Monday, January 17, 2011

e-Commerce is Relevant to My Students

•Do you think the e-commerce topic as handled in these resources would be appropriate for all kinds of business English learners?

It is a relevant topic for my students I am not sure it would apply to everyone. They also take an e-commerce course in Korean just down the hall and as I cover this for 3 hours of speaking practice while they cover it for 3 hours a week they might benefit from more of it. I have met several e-commerce entrepreneurs mostly from around Busan where they rent small office-tel -like warehouses in a few residential/commercial mix areas. Koreans are "electronic guinea pigs" with one of the fastest and most efficient same day delivery service couriers networks in the world.

•Would you exploit the online resource with a group of pre-intermediate business English learners. If so, how?

I have been routinely exploiting online resources over the last five years and seem to be integrating new methods. First I set all of the homework assignments for the twelve weeks of study on USB and require students to collect at the beginning of semester on USB. For some its the first time they encounter a USB requirement. They are then required to submit by weekly deadline their responses to the discussion questions and vocabulary practice as well as response to listening activity by email. While I provide them with links to webpages for their answers I expect it to be in their own words. So yes I've been exploiting this with even beginner learners.

•Would you use both the online and the course book activity? If so, how?

I give parallel homework assignments to the general topics of each in class chapter that we are covering that week. In some ways this is me responding to the “paperless office” initiatives I see in Australia for example. However I still require hard copy of PPT presentations and accompanying scripts on paper for in office review and/or correction. I may soon require all five slides on one page and script on the other to absolutely minimize paper usage beyond books of course.

•Would you use the resources in a class setting? Would you use it as self-study? How would you ask the learners to respond to this material?

I have used and use very similar resources in my classes. We would engage the in classroom materials in class and I might provide a web demonstration in class of what they needed to do online for discussion questions. We sometimes review their answers together or as email submissions.

•Would you deal with this topic differently? If so, how?

It could be a pair assignment with the reading done at home and in class questions relating to challenging vocabulary would be covered. In general I save reading assignments for homework and prefer to do the real speaking tasks in class.

However I dealt/deal with someone was listening. Yi Yang, one of my Chinese students a few years ago from an obscure rural environment set up his own sales website online in China selling skype calling cards. He did generate up to two to three hundred dollars a day in sales and proceeded to buy his mother a house in Beijing. The last I heard he was working in Skype’s Head Office in China.

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