You are on page 1of 10

Open Learning Center


English is an international language. It is used worldwide, for people to communicate with one another in the areas of technology, travel, popular entertainment and, most importantly, in business.

This course is designed for the business man or woman who has already studied English but needs further practice to communicate more effectively in the business world. If you feel the need to study English at a lower level, the full linguaphone English course will prepare you for business English. Business English will give you the confidence and practice you need to do business with colleagues, clients, business contacts and acquaintances who do not speak your language. When you have completed the course, you should be able to: Present a case or argument clearly; Persuade other people to your point of view; Understand and answer accurately all the questions you are asked; Be polite and firm in discussions and negotiations; Business English will also help you to; Read and understand articles in trade and professional magazines; Read and respond to letters and reports in English; Read and understand documents and contracts of agreement in English; Draft your own documents, reports, business plans and letters in English.


Business English will help you to transfer your Business skills into English. By the time you have completed the course, you should have the ability and confidence to speak, read and write in English. You should be able to conduct your Business in English as competently and confidently as you already do in your own language. The English you will learn is the English of the international Business world. The situations you will meet are realistic Business situations. You will hear Business people from all over the world using English to communicate with one another. You will hear British and American English, as well as many accents of English which you will need to become familiar with.

The Cases
Business English consists of twelve business case studies. Each case presents true-to-life business situations and problems, many of which you may meet in the course of your work. These include: a strategy for improving a companys market share; an effective marketing campaign; an exercise in creating an exclusive distributorship; a business plan to break into a new market; a response to a problem requiring the appointment of key staff; an approach to extending credit;

Business English Handbook

Page 1 of 10

Open Learning Center

a strategy for dealing with bad debts; a management buyout; a strategy for improving market position; an approach to franchising; an approach to acquiring sponsorship; a take-over which reflects a particular management philosophy; an approach to making a tender. Business activities contained in the case studies include: manufacturing and engineering; light industry and information technology; distribution and marketing; Service industries. The cases present businesses with activities in: North America(the US and Canada); The Pacific Rim( Australia, Japan and South-East Asia); The EC (the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Holland); Scandinavia (Finland, Norway and Sweden); Africa( Nigeria); South America (Brazil). COMPONENTS Your Business English course is made up of: this handbook; the introductory cassette and tests; 9 cassettes; 3 business English case books; The business English dictionary. STANDARD COURSE If you have the standard version of the course you will have the following components. Hand book (this book) The hand book explains the design, aims and objectives of the course. Introductory Cassette, side A Before you begin to work on any of the cases, listen to side A of this cassette. The introduction will: introduce you to the course; take you through a sample case step-by-step; Give you helpful advice on how to make the most efficient use of your time while studying. Introductory cassette, side B: tests Side B of the cassette contains the recordings for the twelve self correcting tests which you can take at the end of each case. Business English, case book one, two & three Each book contains: Four Business case studies

Business English Handbook

Page 2 of 10

Open Learning Center

Each case study contains: business documents and dialogue texts (normally presented on the left hand page); language practice exercises (normally presented on the accompanying right hand page); revision and test sections; an answer key; a tapescript.

Case cassettes 1-9

These cassettes contain all the recorded material for each of the twelve cases in the course. There are: three cassettes for each Business English case book; A bout 45 minutes of recorded material for each case. Each case includes: dialogues; different types of listening material (including dictation of letters); Various practice exercises on the language presented. All the cases are recorded in English. The dialogues are recorded by native and non-native speakers of English from many different parts of the world. This allows you to become used to the variety of accents you might meet in your Business dealings or meetings. The practice exercises are recorded by native English speakers. These present you whit a consistent model for pronunciation. Business English dictionary This is a specialist subject dictionary. It contains Business vocabulary only. Its 4500 words and terms give you the basic business vocabulary used in British and American English. Each word is clearly defined in simple English. Some entries have simple grammar notes. It shows differences between Business and American usage. The dictionary is a Business resource which can also be used outside the course. The wordlist at the back of this band book defines the more general vocabulary presented in the cases.

