Chinese business education differs from British business education in many respects. On the whole, it focuses on the acquisition of theoretical knowledge, whereas British business education places far more emphasis on soft management skills and team-work. This paper examines a two-site business degree program offered by a Chinese international school and a British business school, and explores the attitudes and expectations of the Chinese participants and their Chinese and British lecturers from an “English for specific purposes” perspective. The study identifies areas of difficulty for Chinese business students in the UK, in particular regarding their beliefs about teacher and student roles, their learning priorities and learning strategies, and their “goal-oriented” approach to discussion, which is at odds with the more collaborative and exploratory Western discussion strategies. The findings have implications for pre-sessional and in-sessional English course design, the management of split-site business degree programs, the teaching of Chinese students, and the enhancement of learning experiences generally in international business programs.
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- Chinese students
- tertiary business education
- cultures of learning
- English for specific purposes