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Find out more about Managerial English courses - including their philosophy and objectives, the course programme and brief course descriptions.

Courses this semester

 Summer 2022

Introductory coursesLecturer
English for Management (B.Sc.) in-person Thomas Wagner
English for Management (B.Sc.) in-person Thomas Wagner
Advanced courses
Oral Communication (B.Sc.) in-person Thomas Wagner
Written Communication (B.Sc.) in-person Thomas Wagner
Working Across Cultures (B.Sc.) in-person Thomas Wagner
Rhetoric for Managers (M.Sc.) in-person Thomas Wagner

Course Programme


Courses in Managerial English are offered for both undergraduate (B.Sc.) and graduate (M.Sc.) students.


Graduate courses are taught as six-credit modules and currently include Business Ethics (6 CP, winter semesters) and Rhetoric for Managers (6 CP, summer semesters). Any students who choose to participate without the need for credits will receive a certificate once they have completed the course.


The following information applies from the winter semester 2018/19. If you started your studies before then and have not switched to the new set of study regulations, see Service & FAQs.


Undergraduate courses are taught at three consecutive levels: 

  • introductory level: English for Management (6 CP)
  • higher level: Oral Communication (6 CP), Written Communication (6 CP)
  • advanced level: Working Across Cultures (6 CP)

Please note that these courses are consecutive, meaning that you will be required to complete them in the order given above, starting at the introductory level. At this level, you will be able to choose from two identical courses called English for Management.

You can attend additional English-language courses at any time during your studies and have them credited towards the 30-CP minor in Managerial English (see the entry on Managerial English as a minor subject).

All courses are taught every semester. They are open to all undergraduate students of business administration and economics who register for them via StudIP (see Service & FAQs for details on the registration procedure). Graduate students and students from other departments may be admitted selectively subject to availability of places.


Selecting courses

As a B.Sc. student, you do not need to show any proficiency in English as part of your studies. You can, however, choose to earn credits from any Managerial English courses you find interesting - provided you complete them consecutively, as explained above. In addition, you are able to study Managerial English as a full 30-credit minor subject.

Objectives and Philosophy


All Managerial English courses are designed to enable you to communicate more confidently and successfully in English-language management situations. These situations are necessarily diverse, and what exactly you are expected to do in them varies. You may, for example, be asked to write an effective complaint e-mail, give a persuasive business presentation, chair a productive meeting, make a professional telephone enquiry, design clear presentation slides, compose an attractive CV and much more...


Two things about these situations do not vary, however. First, you will always need good English language skills, meaning the ability to avoid major mistakes in pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary and grammar. Language skills are your building blocks. Second, you will always need good communication skills, meaning the ability to deal appropriately with the social and cultural norms that apply in management communication. Communication skills are your building plans.

Building a real house requires that you combine the heap of building blocks with a set of plans, and this is also true for Managerial English: One set of skills is not very effective without the other. What use, for example, is your mastery of the future perfect in the passive voice (as in "By this time next year, much progress will have been made.") if you are unable to 'do the right thing' in a job interview? Conversely, what good will it do you to design perfectly clear presentation slides if on the same slides you are unable to spell essential words correctly (is it "lose" or "loose", "quite" or "quiet", and "Polish" or "polish")?

Thus, courses in Managerial English are as much about learning to avoid major language mistakes as they are about becoming a better communicator. A 'better' communicator, though, is not a person who speaks and writes English that is entirely free of mistakes. Rather, it is a person who is (and not only comes across as) cooperative, realistic, persuasive, organized, clear, friendly, perceptive, trustworthy, open-minded and compassionate - professional, in short.

To improve both your language and your communication skills in Managerial English, active participation in class and extensive self-study are the keys to success. Even though all classes are interactive seminars and not lectures, you should not expect miracles from simply attending class once a week. Improving your skills requires continuous effort and practice outside of class.

What the courses in Managerial English have to offer is a non-threatening learning environment, some guidance and 'food for thought', room for discussion (and also disagreement), many practical examples and challenges, and - hopefully - some fun as well.

Managerial English Minor


The Managerial English minor consists of a minimum of 18 credits (max.: 24 credits) from courses I teach, which are supplemented with a minimum of 6 credits (max.: 12 credits) from courses I do not teach.


