Business communication and the concomitant area of technical communication plays a primary role in an era of a globalised world order that we have today. Since the dawn of computers and the subsequent use of the same in CALL or communicative approach to language learning, computer mediated technology has taken a stronghold. The dissemination of such techniques that aid the learning of English as L2 or the Second Language in India has become the nodal method of teaching. Thus, any discussion of Business English and the teaching of the same in technical institutes necessitates taking into fact the technology and the associated logistics that one has in hand to conduct a course like this.
Sister Nivedita University (SNU) at New Town, Kolkata hosts a Communicative English course in the undergraduate level and a paper on EBC or Effective Business Communication in the MBA. The Communicative English course is further subdivided into Communicative English I & Communicative English IIbearing the codes 121115 and 121125 as per the coding system followed by the university. Communicative English (I) is taught in the first semester and Communicative English (II) is taught in the second semester. The course is intended to incline the students to the nuances of effective communication skills and to prepare them for the tough job market. The course is a judicious admixture of communication theory and the associated praxis that makes them industry ready. In semester 1, the focus is on functional grammar, comprehension, interview skills, GD and the like. Students from streams as diverse as commerce, arts & humanities, management, hospitality, computer science, mass communication and core literature et al. comprise the bulk of the students. The course keeps in mind the inescapable fact that in order to excel in the tough and even brutal job market of today, effective communication skills are a must.
Recently, a workshop on business cum technical meet on a specified topic was held by the teacher concerned with the active cooperation of all the students comprising the course of communicative English. The video proceedings of the same can be found on MOODLE (Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment), the LMS or Learning Management System followed by the university. A mock interview session was also conducted in the 1st semester that is available on MOODLE as well.
In MBA , a paper on EBC or Effective Business Communication exists that also follows the same teaching trajectory, albeit with a different syllabus. Students have to do presentations and are exposed to case studies that are an indispensable component in MBA . The thrust is, again, on the honing of communications skills, especially soft skills that is needed in an ever-changing business environment.
The teaching of Business cum Communicative English at SNU also embraces giving projects and assignments to students so that they can be assessed continuously and this is reflected in the assessment sheet of the students that also takes into account areas like participation by the students (on a 5 point scale), the projects and exams that they take on a routine basis.