Meiji University, School of Business Administration, Tokyo, Japan
Miwa Yamataka - Part-time lecturer
About the university and students
The university has its own network system called "Oh-o!, Meiji" which connects all teachers and students. We've also recently installed a cloud system, enabling teachers and students to collaborate via e-mail and calendars, file sharing, online classes and conferencing, and the university social network. We also have IWBs, projectors, DVDs, built-in audio and visual systems, and CALL.
There are 101 students on the programme studying across years 1 to 4 with up to 30 students per class. Most of them are highly motivated, intellectually curious, active, communicative and sociable. There are mostly male students in the class, and students range from 18-23 years old with CEFR levels B1-C1. They study English for three hours a week and their reasons for studying vary: to improve their TOEIC scores; to travel overseas; to study abroad; to generally succeed in job hunting in Japan or to pursue international careers after graduation. The majority of students aim to improve their communication skills in English both socially and professionally, and to broaden their cross-cultural awareness.
Why Get Ready for International Business works for us
The coursebook works for me since it is highly customizable in terms of its volume, level and content and most of the material can be covered in two academic semesters (in Japan this is 30 weeks). The level of difficulty is standard and the content provides a good general framework for me to teach and to expand on as necessary.
Get Ready for International Business works for my students because it allows them to engage in various group-orientated communication activities getting familiar with various daily workplace situations and conversations. The coursebook introduces essentially useful English phrases and the amount is sufficient for the class to both absorb and develop new skills every week. Listening and speaking exercises advance very naturally and my students can build up their skills step by step without the stress of being overloaded. This coursebook is not intimidating and gives friendly guidance for group discussions especially for shy yet aspiring Asian students, who often find this skill difficult. My students enjoy the 'Viewpoints' activities, particularly the Unit 3 activity 'What's on the agenda?' in level 2 where they have the chance to engage in a lively group meeting to redecorate their office by discussing pros and cons, by agreeing and disagreeing, and by offering varied suggestions. The activity brilliantly provides set roles and phrases for all to produce a realistic heated meeting!
Students also enjoy learning things that can be applied to their personal lives. And all the role-plays and group activities help to enhance a great sense of teamwork and unity in the class.
What influenced our decision to choose this course
I selected Get Ready for International Business based on the number of units; level of English; content which values listening and speaking skills; and the range of practical topics focusing on everyday workplace situations with useful English phrases. The photos are also more authentic and business-like and the unit progresses just at the right pace, which keeps students focused and entertained. The audio's international English accents are all natural and realistic, enabling students to become more familiar with the wide-ranged accents spoken across the globe.
I recommend this coursebook to teachers who wish to teach introductory business English to improve students' general and practical English conversational skills in workplace situations. The coursebook caters well to Asian students, who are culturally unfamiliar with the west, but are eager to take the first steps in communicating in English.
For teachers and students who enjoy plenty of group activities, this coursebook is ideal.
See how Get Ready for International Business can help your students, and download samples and audio at www.businessenglishonline.net/grib