ESP and Business English

When teaching ESP (English for Specific Purposes) or Business English, the teacher simply continues teaching all the English that they already know how to, but incorporate vocabulary, examples, topics and contexts that are relevant to the students particular needs. The term “specific” in ESP refers to the specific purpose for learning English. This may include EAP (English for Academic Purposes), which prepares students at tertiary level for further academic studies where English is used as the medium of instruction. Students approach the study of English through a field that is already known and relevant to them. This means that they are able to use what they learn in the ESP classroom right away in their work and studies. The techniques are fundamentally the same as those used when teaching general English course. If you do not have the appropriate texts, tapes etc, then it may be possible to get the students or corporate client to provide them. There are also many course books designed for ESP and Business English. These specially designed courses benefit the corporate client as they provide a flexible and responsive approach to the changing client needs, ensuring a high quality and well-balanced course.

The client also receives individual attention from a highly qualified and experienced ESL teacher. Businesses usually require custom-made courses specially designed to suit their specific requirements. Clients may include banks, government agencies, hotels and multinational companies. These ESP or Business programmes are either offered at the school, university /tertiary institution or on the company premises. These specially designed courses should be suited to new recruits, middle management, top-management executives and company front-line staff. A good starting point for an ESP (English for Specific Purposes) course is a “needs analysis” or a “client map.” It is impossible to teach a student’s specific needs until it is ascertained exactly what they are. A typical “needs analysis” might be a questionnaire that the client and teacher discuss and complete together. This may include an analysis of the client’s English usage profile, their expectations and needs, what it is they exactly want and what it is that they don’t have. The process of providing a custom-made course for a corporate client is as follows:

• Initially, on first contact with the client, a detailed interview is set up to establish the client’s specific requirements
• The students’ levels are then established through the school’s placement testing system
• The course outlines, method of instruction and materials are then designed in consultation with the corporate client
• A custom-made course will then be designed making careful use of both core textbooks and other supplementary materials
• A schedule is then negotiated with the corporate client

Needs Analysis

There are essentially two different types of needs analysis and syllabus design. The first is product oriented which is primarily concerned with what the learner should know or be able to do as a result of instruction. The other is process oriented which is concerned with the processes by which learners will learn. A needs analysis can be very informative and:

• will allow you, the teacher, to determine the course content and methodology
• will identify certain needs and deficiencies
• will assist the teacher in assigning students to different groups
• will help in determining the course length and intensity
• can provide more accountability
• can help you to market the course as a sophisticated and necessary product

There are, however, a number of related problems:

• there may be conflicts between the perception of needs (the student, businessenglish2go the sponsor, the teacher) that may be difficult to accommodate
• there may be a conflict between preferred teaching and learning styles
• are students able to articulate their needs and expectations?
• can set up unreal expectations and learners’ needs may not be met

To acquire information for needs analysis, you can:

• look at records (documentary evidence)
• provide questionnaires
• conduct interviews
• conduct observation in the classroom

Business Communication Courses

In today’s business climate and with the advent of globalisation, communicating well in English means gaining a competitive advantage in ever changing and expanding world markets. Offering high quality courses to individuals seeking to get ahead in their careers is an important and expanding market area. Business success rests to a large extent on the ability of individuals weblaunch to communicate effectively in English. Business writing skills and communication will help students to understand the changing nature of business communication and pinpoint and eliminate errors in their Business Strategies. Business Communication Courses may be offered at Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate and Upper Intermediate levels and should provide a balance of English for Business and General English.

The courses should further aim to improve and expand students’ vocabulary, increase their grasp of Business phrases and functions whilst giving them a good grasp of grammar, writing and vocabulary. In addition to offering Business Communication Courses, a school can also provide one day Business Communication Workshops. These workshops are aimed at getting students up to speed with the English skills required to perform at the highest levels in their careers. The workshops may cover a range of topics and skills for business people from negotiation skills, to effective presentations, to customer relations. These workshops could include: abeautifulcrazylife

• Business Writing Essentials
• Successful and Effective Business Presentations
• Managing Your Time Effectively (Time Management)
• Telephoning Skills for Reception and Front Line Staff
• Success: For Secretaries and Administration Professionals
• Communicating with Confidence
• Writing and Preparing Effective Business Reports
• Customer Care Essentials
• Business Writing for Managers
• Holding Effective Meetings and Discussions

Ideas for the Classroom

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

• Business Letter Writing: For more info please visit sites


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