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English for Business

February 13, 2006

Hello again,

Being able to offer English for business can be a valuable additional service for a school. You might send teachers out to companies, run closed groups, teach one-to-one or have a business English option available as part of your program.

Business English teachers often have experience in fields other than teaching. However, although it is very useful to have experience of other domains, or of the commercial world, it is not essential. On the other hand, it is necessary to be interested in the world of business and to understand how companies are structured and to be familiar with business terminology . . .

. . . If you can identify teachers in your school who might like to specialize in business English and have the confidence to deal with corporate clients, you will need to help them adapt their teaching skills to the business world. The business English student can have very different attitudes to learning from the general English students in your school. They may be very successful in their sphere and feel reluctant to show themselves as weak in English; they may be impatient to make progress and they may have rusty study skills. They may place much more importance on communicative skills than accuracy and they will have specific activities that they need to be able to do well: telephoning, attending meetings, negotiating, for example. It will be essential therefore to offer your teachers some form of additional training to prepare them for this new experience. Possibilities you might consider are bringing in an outside trainer to train up a group of your teachers, sending interested teachers away for a short course of training or enrolling them on a distance learning course.

Until next time,

Patricia

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