Applying Case-based Method in Business English Teaching for Chinese Food Science and Engineering Undergraduates




Qing Xie

Key Words

Case-based method ; business English teaching ; food science and engineering undergraduates ; Chinese university


Taiwan International ESP Journal

Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

9卷2期(2017 / 12 / 01)

Page #

21 - 47

Content Language


Chinese Abstract

The case-based method in business English teaching usually follows processes of case selection/creation, analytical reading, group discussion and evaluation. However, few studies address the use of the case-based method for specific disciplinary contexts such as food science and engineering. This study reports the use of the case-based method in one business English course for twenty-five food science and engineering undergraduates in China through questionnaires with open-ended questions and researcher’s participant observation and reflection to address participants’ perceptions and identify their recommendations for improving the teaching process. The case studies were run in every unit of the course, during which participants in small groups were assigned background reading, group discussion, oral reporting and case-based writing. The findings are as follows. The participants’ perceptions are that the case studies are challenging due to inadequate language proficiency, limited time, and unclear objectives. They reported that the case studies reflected real world practice and that the case studies contributed to language and communication skills development. Recommendations for business English teaching professionals include increasing business knowledge input in the case studies. During the teaching process, the case study activities should be diversified from reporting to other communicative approaches, such as role play, debating and use of video. Teacher participation in the case studies is also encouraged. The selection of more interesting topics, such as job interviews and negotiation, was also recommended. Case-based writing and group discussion are especially useful teaching activities for career development and academic studies. This study has positive implications for further enhancement of business English teaching practice in both China and worldwide contexts.

Topic Category 人文學 > 語言學
社會科學 > 教育學
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