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English (ENGL) 189

English for Business (Revision 1)

ENGL 189 image

Revision 1 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version.

The English Language Studies Assessment test is designed to help students understand their strengths and weaknesses in English and guide them to the most appropriate course(s).

Delivery Mode:Individualized study online.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: No area of study

Prerequisite: None.

Precluded Course: ENGL 187. (ENGL 189 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for ENGL 187.)

Centre: Centre for Language and Literature

ENGL 189 is not available for challenge.

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This course provides an introduction to business communications for students who wish to attend a post-secondary institution where English is the medium of instruction. The aim of this course is to prepare students to succeed in complex business communication tasks in writing, reading, and listening. This is a preparatory course for students most interested in improving their skills in a business/economic content area or taking further courses in Business related areas. It is designed from an ESL perspective, however, it is also appropriate for native speakers of English who are in need of business writing preparation.

Course Objectives

English 189 has been designed to meet the following objectives:

  • to improve the listening, reading, writing, and critical thinking skills needed for academic success.
  • to help you perform discipline-appropriate exercises and activities to develop the interpersonal, academic, and language skills necessary to succeed in a university or college environment.
  • to provide you with basic information on economics and business to prepare you for further business studies.
  • to give you practice in learning strategies that will enable you to become an independent, confident, and successful learner of business studies and business writing.
  • to enable you to practice rhetorical methods of writing development that are common in business writing and correspondence.
  • to help you understand the vocabulary and structure of the English language as it is used in academic writing.
  • to develop your critical skills of self-evaluation.
  • to provide you with the skills to deal with large quantities of academic reading and writing.


Module 1: Basic Economic Considerations

Module 2: Personnel Management and Labour Relations

Module 3: Recruitment and the Production Process

Module 4: The Marketing Process

Module 5: Accounting and Financing

Module 6: Market Structure and Ethical Considerations

Module 7: The Business Cycle and the Role of Government

Module 8: International Trade


To receive credit for ENGL 189, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a minimum grade of 50 percent on the final examination, and a composite course grade of at least “C−” (60 percent). The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Six business correspondence or paragraph writing assignments One case analysis* One business report* Final Exam Total
8% each 12% 15% 25% 100%

*The case analysis and the business report can be developed individually, or through peer editing in cooperation with one or more students via the Internet.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


MacKenzie, Ian. English for Business Studies. 2nd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
(with audio CD)

Geffner, Andrea B. Business English. 5th ed. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 2010.

Other materials

The course materials also include a student manual, study guide, and a reading file.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, September 10, 2007.

Last updated by SAS  09/10/2013 11:31:20