A study on difficulties in writing English business email of ImportExport staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company

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A study on difficulties in writing English business email of ImportExport staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company A study on difficulties in writing English business email of ImportExport staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company A study on difficulties in writing English business email of ImportExport staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company A study on difficulties in writing English business email of ImportExport staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company A study on difficulties in writing English business email of ImportExport staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company A study on difficulties in writing English business email of ImportExport staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company A study on difficulties in writing English business email of ImportExport staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company A study on difficulties in writing English business email of ImportExport staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company ABSTRACT Nowadays, technology plays an important role what has made people life more and more developing, especially in the 4.0 Revolution as today, it makes people’s demand and inevitability in using Internet increase faster That is the reason why all aspects and fields need to apply technology and use it in operation Business is not an exception, even this field cannot survive without Internet and technology Communicating with customers is one of the most important activities in business and also at the peak However, some ways to contact with customers such as making directly phone call, chatting through Internet social media or sending message still have a lot of weaknesses Thus, the application called business email, especially English business email is becoming very important Nevertheless, there are still some difficulties that employees have to face during writing them With this mind, this study is conducted The author will make an investigation with Import-Export staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company to find out the difficulties that they have to deal with in working time ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS A completed research would not be done without any assistance Therefore, the author who conducted this study gratefully gives acknowledgement to the support and motivation in the duration of doing this paper First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and gratefulness to my supervisor Mrs Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc who helped, supported and encouraged me enthusiastically while I conducted this graduation paper Her kindly support and continuous advice went through the process of the completion Her encouragement and comments had significantly broadened and bettered my work Without her inspiration, motivation and instructions, the study would have been impossible to be done effectively Moreover, I would like to express my appreciation to the Import-Export staff as well as the manager of the department in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company who helped me to conduct data collection for the study to make it more detailed Last but not least, I would like to state my special thanks to approve to my parents for their endless love, care, assistance and motivation to me for the whole of my life; my deeply thanks come to all my friends whose kindly help, care, motivation gave me strength and lift me up all the trouble for the rest of my life TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iii LIST OF FIGURES, CHARTS AND TABLES .v LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS vi CHAPTER 1: OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY 1.1 Rationale .1 1.2 Previous studies 1.3 Aims and objectives of the study .4 1.4 Research subjects 1.5 Scope of the study .4 1.6 Research methodology .4 1.6.1 Instruments .5 1.6.2 Data collection procedures .6 1.6.3 Data analysis methods 1.7 Organization of the study CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Overview about EBE 2.1.1 Definition of EBE .8 2.1.2 Types of EBE 2.2 The application of EBE 10 2.2.1 The purposes of EBE 10 2.2.2 The importance of EBE 11 2.3 Difficulties in writing English business emails and suggested solutions .11 2.3.1 Different language and different culture between two nations .12 2.3.2 Overload in working (the pressure due to spending too much time on writing EBE) 16 2.4 Qualities of EBE 17 2.5 Some EBE samples 18 CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH FINDINGS 21 3.1 The results of research and data analysis .21 3.1.1 The results of questionnaire 21 3.1.2 The results of interview questions 32 3.2.Main findings and discussion 34 3.2.1 The difficulties that the IE staff in MP Trade and Technical LC have to face in writing EBE 34 3.2.2 Some possible solutions to improve IE staff’s skills in writing EBE .35 CHAPTER 4: RECOMENDATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS .36 4.1 How to deal with the different language and culture between two nations 36 4.1.1 Solutions for cultural context matters 36 4.1.2 Solutions for different time-zone 37 4.1.3 Solutions for judging observation of the reader to emails .37 4.2 How to deal with the difficulty of overload in working 38 CONCLUSION 40 REFERENCES I APPENDIX II LIST OF FIGURES, CHARTS AND TABLES FINGURE Figure 2.1: The concepts of low-context and high-context cultures 12 Figure 2.2: EBE sample 18 Figure 2.3: EBE sample 19 Figure 2.4: EBE sample 20 TABLES Table 3.1: The staff’s experience(%) 22 Table 3.2: Main difficulties that the staff have to face in writing EBE (%) 25 Table 3.3: The staff’s observation about the difficulties in writing EBE(%) 27 Table 3.4: The staff’s observation about the importance of improving EBE writing skills (%) 29 Table 3.5: Some suggestions for the manager as well as the company to improve the staff’s EBE writing skills (%) 31 CHARTS Chart 3.1: Staff’s English level (%) 21 Chart 3.2: The time for writing EBE a day of staff(%) 23 Chart 3.3: The time for sending EBE of staff (%) 24 Chart 3.4: The staff’s most difficult thing in writing EBE (%) 26 Chart 3.5: The staff’s ways to improve EBE writing skills (%) 30 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS Item No Abbreviation MP LC IE EBE Full form Minh Phu Limited Company Import-Export English business email CHAPTER 1: OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY In this chapter, the author would give the overview of the study including seven parts related (rational, previous studies, aims and objectives, research subjects, scope of the study, research methodology and the organization of the study) Through these general points, it will be easier for the reader to catch and understand the study before moving to the main parts in this study 1.1 Rationale First, as we can see, technology along with the impact of Internet has made people life more and more developing, especially in the 4.0 Revolution as today, it makes people’s demand and inevitability in using Internet increase faster That is the reasons why all aspects and fields need to apply technology and use it in operation Business is not an exception, even this field cannot survive without Internet and technology Communicating with customer is one of the most important activities in business and also at the peak However, some ways to contact with customer such as making directly phone call, chatting through Internet social media or send message still have a lot of weaknesses Calling directly for the customer makes employee of the company difficult to identify suitable time to make a phone and this is quite inconvenient The other ways can make the business less professional and influence to the customer’s appreciation to the company Thus, the application called business email is becoming a new trend Second, related to the importance of English in business, no one can deny huge influence of it to the existence and the development of the company Together with the development of technology and international trade, Business English is also more popular than ever Without English which is considered as the international language, the business will loss opportunity themselves to cooperate with foreign partners It is a large barrier to the company’s development for the long term Especially with the department using English regularly, it becomes more and more important MP Trade and Technical limited company sees this view and apply it in operation and management Import- Export department is observed to use English most in the business They use business English in all assignments and activities, especially in communicating with foreign customers Moreover, using the international language helps to find out and attract potential foreigner and so chance to broaden customer group is respectively increased Therefore, English business email appears to meet the demand and get more and more necessary Last but not least, IE staff in MP Trade and Technical limited company are apparently quite inconvenient to approach the new method to contact with the potential customers There are a lot of difficulties when they apply English business emails at work and these maybe prevent them from completing their assignment The most common difficulty in writing the English business emails at MP Trade and Technical limited company is language and cultural differences between two partners They sometimes use a lot of words which are not suitable for English literary style such as not using professional greeting and professional closing, not having subject line in their emails and so on Next, managing time to write and choosing suitable time to send emails are the other common difficulties with IE staff of the company Therefore, based on difficulties related to English business email skills above, I would like to take “A study on difficulties in writing English business email of Import-Export staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company” as my research topic for my graduation paper 1.2 Previous studies These backgrounds will assist readers to have understanding of