Welcome to the Ukrainian for Professional Communication web-based textbook. This textbook endeavours to strike a balance by allowing the materials to be adaptable and malleable to the unique needs of each classroom or individual learner.
The textbook is designed for advanced levels of Ukrainian for business and professional communication, for an English-speaking university/college audience (one semester-long course: three contact hours per week, adaptable for 13-16 week semesters). The goals and objectives consist of offering learning and teaching materials in an electronic format, which allow learners’ to socialize into the target sociocultural community through exposure to authentic and relevant environments. The approach used in designing this textbook is content- and task-based, the key elements of which are: to aid students in developing critical-thinking skills; to provide them with guided opportunities for reading, speaking, listening and writing; to assist students in acquiring socio-cultural understanding through the incorporation and use of authentic materials in the learning and teaching processes. Based on this approach, the learning and teaching materials provide opportunities for students to practice various skills in the language, in a range of contexts, which simulate an array of environments likely to be encountered in professional situations of the target culture. That is, this textbook includes diverse cultural materials, as well as facts and issues of interest to Ukrainians or those interested in contemporary Ukraine in the spheres of business and professional communication. The five chapters are: 1) Resumé; 2) Employment and job interview process; 3) Official documentation; 4) Finances and banking; and 5) Insurance. All instructional materials are in Ukrainian (as the target audience are students with an advanced/intermediate high level of language proficiency).
Each chapter includes a selection of authentic texts and documents (such as resumés, cover letters, official documents, correspondence samples, etc.), authentic images and video files. Importantly, all reading practice texts contain an enhanced glossing system; that is learners click on hyperlinked vocabulary items (relevant to business communication) and instantly receive relevant translations, which assist with the reading/comprehension process. The main videotexts also provide pre-viewing activities, including initial vocabulary familiarization in order to enhance listening/comprehension practice. All texts are preceded and followed by a selection of task-based activities. These accompany text collections to provide learners with several opportunities to practice all four language skills. These varieties of interactive exercises and activities have been developed for students’ use under an instructor’s supervision, or for individuals to use on their own. In addition, each unit contains student self-assessment activities (questions with multiple choice answers, quizzes, and crossword puzzles).
Throughout the textbook, in exercises and in activities, students are presented with meta-linguistics and socio-cultural commentaries on specific cultural environments and certain conventions that are at play. A variety of cultural information is also presented through authentic images that appear to the right-hand side of learning activities. These images could be viewed as additional cultural information texts for students to explore on their own. The provided images could also be incorporated by instructors into face-to-face classroom interactional activities.
In this web-based textbook, learners have quick access to three sets of Appendices, which provide an array of functional expressions for oral and written communication: A=functional phrases: A-1) conducting an interview/opinion poll; A-2) comparison; A-3) summary; A-4) connecting devices in writing and speaking; A-5) giving advice; B=communicative phrases: B-1) asking an opinion; B-2) asking for confirmation of an opinion; B-3) expressing an opinion; B-4) agreeing; B-5) disagreeing; B-6) lacking understanding; B-7) expressing surprise and disbelief; B-8) expressing doubt, uncertainty, and probability; B-9) asking for clarification; B-10) expressing indifference; B-11) changing the subject; B-12) adding information; B-13) entering the discussion; and C=language etiquette: C-1) welcoming and greetings; C-2) good-byes and leave-takings; C-3) congratulating and expressing wishes and condolences; C-4) modes of address in speech and in writing; C-5) closing letters; C-6) inviting and requesting; and C-7) expressing gratitude.
The textbook includes a glossary of vocabulary items relevant to business, used in the chapters and glossed in texts for reading and listening (supplemented with relevant grammatical information to ease the use of these items in context). An index is also included for easy referencing.
Please also note that the textbook adheres to the “Proficiency Guidelines” of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL),1 and is intended for use by students who have achieved, or are close to achieving the intermediate high language proficiency level.
1 Cf. <http://www.sil.org/lingualinks/ languagelearning/ OtherResources/ ACTFLProficiencyGuidelines/ contents.htm>
This electronic textbook is to be used as a main text in an advanced Ukrainian, 3rd or 4th level of instruction, content-based course devoted to learning Ukrainian for business and professional communication (at universities and colleges that offer Ukrainian).
For those interested in Ukrainian-North American business relations, yet are not necessarily affiliated with educational institutions, the textbook will offer a wide selection of helpful texts and interactional activities on various relevant topics. Therefore, the text could also be used by individuals not necessarily associated with an educational institution for self-learning and self-practice purposes (a classroom setting is recommended for more productive language acquisition).
