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Service and FAQs

Studying Managerial English

How do I participate in a Managerial English course at the department?

 

As a B.Sc. student, how long will it probably take to complete a minor in Managerial English?

 

I am an exchange student and I speak little or no German. Can I still participate in Managerial English courses? And what if I'm a native speaker of English?


Using Managerial English

Where do I look up the meanings of words to understand or translate a text?

 

How can I improve my managerial English?

 

How do I prepare for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?


Getting Help with Managerial English

Can I get a reference or a letter of recommendation for graduate studies, a semester abroad or an internship?

 

Do you translate, proof-read or edit my English-language seminar paper or thesis?

 

Can you help me translate official company documents (internship certificates, annual reports, advertisements, etc.) into English?

 

Do you proof-read my English-language job application (CV/résumé and cover letter)?




Attending Managerial English courses

To attend one or more Managerial English courses, you will need to register via the StudIP system. Course dates and times are determined two weeks before the start of each semester, and StudIP registration for all courses starts one week before lectures begin. Before registering, however, please consult the relevant module descriptions to make sure you meet the requirements for participating in these courses.


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Exchange students

If you speak little or no German, the only Managerial English course not suitable for you is Basic Business English, because this course systematically contrasts German v. English language use. All other courses are open to you, subject to availability of places. If, however, you are a native speaker of English, the only courses appropriate for you are Intercultural Communication (6 CP), Anglo-American Culture (3 CP) or my Master's level courses -- any other courses taught at Bachelor's level are not challenging enough by far. 


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References

The department's examination office provides a standard letter of recommendation in English for students who wish to apply for graduate studies at other universities. If you need an additional reference, however, I will be happy to provide one if you have completed at least three of my courses. The reason for this 'three-course requirement' is that I need a good impression of your language skills, personality and work ethic to evaluate them in a fair way. So, if you have completed at least three Managerial English courses with me and need a reference or a letter of recommendation, please come see me during office hours. Please remember to bring in the relevant forms to fill in (if any) and your curriculum vitae (in German or English). 


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Vocabulary problems

For rough-and-ready translations of everyday words and newer expressions into German, use LEO. For translating stock phrases and proverbs, phrasen.com is more useful. More professional and accurate translation -- including translations from German into English -- are best done using reliable printed dictionaries, which provide indispensable information on the meanings of words and expressions in context. You may, for example, want to consult PONS Großwörterbuch (G 91/115) or Schäfer's Wirtschaftswörterbuch (G 91/84) at the departmental library. 

One of the most authoritative sources of explanations and definitions in English is the Oxford English Dictionary. For technical terms from business and economics, try either The Economist's A to Z of Economics Terms or BizEd's searchable Glossary of Business Terms


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Improving Managerial English

The only way to improve your language and communication skills is to study and practice regularly and over a long period of time. There are no shortcuts in this area, so don't waste your money on so-called 'crash courses'.

It is much more productive to

  • make a habit of reading Business Spotlight on a regular basis (this magazine is specifically designed for German learners and offers articles on various business topics as well as a wide range of language exercises; it is available at the library)
  • follow current events and English-language news in your area(s) of interest, using podcasts and other multimedia contents from quality sources, such as The Economist or BBC News
  • systematically write down, look up and study new words and expressions to build your vocabulary and improve your spelling
  • initially complete additional grammar and vocabulary exercises online; then use Coursera's extensive offer of online business English/communication courses to hone particular skills
  • practice more specific writing skills using Purdue University's OWL Exercises
  • find a partner for tandem learning (ideally face-to-face) through JLU's language centre

 

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English-language coursework

 

I do not translate, proof-read or edit any of my students' English-language seminar papers or theses. After all, this coursework is supposed to reflect your own effort. If you still feel that you need help with your English, however, I may be able to put you in touch with advanced students of English who may be willing to proof-read your coursework for a fee.

 

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Translating company documents

 

I do not translate company documents for free, and there is a simple reason for this. If a company decides to publish a document in English, it ought to have someone on its staff who is qualified to do that. If the company does not have such a person on its staff, then it needs to hire (and pay!) a freelancer to do the job.

 

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Job applications in English

 

If you have attended my Professional Writing course, there is a fair chance that you are able to produce an effective job application in English. If not, follow the advice provided by the University of Westminster and Purdue's Online Writing Lab. Also, you may want to consult one of the useful how-to guides available in the departmental library. If you would still like to have me take a final look at your CV/résumé and cover letter, bring in both documents for proof-reading during my office hours. Please bring in printouts of your documents (no electronic files, please) and have them written in English (I do not run a translation service).

Please be aware that this service is available only for students who have completed at least one introductory and one-higher level class with me. All others should learn the basics first.

 

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Preparing for the TOEFL

 

If you want to study at a North American university, the near-universal requirement is that you score a certain number of points on the so-called Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). To take the TOEFL at the nearest test centre (located in Frankfurt/Main), you need to

  • register for it at toefl.org (and pay a hefty fee, of course)
  • prepare for it using self-study materials available from the departmental library


I do not offer TOEFL preparation courses because the TOEFL has nothing to do with managerial English. It is simply a measure of your proficiency in standard American English for general and academic purposes -- and a money-spinner for the company offering it. Its scores are valid for no more than two years.


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Time required for the minor

 

Assuming you are able to earn an average of seven to eight English credits per semester, the full 30-credit minor in Managerial English can be completed in four semesters. Please keep in mind, however, that it is strongly recommended to attend at least one or two additional English language courses at the language centre (ZfbK) in your first year of studies already. This will not only help you 'keep your hand in the water', but it will also result in a less busy schedule later.

 

Given that you can earn a minor in Managerial English in very different ways (see the teaching section for details), here are three alternative schedules to illustrate what is possible within these guidelines.

 

Schedule 1 (Illustration)

 

Semester

Managerial English courses

Additional English courses

Winter

Basic Business English (3 CP)

Communicating in English (3 CP) @ FB 02

Summer

Oral Communication (6 CP)

Grammar (2 CP) @ ZfbK

Winter

Professional Writing (6 CP)

Conversation (2 CP) @ ZfbK

Summer

Intercultural Communication (6 CP)

Current Events (2 CP) @ ZfbK

Total: 21 credits

Total: 9 credits



Schedule 2 (Illustration)

 

Semester

Managerial English courses

Additional English courses

Winter

Business Grammar (3 CP) @ FB 02
General English (2 CP) @ ZfbK
Conversation (2 CP) @ ZfbK

Summer

Basic Business English (3 CP)

English for the Job (2 CP) @ ZfbK

Winter

Professional Writing (6 CP)
Oral Communication (6 CP)

Summer

Anglo-American Culture (3 CP)

Intercultural Comm. (2 CP) @ ZfbK
Writing Workshop (1 CP) @ ZfbK

Total: 18 credits

Total: 12 credits



Schedule 3 (Illustration)

 

Semester

Managerial English courses

Additional English courses

Winter

Basic Business English (3 CP)

Summer

SEMESTER ABROAD

Financial Accounting (3 CP)*
Presentation Skills (3 CP)

Winter

Professional Writing (6 CP)
Oral Communication (6 CP)

Summer

Intercultural Communication (6 CP)
Anglo-American Culture (3 CP)

Total: 24 credits

Total: 6 credits



* special rule: 3 CP for one English-language management lecture attended abroad

 

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