Case Studies Abstract

Topics: Business school, Language, Case study Pages: 2 (575 words) Published: April 21, 2013
Case Studies Abstract
Alfredo Cano

Innovative methods in language teaching may sometimes be slightly difficult for less experienced teachers. Case studies are a relatively new type of task-based activities for business English students. They have been used in language courses for some time now. It seems, however, that their full teaching potential has not been used yet. Teachers seem to be uncertain of how to use cases in class.The paper presents the main pedagogical aspects of using case studies in business English courses. It gives a short description of the structure of typical mini-cases included in recently published course-books of business English. It discusses the basic principles and techniques of using the case study method in class. The main aim of the paper is to present the advantages of the case study method as a new tool of developing learners’ linguistic and non-linguistic competence. Cases offer valuable teaching material that needs to be fully exploited. Suggestions given in teacher’s books can be supplemented by various innovative tasks aimed at developing the productive skills of speaking and writing. Cases are motivating for business English learners since they give them the authority to decide what to do to solve a real-life business problem (learners are in the role of managers). Learners can present their point of view, discuss its advantages and suggest a course of action. They have a chance to compete and to demonstrate their analytical and managerial skills. Doing the cases learners use language naturally. In the case study method language is a tool to solving a problem, it is a means of communicating in typical business situations. If teachers learn how to use cases more extensively in the future, they will certainly make the teaching process more effective and studentcentered.

The effectiveness of language teaching depends, among others, on teaching materials. Students and teachers need materials that...
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