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Projects, tasks and case studies Bridges to Business.

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1 Projects, tasks and case studies Bridges to Business

2 Overview Your university students’ needs Simple business project ideas to help students orientate themselves to work / company culture Engaging business tasks that help learners imagine workplace scenarios Varied case studies that build confidence to apply knowledge to the workplace

3 Do your students have substantial work experience? –If no do they see the relevance of studying business English? –If no do they find it difficult to envisage working scenarios? –If no do they feel confident that they can apply what they are learning in their future careers? What business skills and knowledge do your students most need to develop? What do they expect to gain from studying a business English course? Lead in

4 Business projects Project work is a task-based learning process It involves a sequence of tasks over a period of time Projects have a visible end product Projects are flexible Projects in the language classroom should involve linguistic input, processing and output Project Work step by step

5 Starting a project Invent a company Choose a job Design a business card Introduce yourself

6 Developing the project Review what’s been done Build up a more detailed company profile Exchange information

7 Developing your project Plan and create an advertisement for your company’s products / services Display and read ads. Give feedback

8 What are the advantages of project work? Allow students to express their individual strengths Accommodate varied learning styles Promote learner independence Enhance group dynamics and interpersonal skills They are motivating for the learners Create a need to use the target language Help build bridges from the language classroom to the real world Produce visible results Increase learners’ self-confidence

9 Tasks “A task is a classroom activity whose focus is on communicating meaning. The objective of the task may be to reach some consensus on an issue, to solve a problem, to draft a plan … In the performance of the task, learners are expected to make use of their own linguistic resources.” Scott Thornbury An A – Z of ELT

10 Business tasks Brainstorming Planning Explaining Presenting

11 Student roles: Team A

12 Student roles: Team B

13 Business tasks Analysis data Presentation Feedback

14 Student roles: Teams A - C

15 Other business tasks Planning an employee ice-breaking session Planning redecorating the office Drawing up teleconferencing guidelines Planning a meeting Writing a resume Simulated job interviews

16 Introducing case studies

17 Criteria for good case studies The incident has emotional power entails difficult choices entails fundamental/underlying value conflicts allows multiple interpretations and solutions presents issues that benefit from collegial discussions ( - National Teaching and Learning Forum)

18 Good EFL case studies are: accessible for learners manageable for teachers structured and staged delivered via a variety of media designed to provide practice in a range of language and communication skills

19 Type of case Skills practice StrengthsWeaknesses Dilemma and Decision Brainstorming, discussion Authenticity, interest Input-heavy, open- ended, unstructured Multiple choice Discussion Structured, controllable Less scope for involvement Simulation Meeting / Negotiation involvement, realism Potential lack of conflict of interest Problem-solvingDiscussion Clear success/failure outcome Logic more important than language? Role-play Meeting / Negotiation Conflict of interest built in Less realistic than simulation Creative Brief Brainstorming, discussion, Presentation Room for creativity and competition Timing & outcomes unpredictable In-tray Prioritizing, problem- solving Structured, controllable Less scope for involvement MazeDiscussionStaging Less scope for creativity, “cheating” Management Game Meeting / Negotiation Involvement Complex set-up

20 Example case study – Gap Years

21 The benefits of case studies Bridge gap between classroom and real world Bridge gap between classroom and real world Real-world issues foster authentic communication Real-world issues foster authentic communication Develop communication skills Develop communication skills Familiar tool for business people Familiar tool for business people Learner-centred = meaningful, motivating, memorable Learner-centred = meaningful, motivating, memorable Fun! Fun!

22 Let’s do a case study


24 When to use case studies as a free production activity to practice meeting/presentation/negotiation skills as a change, e.g. in intensive courses to get away from the coursebook as a test/teach/test sequence when you don’t know the group with mixed ability classes as a back-up as a reward

25 References: An A – Z of ELT Scot Thornbury Project Work: Step-by-Step (out of print)

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