Course Overview

SUNPOWER
Communication Strategies in English for Business Purposes

Who is it for

For advanced learners of English in business administration and related subjects both in contact and distant-education courses, as well as for professionals working in an English speaking environment in commerce and industry.

What it consists of

Four main subject areas: Marketing, Finance, Sales, and Planning where various communication strategies are used for co-operating, negotiating, presenting and reporting, and problem solving purposes.

What the course does and does not do

It helps users

  • recognise and use communication strategies in a professional environment by letting them take part in semi-authentic dialogues based on audio-visual situations
  • identify and be aware of cross-cultural aspects in business-related fields, thus avoiding intercultural misunderstandings
  • help widen their linguistic knowledge and skills by enabling them to acquire business communication-oriented discourse functions
  • enrich their base of general and specialised vocabulary

About the pedagogic concept of the programme

The main ideas

The main idea of this courseware is based on the findings that knowledge acquisition differs widely depending on a learner’s background, learning experience and existing knowledge. Thus adult learning is brought about by the learners constructing their knowledge themselves rather than being instructed and absorbing knowledge passively.

Learning is thus considered an active process where learners choose the bits of knowledge from a rich and authentic environment and incorporate them into their mental structures of previous knowledge. The more the learning environment is similar to the situation where transfer is required the easier the transfer of newly acquired knowledge, if the opportunities offered are relevant and appropriate to their level.

These findings also apply to second-language acquisition.

This courseware is built on these principles, allowing the users to work on it in an autonomous, explorative and interactive way while being responsible for and aware of their own learning process.

It may be used

either as a self-access and stand-alone resource together with the workbook, or in the class-room with a group of learners working on it, discussing their findings and their opinions on the communication strategies offered, practising them, doing role plays, with a tutor offering help.

Situations

The SUNPOWER learning programme (together with a workbook) consists of 4 situations:

  • Episode A ’Marketing‘ – ART Strategy: Agreeing how to work together
  • Episode B ’Finance‘ – IDEA Strategy: Win-win negotiating
  • Episode C ’Sales‘ – CRAFT Strategy: Reporting and presenting
  • Episode D ’Planning‘ – SOLAR Strategy: Problem solving

Workbook

The workbook deals with the 4 situations from the programme and includes the following:

  • The story
  • Text of the dialogue
  • Strategic activities
  • ‘Vocabulary and Mind Maps’, ‘Answers’ and ‘Solutions’