Here is some helpful advice for successful self-study. Know your course Get familiar with all the components you will need in the course. Make sure you have all the components you need for a study session.

Plan effectively

Plan your time effectively. Work regularly and frequently if possible. Arrange a study schedule in your diary which fits in with your other business and social commitments. Plan to work in study sessions of 20-40 minutes. Avoid study sessions which are too long. You will learn more in six half-hour sessions than in one three-hour session.

Business English Handbook

Page 3 of 10

Open Learning Center Work effectively

Make sure you can work comfortably. Choose times for study when you are relaxed but alert. Choose time for study when you will not be interrupted. Choose a place to study where you can play the recordings at a reasonable volume. You will also need to be able to speak out loud while you practice. Use the time you spend in your car for further listening practice.

Be positive

Set yourself targets. Be careful that these targets are reasonable and can be achieved. Review your progress regularly. Enjoy your study sessions.

Make the course work for you

Use the structure of the course to start learning with whichever case interests you most. Use the reference sections in this handbook to select cases which suit your individual business situation or immediate language needs. The course structure means you do not need to learn the language in any one case to begin work on another. Stimulate your learning by working on (or returning to) individual case files selectively: choose according to business area, documents used, or language presented. Use the ready- reckoned matrix at the back of this book to help you find your way through the course in the way which suits you best.

Remember the linguaphone method

As with every other course in the linguaphone range, this course is designed to lead you into learning by: 1. listening 2. understanding 3. Speaking and using the language for yourself.


The following information will help you to make the most effective use of the material in each of the cases. Each case is divided into three files, parts one, two and three of the case history, or business story. Each file opens with a contents page. The language and Business aims of the file are given on this page. Explanations and exercises are introduced as you go through the case. You have a little of the story, and then some specific language practice based on it; a little more story, and then some more practice. In general, the txt for the storyline is presented on the left hand page and all the associated language explanation and exercise material on the right hand page. These two pages provide work for a normal study session. The symbol Q next to a dialogue or exercise shows that this part of the text is recorded. Cross-references to the book are also given in the recordings. From time to time you will find that there is material in the recordings which does not appear in the main part of the text. This arterial may be found in either the tape script or

Business English Handbook

Page 4 of 10

Open Learning Center

the answer key at the end of each case. You will also find audio revision material in the recordings called languages check. There is no transcript of this material in the case book, but it is based closely on written exercises which you will have completed. All the cases, explanations and exercises are in English. There are no translations on the recordings or in the Business English case books. The Business English dictionary gives clear explanations of Business terms and phrases in simple English. The wordlist at the back of this band book gives explanations of more general terms used in the cases.

There is an edited summary of book1, case 1: can-Am in the recorded introduction to the course on cassette1, side A. Listen to this introduction before you begin work on the course. In general, we recommend you follow the steps below when you begin working through a case. The first page of each case or file is a contents page. You can get an overview of the case history from the file contents listed on the page. Look at the Aims of the file at the bottom of the page before starting the recording. Listen to the recording of the whole file before reading any further. Listen for pleasure. See how much of the storyline you can understand. (If you find the storyline interesting, listen to the whole case and come back to start the first file again in another study session.) Rewind. Read the introduction to the file which you will find at the top of the contents page. If you have difficulty in understanding any of the words or phrases in the introduction, note or underline them. Use the Business English dictionary or the wordlist at the back of this handbook to look up those words which the context has not made clear to you. (The wordlist contains words which are specific to a case and are not included in the dictionary.) Listen to the recorded introduction again. Follow the written text of it in your book. (The introduction to the first file in the case appears both on the recording and in the book. in some of the other files the recorded introduction is often only summarized in the book.) Stop the recording. Make sure you understand the meaning of any new words or phrases you have met. When you are ready, turn over the contents page and begin working on the material presented in the following two pages as set out below.


