Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

Using Wikis to Support the Development of Entrepreneurial Skills in a Business English Course

Maria de Lurdes Martins, Polytechnic Institute of Viseu - CI&DEI (Portugal)

Paula Fonseca, Polytechnic Institute of Viseu - CI&DEI (Portugal)


Entrepreneurial skills are crucial in today's interconnected world, and need to be addressed at school level. Today, it is a common practice to work with people from different parts of the world and it requires a set of skills and competencies often referred to as 21st century skills, which are required in today’s interconnected world. Furthermore, students should be engaged in motivating real life learning experiences, enhancing innovation and creative skills. It is the role of higher education institutions to offer students opportunities to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. This may include provision of exposure to different challenges that encourage them to develop entrepreneurial skills. It includes exposing them to real life problems, supporting entrepreneurial behaviours through awareness creation and stimulation of ideas. [1] [2]. This paper reports on a start-up simulation project in the curricular unit of Business English I, taught to 1st year Marketing undergraduates in a Polytechnic Institute in Portugal.  During one semester, students worked in entrepreneurial teams and had to create a company profile and market an innovative product or service and sell this during a trade fair. Prior to the project, a project wiki was set up using PBWorks, where all the instructions and guidelines were made available.  This was a password-protected wiki and all students registered for the course had not only online access to the project material, but they were also provided with links to relevant sources of information that they could use to develop their start-up. As soon as all the entrepreneurial teams were formed, each team was given access to their own wiki, which would act as their workspace for the entire duration of the project. The project had the duration of 10 weeks and each week students had a class in a computer lab to work on the project. First, students had some orientation in class on how to use PBworks, then they had to think of an idea, service or product which they would like to use for their  entrepreneurial venture throughout the course. The next tasks involved creating a company name, logo, some general background information about their company, an organigram and business cards for each member of the group. Students also had to prepare for a final trade fair namely by describing their product / service, develop promotional material and create a poster to be exhibited in their stand at the trade fair.

Keywords: Business English, entrepreneurship, business simulation, wikis.

[1] Thematic Working Group on Entrepreneurship Education. (2014). Final Report of the Thematic Working Group on Entrepreneurship Education. Brussels: European Commission.
[2] Bacigalupo, M., Kampylis, P., Punie, Y., Van den Brande, G. (2016). EntreComp: The Entrepreneurship Competence Framework. Luxembourg: Publication Office of the European Union; EUR 27939 EN; doi:10.2791/593884

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