Business English Practice Teaching Conforming to Chinese Students' Expectations

By Min, Yu | Canadian Social Science, September 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Business English Practice Teaching Conforming to Chinese Students' Expectations


Min, Yu, Canadian Social Science


Abstract

By means of quantitative and qualitative analysis, this paper examines business English practice teaching that conforms to Chinese students' expectations. 386 students majoring in business English participated in an questionnaire and interview. Statistical analysis revealed that business English practice teaching that most conforms to students' expectations are the methods, means and curriculum. On the other hand, teaching conditions, teachers' competence of guidance, content organization and practice cannot meet students' needs. The results indicate that Chinese teachers of business English are not sufficiently and practically competent, practice conditions prove to be unfavorable and that the practice of curriculum is irrelevant to job market. In addition, objectives of practice teaching and curriculum design, which is followed by teachers' competence, account most for teaching effect. Accordingly it is essential that teachers' professional practice competence should be developed and authentic business teaching environment be created so as to improve the quality and effect of the current business English practice teaching in China.

Key words: Business English; Practice teaching; Students' expectations

INTRODUCTION

Business English (BE), as combination of the concept business and English, is a practical and composite inter discipline composed of linguistics and international business, a variation of the English language's important social function and a branch of English for special purposes (ESP) (Chen, 2010). Besides linguistics and literature, business English involves various aspects of business activities, including being competent to display and sell products as well as make business negotiation in fluent English, translate or interpret business materials and contracts of all kinds and write various business documents, etc. (Cai, 2010; Gu, 2010; Wang, 2012; Xü, 2011; Yang, 2010; Zhang, 2013; Zhao, 2012). When talking about the teaching of ESP, Robinson (1980) pointed out that language teaching itself was not an end to ESP and that its real purpose was to realize a determined goal with the help of the English language. Hence the prominent characteristics and quality of business English lie in its practical stages of practice teaching, professional features of job position, social practice and competencebasedness.

In recent years, in the speciality construction and reform of BE, many universities have highlighted the social and economic needs of BE, made plans for personnel training, deconstructed and reconstructed curriculum system, explored practice teaching modes and reformed the curriculum contents, which are alll associated with enterprises (Chen, 2010; Ma, 2010; Wang, 2009). In addition, based upon competence-based education (CBE) or learning theory of constructivism and cognitive linguistics, researchers have made relevant researches with regard to the practice teaching system, modes and curriculum construction and thus are supposed to have provided some specific theoretical guidance and principles for BE (Wang & Tian, 2010). Nevertheless, the previous researches were all made from the perspectives of inferences based on linguistic and cognitive theory, the comparisons between experiences of running schools from other countries and the analysis of systematic working process. Sun (2008), Yan & Tang (2012), from the perspective of ESP students' demand theory, analysed curriculum and practice teaching of BE merely at the theoretical level, and his results appeared not convincing, as he failed to provide quantitative and qualitative analyses.

This paper aims to examine students' views of BE practice teaching in China by means of questionnaire and interview so as to provide implications and suggestions for the current BE practice teaching in China.

1. RESEARCH DESIGN

1.1 Questions

This study employed semi-closed questionnaire, intending to create concept and theory-based model of students' expectations. …

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