Can you speak English? That question might be more complicated than you think. Can you teach English? That`s even more complicated. Without getting too philosophical, what is `English`? Ok, so it`s an Indo-European, West Germanic language spoken in the U.S., Great Britain, and a great many other countries. But that fails to take in the full range of the English language as spoken by real people in real circumstances. It`s the adaptive and varied nature of the English language that has given rise to such off-shoots as Business English, Academic English and Street English, among others.
I recently conducted my first Business English class. Business English is English used for a specific purpose; to communicate with co-workers and business partners, and to facilitate trade and negotiations with both native and non-native speakers. There`s quite a lot to it and I`m quite daunted by the prospect of teaching such an important facet of the English language. I have had to prepare thoroughly and think clearly about what my students want to learn and why, and how I can best teach them. The BBC runs a very helpful service online for students of Business English with downloadable resources. Hopefully I can use some of my own (admittedly limited) business experience to bring a more practical edge in to the studies too. When teaching English, I find I am often surprised by both the range of uses that English is put to and how difficult it is to explain some of the practicalities of the language.
Do you have any tips on teaching Business English? If so, get in touch with me and I can share those tips with the world.