Traditionally, cases have been used to highlight and discuss decision-making processes, to address problem solving procedures andissues in leadership and management. Teaching with cases is a useful tool if the goal is to experience problem solving in contexts that resemble real life situations. Students are required to familiarise themselves with both theory and case material which may include different media types. Based on the case, students are assigned different tasks, which may include writing press releases, memos, analysis and discussions of potential case solutions to the problems identified. If we accept that language learning is a construction process, where new knowledge is added through experiencing successes or the opposite in communication situations, and if we accept the notion that personal involvement and motivation are key elements in all learning, then case-based language learning is an obvious possibility and challenge for the language learner and the learning environment designer.
Cases are not new to the language learning classroom, but cases have not been used to learn languages, rather to discuss cultural, business related and political issues in intercultural business courses. In these case-based teaching classrooms, learning how to solve managerial or organizational problems or solve issues in Human Resources departments may be valuable assets to understanding differences and problems in global business, but language issues per se are not part of the package.
With regard to the case characteristics, the case reported in this study was a communication case which focused on problem-based student activities, language, content, terminology, genre and target audience issues and the students were required to produce a number of texts as a result of their case work. Foreign language learning with cases means that focus in the case is on decoding messages, constructing and producing new texts and on successful communication and dissemination of information.. We have to address issues in linguistics, pragmatics, discourse and culture as well as strategies that will assist the learner in understanding and producing the best texts possible in both written and spoken formats.