Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: English for Business I

Course unit code: 364550

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Andrea Ruiz Cirlot

Department: Department of Modern Languages, Modern Literature and English Studies

Credits: 6

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 150


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture with practical component





-  Practical exercises




Supervised project


Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study



CG5 - Ability to work in a team (capacity to collaborate with others and contribute to a common project, capacity to work in cross-disciplinary and multicultural teams).


CG8 - Capacity to communicate in English and/or other foreign languages orally and in writing, comprehension skills, and mastery of specialized language.


CB4 - Capacity to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

The aim of the course is to help students with an intermediate level of English (B2) develop their capacity to use language efficiently in an international business environment, where communication in English is essential.

The course will use a range of methods to ensure that students engage in and interact with the content in several business-related topics, including workshops, case studies, role playing, teamwork and interactive media.


The main objectives of the course are:

— Develop the student’s overall level of English for business purposes, including knowledge and use of the language (vocabulary, grammar and function) in a global business context, through the development of the four basic skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening).

— Understand, recognise and use appropriate language depending on the appropriate level of formality or register in different contexts (formal meetings, negotiations, phone conversations, small talk).

— Acquire more precise oral expression skills.

— Improve reading comprehension skills for business literature.

— Be able to read graphs and charts and diagrams.

— Be able to produce written messages in a business context, such as resumes, memos, faxes, letters, e-mails, minutes and promotional material, as well as appropriate language for business reports.



Teaching blocks


1. Unit 1. Communication

Discussion: What makes a good communicator?
Language: Idioms
Skills: Dealing with communication breakdown
Writing: E-mails

2. Unit 2. International marketing

*   Discussion: International brands
Language: Marketing word partnerships
Skills: Brainstorming
Writing: Minutes resolution

3. Unit 3. Building relationships

*   Discussion: Building relationships
Language: Multi-word verbs
Skills: Networking
Writing: Letters

4. Unit 4. Success

*   Discussion: What makes people/companies successful?
Language: Prefixes; Present and past tenses
Skills: Negotiating
Writing: Press release

5. Unit 5. Job satisfaction

*   Discussion: Motivational factors
Language: Synonyms and word-building; Passives
Skills: Cold calling
Writing: Guidelines

6. Unit 6. Risk

*   Discussion: Different aspects of risk
Language: Describing risk; Adverbs of degree
Skills: Reaching agreements
Writing: Report



Teaching methods and general organization


Face-to-face learning activities

Coursework comprises a series of units, each devoted to a topic related to the business world. The course content includes the language typically used in business situations, both formal and informal, with an emphasis on vocabulary, terminology and common expressions related to the topic under discussion. It also includes some practical work on general grammar used in business contexts, which helps students refresh/consolidate their knowledge of grammatical structures.

Listening comprehension: students are introduced to a range of accents and peculiarities of speech within the international business community. Listening practice is set in a series of real-life situations, such as listening to meetings and taking the minutes, listening for key information in presentations and over the telephone, and listening for details in presentations.

Speaking: students improve their confidence and fluency through guided work, discussion, role-play and group or individual presentations. Focus is placed on clear production of connected speech and on individual pronunciation. Students gain speaking practice through real business tasks, such as giving presentations, participating in meetings and using social English.

Reading: students acquire specific reading skills, such as scanning/skimming (extracting general/specific information) and dealing with unknown vocabulary. These skills help students understand genuine business documents such as reports and proposals. Reading practice is complemented with looking at up-to-date case studies and articles from various business publications and newspapers.

Writing: students receive training in writing for a number of purposes and learn the necessary grammar, structures and vocabulary to produce effective business documents.

Distance learning activities

Students produce written documents based on the role-plays, case studies and presentations conducted in class. These assignments are mandatory and must be submitted by the established deadlines.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Continuous assessment

1. Coursework (40%)

  a) Participation in case studies (10%)

  b) Written assignments on case studies (30%)

2. Two written tests (60%)

Students take two written tests (30% + 30%), one mid-semester and the other at the end of the course.

Students who wish to renounce continuous assessment and opt for single assessment may do so until the last day of class. They do not have to warn the lecturer, but it would be helpful if they did so.


Examination-based assessment

Single assessment

Students who wish to be entered for single assessment must submit a formal request to this effect by the established deadline. Single assessment consists of a written exam on reading, grammar, skills and writing. Listening skills are also assessed.

Single assessment students sit the same final examination as continuous assessment students and complete an additional written assignment.

Repeat assessment

Repeat assessment has the same format as single assessment.