Put your counter to zero and listen to the first dialogue, commentary or report. Use what you have learned so far in the file introduction, or case material, to try to understand what you hear. At the end of the recorded dialogue, commentary or report, stop the recording and underline or note anything that you do not understand. Try to make sense of these words or phrases from the context. Rewind to zero and listen again. Check your understanding with the printed text. (Some of the texts are not printed in the main body of the book. if you are working on a dialogue or report, remember to consult the tape script at the back of the case for the full text of these materials.) Do the related exercises on the recording and in the book. Take care to follow the exercise instructions exactly. As you come to each new exercise, try to predict the meaning of the words and phrases it contains before completing it.

Business English Handbook

Page 5 of 10

Open Learning Center

When you finish an exercise, check your answers against the answer key at the back of the case. When you have finished all the exercises, make a note of any new vocabulary you have learned, and listen to the recordings to check the pronunciation. Check your understanding of the file so far; go back over anything you have not understood. Look up any terms and phrases that are still not clear to you. the two pages without stopping. End your study session. Repeat the above sequence for the rest of the file. Each sequence may take between 40 minutes and an hour to complete in full. You may, therefore, prefer to break each sequence down into two study sessions. (The beginning of the exercises on the right hand page divides the session into two roughly equal units.) Repeat the above steps until you reach the end of three.

If you wish to take the test under exam conditions: Find a place where you can work undisturbed; Set yourself a time limit (a bout 10-15 minutes) to complete the test. If you wish to take the test more slowly: Take time to read the questions more carefully; Work through the test to achieve the best score you can.(if you really wish to test your memory and understanding of all that you have learned, do not refer back to the book or the recordings while working on the test.)

Check your score at the end of the test. If your score suggests you need to do further work on the case, note your areas of weakness. Set aside a special study session for further practice on these areas. The above sequence is a suggested one only. You may find that there are other ways of going through the case studies which work better for you. The most important thing is that you make your study sessions as enjoyable and effective as possible.

Business English Handbook

Page 6 of 10

Open Learning Center CASE SUMMARIES

BOOK1, CASE 1: CAN-AM Type of company: sports goods Business focus: improving market share Principal countries/ markets: Canada, UK Language areas File 1: Reading background information Finding out basic facts about a company File 2: Pleasantries Presenting charts and tables Supporting and rejecting arguments Talking about market share File 3: Letter writing Telephone expressions Presenting advantages and disadvantages BOOK 1, CASE 2: CASPANI Type of company: fashion Business focus: effective marketing Principal countries/markets: Italy, USA Language areas File 1: Describing what a job will involve Memo writing The prefix re- with verbs File 2: Letters of complaint Giving short answers Asking about visa requirements File 3: Pleasantries on meeting a Business friend of the family Writing an account of an incident Ways of agreeing Two- part verbs (e.g. call off, point out) BOOK 1, CASE 3: FARNELL Type of company: industrial/ generators Business focus: negotiating an exclusive distributorship Principal countries / markets: UK, South East Asia Language areas File 1: Short from answers Forming opposites by adding prefixes Replying to a letter of enquiry File 2: Writing minutes of a meeting Letters of introduction, Itineraries Booking air tickets file3: Pleasantries on meeting a useful contact Terms and conditions of an agreement Quoting prices Considering alternatives BOOK 1, CASE 4: RITTER Type of company: information technology/ electronics Business focus: breaking into new markets Principal countries/ markets: West Germany, USA

