Recruiting Business English ESL Online Tutors

Hire business English tutors

I am often asked about our recruitment strategy and the qualification criterion we utilise when recruiting freelance ESL tutors to work for Generation English.

Teaching business English encompasses a lot more than simply tutoring vocabulary, lexis and a little bit of grammar. Business English concentrates on how English is used within different complex contexts. I am quite sure that you speak to your manager at work in a different manner than how you speak to your family members? The lexis, grammar, tone and inflection used within a business setting can be extremely different than those used within informal settings. Let’s be clear - any ESL tutor can regurgitate business specific teaching content from a text book. That isn’t difficult but how effective is that going to be for the student?

It is our belief at Generation English that an ESL business teacher can only truly understand the language nuances theoretical knowledge if they have direct experience of working within a business environment.

Recruiting ESL tutors, specifically to teach business English, involves extensive vetting of the prospect. It is crucial that the candidates teaching and business experience is interrogated and evaluated. Teaching qualifications are mandatory and we would certainly not consider employing a tutor that has not already secured a Cambridge CELTA or TEFL qualification, but these qualifications alone rarely provide us with evidence of someone’s ability to develop business English competencies for our students.

When we interview prospects, we look for evidence of exposure to the business world and seek assurances that the prospect has theoretical knowledge, not only of ESL tutoring, but also of the business world.


Here are just a few questions our candidates may be asked at interviews

Talk to us about your business experience.

What are the drivers and motivators that push people to learn business English?

Discuss some of the motivational differences between a business and casual learner of English and how these can be leveraged by the teacher in a positive way?

Do students of business English have higher developmental expectations than students that learn English casually? If so, discuss these.

What are the key differences between teaching business English and standard ESL?

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages?

Tell us about your experience within business and describe some of the nuances of learning English for corporate environments.

How would you assess a student’s learning needs (analysis) and devise a suitable business learning programme (course design)?

Can you explain some different ways of evaluating a course? Give some examples from your own experience.

What are the difference between role-playing and replications and what are the advantages and disadvantages within a business setting?

Tell us about materials you designed or adapted to suit a particular business group?

Talk about your own professional development and what drives you to teach business English?

What is the difference between a good ESL business teacher and a great ESL business teacher?

What place do lesson plans have within a business English setting?

Business English encompasses a broad set of vocabulary, subjects and topics.  When interviewing for business English ESL tutors, the teaching organisation must be confident that the prospect can competently deliver a strong teaching experience across a broad set of business learning fundamentals.

Whilst I was studying for my M.B.A in Italy, I often taught 1-2-1 business English to employees at one of the largest Banks in Italy, Unicredit. The majority of my students worked within the Banking corporation at C-level (executives) and relied on me to develop Business language competencies that had a material impact on the success of their careers. The teaching methodology I applied within these settings was more consultative than demonstrative. Focus was placed more around discussing the context of written presentations, which at times involved Business messaging worth millions of Euros.

I was only able to add demonstrable value to these student lessons because I had direct work experience within similar settings for multi-national organisations, not because i was simply qualified to teach ESL. This experience and realisation forms the foundations of our tutor recruitment model here at Generation English.


Many students of business English need to...

Prepare strong resumes (and review resumes!)

Understand conversational business English (positive small talk)

Construct C-Level presentations (normally within PowerPoint)

Develop presentation skills for numerous settings 

Learn English business etiquette and context

Understand language for conference calls and email

Negotiate successfully using business English

Prepare positive lexis for job interviews

Chair meetings and video/tele-conferences in English

If a prospective business English ESL tutor can’t demonstrate real life work experiences and direct exposure to these learning fundamentals then they can’t be expected to teach these practices to ESL business students here at Generation English.

You can read more about some of these fundamentals HERE

Do you feel you have what it takes to add value to Generation English and work as a freelance ESL tutor? ….click HERE