What You Should Know about Teaching Business English versus Teaching General English
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So you know about teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), but do you know about teaching Business English versus teaching General English? After all, TEFL teachers need to be flexible when it comes to their teaching and you never know when you might be tasked with teaching Business English.
English is fast becoming the global language of business. More and more international companies are mandating English as their corporate language – like Nokia, Renault and Samsung – to ensure they can communicate and compete in the international market. In fact, all the way back in 2010, Rakuten – Japan’s largest online marketplace – required their employees to display competence in English within two years, or face demotion or dismissal.
In fact, research from the University of Chicago found that people make more rational decisions when they consider them in a second language. This is because we think more rationally and less instinctively in another language. In other words, speaking English as a foreign language can be beneficial in a business context not only in terms of communication but in terms of strategy too.
So it perhaps shouldn’t be surprising that Business English teachers are in high demand. Which is where you come in! Have you ever considered teaching Business English?
What is Business English?
Business English falls under English for Specific Purposes. It was designed for professionals who need to communicate in English in the workplace. Business English includes:
- writing emails
- giving presentations
- taking minutes
- taking notes
- preparing reports
- making sales.
Business English can be necessary for employees at all levels of a business, from salespeople to managers to call centre agents to CEOs. Students who take Business English lessons might do so in-company during office hours, or privately after-hours. Sometimes, companies sponsor their employees to take a sabbatical specifically to learn English. Often teaching Business English lessons will involve one-to-one lessons.
What’s the difference between Business English and General English?
Business English includes very specialised language related to the particular field of business, and a more formal style than General English. Business English is used in meetings, on the phone, in emails, and at networking events.
On the other hand, General English is the English we use in our daily lives. It is the English we need to communicate in everyday situations, whether that is ordering a pizza, asking for directions or making small talk.
Business English and General English differ in vocabulary, but also in nuance, tone and expressions. Business English vocabulary in the classroom can be more advanced than General English vocabulary.
For example, you might end an email to a friend:
Lots of love
In contrast, an email to a colleague would rather end:
Tips for teaching Business English
Usually, an English language student who wants to study Business English is at an Intermediate level of English, or higher. Because of this, there isn’t a need to deal with elementary or basic English language structures. Instead, when teaching Business English, time will be spent on any specialised language in the field (also known as jargon), and more formulaic language.
Activities in a Business English classroom tend to be more serious than in a General English classroom. While we are not saying businesspeople don’t have senses of humour (!), they do approach their English lessons seriously, as they are of immediate importance.
Consequently, while you’ll still do different activities within the lesson, you won’t be playing as many language games as you usually would in a General English classroom. But, as an added benefit, your students won’t expect the lessons to be all fun and games and you can push them to focus on more in-depth tasks.
Resources for teaching Business English
Because of the need for Business English lessons, there are a wide range of resources available to you.
The Bloomberg Youtube channel – a great resource for videos on interesting topics. You can choose videos which are relevant to the field of business of your student.
Twitter and LinkedIn – find thought leaders in the field of business for your student to follow.
The Tim Ferriss Show podcast – regularly rated as one of the top business podcasts in the world.
Market Leader – a popular Business English coursebook from Pearson/Longman. It includes authentic materials and case studies to add more interest to your lessons.
Business Builder – another excellent book, with modules dedicated to different aspects of business, and photocopiable materials for your Business English lessons.
Authentic materials – ask your students to bring in materials they are actually using during their workdays. This might be Powerpoint presentations, emails, manuals or videos.
Teaching Business English is the way forward when it comes to teaching English as a foreign language. There is growing demand for Business English teachers and now is the perfect time to get qualified – and start earning! Contact us to sign up for one of our TEFL courses and soon you could be teaching the next Carlos Slim Helu!
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.