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Role of Simulations in the Thai Graduate Business English Program: Can They Engage and Elicit Learners' Realistic Use of Specific Language?
This research paper aims at exploring the views of Thai adult learners enrolling in the one-year Graduate Diploma Program in English for Business and Management (EBM), Thammasat University, on the use of business simulations in terms of their realistic nature, level of engagement, and usefulness. In addition to the learners' views, outcomes of four different simulated meeting tasks conducted by a group of four learners were analyzed to explore how realistic patterns of interaction used in those simulations were. The hypothesis of this study is that if the learners find the simulated tasks engaging and representative of the real-world contexts, they are likely to focus on using specific and work-related language to fulfill the task purposes. In-depth interviews with a total of eight EBM students and audio-recordings of simulated meetings were the main data collection methods of this qualitative study. Discussion of the findings led to the conclusion that simulations strived to elicit the use of language which was similar to the authentic generic patterns found in the real world' business meetings. It further pointed out that the participants believed simulations were likely to assist them in improving their use of specific language to achieve their real-world business operations.
Simulations, Business Discourse, Genre Analysis, Language Learning, Second Language Acquisition, Learners' Interactions.
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