Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

Committee Chair

Cynthia S. Chalupa.

Committee Co-Chair

Susan N. Braidi

Committee Member

Maria Amores


In today's world of international commerce and technology-driven communication, the exchange of information across countries and cultures has become crucial to creating a global citizenry. After World War II, efforts to create a global commercial market resulted in the promotion of communication across cultures. The purpose of this thesis is to outline a theoretical rationale for a beginner English for Specific Purposes (ESP) curriculum in a foreign setting (Brazil). The curriculum consists of four courses organized around three pillars: (a) the production of spontaneous contextualized communication in the target language, (b) the development of cultural competence specific to the business arena, and (c) the applicability of praxis-oriented learning to the workplace. The Getting Down to Business model takes an innovative approach by drawing its rationale from a variety of methodological documents traditionally used for foreign language instruction -- the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Guidelines, and the Languages Across the Curriculum reform. Based on these documents, the Getting Down to Business curriculum places the ESP curriculum in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) scenario. Its state-of-the-art assessment system utilizes the ACTFL's Integrated Performance Assessment (IPA) prototypes as its central assessment instrument and implements a praxis-oriented approach to language teaching and learning providing immediate application of the tasks learned in class to job related activities. The document provides a four-semester course curriculum, from novice-mid to intermediate-mid in the ACTFL proficiency scale and includes ideas for the assessment of the curriculum.