some leading experts in the field of using English as the second language based on using English business email at the workplace The review of previous studies will show remarkable data on staff’s performance as using the email to finish their assignments There are some studies made by both foreign authors and Vietnamese authors: Aggoune Amina (2015) in “Business letters writing in business communication” showed case study of Intermat company It offered an examination of business letter (BL) influencing recent and present practice in written communication; illustrated the range of features that exist in BL at present in order to know what makes BL effective The author describe that English is the common corporate language used in Intermat company and there were mistakes and workers faced difficulties when they communicated and interacted with non-English speaking colleagues all over the world Thus, this study helped to plan a letter and built principles of effective business letter writing As Shafa Firda Nila (2017) said in “Problems in writing English business letter: errors and factors (Third semester of Bina Bangsa Economics students majoring in Management and Accounting.)”, there are four classifications of errors: morphological, lexical, syntactic, and mechanical error These four of errors are divided into eight types: verb, noun, article, word choice, sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization Also, there are three major factors that cause the errors: language transfer, overgeneralization, and context of learning As the result, the author identified the problems of error found in English business letter writing and explained the factors that caused the problems Related to language matter in correspondence, Shunhui Zha (2010) in “Analysis of Language Features in Business Correspondences” proved that there are four basic characteristics of vocabulary in business correspondences: using of terminology, polysemy, conciseness and formalness of vocabulary, special usage of general words From this point, the author determined structures and format of business correspondences and stylistic features of business correspondences According to Vu Thi Huong Giang (2010) in “An analysis of some techniques to improve writing English business letters”, essential techniques in writing English business letters are your attitude, positive emphasis, tone, language To have this conclusion, she gave theoretical background of definition, importance, purpose, business letter format and some types of business letter She also found out some common mistakes in writing an English business letter With the developing of time, the studies on business emails are more popular both for English and other fields Almost research proved the useful implementation of business email in working environment and the way to improve writing skill However, to develop the ability of creating an English business email, the staff need to understand about the difficulties that they have to face at first So they can handle it and improve their writing skill Thus, this thesis will focus on the difficulties in writing English business email which is researched to IE staff in MP Trade and Technical limited company 1.3 Aims and objectives of the study This study aims to improve English business email writing skills for Import-Export staff in MP Trade and Technical LC based on respective problems they have The writer expects that after this study, writing EBE of the staff become less difficult and then their writing skills will be improved and getting better This study is made to answer two main questions:  What are the difficulties that IE staff in MP Trade and CONCLUSION Achievement In comparison with the previous aims and objects of the study, it obtained some achievements and basically finished the target as follows:  The author understand the difficulties that the IE staff in MP Trade and Technical LC have to face in writing EBE  All staff know the difficulties that they have to deal with and give some ways to improve their writing skills  The author suggests some solutions for the staff to improve their skills in writing EBE at work After this study, the author hopes that the IE staff in the business can understand clearly their difficulties in writing EBE at work Then they can find out the suitable ways to improve their skills in writing this type of emails Research limitations As far as limitations are concerned, the study has been carried out with only 15 IE staff (including 10 seniors and interns) and manager in the company, thus the conclusions drawn are restricted Therefore, it would be more interesting to apply it to bigger groups to make results more generalized Next, because of the shortage of knowledge, experience and time in doing the research, the study cannot cover other factors affecting English business email writing skills of Import-Export staff of Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company Suggestions for further studies In the future, some researches may use the similar activities for other subjects one In this way, the author hope that this study can be foundation for these researches and help the researchers to