Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/23027
Title: Designing email tasks for the business English classroom : implications from a study of Hong Kong's key industries
Authors: Evans, S 
Keywords: Business English
Email communication
Hong Kong
Intertextuality
Task design
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Source: English for specific purposes, 2012, v. 31, no. 3, p. 202-212 How to cite?
Journal: English for specific purposes 
Abstract: Email has revolutionised the way in which professionals work and companies operate, and yet has received surprisingly little scholarly attention in English for Specific Purposes and has an unexpectedly muted presence in many Business English textbooks. The dearth of research into email use in globalised business settings may be one of the factors behind the unnecessarily wide gulf that separates the office and the classroom. This article seeks to narrow this gap by making practical suggestions about the design of email tasks for use in Business English courses. These ideas are based on three complementary sets of qualitative data derived from Hong Kong's service sector: over 30. h of interviews with English-using Chinese professionals, four " week-in-the-life" case studies and 50 email chains comprising 406 separate messages. These data provide pedagogically relevant information about the function of email in internal and external communication, its intimate relationship with spoken communication, the importance of intertextuality in email chains and the length, language and structure of email messages. The study recommends the adoption of a simulation-based approach in which email communication is embedded in a series of interdependent activities that integrate speaking, listening, reading and writing.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/23027
ISSN: 0889-4906
EISSN: 1873-1937
DOI: 10.1016/j.esp.2012.03.001
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