English writing course: student tasks and feedback
provide multiple opportunities for students to practice composing skills in a genre-oriented approach employing scaffolded learning / instructional techniques
teaches students the necessary skills and raises awareness of what is expected as writers to produce a piece of writing with minimal errors and maximum clarity
Kroll 2001; Williams 2003
What is known about e-feedback in the context of developing writing skills?
Tuzi, F. (2004) found that e-feedback had a greater impact on revision and allowed students to submit and retrieve their work/feedback online, and for instructors to respond and retrieve work /feedback online.
Seliem & Abdelhamid (2009) suggest that e-feedback as a pedagogic practice is generally effective in creating a positive learning environment, fostering learner responsibility, facilitating peer and teacher collaboration. In addition, they found that e-feedback was well received and helpful to the learners.
This does not follow the format of a memo. Review the format - heading and the body of the memo. You have one paragraph with different ideas. Each idea should be a paragraph in itself with a topic sentence and supporting ideas. A memo is not signed. It is clear from the heading who sent it.
The subject is too long. It should be short and then expanded upon in the first paragraph. I do not really understand what you are trying to say here. The ideas are not organized nor expressed clearly.
Good letter but organize you ideas into paragraphs - not a list of sentences
The email follows the form and content of an email to some extent but there are many problems: 1. Write in paragraphs - not lists of sentences. 2. Organize ideas before you write. Paragraph – topic sentence with supporting ideas in sentences. 3. Check grammar and spelling. There are too many errors that make this very difficult to follow.
This does not follow the format of a business letter. The ideas in the letter are not organized. The second paragraph has several different ideas. Follow the steps for writing: pre-write, draft, revise and refine. There are also many errors in grammar which make your message incorrect or unclear.
Was the general feedback sufficient enough to promote learning?( n=41 )
10% thought feedback didn’t promote learning (1)
24% thought it slightly promoted learning (2)
39% thought it promoted learning (3)
27% thought it extremely promoted learning (4)
What our students had to say about the e- feedback
“ Your feedbacks helped me to focus on my main issues in writing, and they were great assistants for me.”
“ When I receive a feedback I can have some information regarding my situation and of course find mistakes and correct them. I feel that getting feedback is very important for studying.”
“ It helped me to improve my writing skills, my grammar, and my vocabulary. I learned how to punctuate correctly, and even how to write in a logic way.”
What our students had to say about the e- feedback
“ In general, I feel that the feedbacks was necessary for improving my writing skills and also to prepare for the test.”
“ The feedback supported the learning process, got me to focus on my weak points, and also reinforced my strong points.”
“ The best feedback I got was, when I was given clear remarks about where were my mistakes in writing. Furthermore, when I was given an explanation about why I had a mistake, it helped me to remember for the next time, not to repeat it again, Especially if it was marked.”
Miao, Badger & Zhen (2006) found that teacher feedback led to greater improvements in writing, but peer feedback was associated with greater degree of student autonomy, so there is a role for peer feedback.
Collaboration and peer feedback using web tools such as Google docs, wikis, blogs
Simulations using VoiceThread (e.g., presentations ) and peer feedback on them (may also upload documents and receive oral and/or written feedback from viewers)
Kroll, B. (2001). Considerations for teaching ESL/EFL writing course. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (3 rd ed.) (pp. 219-232).
Li, M. (2009). Adopting varied feedback modes in the EFL writing class. US-China Foreign Language, 7 (1), 60-63.
Miao, Y., Badger, R. & Zhen, Y. (2006). A comparative study of peer and teacher feedback in a Chinese EFL writing class. Journal of Second Language Writing, 15 , 179-200.
Seliem, S. & Abdelhamid, A. (March, 2009). Missing: Electronic feedback in Egyptian EFL essay writing classes. Paper presented at the Centre for Developing English Language Teaching (CDELT) Conference (Cairo).
Tuzi, F. (2004). The impact of e-feedback on the revisions of L2 writers in an academic writing course. Computers and Composition, 21(2 ), 217-235.
Williams, J.G. (2003). Providing feedback on ESL students' written assignments. The Internet TESL Journal, 9 (10). Retrieved from http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Williams-Feedback.html
Yang, Y. (2006). Feedback on college EFL students' compositions. US-China Foreign Language, 4 (11), 93-96.