fulfill their studies 49 REFERENCES Documents: Aggoune Amina, 2015, “Business letters writing in business communication” Frendo, Evan (2012), “How to Teach Business English England”, Pearson Education Limited Gilling, Desmond (2013), “The Essential Handbook for Business Writing” (Revised edition) Canada: Greenlink Consulting Johan, Rita (2014), “Business English”, Jakarta: Grasindo M Easwaramoorthy & Fataneh Zarinpoush (2006), “Interview for research” Shafa Firda Nila, 2017, “Problems in writing English business letter: errors and factors” (Third semester of Bina Bangsa Economics students majoring in Management and Accounting) Shunhui Zhao, 2010, “Analysis of Language Features in Business Correspondences” Translation and Interpreting department, Faculty of English, Thuongmai University “Business correspondence”, 2018, 1, 2, Vu Thi Huong Giang, 2010, “An analysis of some techniques to improve writing English business letters” Websites: https://www.noslangues-ourlanguages.gc.ca/en/blogue- blog/courriels-efficaces-email-skills-eng https://nursing.utah.edu/research/qualitative-research/what-is- qualitative-research.php https://www.lifewire.com/electronic-mail-overview-1164107 https://careertrend.com/facts-6790083-purpose-business- email.html http://blog.jana.com/blog/three-business-cultural-difference- that-affect-communication https://www.business.com/articles/bridging-the-cross-cultural- gap-through-global-business-email-etiquette https://www.exoplatform.com/blog/2015/12/02/ways-to1 reduce-email-overload-in-your-organization/ https://www.questionpro.com/blog/what-is-a-questionnaire/ APPENDIX (English version) QUESTIONNAIRE A study on difficulties in writing English business emails of Import-Export staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company and possible solutions Instruction: This study is a part of an independent study for the requirement of Master degree of English faculty, Thuongmai university The questionnaire is developed to examine difficulties in writing English business emails of Import-Export staff in Minh Phu limited company Your answer will be kept confidential and will be used only for academic purposes Thank you so much for fulfilling this questionnaire and helping me to complete my research Please answer the below questions With question 4, 6, 10, 11 you can choose more than one answer Question 1: What is your English certificate or equivalent level now? A Elementary (A2) B Intermediate (B1) C Upper intermediate (B2) D Advanced (C1) E Proficient (C2) Question 2: How many years have you worked in Import-Export department? A Less than year B 1-3 years C 3- years D More than years Question 3: How much time you spend on writing English business emails a day at work? A Less than hours B 2-3 hours C 4-5 hours D More than hours Question 4: When you usually send emails to your customers? A Early in the morning (6 a.m-8 a.m) B Late in the morning (8 a.m-11 a.m) C In the noontime (11 a.m-2 p.m) D In the afternoom (2 p.m-6 p.m) E In the evening (6 p.m-midnight) How effective are the time for sending them? A Very effective B.Effective C.Normal D.Not effective Question 5: Do you have difficulty in writing English business emails with customers? A Yes B No Question 6: What difficulties you have to face when writing English business emails? A The different language and culture between two nations B A large number of emails written a day C Others (please specify) ………………………………………………………… Question 7: In your opinion, what difficulty you have to face most? A Cultural context matters B Different time-zone C Observation of the audience D Too much time for writing E Determining time to send emails F Others (please ………………………………………………………… specify) Question 8: Please rate your comments for each item below that reflects your English business writing skills at workplace Rate scale ranges from “Strongly Agree (5), Agree (4), Neutral (3), Disagree (2) and Strongly Disagree (1)” as follow: Item Description no I cannot determine types of context when I write my business English email I cannot determine types of timing culture when writing English business emails I cannot decide the length of my English business emails I sometimes use slangs and idioms in my business English emails I cannot judge the audience when writing English business emails It is difficult to write my English business emails with clear and understand I cannot cultural easy to consider the differences when writing I cannot manage time for 10 writing my business letters properly I cannot determine suitable time to send emails I feel too stressful when Rate scale ranges writing too many emails a day Question 9: How you think about the necessary of improving English business email skills in the future? A Very necessary B Necessary C Normal D Unnecessary Question 10: How have you improved your English business email writing skills at the workplace? A Learn more about your partner’s context culture B Find out about your partner’s time-zone C Learn more about your partner’s observation to your emails D Learn to manage your time for writing EBE a day E Others (please specify) ………………………………………………………… Question 11: In your opinion, how can the manager as well as the