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Review ~ Management Lessons for learners of English

A great book for students who want to and can talk about business management.
Reviewed for TEFL.net by Stephen Case
Management Lessons for learners of English

Management Lessons for learners of English

Management Lessons for learners of English by Paul Emmerson is a book squarely aimed at upper-level, professional, business-focused students. A lot of the book wouldn’t be out of place on an MBA. Because of this it may seem daunting at first. However, students with the right background and experience in management will find the topics a stimulating springboard into discussion-based classes. Other students, indeed anyone who has ever had a job, will be able to relate to the other work issues. Either way, despite its management focus, this supplementary book has something for everyone.

The teacher’s book is extensive. It has 50 topic-based units divided into 10 categories. Each unit starts with a reading followed by a section focusing on vocabulary. This is followed by a set of discussion questions. Finally, there is a follow up section meant for self-study after class.

The self study book for students contains the same reading as the teacher’s book but focuses on the vocabulary more by providing definitions and exercises for some selected words.

The readings themselves are one of the most interesting parts of the book. No two readings are alike. Perhaps reading isn’t even the right word as PowerPoint slides, diagrams, graphs and info-graphics are what the students are expected to understand here. Each one has its own unique style and presentation which makes this look like a business text with English rather than an English language text with some business in it. An enterprising teacher might find it beneficial to translate the information here into their own PowerPoint displays for the classroom. The style is also perfect for students to practice presentations with.

The discussion questions mostly try to personalise the topic. They ask students to discuss and share with partners their own experiences of the issues raised. This is a relevant way of discussing the topics as it stimulates more discussion than if the issues had to be talked about more abstractly. The questions are also mostly open ended, so discussion should develop in student-lead directions.

All this means that picking the right topic for the right students is going to be key in using this book successfully. Topics like “Stress” and “Inter-cultural Differences” are fairly universal and so they would slot nicely into any class. Other units like “SWOT Analysis” and “Change Management” are again personalised by the discussion questions, but the students will need the appropriate experience to get the most from the content.

Of course, the ability to personalise will also depend on the students’ level. The book is for a strong B1 level and upwards and even then the teacher should be ready to help with understanding. This is where some comprehension questions for the readings would have been nice. The different style readings could provide varied reading skills practice and focus students more in the initial reading.

What a teacher will find in Management Lessons for learners of English is a grown-up business English supplement for their classes. Some adaptation might be needed here and there for some classes, but a teacher should find at least a few topics any class can relate to. A great book for students who can and want to talk about business.

Reviewed for TEFL.net by Stephen Case
June 2012 | Filed under Business Materials

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