Business English & ESP



We start with very simple, yet vital things. Students are offered to start up their virtual companies right in the first class. They split into three or four teams – three or four members in each. Their companies need a name, a line of business to work in, a product or service to offer, a slogan, and a logo to be associated with and recognised by. At the same time the companies should be introduced. First, they practise the basics (greetings, small talk, etc.) and then practise introducing themselves and their companies at the Investor Party.


The next step is writing letters, memos, and e-mails. First, students study letter writing and then write and exchange letters between their companies. Nicely laid out, with correct style and all that on the letterhead paper they’ve created themselves for their companies.

Next comes the subject of telephone conversations. Here students get down to the techniques of making and receiving telephone calls, making arrangements, taking and leaving messages. Afterwards, as a project stage, they make orders on the phone and confirm orders by email based on the letters they wrote at the second stage and personal contacts they made at the party (Project Stage I – Investor Party).

Students also have to learn how to speak about their company’s history, current developments and so on. They first see how it’s done and then they develop their companies’ story of success, current development and structure description. And we make it fun by asking students to create their virtual companies’ web sites to present all this information in a visual format.

The final product of Part I of the Project stage is a company presentation. Students learn how to structure, prepare, lay out and present the material correctly, how to fight stage fright and make effective use of visual aids, and how to attract and hold their listeners’ attention. Then they make their public presentation competing for the Best Presentation Award and make videos of their presentations to watch and reflect later.

Here’s the Company Game Plan for the first part of the Project:


Before the project, students also get the TOR with the requirements to the Portfolio for the project they’ll be implementing:


But then not everything may go smoothly in a company. And they have to make cut-backs, laying off some staff, and advertise for, interview and employ some other people. Their businesses may expand or may be taken over by other companies – this all happens in Part II of the Company Game, which I will describe a bit later.


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