Integrating Blogs in Teaching Business English


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Integrating Blogs in Teaching Business English

  1. 1. Interactive Webtools to Integrate Case Studies in Teaching Business English Dr. Munca Daniela ASEM, Department of Modern Languages November 2009
  2. 2. Topic: Customer Satisfaction Textbook Approach - Matching exercises - Reading comprehension - Grammar: modals in the past - Homework: essay “How can companies satisfy their loyal clientele?”
  3. 3. • How practical was the information? • What real-life skills did my students develop? • Were they motivated to further explore the topic of discussion? • Was there a discussion?
  4. 4. Top Brandz 100 • Compare the 2008 and the 2009 lists • Which brands went up? • Which brands went down? • Why?
  5. 5. My approach • Theoretical + practical information • Team work • Problem solving • Real-life situation • Meaningful learning • Challenging homework: Create the 2009 Moldovan brands list
  6. 6. Step 1: Motivating to learn
  7. 7. Speaking of motivation … • When the Harvard Business School was started, the faculty quickly realized that there were no textbooks suitable to a graduate program in business. • Their first solution to this problem was to interview leading practitioners of business and to write detailed accounts of what these managers were doing.
  8. 8. Teaching in Moldovan universities: too theoretical? What ASEM students have to say: “ In my opinion, ASEM professors should use more practical information rather than just theory. For example, it would be very interesting for students to see real graphs, of specific companies, organizations etc., similar to those we do for a theoretical problem at the lesson maybe some videos, projects presented to the students by professors would really get their attention and interest to their object” (FB, freshman )
  9. 9. Step 2: Engage
  10. 10. ? • How many of your students spend an average of 3-5 hours a day online? • Haw many of them have a Odnoklasniki / Facebook account? • How many of them would rather search the Web rather than go to ASEM library to find information?
  11. 11. My FB students … • Spend no less than 3 hours per day online • 100% have an Odnoklasniki account • 98% have a Facebook account • 99% use the Internet when preparing for class (term papers, essays, presentations, grammar, new vocabulary, etc) • %50 use the ASEM library
  12. 12. How? • Business English ASEM Blog
  13. 13. Online tools to Connect the Classroom the Outside World • YouTube • Slideshare • Fortune • CNN Money • BBC Financial
  14. 14. PennState University: Using cases in teaching • Real-Word Scenario - Cases are generally based on real world situations, although some facts may be changed to simplify the scenario or "protect the innocent." • Supporting Data and Documents - Effective cases assignments typically provide real world artifacts for students to analyze. These can be simple data tables, links to real U R L 's, quoted statements or testimony, supporting documents, images, video, audio, or any appropriate material. • Open-Ended Problem - Most case assignments require students to answer an open-ended question or develop a solution to an open- ended problem with multiple potential solutions. Requirements can range from a one-paragraph answer to a fully developed group action plan, proposal or decision.
  15. 15. The Benefits of Active Learning The basic purpose of instituting the case method as a teaching strategy was "to transfer much of the responsibility for learning from the teacher on to the student, whose role, as a result, shifts away from passive absorption toward active construction" (Boehrer 1990).
  16. 16. Students as Co-Administrators of the Blog • Give your students administrative rights • They will be able to publish their own content on the blog • They will be encouraged to take responsibility for the content they study and extend their research outside the classroom
  17. 17. Case Studies – Pedagogical Tools • Educational research has shown case studies to be useful pedagogical tools. • Grant (1997): an interactive learning strategy, shifting the emphasis from teacher-centred to more student- centred activities.
  18. 18. Raju and Sanker (1999): • to expose students to real-world issues with which they may be faced; • allow the application of theoretical concepts to be demonstrated, thus bridging the gap between theory and practice, • provide an opportunity for the development of key skills such as communication, group working and problem solving, • increase the students’ enjoyment of the topic and hence their desire to learn.
  19. 19. Integrating Blogging in Teaching Business English • Connect various online resources in one, collaborative space • Provide students with authentic English (written/made for native speakers) • Encourage students to exchange comments, questions, ideas using the “comment” feature and thus developing their writing skills / critical thinking skills, etc
  20. 20. Blogging Platforms for Classroom Use • Blogger (by Google) • WordPress • TypePad
  21. 21. HOW TO CHOOSE A CASE STUDY? Related to the material covered in class / required by the curriculum / textbook related • Success stories (Sony, Apple) • Best companies of the year (Google) • Most influential business people (Steve Jobbs, Henry Hord, Soichiro Honda)
  22. 22. Requesting students to develop case studies based on personal interests Sample Task - A company you would work for (local or international) Mobias Bank, Moldova Agroindbank - An entrepreneur you consider your role model in business - A business success story which really impressed you
  23. 23. Sample Task: Google • Watch the YouTube video on Google. • What makes Google Fortune’s Best Company to work for? • Present their major HR strategies;
  24. 24. Sample Task • Moldova according to Forbes • Best Countries for Business • 2008 versus 2009 • From the 90th to the 95th place • Why?
  25. 25. Developing a case study to replace more traditional teaching on the same topic Read a text about IBM / Apple, paraphrase or summarize the text, vocabulary fill-in exercises Compare Apple and IBM: illicit similarities and differences, find new vocabulary, draw a graph or a chart which would summarize your findings (Venn Diagram) Read a text on the skills a good manager should have and complete several post-reading vocabulary activities. Read about various structure patterns a company can adopt. Explain each structure. Read Forbes “Most powerful Business people of all times” and create a list of top strategies these used to succeed in their own field in form of a graph or list. Team 1: Watch the video about “Sony” and draw the diagram which would represent the company’s structure. Team 2 Do the same thing for “Mars” – compare and contrast your graphs.
  26. 26. Step 3: Collaborate
  27. 27. Blogging – students’ collaboration • students can learn from one another "by engaging with each other and with each other's ideas, by asserting something and then having it questioned, challenged and thrown back at them so that they can reflect on what they hear, and then refine what they say" (Boehrer 1990)
  28. 28. USE OF CASE STUDIES TO DEVELOP KEY SKILLS: Blogging Group/Pair work: • Ask students to work in teams or in pairs and prepare a detailed case study of their favorite bank / entrepreneur / business: Power Point • Download the presentations on Slideshare and post them on the blog • Have your students comment on each others’ presentations on the blog • Vote for the best presentations (most detailed, most creative, best documented, etc.)
  29. 29. Presentation skills Most of our case studies require students to present their work in a variety of formats, thus developing various linguistic skills (speaking, writing, listening, grammar): - oral presentations, - articles - posters - reports - essays
  30. 30. Sample task • Watch the two videos on creative ways to advertise a resume • Make a list of strategies used • Which company has the best advertising ideas / strategies • Post a 250-300 words reply on the blog
  31. 31. Sample task: a) ask two students to research one the same topic using various resources b) have them work in teams and compare the data they had collected c) put together ONE report which would summarize the most important information d) Present the report to the rest of the class in pairs
  32. 32. Practical skills Some of our case studies involve practical work: - Drawing graphs - Calculating - Collecting and interpreting data - Contrast / compare
  33. 33. Sample task Compare Forbes’ Best Companies to Work for Lists in 2008 and 2009; Which companies went up and which ones went down? Explain why.
  34. 34. Last Step : Enjoy your Teaching Experience!!!
  35. 35. My latest Blog project … • Create a Video Resume • Post it on the Blog • Watch all the other resumes • If you opened your own business which of your fellow students would you hire and why?
  36. 36. Contact information Daniela Munca • American Councils for International Education