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Book Review

Communicative Business Activities cover

Business Activities

by Marjorie Rosenberg
(obv&htp publishing)

To buy this book

Communicative Business Activities contains a host of photocopiable activities designed for adult learners. The areas of business include Correspondence, Presentations, Meetings, Job applications,
Cross-cultural Awareness and Company Structure.

The book begins with a series of Neuro-Linguistic Programming awareness activities which underpin the methodology of the book. As Marjorie says in her introduction to the book:

'When we create activities we need to keep in mind the diversity of our classrooms. We will have visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners who perceive, process and recall information through one of these sensory channels (Introducing Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Joseph O'Connor and John Seymour, 1990). In addition, the average classroom will be made up of a combination of global and analytic thinkers (Cognitive Styles: Essence and Origin, Herman Witkin & Donald Goodenough, 1981). By creating activities which include pictures, words, and movement; activities which can be done in group work by communicating with others, or alone by thinking and reflecting; activities which are to be approached systematically or in a more random style, the chances of reaching learners of all types are greatly increased. The activities also help us to create both a supportive and energetic atmosphere in the classroom. Real learning occurs when we address our learners' needs and learning styles and create the motivation for them to participate in the activities which we offer them. They need to develop a sense of personal accountability making them responsible for their own learning. In order to do this they need to become involved in the Learning process as well as the material to be learned. By recognising our learners as individuals and helping them to reach their objectives in learning a foreign language we provide them with the basics of a learning atmosphere which puts them into a learning state. Pupils who are confronted with an enormous amount of new material as well as adults who have been working hard outside the classroom are grateful for activities which are varied, interesting and fun. The following quote from Bob Pike, President of Creative Training Techniques, International, Inc. and Resources for Organisations, Inc. sums up what I believe to be necessary in educational situations. After hours spent in classrooms working with many different types of learners, Bob Pike has come to the conclusion that, "Learning is directly proportional to the amount of fun you have" (101 Games for Trainers, Bob Pike and Christopher Busse, Lakewood Books, 1995).'

The index is a very practical one in that it lists Lexical area and Photocopiable Material, Activities, Business Vocabulary, Grammar and Language Functions, Level & Learner Types. This clear and systematic layout is also reflected in the teacher instructions for each activity. The sections here include the Materials, Type of Activity, the Language Focus, Level, Group Size, Preparation, Goal, Skills, Learner Types, Warm-up ideas, the Procedure, Follow-up ideas & lastly the Vocabulary that is needed to carry out the activity. With all of this information you are left in no doubt as to the whys & hows of each activity.

The introductory NLP awareness activities can be used with any learner. They cover the following; an 'Are You Global or Analytic?' questionnaire with a key of characteristics, a survey called 'What Type of Learner Are You?', a 'Self-Observation Survey', 'How to Recognise Different Types', 'NLP Eye Accessing Cues' and lastly 'Words, Phrases and Tips for Different Learners'. All useful information for both teacher & learner.

I counted sixty-two activities plus the eight NLP awareness pages. All of the activities contain an information gap and include Find Someone Who activities, domino games, diaries, crosswords, dialogue ordering, describe & draw and mime, and the nice thing here is that they are all brought together & ready to use!

The role cards & pictures are very clear and as detailed as they need to be for each activity, and the book is ring-bound which facilitates photocopying. The only drawback from a global distribution point of view is the English-German glossary of terms at the back of the book. It would be nice in future editions to be able to buy the book with the glossary appropriate to one's own students.

The book is aimed at the business English teacher & covers the essential areas mentioned at the beginning of this review very well and one could easily slot these activities into any business English course. The newer teacher will find it book indispensable & the more experienced teacher a very useful collection. And even though the book is aimed at the business English market it is just as useful for the general English teacher too.

To buy this book

Communicative Business Activities cover

To Marjorie's articles:

The Role of Brain-Based Learning and Alternative Methodologies in EFL

Teacher Development & Awareness of Learning Styles

 To the book review index

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