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2015/2016  BA-BIMKV1004U  Improving your professional impact in English

English Title
Improving your professional impact in English

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 25
Max. participants 40
Study board
Study Board for BA in Intercultural Marketing Communication
Course coordinator
  • Barry McKenna - Department of International Business Communication (IBC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Communication
  • Language
Last updated on 17-02-2015
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: At the end of the course, students must be able to:
  • demonstrate an ability to make an impact in a professional situation through their mastery of the english language in terms of suited vocabulary, correct pronounciation and matching body language. This entails that:
  • students must demonstrate their mastery of various acting and vocal techniques, and how to use them to achieve a desired effect in presentation and business situations.
  • students must demonstrate proficiency in using rhetorical elements appropriate to specific needs, and finally,
  • students must be able to use this knowledge as a tool to demonstrate their understanding of how different roles change, depending on which situation they are faced with.
Improving your professional impact in English:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral Exam
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 4 students in the group
The group examination will be in the form of a role-play devised by the group, with subsequent examination of group members in the theoretical reasoning behind their choices.

The group shold consist of 3 or 4 students
Duration 15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Another examination form
If the whole group fails the exam the retake exam will take the same form as the oridinary exam.

If a student is ill at the time of exam the re-take exam will take the form of a solo presentation based on syllabus. The duration will be 15 minutes including examiners' discussion of grade, informing and explaining of grade.

If only one or fewer than the whole group fail the ordinary exam the re-take exam will take the form of a solo presentation based on syllabus. The duration will be 15 minutes per student including examiners' discussion of grade, informing and explaining of grade.
Description of the exam procedure

The final exam will take the form of a role-play devised by the students. The first 20 minutes will be allocated to the students' group performance of the role-play. Subequently, the students will be examined, and are expected to explain the technical and theoretical background for their contributions to the role-play. Students can also be questioned on general course material during the examination.

Course content and structure

The business world is a stage where we all have to perform professionally and be good at what we do. We can learn the theory, we can learn our 'lines', but it takes the accomplishments of many years to gain the wisdom of experience that only learning by doing can teach us. The aim of this course is to attempt to shrink that gap. Taking communication theory as a starting point and applying it to well-tried and trusted methods used in acting technique, this course seeks to help the student to work towards building a professional persona. Utilizing English as a second language is not just a question of fluency but also knowledge of cultural speech patterns, convincing body language and mastery of challenging situations. This course offers “learning by doing” on the fast track resulting in well-trained performers well equipped to enter into a world of professionals and make their impact.

The primary goal of this course is to improve the student's oral competence in professional, practical English within different settings in the world of business. Using elements of acting techniques, the course focuses on the following points: the use of voice, the development of self-confidence, improvement of projection of both voice and persona, all of which is essential for an English speaking professional. Emphasis will be laid upon the creation of groups and inspiring interaction within those groups. Emphasis is also given to working as individuals in order to improve one’s oratory and communicatory skills in presentation and debate. A secondary goal of the course is to develop the language skills of students who have English as their second language by the use of improvisation both in group work and as individuals thus improving their fluency in conversation and communication. These skills will be put into practice in the classroom by the use of role-play, debate and speechmaking.

Teaching methods
This is a practical course in which topics are first presented by the instructor, but students will be expected to take to the floor from day one. There will be instruction in basic acting and voice techniques and students will be expected to create written material for presentation and discussion both during the sessions and outside the classroom. Vocal warm ups and improvisations will be given each session. Group and individual challenges will be set in class and group interaction encouraged outside the sessions. Improvisation sessions will slowly give way to set role-plays created from situations encountered in the business world designed to bolster self-confidence, language and coping skills. No previous experience with acting technique or voice work is necessary to take part in this course but the student should be of a positive mind to improve both their English and communicating skills. The final exam will take the form of a group presentation based on a role-play devised by the students. 20 minutes will be allocated to the presentation of the role-play including variations on the role-play. A further 15 minutes will be allocated to each individual student to explain reasons for their contribution to the role-play, each member of the group having been assigned a specific topic from the course material. Students can also be questioned on general course material during their 15 minutes.
Further Information

COURSE TEACHERS: Barry McKenna and Bettina Buchholtz.

Teaching schedule: Thursday 11.40-14.25, week 36-41,43-48.
changes in schedule may occur.

Expected literature


1.Theater Games for the Lone Actor – Viola Spolin
2.Voice and the Actor – Cicely Berry


3.Pragmatics – George Yule
4.Professional Communication in English – Margrethe Smedegaard Mondahl, Lisbeth Pals Svendsen, Jonas Rasmussen
5.Sound English – Inger Mees and Beverley Collins
6.Persuading People – Harvard Press

Last updated on 17-02-2015