Business English Handbook

Page 7 of 10

Open Learning Center

Language areas File 1: Using numbers and amounts in adjectives Describing visual designs (e.g. company logos) Asking for peoples opinions Asking leading questions Writing a letter of complaint File 2: More a bout making a presentation Avoiding unintentional rudeness Agreeing or disagreeing with a point of view Writing a letter with an offer of terms File 3: Negotiating changes to clauses in a contract Writing in note form More about graphic presentations BOOK 2, CASE 1: SAMEX Type of company: engineering/oil Business focus: appointing key staff Principal countries/ markets: Australia, Brazil Language areas File 1: Short form answers Making notes on an interview Present perfect passive tense File 2: The language of job qualifications and advertisements Asking questions in connection with employment history Use of the verb to be able File 3: International time differences Placing prepositions correctly in a sentence Using couldnt have fore impossibility BOOK 2, CASE 2: START-LINE Type of company: jewellery Business focus: extending credit Principal countries/markets: Nigeria, France Language areas File 1: Reading background information on a country Formalities in Business letters Requesting payment by letter Explaining late payment File 2: Talking about annual accounts Comparing yearly accounts Questions related to a statement of account File 3: Pleasantries on meeting a Business associate Terms used in ordering goods Abbreviations used in telexes BOOK 2, CASE 3: ELLIOTT Type of company: electric motors Business focus: management buyout Principal countries/markets: UK Language areas File 1: Management titles Making recommendations at different levels of formality Formal ways of stating conditions

Business English Handbook

Page 8 of 10

Open Learning Center

File 2: Pleasantries on welcoming new colleagues to the Company Letters confirming and postponing an appointment Computer terminology Ways of giving figures approximately File 3: Polite requests Expressions connected with dismissal Use of the present perfect continuous passive Uses of make and do BOOK 2, CASE 4: ORIENTAIR Type of company: airline Business focus: improving market position Principal countries/ markets: Hong Kong, Europe Language areas File 1: Using flight timetables Booking air tickets Asking for agreement in meetings Completing survey forms File 2: Findings, conclusions and recommendations in a report Summarizing meetings Requesting a meeting, and giving reasons File 3: Summarizing arguments Introducing different points of view Expressing ideas that are not fully formed BOOK 3, CASE 1: BODY CARE Type of company: cosmetics Business focus: franchising Principal countries/ markets: USA, Scandinavia Language areas File 1: Use of the suffix-less Uses of for and since The difference between the suffixes-er/-or and-ee Reading and referring to documents Note taking Using figures File 2: Giving personal details Giving multiples (e.g. A is double B/three times B) Writing letters refusing a request File 3: Two-part verbs (e.g. turn down, point out) Some verbs associated with contracts Common abbreviations and acronyms (e.g. PR, CEO) BOOK 3, CASE 2: HANSON Type of company: boat building Business focus: sponsorship Principal countries/ markets: Australia, UK Language areas File 1: Expressions associated with letters of resignation The suffix-ever Preparing minutes of meetings File 2: Telephone expressions (crossed lines)

Business English Handbook

Page 9 of 10

Open Learning Center

Terms associated with transportation Arranging shipping details Arranging insurance File 3: Terms associated with sponsorship Latin terms used in Business BOOK 3, CASE 3: MENHAR Type of company: hotels Business focus: tendering/ negotiations Principal countries/ markets: Peoples Republic of China, USA Language areas File 1: Talking a bout figures in billions The vocabulary of planning banquets and conferences Written invitations Letters accepting or refusing invitations File 2: Terms connected with profit and loss accounts Polite requests using may Negative opinions (e.g. we dont believe we can...) Terms connected with pressure and overwork File 3: Vocabulary of profit and loss accounts High numbers Terms connected with tendering Negative questions (e.g. havent you finished?) Over and under as prefixes (e.g. overpaid, underpaid) BOOK 3, CASE 4: TAIYO Type of company: printing machinery Business focus: take-over/management style Principal countries/ markets: Japan, the Netherlands Language areas File 1: Talking about continuing situations Welcoming a guest; small talk Exercising your preferences Expressing currency figures in speech Telex and letter styles File 2: Formal versus informal style Expressing changes in plans Terminology in a letter of intent File 3: Terminology of a balance sheet Expressing non- comprehension Expressing intentions

Business English Handbook

Page 10 of 10