Language school Kielikanava, Finland
Teacher: Patrick Gallagher

A Scandinavian bank recently acquired a Finnish bank and English was adopted as the company language. The bank wanted to improve their people’s communicative skills when dealing with the head office, regarding such things as basic phone and email skills, and most important writing company profiles and credit proposals. Our language school Kielikanava co-operated with Lingonet in order to produce multimedia e-learning material to be used via Internet for distance learning.

The e-learning material Business English Workout deals with case studies regarding two fictitious companies: Clean Easy and Sport Fritid. Sampo distance students went through the e-learning material learning about the companies and key banking and business English terms. There are two main tasks: one, which deals with writing company profiles and the other for writing arguments for credit proposals. In addition there are 15 self-study tasks.

In the course we taught, the students emailed the tasks to their teacher and then follow it up with 3 phone lessons (20 minutes each) During these calls the student and teacher discussed the assignments and banking English in general. Role-play can also be used, for example, the student can write emails to their teacher (as if they were writing to clients) asking for more information, or as if they were writing to the head office in Denmark asking for clearance or clarification.

Students found the combination of emails, phone calls and listening comprehension very useful. They also felt the material was quite authentic.