Case Studies

The following cases provide a few examples of customized classes where the pedagogy was built around the trainees’ professional English needs and objectives.

A marked improvement in confidence and English speaking ability
A trainee who worked for an international high tech company in marketing research was required to speak directly with native English speakers and colleagues with levels of English higher than hers. We worked together on tenses, her reoccurring mistakes, marketing and business vocabulary and pronunciation. Particular focus was on speaking and listening. During the same period as the course, the trainee attended meetings and led focus groups; she felt more confident to speak in English and she was able to find her words with greater ease. By the end of her course, she was a lot less hesitant and was better able to express herself in English in front of her peers.

Presenting work experience to a panel of European senior managers for a job promotion
A trainee was applying for a senior management position within his company and required assistance in presenting his projects and work experience in English. Together, we reviewed the outline of the presentation and clarified key points, worked on repetitive practise of the presentation while at the same time improving pronunciation, working on problematic grammar, replacing false ‘friends’ and introducing hedging expressions. We also discussed cultural differences regarding humour and simulated the question and answer period. With successive repetitions, and simulations the training increasingly was clearer and more confident. The trainee succeeded in getting his promotion.

Handling delicate emails to with senior native speaking colleagues
A senior manager at an international high tech company needed to write delicate emails to the company’s corporate headquarters located in the US. So, we first identified the communication needs and strategies of the trainee and his correspondent by reviewing the email discussion. Next, I asked the trainee to write the email response. After which, we corrected the email together and identified and worked on problematic language. This was followed by controlled grammar exercises in following classes. As a result, the trainee was able to write sensitive emails that were more clear and at the same time more diplomatic.