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English for Global Business

Unit 03 Introduction to Global Business English

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After studying this lesson, you will be able to :

• define global business English;

• understand difference between daily English and business English;

• understand • explain

Objectives

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 Global Business English is basically defined as English used for the

conduct of global business and international trade and global business transactions.

 It is generally taught to non-native English speakers who desire to do business with English speakers from around the world.

 Thus, it is purely a functional category of Business English aimed at preparing learners for effective communication in a global context.  On the other hand, it can also be learned by native English speakers

who are more familiar with casual use of the language and are not sure of their footing when it comes to formal, multinational office environment conversations, and global business contracts or transactions.

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 English is the language of international business, and Business English can be defined as the use of application of English language skills as a global business communication tool.

 Most people using Business English in the global workplace are non-native English speakers, from a variety of cultures, languages and nationalities, all using what has become, in effect, the ‘national’ language of planet Earth.

 Therefore, a very important aspect of Business English is that it is cross-cultural; whereas language-learning normally involved acquiring some knowledge of the culture that the language represents, Business English by its very nature transcends cultures while at the same time

respecting them. Something that

transcends normal limits or boundaries goes

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 There are a number of other important differences between Business English and general English.

 Business English is not so much about learning ‘to speak a new languages’ as it is about learning to use the language we already know, in a practical business and professional context

 Business English is not just about using a second or foreign language: many of the skills used are also skills that are required to be learned by native-speakers

 In a general English group, all the learners should be at the same level. While useful, this is not always necessary in Business English, because the focus is on acquiring specific communication skills which can have application at different levels (it does, however, assume that all trainees are at a given minimum level- and they should not be too far apart)

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 There are a number of other important differences between Business English and general English.

 Time is a more important factor: the business English trainee must acquire a given set of language-based skills quickly, and does not have the time for prolonged courses that more often than not include skills that he/she will never need or use

 While various teaching approaches and methodologies can apply in general English learning, the approach in Business is essentially a task-based one, i.e. Learning-by-doing. The learner is given a specific task as an exercise, e.g. write and email with a given objective in mind, in while he/she has the opportunity to apply his/her new English skills in a practical way.

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 The focus in Business English is on the language and skills required for regular business communication; the vocabulary of trade, business contracts and transactions, presentations, negotiations, meetings, daily conversations, networking, correspondence and report writing, etc.

 The strict rules of grammar are sometimes ignored or sidestepped for these purpose.

 The scope of Global Business English dealt with in this book is as follows;

 Business Writings and Correspondence  Business Transactions and their Phases  Business Documentations

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 Effective business writing is an important ingredient for success because written communication is used in all areas of business operations.

 What makes business writing effective?

 To be effective, business writing should be clear, concise, and credible. Clear writing is easy to understand. Concise writing contains only the details that are pertinent to the purpose and topic of the communication. Credible writing is true, realistic and free of puffery.

 The Manager’s Guide to Business Writing, Suzzanne D. Sparks provides an excellent blueprint for writing with clarity, conciseness, and credibility and divides the writing process into four stages:

 Planning  Writing  Revising  Editing

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 Stage 1: Planning is the key to effective business writing.

 Planning your writing will help you organize your thoughts, shape your ideas, and develop the purpose of your material.

 Sparks explained that outline does not have to be formal or follow a certain format and it doesn’t even have to be organized. The first step is to simply get your thoughts on paper.

 It is important to clearly define the purpose for writing the communication and to write it from the audience’s perspective.

 For instance, if the purpose is to persuade potential customers to buy your product, then you must determine what will motivate them to buy it. Will they buy it because it will meet a basic need? Will they buy it to keep up with the Joneses? Will they buy it to look or feel good? Will they buy it because it is all the rage?

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 Stage 2: With your strategy in place, you are ready to write.

 You might want to ask yourself the following questions: What information do they need to make an informed decision? How much knowledge do they already have about the topic? What action would I like them to take after reading the information?

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 Stage 3: it’s now time to revise.

 The revising stage requires critical analysis of your work.

