People decide to learn English for many different reasons. It could be a hobby, a desire to study in an English speaking country, to understand songs and books in English or to open up business opportunities and be selected for promotion in your company. Business English is in great demand and if you can teach it effectively, then you will never be without teaching work.
If you are living in another country and you want to teach Business English, you can make build your student base yourself or work for an institute that teaches business English. Business English tends to be lucrative as business people and companies are willing to pay for high quality and efficient language acquisition.
Business English differs from regular language instruction in that you are preparing the business people for specifically business related situations. Depending on the level of the students, you are likely to have to include regular grammar and target language practise, but this can also be delivered with a business angle.
Another part of teaching business English is that you will most likely have to prepare your students for doing business with native English speakers and their customs. For example, business in Japan is done in a very different way to in the west. Where Japanese business people would bow, westerners are more direct and less deferential and go for hand shaking.
Providing classes that use role play to practise cultural exchanges and customs that your students are likely to encounter in a business setting is icing on the business English cake. This aspect is often overlooked by other business English teachers and you can use them to set yourself apart from your competition.
Depending on the type of business people you are instructing, there will be specific vocabulary that it will be vital to teach. There will also be certain situations that they will find they encounter more often than others. When you are teaching business English, it is important that you tailor their learning to their needs. In this way business English is much more diagnostic in its pedagogy and approach than traditional English learning.
Lessons in business English can and should include: role plays of different business situations, telephone conversations, writing emails and letters in formal tone, how to do negotiations, key points of customer service and using language politely and formally. Since rubbing elbows is often part of conducting business it is also important to include classes on how to do small talk and chat politely to business acquaintances.
When starting out with your business English students it is a great idea to meet with them and find out what they want to get from their business English classes. This is a professional and easy way to ensure that you meet their language needs and expectations.
Business English classes can be a profitable and interesting avenue of ESL. Business English students often come with high expectations of what they want from their classes, but you will often find that they are dedicated and highly motivated students.
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