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Friday, June 11, 2010

My reflection on Business Result (OUP)

Business Result Intermediate. ( OUP)

I've been teaching Business English for three years and can say without a doubt this course book is the most successfull one as well as its design. What makes it so good? Firstly, it's up-to-date since it covers topics relevant to modern business. By comparison, "In company" (Macmillan)contains too much outdated stuff about the Internet, which made students and me feel quite bored sometimes.

Secondly, Business result teaches a lot of natural functional phrases, sets them under categories and what's more, drills them.

Thirdly, it offers an interractive workbook on CD-rom instead of a conventional paper Workbook and also, it has unit-by-unit online vocabulary support such as crosswords (the link is on CD-rom).

On top of that teachers can get some backing on They offer vocabulary flashcards for every unit in the book, which is really helpful for drilling functional phrases and a few BEC Preeliminary resources. You just need to register on this site.

Anything has its merits and demerits, actually. What might be improved in Business Result is Teacher's notes for Case study page or even Case study tasks themselves.

To be honest, the Teacher's book for Business Result seems useless to me, since it gives instructions like " Do excercise 1, do excersise 2 and no extra comments or instructions, it doesn't set aims for a particular activity, unfortunately.

Back to case study page. Every unit case study is supported by a real expert view from a real Management College professor. As far as I'm concerned, it's just a matter of PR.

And in fact you don't know what to do with this piece of text. Just ask students to read it? I mean there's no special task either in the course book or in TB.

Eventually I developed a few strategies to cope with this obstacle.

To begin with, I ask students to read the text and say whether they agree or disagreee with it.
My second question: "Is it relevant to our Russian reality?" If not, why?

Sometimes I ask some students just to read the text and the rest are supposed to read and make up questions to ask their counterparts. Or I ask questions on my own if I want to save time.

How I work with the background article in Case Study. I ask the students to read it and close the book. (BTW, this idea is from TB but it wasn't aimed at Case study article)

While they are reading I'm writing numbers and key words from the article and ask the students to explain my board notes afterwards. (It's fair to say there're a couple of questions to the article in the course book, but the answers seem to be so obvious...). Or if the article has 2 logical passages, I divide students into 2 groups and use a jigsaw reading technique.

What's more about Business Result?

Progress tests from TB checks only Use of English and Speaking skills. To my way of thinking, it's not enough. So I decided to incorporate Practice tests on Reading, Listening and Writing into already existing tests. I used BEC Preliminary resources. My students liked the idea, but now finishing this course I must admit, this kind of testing might prove time-consuming.

All in all, I'm satisfied with this course as well as my students. Hope Business Result Upper-Intermediate is something of the kind.