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Higher Vocational Education has had a rapid development in China since 1990s. It is playing an increasingly important part in Chinese educational system. The goal of HVE is to cultivate the application-oriented professionals needed in many fields of society such as social production, service, technology, management, and so on. With the economic globalization, there is a great demand for skilled personnel with good English and a wealth of knowledge about international trade. To meet the demandmany vocational colleges have established Business English programswhich aim at developing students’ overall language proficiency in business activities and emphasize the importance of business communicative competence. Business English Correspondence is one of the key subjects for the students majoring in Business English and International Trade in the higher vocational colleges. It plays a very important role in helping to achieve the above-mentioned objective.
However, the current situation of BEC teaching is far from satisfactory. Most teachers give their BEC lessons in traditional way in most vocational colleges in which there is only teacher’s talking and students’ listening passively. Therefore, few students take an active part in class activities, let alone conducting their own learning. The class is neither student-centered nor task-centered. Occasionally, students will be required to read or translate some sentences or business letters and their responses to teachers are “sorry”, “I don’t know” or something like that. There is little interaction and cooperation between teachers and students or between students and students. The low efficiency of BEC teaching needs to be improved urgently.
Up to now, many researchers or teachers at home and abroad have made a lot of studies on task-based language teaching method. However, very few of them have made experimental study of its application in the practical teaching of Business English Correspondence in China. In this thesis, the author focuses on the effectiveness of task-based approach in the teaching of Business English Correspondence and tries to find outthe students at which level (high, medium or low) can get benefit from this teaching approach.
BEC course is usually offered in thethird year with 4 periods per week for Business English majors in many vocational colleges. In the fifth term, students will takesome professional courses related to Business English. BEC is one of the compulsory courses for them. Although they have learned English for General Purposes (EGP) for two years, most students’ English is unsatisfactory and disappointing. There are alot of grammatical mistakes and poor structures in their assignments and they can’t express themselves very well in written and oral English. In addition, students do not know muchabout foreign trade, which is essential to cope with business activities. In fact, the number of Business English majors is large enough to satisfy the needs of society but many of them haven’t grasped the skills of dealing with business English correspondence very well, which partly show the weakness of current BEC teaching and learningin vocational colleges. Therefore, it is quite necessary to make a study in this field to improve this situation. In this thesis, the author tries to find out whether task-based approach is more effective in improving students’ proficiency in the course of Business English Correspondence than the traditional teaching method and hopes toshed light on the following research questions: Can TBLT make the vocational college students form more positive attitude and more confident in their BEC learning than the traditional PPP (Presentation, Practice and Production) approach? Will TBLT improve students’ English proficiency in BEC course more than the traditional PPP approach? Will TBLT reduce the students’ anxiety in writing business letters? The students at which level (high, medium or low) can obtain most benefit from this approach?
The thesis is divided into five parts. Chapter One gives a brief introduction to the research background, significance and structure of the research. Chapter Two involves literature review of the research, which includes a review on task-based language teaching and the previous researches of TBLT approach at home and abroad. In addition, it provides the theoretical basis of tasked-based teaching approach and clarifies the task-based teaching model, and explains the reasons and meaning of task-based teaching approach’s application in BEC teaching. Chapter Three is an experimental study including the detailed description of the subjects, instruments as well as data collection, data analysis. The experiment, questionnaire and interview are designed to testify the research questions proposed in this chapter. Chapter Four provides analysis and discussion of the research results. In Chapter Five, the author summarizes the major findings, describes the study implications and puts forward limitations and suggestions for future research in this field.
 
 
 
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