To earn the 18 to 24 credits required from courses I teach, you will need to complete the following courses in this order: 

  1. English for Management (6 CP) at the introductory level (compulsory)
  2. Oral Communication (6 CP) and Written Communication (6 CP) at the higher level (both compulsory)
  3. Working Across Cultures (6 CP) at the advanced level (elective)


To earn the remaining 6 to 12 credits, you will need to complete additional English courses that meet the following three criteria:

  • they are relevant to Managerial English
  • they are associated with ECTS credits or workload
  • they are completed during your studies


This means that you are quite free to decide exactly where and when to earn these additional English credits. You can, for instance, attend further English courses at JLU's language centre or at any other department at any university in Germany or abroad (provided the courses you attend have ECTS credits associated with them). And you can do so before or after or at the same time that you participate in the Managerial English courses I teach.


To ensure that your additional English courses are relevant for Managerial English (and can thus be credited), go by two simple rules. First, relevant courses must be taught and assessed entirely in English. Second, relevant courses must be designed either to improve your English language skills or to build your communication skills in English-language contexts that are related to business and management. This will help you determine whether a particular course offer is relevant or not.


Most language practice and communication skills classes taught in English are clearly relevant. This includes all courses taught at JLU's language centre, such as grammar, conversation practice, listening and speaking, current events, presentation skills, job applications, academic writing and the like.

Most traditional lectures, by contrast, are clearly irrelevant although they may be taught in English. This is because attending lectures on Postmodern American LiteratureAstrophysics or Structural Engineering at a German university will do nothing for your managerial communication skills.

Finally, please be aware that any English language and communication skills you have acquired outside university cannot be credited. Thus, no credits are available for

  • any English courses taken at private language schools in Germany or abroad
  • any English courses taken in school or as a part of your job training prior to studying
  • any tests or certificates of English-language proficiency or management aptitude (TOEFL, IELTS, BULATS, TOEIC, GMAT, etc.) and any preparation courses associated with them
  • having lived, studied or worked in an English-speaking country

If you are in any way uncertain about whether an English course you are planning to attend can be credited towards your Managerial English minor, please contact the department's examinations office.

For suggestions on how to schedule courses when studying for a minor in Managerial English, see Service & FAQs.

Course Descriptions


The following is a brief overview of Managerial English courses currently offered at our department. More detailed information is available from the respective module descriptions.


Undergraduate Courses

English for Management (6 CP)

This introduction to business and managerial English seeks to help beginners build business-specific vocabulary, unlearn typical German mistakes in English and become more confident in handling routine business encounters, such as professional telephone calls and e-mails. It also introduces students to current issues in management and serves to review the essentials of English grammar. Grading is based on an in-class presentation (40%) and a final written examination (60%).


Oral Communication (6 CP)

This higher-level course enables students to become more effective oral communicators in various management settings. Participants will give business presentations and take part in simulated job interviews to build essential rhetorical skills and improve their techniques of delivery. Grading is based on a mock job interview (50%) and a portfolio of written assignments (50%).


Written Communication (6 CP)

This higher-level course enables students to become more effective business writers. Participants will have an opportunity to apply the principles of producing correct, clear and audience-focussed management texts in the course of numerous writing and proof-reading assignments. These will include general business correspondence, memos, CVs/résumés and cover letters. Grading is based on an in-class presentation (25%), a portfolio of written assignments (50%) and a final written examination (25%).


Working Across Cultures (6 CP)

This advanced course enables students to become more effective intercultural communicators. Participants will study essential models of cross-cultural differences and learn how to apply them in diverse business and management settings. Case studies, simulations and team projects will help students increase their awareness of cultural diversity and become more adept at identifying and minimizing potential sources of intercultural miscommunication. Grading is based on an in-class presentation (40%) and a portfolio of written assignments (60%).



Graduate Courses

Business Ethics (6 CP, winter semesters only)

This seminar is targeted at advanced students who have an interest in learning about the ethical dimensions of business decisions. Using classic case studies, various moral dilemmas and extensive reading assignments, the course will challenge students to develop a more critical and thoughtful perspective on corporate and managerial decision-making. Participants will also practice how to use central ethical principles and analytical techniques in business decisions. Grading is based on an in-class presentation (40%) and a final examination (60%).


Rhetoric for Managers (6 CP, summer semesters only)

Given that a manager’s job is rhetorical by nature, this advanced seminar focuses on enhancing participants’ rhetorical competence. The course first reviews the central concepts and principles of rhetoric and persuasion, and then encourages students to apply them in business contexts. Various simulations, debates and public-speaking exercises will help students learn how to speak clearly and eloquently on a given topic, give persuasive speeches and argue more effectively. Grading is based on an in-class speech (50%) and a final paper (50%).