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Unit Title: Introduction to Business Communication Guided Learning Hours: 100 Level: Level 4 Number of Credits: 12

Learning Outcome 1
The learner will: Understand and know how to apply the principles which govern the transmission of information in business situations.

Assessment Criteria The learner can: 1.1 Apply knowledge of the purposes of communication.

Indicative Content

1.1.1 Apply knowledge of the purposes of communication in order to inform, instruct, persuade, request, clarify, co-operate, buy and sell, advertise, etc.

1.2 Explain why a particular medium is appropriate or inappropriate in a given situation.

1.2.1 Understand the advantages and disadvantages of telephone, fax, email, face-to-face communication, memorandum, and notice in a given scenario.

1.3 Explain how relationships between people affect communication.

1.3.1 Manager/subordinate (including autocratic and democratic management). 1.3.2 Familiarity/unfamiliarity. 1.3.3 Making a good first impression. 1.3.4 The office environment and layout.

1.4 Describe simple communications structures.

1.4.1 The communication cycle, including positive and negative feedback. 1.4.2 Horizontal, vertical and diagonal communication. 1.4.3 Chain, Circle, Star, Wheel structures. 1.4.4 Grapevine.

Learning Outcome 2
The learner will: Be able to compose all common types of written communication in a clear, complete and correct way.

Assessment Criteria The learner can: 2.1 Write effectively all common types of formal business documents.

Indicative Content

2.1.1 Letters, correctly laid out. 2.1.2 Reports, correctly laid out. 2.1.3 Curriculum vitae, its content and structure.

2.2 Write effectively all types of informal business documents.

2.2.1 Memos to individuals. 2.2.2 Notices to groups. 2.2.3 E-mails to individuals and groups.

2.3 Use language that is appropriate to the purpose of any given document.

2.3.1 Understand the differences between formal and informal language. 2.3.2 Understand how to persuade a reader (e.g. in an advertisement). 2.3.3 Apply that knowledge appropriately.

Learning Outcome 3
The learner will: Understand the principles of communicating orally in an effective way.

Assessment Criteria The learner can: 3.1 Explain how to communicate effectively on the telephone.

Indicative Content

3.1.1 Good practice when making a call. 3.1.2 Good practice when receiving a call. 3.1.3 Leaving a message on a voicemail.

3.2 Explain how to communicate effectively face to face in both formal and informal situations.

3.2.1 Formal meetings (organisation and structure, including agendas, venue, minutes, role of chair and secretary). 3.2.2 Briefings. 3.2.3 Speeches and presentations (preparation and delivery). 3.2.4 Interviews (preparation and conduct).

3.2.5 Business conversations. 3.2.6 The role of the receptionist.

3.3 Show knowledge of listening skills.

3.3.1 Active and passive listening.

Learning Outcome 4
The learner will: Understand the importance of non-verbal signals in communication.

Assessment Criteria The learner can: 4.1 Explain how body language can help or hinder communication.

Indicative Content

4.1.1 Gestures and facial expressions. 4.1.2 Posture. 4.1.3 Eye contact. 4.1.4 Personal space.

4.2 Describe how physical appearance can affect communication.

4.2.1 Dress and grooming.

4.3 Demonstrate awareness of other common non-linguistic methods of communication.

4.3.1 Logos, signs and symbols. 4.3.2 Use of physical objects, e.g. buildings, furniture, car.

Learning Outcome 5
The learner will: Understand how common barriers to successful communication arise, and how they can be overcome.

Assessment Criteria The learner can: 5.1 Describe communication barriers caused by the sender of a message in oral, written or non-verbal form and how they can be overcome.

Indicative Content

5.1.1 Lack of clarity. 5.1.2 Incomplete information. 5.1.3 Incorrect information.

5.1.4 Faulty equipment. 5.1.5 Inappropriate medium/channel. 5.1.6 Inappropriate language. 5.1.7 Wrong time and/or place. 5.1.8 Insufficient Adjustment Period.

5.2 Describe communication barriers caused by the receiver of a message and how they can be overcome.

5.2.1 Poor listening skills. 5.2.2 Poor reading skills.

5.3 Describe communication barriers that can be caused by either the sender or the receiver of a message and how they can be overcome.

5.3.1 Physical noise. 5.3.2 Psychological noise in all its aspects. 5.3.3 Physical barriers.

Learning Outcome 6
The learner will: Understand the content of a passage of simple business information and know how to summarise it effectively.

Assessment Criteria The learner can: 6.1 Select relevant information and keep within the word limit.

Indicative Content

6.1.1 Choosing what is important and rejecting what is unimportant.

6.2 Use original vocabulary to show understanding.

6.2.1 Adapting the language of the original where necessary for clarity or meaning.

6.3 Produce a summary that is fit for purpose.

6.3.1 Adherence to the word limit. 6.3.2 Awareness of audience.

Learning Outcome 7
The learner will: Understand the role of computers and other modern communication technologies in business communication.

Assessment Criteria The learner can: 7.1 Demonstrate knowledge of computers and their components and describe how to use them.

Indicative Content

7.1.1 Types of computer. 7.1.2 Common hardware and software. 7.1.3 Common computer peripherals. 7.1.4 Creating a document or spreadsheet. 7.1.5 Saving and retrieving data.

7.2 Describe the ways in which computers and other modern communication technologies help communication within companies and throughout the modern business world.

7.2.1 Features of desk telephones and mobile telephones. 7.2.2 Pagers. 7.2.3 Facsimile machines. 7.2.4 Teleconferencing, videoconferencing. 7.2.5 Telecommuting. 7.2.6 LANs and WANs. 7.2.7 The internet and e-mails. 7.2.8 E-commerce.

7.3 Demonstrate knowledge of common threats to the security of data held on computer, and how to protect that data against such threats.

7.3.1 Viruses, worms, bugs. 7.3.2 Phishing and identity theft. 7.3.3 Hackers. 7.3.4 Spam. 7.3.5 Password protection. 7.3.6 Anti-virus software. 7.3.7 Firewalls.

Learning Outcome 8
The learner will: Understand common business and communications terms.

Assessment Criteria The learner can: 8.1 Explain common technical words, phrases and abbreviations related to business, to communication, and to communication technology.

Indicative Content

8.1.1 Abbreviations in common use. 8.1.2 Words in common use. 8.1.3 Phrases in common use.

Assessment: Assessment method: written examination (unless otherwise stated). Written examinations are of three hours duration. All learning outcomes will be assessed. Recommended Reading: Introduction to Business Communication ABE Study Manual. Please refer to the Tuition Resources section of the Members Area of the ABE website ( for further recommended reading.