English Language and Writing Skills (ENGL) 189

English for Business (Revision 2)

ENGL 189 Course Cover

Under Revision

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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.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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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*: Economic Sectors
  • Module 2: Management 1: Structure, Motivation, and Conflict
  • Module 3: Management 2: Globalization and Gender Issues
  • Module 4: Production
  • Module 5: Marketing
  • Module 6: Economics 1: Government and Taxation
  • Module 7: Economics 2: Efficiency and Rationalization
  • Module 8: Economics 3: Free Trade and Environmental Concerns

* Each module has three lessons:

  • Content-reading and listening
  • Language use
  • Writing


To receive credit for this course, you must achieve a grade of an least D (50 percent) on the final exam and an overall grade of at least C− (60 percent). You must also complete all of the assignments. Details of the assignments are in the Study Guide.

Activity Weighting
Module 1: Business Letter + Paragraph 8%
Module 2: Summary 8%
Module 3: Resume + Cover Letter 8%
Module 4: Two Paragraphs 8%
Module 5: Two Business Letters 8%
Module 6: Essay 10%
Module 7: Case Analysis 12.5%
Module 8: Business Report 12.5%
Online Quizzes 5%
Final Exam 20%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

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

Course Materials


MacKenzie, Ian. English for Business Studies. 3rd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
(with audio CD)

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

Other materials

Students will access all other course materials online.

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 2, February, 2013.

View previous syllabus