An Overview of Business English Courses

Topics: English language, Teaching English as a foreign language, Second language Pages: 12 (4568 words) Published: March 9, 2014

An Overview of Business English Courses Development at the Faculty of Economics in Brčko: Past, Present and Future Tendencies
Bojan Međedović
University of East Sarajevo, Faculty of Economics Brčko, Studentska 11, 76 100 Brčko, BiH Sanja Skorupan
Jovana Letić

This paper presents a review of the practices in teaching Business English to students of Faculty of Economics in Brčko and Faculty of Business and Economics in Bijeljina (University of East Sarajevo). The teaching and learning experience is observed through the prism of ten years' work in the field of General and Business English and described from different points of view: from the position of a teaching assistant for courses English Language 1, and 2 and then from the professor’s perspective as well. First of all, the paper aims to provide an overview of teaching in terms of various study programs which, over the course of the last ten years, have undergone many significant transformations (transition from both General and Business English to strictly Business English courses, changes in Business English curriculums, changes resulting from the termination of English courses in third and fourth year of undergraduate studies and, finally, the transition from two four semester to two one semester courses). The paper will examine the results of different teaching approaches and methods applied, as well as the forms of written and oral evaluation of students’ knowledge whose variations occurred due to the changes of subject professors. In addition, the paper will devote an adequate attention to the most recent results of specific teaching methods and techniques applied in the field of Business English at the Faculty of Economics in Brčko, observed from the perspective of its students. The special emphasis will be placed on those students who spent some time studying in English-speaking countries as well as those who, after they were awarded the title of Professor of English Language and Literature, decided to continue their education in the field of economics. Key words: Business English, new technological aids, teaching methods, extracurricular activities

Since it was founded in 1976, the Faculty of Economics in Brčko, which now operates as an organizational unit of the University of East Sarajevo, has had the study of foreign languages integrated in its curriculum. Up to school year 1989/1990, when certain changes made courses English language 1 and 2 obligatory, it was possible to take one of the four electives: English, German, Russian or French. However, the importance of English language, epitomized by the fact that every continent except Antarctica has at least one English-speaking country (Antarctica has no countries and no permanent population so, naturally, there are no English-speaking countries there) combined with the situation where this language has undoubtedly taken a leading role in the field of business communications and international agreements, consequently led to the abandonment of this multilingual practice. Beside the fact that this language is indisputably the primary language of science, global trade and commerce, latest-version applications and programs, new freeware, shareware, peer-to-peer, social media networks and websites, several other reasons influenced this decision to a great extent. The first one was rationalization – it was very difficult for a small organization, such as the Faculty of Economics in Brčko, to find resources and organize classes for relatively small number of students who opted for non-English courses. The second reason reflected in requirements for knowledge of English which started to appear more and more often in job advertisements. Knowing English began to open employment opportunities in many countries and markets, since many companies were looking for dynamic and versatile individuals who were not only qualified and experienced but also able to communicate in...
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