Develop a Winning Online ESL Business English Product

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Business English has become one of the most popular subject requests for ESL students.

You only have to consider the speed in which global digitisation has taken place to understand why there has been such a rise in popularity of studying Business English. The Business world is now globalised through technology and high-speed data with the universally accepted language underpinning this interconnection being English.

Attractive employers now demand a high level of English from their workforce and this expectancy has prompted students from all over the world to seek our reputable teachers of Business English.  

The Business English Product

Teaching Business English not only requires the common skills you would expect to see in an ESL teacher, but also necessitates a deep understanding of the most common Business teaching methodologies and experience of working within an organisation. Any ESL school in the world can seek out and employ a teacher that can demonstrate 120 hours of TEFL Training, but this experience alone will not empower a teacher to deliver a high-quality product to a Business Executive.   

Developing a Business English Product

Below are some useful tips for ESL schools wanting to develop their Business English products.

Tip one: Tutor Recruitment

When recruiting ESL tutors for Business English purposes make sure you can tick ‘yes’ to ALL of the following applicant points:

1.    Celta/TESOL qualification gained from a reputable school (not an online qualification unless it involved live teaching practice at 120 hours).

2.    Demonstrable experience teaching in classrooms and online.

3.    Extremely comfortable teaching 1-2-1 students.

4.    Experience working as an employee within an organisation for at least 2 years.

5.    Understands common organisational structures and departmental roles and responsibilities; e.g. Operations, Finance, Human Resources, Recruitment, Business Development, Sales, I.T, Customer Experience, Product Development departments, etc.

6.    The applicant has a keen interest in technology, innovation and Business.

 Tip two: Develop your Business Teachers

 At Generation English we ask our prospective students to complete an extensive pre-learning questionnaire.  The questionnaire helps us understand the motivations and needs of the Business student and acts as a foundation for building a product that will support these learning needs. We define this process at Generation English as a ‘Teaching Needs Analysis’, commonly referred to by our team as a TNA.  

Within the Business world, a TNA is commonly known as a Training Needs Analysis.

Our process replaces the word ‘Training’ with ‘Teaching’ but follows the same principles of assessment and planning.

In its most simplistic form, the TNA is a teaching tool used by our tutors to help identify the objectives, aspirations and learning gaps of the student. This information enables the teacher to create a learning path which adds value to the course and meets the business specific objectives of the student.

This TNA helps our teachers identify:

1.    The gaps between the current and required levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude of the student

2.    Categorise what the general content of training should be

3.    Method the foundation of a teaching plan

4.    Provide a baseline for the evaluation of a teaching plan

5.    Ensure that appropriate and relevant teaching is delivered

6.    Maximise use of teaching resources

 Tip Three: Business English Teaching Content

It is vitally important that your Business Tutors have access to teaching content that focuses on relevant Business activities, duties, scenarios and responsibilities.

  • Sector Specific Training: Your teachers must understand how to source different types of Industry specific teaching materials; i.e. vocabulary that may be commonly used within the marketing industry, or legal acronyms that are most seen within the financial services sector.
  • Communication Skills: Perhaps the student spends a lot of time on conference calls and requires PMO (Project Management) specific vocabulary and idioms. You may find some students have customer facing roles where English is commonly used so other areas may need to be taught, such as body language and questioning techniques.
  • Written Correspondence: Other students may spend most of their working day writing emails or letters, most likely desperately trying to use google translate to help send important correspondence to different teams around the world. Your teacher need access to Business relevant teaching materials so they can be tailored to the needs of the student and baked into the overall learning programme.

Tip Four: Professionalism

If doesn’t matter if you work for the largest of global corporations or within a small niche business, professionalism at work is absolutely essential for the success of a company. The manner in which employees interact and form relationships with customers has a material impact on a company meeting its objectives and targets.

Student learners of Business English expect their ESL tutors to display a high level of professionalism. Your teachers should adopt a professional approach at all times when planning and delivering teaching to Business students.

There are lots of simple ways Business Teachers can adopt professional teaching traits:

1.    Inspire trust and build confidence. Create a good first impression when you first meet the student and clearly explain the TNA process and methodology.

2.    Be passionate about Business and English.

3.    Dress correctly. Even if you are teaching online, don’t turn up to teach wearing a scruffy t-shirt. Dress like a professional. Your students are worth it.

4.    Punctuality. Always be on time.

5.    Never ever miss a deadline. If you say you will mark your students homework online before your next lesson make sure that happens.

6.    Be prepared and organised. Make sure the lessons are planned. Have the lesson content ready to go prior to the lesson. Remember to send out any pre-reading to the student well in advance of the lesson. Clarify the pertinent points of the lesson plan at the start of the session so the student is clear on the learning content, target language and objectives.

7.    Add value. Take a vested interest in the professional development of your Business student and always seek ways to add value to their lessons. If you are able to identify subject areas that you genuinely believe could enhance the career progression of a student then make it your duty to propose these subjects for future lesson content.

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value...”

Albert Einstein