Professional English in Use: Marketing
|Author:||Cate Farrall & Marianne Lindsley (2008)|
|Publisher:||Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press|
|Pp. 144||978-0-521-70269-0||$30 U.S.|
The global business climate has driven the necessity for English training in the past two decades (Scott, 1994; Ellis and Johnson, 1994). This book is a response to that need. Written for inter- mediate and upper-intermediate level English learners, though perhaps useful for native English speakers as well, Professional English in Use: Marketing is for people from social, professional or educational arenas who want to develop their marketing vocabulary and improve their content knowledge. As such, this book is a contribution to both workplace and classroom learning. Its 144 pages are divided into 50 thematic units under 10 umbrella topics, each focusing on a different aspect of marketing:
Besides preparing learners for working in marketing, these appendices can also be extremely useful for teachers as class supplements. The answer key gives answers to those kinds of exercises permitting only one response. An index lists all new words and expressions (including their phonetic spelling and unit number) at the very end of the book.
A strength of this book is its systematic, easy-to-follow organization. Because it is user-friendly for a wide audience, learners can personalize their learning pathway: either work through the book sequentially or pick topics that interest them in the table of contents. After the basics, the topics become progressively more complex. Every unit in the book uses authentic sources from company websites and marketing blogs to case studies and the trade press. While the authors don't give traditional marketing tools short shrift, I commend its coverage of current marketing trends: for example, online shopping, Internet advertising, and corporate blogging.
Another significant aspect about Professional English in Use: Marketing is that it is a product of the Cambridge International Corpus. With the help of corpus analysis, learners of marketing English no longer have to rely heavily on intuition to know what to say or write, to put isolated vocabulary into the right contexts. Instead, the corpus information presents what speakers and writers have actually said and written most frequently. In addition, the corpus extracts illustrate the vocabulary usage and grammatical structures most problematic to learners of English.
The authors indeed have made a substantial contribution to students who want to learn specialized English for marketing. However, their book has a few noticeable drawbacks. First, a companion audio CD is not available with this book (nor with any of the Professional English in Use titles). The CD would have provided an additional resource for learners to consult when they use the book without assistance from their teacher (or for self-study). It is essential for learners to create phonemic connections when they study new vocabulary (Birch, 2007). In addition, learners could use the audio CD to practice their reading fluency, e.g,. lower-proficiency learners could read along with the CD to practice their reading speed, and for listening comprehension. Second, the subject focus of each unit might have been more accessible and understandable, particularly for learners at the lower end of a class, if some guiding questions had been provided at the beginning of each unit. It is important to activate learners' schema when introducing new vocabulary or new concepts, in order to prepare them for overall comprehension (Birch, 2007). A CD would also help learners develop their learning strategies, such as making predictions about what the text or vocabulary is going to be like (Garins & Redman, 1986). Nevertheless, these blemishes can be remedied easily by an experienced classroom teacher who knows how to customize a unit and scaffold learning processes for his or her particular group of students.
In classroom teaching, teachers should not consume a vast amount of time explaining and giving definitions of the vocabulary. There are several ways that teachers can organize a vocabulary lesson with the assistance of Professional English in Use: Marketing. First, teachers can ask students to find and look up those words most essential to the meaning of the topic, such as those repeated several times. Second, teachers can encourage students to apply cognate strategy, looking for similarities between the English word and a word in their first language. Third, teachers can encourage students to keep a personal vocabulary log throughout the course. Lastly, teachers can assess students' learning progress by asking students to respond in written or spoken form to the "over to you" section at the end of each unit.
This book is appropriate and useful for all learners of English, as well as for serious students who already operate at some level of English in the marketing world.
Birch, B. M. (2007). English L2 Reading: Getting to the bottom (2nd Edition). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Cambridge International Corpus. (2009). What can corpus do for me? Retrieved April 28, 2009, from http://www.cambridge.org/elt/corpus/what_can_corpus_do.html
Ellis, M., & Johnson, C. (1994). Teaching Business English. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Garins, R., & Redman, S. (1986). Working with words: A guide to teaching and learning vocabulary. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP.
Scott, J. C. (1994). Teaching an international business communication course. Bulletin of the Association for Business Communication, 57(1), 44-45.
Alisa Yi-Ting Tu
University of Pennsylvania
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