IBE/SE Program Introduction

International Business English (IBE) at SDSU

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International Business English Program Introduction

IBE StudentsWelcome to the International Business English program (IBE). We are happy you have chosen to study in this program, and hope you find the classes interesting and helpful in your pursuit of English language proficiency. Sometimes students do not have very clear ideas about what this program is like. The following information will help you understand what we do in this program and why we do it.

What Kind of Program is IBE?

IBE is a content-based communicative program. But what does that mean? It means that the students focus on business content while improving their ability to communicate in English. We do this by working on speaking and listening practice in all of your classes, not just in your Oral Communication classes. For example, that means that in your writing class, you will learn to write English correctly, but also get practice speaking English correctly. This is especially important for students who have spent many years studying English grammar rules and memorizing vocabulary but still have a lot of difficulty using English.

What are the Goals of IBE?

The students in IBE learn both standard, formal business English and everyday, informal business English, including a lot of idioms and slang used in the workplace. This will help students understand popular American culture, as well as more formal situations like using English for business. The IBE program also helps students understand when to use the informal expressions and when to use the more formal expressions that they learn in class.

In the IBE program, we also teach students skills and strategies that will help them use business English outside the classroom. For example, in class students may learn the English they will use when networking, interviewing, negotiating, etc.

Another important part of the IBE program is giving the students the chance to learn about American culture and business culture from the teachers, the American students participating in their classes, and the classroom materials such as case studies, movies, and books. This information will help students not only feel more comfortable during their stay in the United States, but also make it easier for them to understand Americans and the American lifestyle.

What Kinds of Things Happen in a IBE Classroom?

Because IBE students are here to use English and improve their business knowledge, we do lots of pair and small group work in class.  Students will learn about a variety of business and business-related topics and often times have to apply what they learned through on-the-job interactions or presentations.

Students do not spend most of their class time listening to a teacher talk because it is important for students to spend most of their time practicing the English that they are learning and producing in real-life business situations.

The goal of this program is not to study and memorize large amounts of English, but to spend a lot of time practicing and producing what we do study so that you can remember and use it successfully outside the classroom. This is the way to increase your fluency in English and improve your knowledge of business.

What is Expected of Students in IBE?

Of course, students should have good attendance and do their homework! However, even more important, students must be ready to use their English both in the classroom and outside the classroom. In the classroom, this involves asking and answering questions, participating in pair and small group activities, all while using only English. Outside the classroom, students should spend time with classmates from other countries so that they do not spend too much time speaking their native language. Also, they should make an effort to do things that will give them the chance to talk with native speakers of English, for example joining SDSU business clubs, university activities, observing SDSU classes, getting a language exchange partner, and going places in San Diego and other cities.

IBE students are studying in classes with students from many different countries. At first, it may seem very difficult to understand your classmates because of different accents. However, with practice, it gets easier and easier. It is important to be able to use English with people from many different countries around the world, not just Americans. This will help you in your job if you have contact with people from other countries and will make it easier to communicate when you travel outside your country. Therefore, be open to speaking with and spending time with your classmates who do not come from your country. They will help you improve your English!