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Developing Business English skills using case studies in the framework of multilevel education

Modern language teaching practices combine traditional teacher- and student-oriented paradigms. Since language is perceived as a tool that helps achieve practical goals, especially in the realm of professional language studies, a need arises to teach it as an application-oriented instrument. The paper considers the methods of communicative and task-based language training with a particular focus on case studies. While the commonly accepted view holds that case studies are applied at advanced levels only, the study argues that they are applicable at various levels. This argument is justified through a practical experiment involving two student groups taking English for Specific Purposes within Advanced and Pre-Intermediate courses. The article describes the challenges and differences in students’ performance and the way their work was assessed. The research states that case studies should be adapted to the level of students’ language proficiency to help them naturally take on professional roles and use the language spontaneously. At the same time, attention should be paid to the adequacy of business vocabulary and the dynamism of the training process, in which case appropriate teacher intervention may be necessary. The study concludes that the method can be beneficial in terms of students’ future professional activities.

KEYWORDS: English for Specific Purposes, teaching methods, multilevel education, case study, communicative method, task-based language training, assessment

Alexandra Radyuk. Has been teaching in Foreign Languages Dpt at the Faculty of Economics of Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) since 2014. Defended her candidate thesis on ‘Functional and pragmatic properties of cooperative discursive strategies in English business discourse’ at Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Research interests cover teaching methods, discursive strategies, professional communication and discourse analysis. Author of over 40 publications.

Valentina Pankova. Graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University. Has finished a postgraduate course at Russian Academy of Sciences. Has 40 years of experience of teaching English, editing and interpreting. Holds Cambridge Certificates, including Proficiency and CELTA. Research interests cover teaching methods, student-oriented teaching, translation, interpretation, and Slavic languages.


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