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A Report on the Workshop – Perspectives in Business Englsih Training held on 28 July 2018 at Ethiraj College, Chennai

A one day International workshop on ‘Perspectives in Business English Training’ was conducted on 28 July, 2018, at the Ethiraj College for Women, by the English Language Teacher’s Association of India (ELTAI) BESIG. The purpose of the workshop was to facilitate understanding the best practices of trainers/teachers of Business English.

Dr.V.M. Muralidharan, Chairman, Ethiraj College spoke about the importance of English as a global language and about how knowing to communicate effectively, will take students places. Dr. Mangayarkarasi, HoD of English, Ethiraj College presented before the gathering the various programs that the department has started in the recent past.

Evan Frendo, the Joint Co-ordinator, IATEFL BESIG spoke on ‘Minimising miscommunication in the work place. He emphasised the prominence of speaking English in the fields of Navy and Aviation. Intelligibility of a conversation lies in recognising the expression used in this context. He explained the difference between Comprehensibility and Interpretability. He said that misunderstanding arises when the communicators are unaware of the existing problem. During the course of the session, he expressed a clear distinction between EFL(English as a Foreign Language) and ELF(English as a Lingua Franca). He said, “Conformity with standard English is seen as a fairly relevant concept”, in the context of learning English as a Lingua Franca. He listed out various options before beginning a Business English class like, Needs Analysis, ELF not EFL, Accommodation skills, active listening and inter cultural awareness. In the second part of the session, “Teaching the language of Negotiation”, he discussed the challenges that a teacher of business English could face.

Mrs. Lalitha Murthy’s brainstorming session gave the participants a clearer insight into what the Indian industry is looking for, in its employees and how a course could be customised to tailor to the needs of the industry.

In the subsequent session by Mr. Adi Rajan, interaction was based on the usage of One Note, an app that could be used to create a paperless Business English Classroom. The teachers had a hands-on experience of using the app, while they were taught to share learner materials via the app.

The closing session was that of Mr. Vivekananda PV, TCS who threw some light on the usage of technology in the classrooms. He highlighted the usage of certain apps like the Fresco talk/ Fresco Play, Idea Accent etc.

In essence, the workshop provided a high quality learning platform in the areas of career development, personal enrichment and professional development.

Jayashree Chetan
Head of Dept. of English, APS College of Commerce
N R Colony

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