Anno accademico: 2019–2020
Corso: Lingua inglese
Insegnamento: Lingua inglese livello – Lingue per l’azienda e il commercio (LI3 LAC) S
CFU: 4,5
Docente: Michael Scott Kennedy (


English for Business Studies is designed for students of English who need to understand and express the key concepts of business and economics but who may have little experience or knowledge of these areas. For this reason, Intelligent Business (Pearson) has been chosen as a suitable course-book as it emphasizes “learning business through English” as well as “performing familiar business tasks in English”. Written in collaboration with the Economist magazine, it provides an accessible introduction to today’s globalized business world; and, aimed at a C1/C2 level of the Common European Framework, is benchmarked against the Cambridge BEC Higher international exam. The course also includes a set text, Ha-Joon Chang’s 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism. This, too, has been chosen for its accessibility to nonspecialist readers. Written in a plain English style, it gives an overview of the global economy and aims to encourage active economic citizenship.

The course-book’s approach to grammar is essentially one of review and consolidation, targeting more advanced structures. It is expected, therefore, that students’ own productive skills work will dictate the form of any necessary remedial focus; students’ needs informing course design. There is no doubt that vocabulary and functional components will represent the most challenging aspects of the course. Key vocabulary and concepts are, however, very clearly introduced in the course-book, which also contains an extensive glossary, including definitions, synonyms, collocations and any discrepancies between British and American usage. The set book, too, is careful to define all new terms simply.

Much of the work done on the language systems will stem from or be integrated with task-based activities involving the four skills. The course-book has a strong focus on reading skills and introduces key vocabulary and grammar through authentic text; in like manner, it is through a focus on listening skills that functional language is introduced, mainly through transactional dialogues and meetings. An integrated skills approach offers plenty of space for the productive skills of writing and speaking. Many of the speaking and writing activities will feed into each other through problem-solving tasks cf. Dilemma and Decision at the end of each unit in the course-book. Students will be given frameworks for assessing their own and their peers’ task performance.



Students will be made familiar with the styles and techniques of business writing and will be expected to complete a number of business writing tasks such as letters, emails, memos, reports, etc. in response to stimuli provided. All tasks will specify why the piece is to be written and whom it is to be written for and give guidelines as to appropriate content. Students will be encouraged to analyse the proposed task in order to make informed decisions regarding format, register, style and target reader. Students’ written work will be used for error correction activities. Additional exercises will be provided on an ad hoc basis to improve students’ ability to proof-read and self-correct; to deal with areas of discrepancy between English and Italian usage which continue to cause problems. 


Speaking skills developed during the course will include traditional business skills such as negotiating and presenting and taking part in meetings as well as giving appraisals, presenting arguments, pitching and debating. Much emphasis will be placed on introducing students to functional language vital for achieving greater fluency and more effective communicative competence.

Ha-Joon Chang’s 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism will also be used as a focus for class/group discussion and debate.  Activities will be designed to build students’ confidence.

By the end of the course, it is expected that students will be working at a C1 level and will be

able to:

  • communicate information and opinions effectively, using an appropriate register and format, and with a minimum of non-impeding errors.
  • interact with little assistance or hesitancy, demonstrating the ability to take the initiative in a conversation and maintain the flow of communication.
  • communicate in writing information and opinions effectively, using an appropriate register and format, and with a minimum of non-impeding errors; organisation and development of written tasks should be clear.


While there will be continuous assessment of class work and homework throughout the year, a final exam (1 hour and 45 minutes) will also be included as part of the overall evaluation. End of year marks will be weighted on a 50/50 basis—that is, 50% continuous assessment and 50% final exam. Students’ performance will be assessed on the basis of achievement of tasks set and linguistic skills.

Materials adopted during the year will be pitched at a C1/C2 level (Council of Europe Framework).


Chang, Ha-Joon. 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism. London: Penguin Books Limited 2011.

Swan, Michael. Practical English Usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Trappe, Tonya, and Graham Tullis. Intelligent Business Coursebook. Advanced Business English. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2011.

Any supplementary materials utilized to address areas of difficulty found in students’ productive skills work will be provided by the course instructor.