company help you improve your skills in writing English business emails? A Organize training session about culture knowledge of the main partners B Encourage the staff to share together experiences and skills in writing emails to foreign partners C Decrease the time for writing emails at work D Organize some vacations a year to reduce stress at work and stimulate the staff’s ability E Others (please ………………………………………………………… specify) INTERVIEW QUESTIONS What difficulty you have to face most in writing English business emails? Why? What you think about the suitable time to send emails to your partners? What time you often send emails to your customers? Can you tell me some ways to improve your skills in writing English business emails? As for the manager, what practical solutions can the company improve the skills of the staff in writing English business emails? APPENDIX (Vietnamese version) PHIẾU KHẢO SÁT Đề tài nghiên cứu: Những khó khăn việc viết e-mail thương mại tiếng Anh nhân viên phòng Xuất Nhập Khẩu cơng ty trách nhiệm hữu hạn Thương Mại Kĩ Thuật Minh Phú Giới thiệu: Bài nghiên cứu thực độc lập dùng dể xét kết tốt nghiệp sinh viên khoa Tiếng Anh, đại học Thương Mại Bảng khảo sat nhằm mục đích tìm hiểu khó khăn việc viết e-mail thương mại tiếng Anh nhân viên phòng xuất nhập công ty TNHH thương mại kĩ thuật Minh Phú Câu trả lời anh(chị) phục vụ cho mục đích học thuật Xin chân thành cảm ơn anh (chị) điền vào phiếu khảo sát giúp người làm nghiên cứu hoàn thiện nghiên cứu Xin vui lòng trả lời câu hỏi đây, với câu hỏi số 4, 6, 10, 11 anh (chị) chọn nhiều đáp án Câu 1: Trình độ tiếng Anh bạn ? A A2 B B1 C B2 D C1 E C2 Câu 2: Anh(chị) làm phòng xuất nhập công ty ? A < năm B 1-3 năm C 3- năm D > năm 10 Câu 3: Anh(chị) thường dành thời gian cho việc viết e-mail thương mại tiếng Anh ngày? A < tiếng B 2-3 tiếng C 4-5 tiếng D > tiếng Câu 4: Anh(chị) thường gửi e-mail cho khách hàng vào lúc nào? A h-8 h B h-11 h C 11 h-14 h D 14 h-18 h E 18 h-đêm Việc gửi e-mails vào thời gian có hiệu không? A Rất hiệu B Hiệu C Bình thường D Khơng hiệu Câu 5: Anh(chị) có gặp khó khăn viết e-mail thương mại tiếng anh khơng? A Có B Khơng Câu 6: Anh(chị) thường gặp phải khó khăn viết e-mail thương mại tiếng Anh? A Sự khác ngơn ngữ văn hóa quốc gia B Qúa nhiều e-mail phải viết ngày C Đáp án khác…………………………………………………………………… Câu 7: Theo anh(chị), đâu khó khăn lớn viết e-mail thương mại tiếng Anh? A Vấn đề ngữ cảnh văn hóa B Thời gian biểu khác 11 C Đánh giá khách hàng chât lượng e-mail D Viết nhiều e-mail ngày E Xác định thời gian gửi e-mail F Đáp án khác…………………………………………………………………… Câu 8: Đưa nhận xét anh(chị) ý kiến đây, đanh dấu (×) vào đáp án chọn Với mức độ: “hồn tòan đồng ý (5), đồng ý (4), bình thường (3), khơng đồng ý (2) and hồn tồn khơng đồng ý (1)” bảng đây: STT Miêu tả Tôi xác định loại ngữ cảnh dùng e-mail Tôi xác định đặc điểm thời gian bên đối tác viết e-mail Tôi không xác định độ dài phù hợp cho e-mail Đôi sử sụng tiếng lóng viết e-mail Tơi khơng thể đanh giá nhu cầu khách hàng email minh Rất khó để viết e-mail với bố cục rõ ràng, mạch lạc Tôi không để ý đến khác văn hóa nước Tơi khơng thể quản lí thời gian viết e-mail Tơi xác định thời gian phù hợp để gửi e-mail cho khách hàng 12 Mức độ đánh giá Tôi cảm thấy áp lực phải 10 viết nhiều e-mail ngày Câu 9: Anh(chị) nghĩ việc cải thiện kĩ viết e-mail thương mại tiếng Anh có cần thiết hay khơng? A Rất cần thiết B Cần thiết C Bình thường D Không cần thiết Câu 10: Anh(chị) làm để nâng cao kĩ viết e-mail thương mại tiếng Anh mình? A Tìm hiểu thêm khác văn hóa ngơn ngữ nước B Tìm hiểu khác thời gian biểu nước C Học cách nhận biết nhu cầu khách hàng chất lượng email D Học cách quản lí thời gian viết e-mail ngày E Đáp án khác…………………………………………………………………… Câu 11: Theo quan điểm anh(chị), cơng ty giúp anh(chị) cải thiện khả viết e-mail thương mại tiếng Anh nào? A Tổ chức buổi học kiến thức văn hóa nước đối tác B Khuyến khích nhân viên chia sẻ kĩ kinh nghiệm viết e-mail thương mại tiếng anh C Giảm thời gian viết e-mail nhân viên nhằm giảm áp lực trình làm việc D Tổ chức kì nghỉ năm để động viên nhân viên E Đáp án 13 khác……………………………………………………………… CÂU HỎI PHỎNG VẤN Khó khăn lớn mà anh(chị) gặp phải viết e-mail thương mại tiếng Anh gì? Tại sao? Anh(chị) nghĩ thời gian phù hợp để gửi e-mail tới khách hàng? Anh(chị) thường gửi e-mail cho khách hàng lúc giờ? Anh(chị) chia sẻ số cách để cải thiện kĩ viết email thương mại tiếng Anh mình? Đối với vai trò người lãnh đạo, theo anh(chị), giải pháp thiết thực cơng ty cải thiện kỹ viết e-mail thương mại tiếng anh nhân viên? 14 ... this study is difficulties in writing English business emails of Import-Export staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company and possible solutions The research topic contains two main parts:... like to take A study on difficulties in writing English business email of Import-Export staff in Minh Phu Trade and Technical limited company as my research topic for my graduation paper 1.2... increase in demand as well as supply of goods  Inexpensive and convenient mode: business information can be provided and obtained economically and conveniently through emails  Create and maintain
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