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Power Suit Panic: How Do I Teach Business English?

BusinessmenBusiness English

Sounds terrifying doesn’t it? What’s important to remember is that teaching Business English doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to be faced with a mass of people in power suits and clutching onto their briefcases. No, no, no! Teaching Business English is actually a VERY exciting business to be in!

Teaching Business English is one of the fastest growing TEFL markets as many companies are making it a requirement (especially in Europe) for their employees to have at least some grasp of the English language

Here are a few tips from us before we hand you over to the best in the ‘business’ – YOU GUYS!

Top tips from i-to-i

• You don’t need to be a business specialist to teach Business English – students want to improve/learn English to help them in the world of modern Business. Students therefore look up to someone professional, organized and an expert in grammar! Combine these skills and you’re on to a winner!

• Do your research and understand your learner’s demands and desired outcome – some learners will have basic levels of English others will be absolute beginners, some will want to focus on business others might want an overview of conversational English too. Make sure to work them out before you dive right in.

• Dress the part! Showing up in a creased shirt that you found at the back of your wardrobe? Maybe not. In many cultures, teachers occupy an extremely respectful role in society and they expect you to look like one!

Over to our TEFLers!

• “Use realia when teaching Business English is a must. Use real business webs to build vocabulary and always keep an eye on world business news.” – Paco

“Get a business or business related degree, get a TEFL and add a Business English module. Subscribe to Business English podcasts. Tip: Use a lot of idioms and colloquialisms, students love those!” – Jose

“Use standard text books like ‘Intelligent Business’. Keep an eye on world business news and read through a few pages of a national newspaper. ” – Simon F

“The best thing to do is to find a good textbook such as ‘Market Leader’ and work through it using the topics for discussion. I ALWAYS ask my students to preview the book at home and fill it out and do listening tasks at home, then in class we focus on oral English and review the book. Most of the time my students would prefer to discuss non-business related material, so the book pretty much covers the business aspect for them” – Robert

“Try to identify activities and learning most suited to their jobs so that they can be used in real life scenarios. I am teaching 5 new business clients at the moment. I have got them to do mini presentations covering real scenarios e.g. making a sales pitch or a case for their promotion depending on their companies business/their role in it.” Eugene

“Don’t just teach – show. Use realia. Talking about certain forms/applications etc.? Bring the actual papers to class and fill them out together. Let your students actually get involved and feel confident in what you’re teaching in a safe environment before they face it in the real world.” – Jessica

To get more great advice from our TEFLers make sure to join our Chalkboard Community!




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