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Collaboration: The Key to Successful Business English Course Development

Abu-Yousef, Leena
A Master of Arts thesis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages by Leena Abu-Yousef entitled, “Collaboration: The Key to Successful Business English Course Development”, submitted in December 2019. Thesis advisor is Dr. Tharwat M. El-Sakran. Soft copy is available (Thesis, Approval Signatures, Completion Certificate, and AUS Archives Consent Form).
In the dynamic nature of business, effective communication skills are mandatory through all pathways to success. Day by day, more educational institutions are investing in the development of their learners’ communication skills by offering English courses focused on the language used within a specific field. This thesis explores current research on English for Specific Purposes (ESP) with a special focus on English for Business Purposes. The main objective of this study is to evaluate and review a current Business English course currently offered at the American University of Sharjah by researching, gathering data on and understanding the updated needs of business students. This study examines the perceptions of 84 business undergraduates, 76 business graduates, 9 business professors, and 5 English professors of a Business English course through feedback collected via online questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. The study highlights three main findings: the course’s inability to fulfill the educational and professional market needs of learners, the need to refine the course’s contents, and the significance of involving business specialists in the course design. Based on these findings, a multi-skilled syllabus has been developed to bridge the gap between the current course design and the market expectations of business students. The recommended syllabus further aims to holistically address all the weaknesses extracted from the collected data.
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