3 Master Tips for Teaching Business English


Business English is one of the most competitive areas in the EFL/ESL world at this time. With the constant rise of a global economy business professionals from all corners of the world are desperate for effective and efficient teachers to help them accomplish their linguistic goals.

The following are the 3 master tips to prepare the best Business English classes you possibly can:

Tip #1: A needs analysis: It is very important to find out from your students the purpose of their learning English as a second language e.g. writing emails, telephone calls, conducting meetings or making presentations. Find out from the employer if there are company-specific reasons for learning English – there might even be particular phrases that need to be understood.

For example – if your students are employees at a hotel you will be able to hold a role-play style activity where your students will learn vocabulary for how to deal with English-speaking guests. Company/client research will allow you to target your lesson to specific needs and therefore make your lessons relevant, motivating and, in turn, make you feel more confident as a Business English teacher.

Finally, this will also reassure any unmotivated students that you are determined to cater to their needs and making the class worthwhile.

Tip #2: Be professional: Appearance is extremely important in a Business environment – trainers and that really cosy hoodie of yours are a big no-no! You need to look the part to be the part so make sure this translates in all senses.

A few examples:

  • Get your own business card printed ‘Business English Trainer/Consultant’.
  • Make sure your resources are clean and tidy.
  • Use more professional terminology, for example use ‘activities’ rather than ‘games’.
  • Produce a report for each student.
  • Don’t be late!

Tip #3: Use Real-life Situations: Remember your audience! These aren’t children – so make sure to stick to activities they feel comfortable doing. Some of your students might hold powerful positions so getting these students crawling on the floor for an ice-breaker in their expensive suits probably isn’t the best idea!

Role plays are a great option for your TEFL business students as they can easily be based on real-life situation but make sure the activity has a clear purpose and ends once the goal has been achieved. Remember to address other real-life needs of English than just specialized learning. For example, Managers will have to learn about conversational topics etc.

The key is to remember your target audience and to behave professionally at all times.

Try these tips for your TBE classes and you will be able to notice a considerable improvement on results.