Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Integrating Microsoft Teams into English for Specific Purposes Course for Future Learning: A New Business English Course Concept

Ksenia Sharapova, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Finland)


What is a future scenario of English language teaching at Universities of Applied Sciences like? One of the essential shifts in English language teaching in connection to the general trend of informationalism is emphasizing learners’ skills in online navigation, hypermedia analysis and all types of online communication; project-based content with possibilities of situational practice and critical thinking is to be the core of the new curriculum (Warshauer 2012). In addition, this change challenges English teachers to choose new tools to enhance English language learning for specific purposes. The present paper addresses the vital needs of the future English language teaching curriculum in the form of proposal for Business English course concept around project-based communication enabled through exploiting Microsoft Teams as a course platform. How to explain motivation for this pedagogical change? Maintaining relationships within organizations and in the business environment outside organizations is crucial and cannot be implemented without video-conferencing, real-time communication and collaboration tools among others (CallTower Blog Team 2018). The goal of English for Specific Purposes courses is to teach the skills that will be useful in the future profession (Saliu & Hajrullai 2016). Thus, in the Business English courses teachers should offer such tools that are useful for the students’ future career. Microsoft Teams is one of them. Quick communication, transparent teamwork, mind maps, news, sharing, video calls and recording – are some of the features that make Microsoft Teams be the choice for the current concept. In order to make learners understand applicability of the tool, it is important to create a reasonable project-based context. In the pilot version, the business challenge is about bringing a new Dutch responsible pet food product into the Finnish market. From the very beginning, the students simulate related business activities on bringing the product into the new market. According to Drury-Grogan and Russ (2013), simulations allow students to explore how they might manage in different business communication situations. Overall, the suggested concept might be further applied to the new language curriculum of 2020 and the new study models that implement the best principles of CLIL.

Keywords: English for specific purposes (Business), Project-based communication, Microsoft Teams, Business-challenge simulation.

[1] CallTower Blog Team, 2018. 5 Modern Business Communication Trends to Impact Your Business. Avilable online:
[2] Drury-Grogan, M. L. & Russ, T. L. 2013. A Contemporary Simulation Infused in the Business Communication Curriculum: A case study. Business Communication Quarterly 76(3). 304–321
[3] Saliu, B. & Hajrullai, H. 2016. Best Practices in the English for Specific Purpose Classes at the Language Center. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 232. 745 – 749
[4] Warschauer, M. 2012. The Changing Global Economy and the Future of English Teaching. TESOL Quaterly. Vol. 34, No. 3. 511-535

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