 It is the time to change things if necessary. (you may need to reorder paragraphs, delete sentences, add more details, or replace some words with others.)

 How can you start this process? Read your work as if you were a member of the target audience. Does the message resonate with you? Does it give you enough information? Does it persuade you to take action? Does it convey an understanding of who you are or what you need?

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 Stage 4: Add polish to the piece with editing.

 It can be difficult for us to edit our own material for consistency, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

 After all, we wrote it and have probably read it at least a few times.  So how can we catch those little mistakes?

 You know, the ones that are glaring at us, but we still can’t see them.  If possible, ask someone else to edit your material.

 If you can’t recruit an editor, one trick is to set the material aside for at least a day then you can re-read it with a fresh eye and clear mind.

 If your time is limited, Sparks says that “reading your work from finish to start may disrupt the flow of your words enough for you to catch some errors.”

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 Layout of the Business letter (Block Style Format, Modified Block Style Format, Semi-block Style Format)

 Block Format : Using this format, the entire letter is left justified and single spaced except for a double space between paragraphs. (p.34)  Modified Block : In this type, the body of the letter and the sender’s

and recipient’s addresses are left justified and single-space. However, for the date and closing, tab to the center point and begin to type.

 Semi-Block : It is much like the modified block style except that each paragraph is indented instead of left justified.

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Different Styles of Business Letters

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1. The Essential Parts of a Business letter

: A typical business letter consists of seven parts: the letterhead, the date line, the inside address, the salutation, the body of letter, the complimentary close, and the signature.

(1) The Letterhead : the heading at the top of a letter. It usually consists of the name, address, telephone number and fax number of a company. The letterhead can be typed out but is usually printed on the company’s stationery.

(2) The date Line : The format of the date line differs from country to country. The common ones are MM/DD/YY (typical American), DD/MM/YY (Typical British).

(3) The Inside Address : it is the recipient’s address, identical to the delivery address on the envelope.

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1. The Essential Parts of a Business letter

(4) The Salutation : It is the greeting to your recipient. It usually includes a personal or professional title and the name of the recipient.

(5) The Body of letter : It is main and largest part of a letter. The body is made up of one or more paragraphs in which the main idea of the letter is relayed.

The first paragraph of the body of a letter should include the reason for writing. Additional paragraphs should go into more detail about the subject. The last paragraph of the body should summarize the message and make any necessary clarifications. The body follows the heading, date, address, salutation and subject line. The closing and signature follow the body.

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1. The Essential Parts of a Business letter

(6) The Complimentary Close: This part is like bidding farewell to someone with a handshake, a pat on the shoulder, a wave of the hand, or a kiss. Like the salutation, the complimentary close has some variations in style; formal, semiformal and informal. Capitalize the first word only.

(7) The Signature : it consists of a symbol(handwritten or chopped, usually illegible), the typed-out name(so that you know who signs it), and a title.

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2. The Optional parts of a Business letter

: For one reason or another, you may need more parts to be included in a business letter, say to direct the letter to a specific person without your knowing the name of that person. Any one or all the parts listed in this section can be added to the letter.

(1) The Return Address: In most cases, the return address is printed on the letterhead.

(2) The Attention Line : If you want your letter attended by or directed to a specific person or department, add an attention line. This will speed up the sorting process within a company.

(3) The Subject Line : it helps the sender and the recipient identify the subject matter.

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2. The Optional parts of a Business letter

(4) The Typist’s Initials (Identification Marks) : Typist initials are used to indicate the person who typed the letter. Many businesses prefer to drop the typist’s initials.

(5) The Enclosure Notation : When something else is sent together with the letter, you add the enclosure notation to inform the reader what is enclosed. If you have closed any documents along with the letter, such as a resume, you indicate this simply by typing Enclosures one line below the closing.

(6) Carbon Copy Notation

(7) The Postscript Notation : it is used to add an afterthought.

(8) The Second page Heading : When a letter runs more than one page long, the second page heading is necessary for quick identification.

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