Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Business English: What does business want?

Before you take a business English course, ask yourlsef this: What does business want? In other words, what kind of English terms, vocabulary, and expressions should you learn and concentrate on in order to teach business English? Good question. Different courses concentrate on different aspects of business. On the more basic level, for example, you will learn how to teach holding a formal business meeting, answer the phone, make reservations for flights, rooms, conference rooms, etc. You will also probably learn to write a basic business letter or memo. These are things that are used in business on every level, from Mom and Pop businesses to corporations. So, businesses want your students to be able to do this in fluent English. It is your job to make this happen.

Suppose, however, your classes are going to be on more advanced levels. What does business want? Well, on advanced levels the English terms will be more limited to certain specific aspects of business. Normally, this will be trade, fiancial terms, or English for negociations. With today's global economy, these types of business are vitally important. Perhaps even more important is giving a lucid, viable, convincing business presentation. For this, not only is business English involved, but so is public speaking. You may have PowerPoint, Internet sites, and who knows what else at your fingertips, but if you do not do well in the presentation, all is lost.

Thus, there are a multitude of things you need to cover as a business English teacher. Each type of business will want something different. Your students can be advanced, lower level, or mixed. Moreover, you need to research terms and usages for whatever type of business you are teaching: Banking, for example, would be totally different than new housing. And besides all this, you need to instill business ethics into the list so that your students know how to handle fiduciary responsibility and be trustworthy.

So what is the bottom line? What does business want? It wants fluency in English in a specific area to allow business communication on a common level so that business can be successfully conducted, hopefully in a win-win way that both parties can be happy with. As a business English teacher, you have your work cut out for you. If you have not had a how-to-teach-business-English course, I suggest you take one. If you are very good int this field, the world is yours. Many people will want your services, and they will pay well for them.