Business Communications Skills

The aim of this module is to enable international students to communicate in the English language with clarity and authority, applying written, electronic, verbal and non-verbal communications skills in a range of business settings and situations.

On successful completion of this module learners should be able to:

  1. Develop an understanding of the principles of effective communication through theoretical and practical applications of the English language to business communications
  2. Appraise primary non-academic business oriented texts and independently generate a measured and articulated response
  3. Create, script and deliver an audience-focused business presentation, using appropriate vocabulary, graphs, charts and other visual/ electronic aids
  4. Communicate clearly and concisely in written business English, observing the relevant layout, conventions and styles of emails, letters, reports and promotional leaflets
  5. Communicate appropriately and persuasively in oral English, including in discussion, debate, interviews, meetings and negotiations
  6. Differentiate between varying language registers in a business context (formal, informal, impromptu) for planned and un-predicted life-like business scenarios such as business negotiations and mock product pitching
  7. Communicate effectively within a team


Course Content

Session 1

Intensive English Week: IELTS standard placement testing,grammar review and revision, Hiberno-English, social conventions, business vocabulary, vocabulary for specific purposes, introduction to Irish media, role play and business/cultural verbal exchanges.

Session 2

Principles of Effective Communication: through discussion and examples of various modes of communication in the business context
Introduction to Presentations: business idiom and terminology in the English language; structuring, scripting and illustrating a presentation.

Session 3

Graphs Analysis and Description: interpreting and visualising data in charts and graphs; creating descriptive captions

Presentation Delivery: voice projection, pace, intonation; diction, pronunciation; body language; use of electronic and other visual aids.

Session 4

Academic Writing: structure, vocabulary, grammar, in-text citations, bibliography.

Session 5

Promotional Literature: scripting , layout and design of a promotional leaflet.
Language of Negotiations: language and conventions of meetings; negotiation role play.

Session 6

Reading Comprehension skills: including skimming and scanning, text analysis, extracting key information and writing original concise responses to texts.

Session 7

Letters of Application: written and email job applications; CV’s.

Session 8

Report Writing: target audience; objectives; topics; focus; structure; format; layout; grammar and vocabulary.

Problem Solving: analysing the problem; barriers to communication; communication strategy;  understanding attitudes;  working out alternative approaches and techniques; selecting, implementing and evaluating the best solution.

Session 9

Investment Presentation: structure; audience focus; argument; persuasion; style and delivery; teamwork and interpersonal skills

Interview Skills: interview preparation; verbal and non-verbal communication; listening skills.

Session 10

Exam Preparation: syllabus overview, learning objectives reviewed, exam technique, study methods.


Reading Lists and Other Resources

Textbook / Journal based Resources:

Dubicka, Iwona et al. Market Leader (Advanced Business English) 3rd Edition. Pearson, 2011.

McClave, Henry. Communications for Business. Gill and MacMillan, 2008.

Bailey, Stephen. Academic Writing for International Students. Routledge, 2006.

Bannock, David et al. The New Penguin Dictionary of Business. Penguin, 2004.

Klein, Naomi. No Logo. Picador, 2002.

Levitt, Steven D. and Dubner, Stephen J. Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]. Penguin, 2006.

McAndrew, Richard and Martinez, Ron. Taboos and Issues. Heinle, 2002.
Sweeney, Simon. Communicating in Business. Cambridge, 2000.

Robinson, Nick. Cambridge English for Marketing. Cambridge, 2010.

Evans, David. Decision Maker. Cambridge, 1998.

Brieger, Nick and Pohl, Alison. Technical English Vocaulary and Grammar. Summertown, 2002.

Downes, Colm. Cambridge English for Job-Hunting. Cambridge, 2008.