In the present web-based textbook, stress marks are included only in the Dictionary, serving a reference function, similar to dictionary entries, aimed at native speakers. In the main text, i.e. throughout the chapters, no stress marks are included in order to maintain textual authenticity. In addition, in this author’s view, stress marks do not bring any additional benefit for L2 learners in language acquisition. The stress marks instead distort an authentic L2 environment in which, as is known, stress marks are not indicated.
This pedagogical decision is also informed by empirical studies in the field of L2 acquisition. Specifically, research work by Hayes-Harb and Hacking (2015) indicate that stress marks in L2 learning materials, Russian in their case, do not show any evidence of a benefit associated with the availability of stress marks for the acquisition of lexical items by L2 learners (2015: 107).
Hayes-Harb, Rachel and Hacking, Jane. 2015. “The Influence of Written Stress Marks on Native English Speakers’ Acquisition of Russian Lexical Stress Contrasts.” Slavic and East European Journal 59(1): 91-109.
As noted above, the textbook is designed primarily for a one-semester-long course (13 weeks): three contact hours per week, 39 instructional hours in total. The instructors are advised to cover one chapter in approximately 6.5-7.5 instructional hours (but this will vary for each classroom and among different types of learners). Please note that the textbook could be easily adaptable for longer semesters, 14-16 weeks, with supplementary activities, such as additional readings on current events, students’ presentations and projects (some suggestions are provided below).
As already noted, a variety of cultural information is presented through a number of authentic images that appear to the right-hand side of learning activities in each chapter. These images could be viewed as additional cultural information texts for students to explore on their own. Instructors could also incorporate the provided images into face-to-face classroom interactional activities. Please note that most of these images include not only visual, but also verbal texts. Reading and discussing these mini-texts can add to the students’ development of language and cultural competence skills in business Ukrainian. Students could be asked to read these visual texts, discuss them, compare with their own cultural knowledge or write about them, in class or as homework (please note that these texts could be incorporated as excellent tools for practicing functional phrases from the Appendices).
Collaborative dictionary project:
If instructors have access to a Moodle system, or some compatible platform for organizing class materials, there is an opportunity for all students and an instructor to collaborate on creating an online dictionary. Specifically, students collaboratively create this excellent tool that could be used in the classroom and beyond. Each week throughout the course, students are responsible for entering, for instance, 5 new vocabulary items into this joint dictionary of Ukrainian business terms. The end product is an electronic dictionary that students could use in the classroom, as well as in their future encounters.
Students learn best through practice and when this practice is presented in an engaging manner. Games are excellent tools for additional vocabulary practice, and they: provide a language environment that is meaningful, motivating, engaging and learner-centered; promote a positive attitude towards the course, the instructor and peers, and reduce anxiety; stimulate affective and cognitive engagement; promote communicative competence by encouraging creative and spontaneous use of language; allow for integrating various linguistic skills through a cooperative learning environment; and help to energize both the instructor and the learner.
Every instructor has his or her own favourite language games. Some to explore are: charades, Pictionary, Jeopardy, and memorization games.
In the advanced level of language and culture study, and for professional communication in L2 in particular, it is strongly advisable to add additional assignments prepared and presented by learners in the classroom. These are: oral presentations on various topics related to business and the economy, which are of interest to students, something that reflects their individual passion, as well as professional interests. Students may also be required to work on a larger project, a final project for the course that reflects students’ learning experience throughout the semester.
Overall, oral presentations and final projects are very valuable tools for learners, as they broaden the scope of materials covered in class, focus on topics of greatest immediate interest to students, and increase research and presentation skills in the target language – skills critical in the business world.
Here are some samples, which instructors are welcome to adapt as neededOral presentation guidelines and marking criteria get access Final project guidelines and marking criteria get access
In the proposed one-semester course, instructors are encouraged to assess students’ progress with tests and possibly quizzes. At least two tests are recommended: mid-semester and end-of-semester. Instructors may consider bi-weekly quizzes, if deemed necessary.
Here are some samples, which instructors are welcome to adapt as needed.
Note: Needless to say that tests should always reflect what students have learned and to which materials, resources and assessment activities students were exposed in their learning process:Test 1. Sample A get access Test 1. Sample B get access Test 2. Sample A get access Test 2. Sample B get access
Please note that these are broad samples, adaptable to the needs of individual class needs.
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