Business English

by Nathan

Question - Hello Mark, I just got my Dip.Tesol and would like to teach business English that my course didn't cover and my place didn't offer an add on course. Couldn't find one online course either , any suggestions ?

Thank you very much.

Nathan,from Malaysia.

Answer - I have no suggestions for online courses on how to teach business English, although if you do a search for ‘teaching business english + online courses,’ you will find many companies offering just this; however, I know nothing of their quality and cannot recommend any. My feeling is that it would be easy to waste money on these. If anyone could recommend any they’ve taken themselves, then I’d be interested.

What is your business experience? I think this is a more important question. If you don’t have very much business experience yourself, then an online course is probably not going to be a big help to you. If you do have good experience, then maybe you don’t need another course. It could be enough to study ESP and/or teaching business English yourself. There are many books on the subject, and a lot of information online. You could then take the ideas and use you existing knowledge of teaching and business to develop your own courses.

There are many websites teaching business English - not how to teach - but these can be a rich source of ideas for you to use in your own classes.

Most schools and businesses I know would be very interested in a teacher with good teaching experience and good business experience. People with both are relatively rare. If you are in this position, then create your own courses & market yourself. Set up a website and start mailing clients. Qualifications always come third, after experience and character.

If you don’t have business experience, then it may be a good idea to find work in language schools that specialize in providing general English courses to local businesses. If you were popular, and if you could show you had studied business, then you would be in a good position.

I once knew a business English teacher who began by taking an MBA; however, this seems too much, and too expensive, and I’m not sure it would be a good investment of time or money. However, a lower level business qualification might be a good investment.

Business English can mean different types of thing. Some teachers specialize, and this will depend on your interests, skills, experience and the local business environment. Business English classes can be in trade, banking, or finance, or they could involve teaching more basic communication skills to secretaries or telephone operators.

Once you build up a reputation as a good business English teacher, then you will find more work through word of mouth.

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