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Familiarising onesself with the business world

 
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astrakhan



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Familiarising onesself with the business world Reply with quote

I will be getting more involved in business English teaching this year. My business English teaching up to now has been very general in nature, mainly to beginners, and has not really required a knowledge of "the business world" as such. What does this actually entail? (sorry if this sounds like a stupid question but I am as un-business minded as you can get!!!) Apart from picking my students' brains, how can I get knowledge of this "business world"? Are there any easily digestible trade magazines or newspapers, for example? I'm in Italy. Thanks in advance for any help!
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kimfeder



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in the U.S., but joining a Chamber of Commerce has been helpful for me as there is lots of opportunity to "rub shoulders" with business people. Perhaps there is an equivalent in Italy?

You may want to try to google something like "business newsletters italy" or something like that...I have been able to get on mailing lists for newsletters about issues affecting Asian businesswomen, one group that I have worked with.

Kim
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Contact me to collaborate regarding ESL for Businesses: the teaching as well as the business side of being self-employed.
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Jewel



Joined: 04 Mar 2007
Posts: 9
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: Useful Material Reply with quote

I have been teaching a bit of business English and I found Intellingent Business by Longman to be quite good. I also do not have a great knowledge of the business world, but this book seemed easy to use. It is based on articles from the Economist and it also has a Skills Book that I loved. It covered meetings, presentations, reports, negotiation and much more.
I also love the Breakingnewsenglish web site. They have a section just for business news. There is so much on internet that can be used!
One more book I found useful, my copy is very old, it may have a different title or format now, Teaching Business English, Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers.

Good luck!

Jewel
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Jewel



Joined: 04 Mar 2007
Posts: 9
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:55 pm    Post subject: What does this entail? Reply with quote

To answer your question, "what does this entail?", you would need to do a needs analysis or talk to your DOS to understand exactly what the students need and what their levels are. There are books at all levels which cover grammar, expressions, communication and business issues, of course if a student is a beginner in general English you cannot present him/her with complex business issues.
Placement testing and needs analysis will give you some indication of where they stand and what they need. I teach in Italy in a company which deals with coatings. All my students want to improve fluency so I teach general English with "tailor made" lessons on business issues. It seems to work, but I have just started teaching so.....

Ciao, again.

Jewel
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kimfeder



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: Thanks, needs assessment Reply with quote

Jewel,
Thanks for the tip on breakingnewsenglish.com. It definitely looks worthwhile.

I'm interested in finding out what you do for your needs assessment? Who do you talk to, do you observe students, etc.?

I'm relatively new at teaching ESL for businesses, and am looking to polish some of my skills.

Take care,

Kim
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Jewel



Joined: 04 Mar 2007
Posts: 9
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kim,

I teach for a school and I teach freelance. The school tests the students and does a needs analysis. Based on the results the DOS suggests the books that could be used. After the first or second meeting I decide which course book is more suitable for the students and off I go teaching. I always use the book as a "guide" and at times I find myself altering exercises or introducing different or new material.

When I teach freelance (mostly one-to-one lessons) I assess the student with a written and a spoken test. I do a needs analysis by asking questions related to why they are studying English, how often they use English, difficulties with English, etc. I do not have any specific knowledge to teach ESP, I know teachers who are specialized and teach doctors and lawyers, so I make it clear that I can only teach general business English, meaning transactional language which helps them in meetings, presentations and so on. I find that my students mostly want to be able to talk, usually, they know the technical English used in their fields, but they cannot hold a conversation over dinner. Course books give you the structured lessons for transactional language and skills, conversation lessons can be made on current events or personal interests/hobbies of the student.

Hope that helps. Do you work for a school or freelance?

Jewel
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btownsend



Joined: 23 Feb 2006
Posts: 21
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:47 pm    Post subject: Business English Reply with quote

The more you know about business, the more credibility you have with the learners. It takes time and effort to build your knowledge base. This website is full of useful information: http://www.bized.co.uk/learn/business/index.htm Also read the business pages of a quality daily newspaper and watch business reports on TV.

If you can get to know some of the issues that impact on business, that helps too: globalisation, cross-cultural issues, business ethics, anti-fraud measures.

I have a couple of lessons you can download on my training site:

www.teachbusinessenglish.com.

Hope this helps! Smile
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Brenda Townsend Hall, Ph.D.
www.esl-school.com
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kimfeder



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:53 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Jewel,

Thanks for your reply. I'm "freelancing", but I am establishing my services under a business: English Language and Cultural Services. I'm hoping to grow a little and serve more businesses through this.


Brenda,

Thank you for the helpful sites. I am looking forward to the business studies one in more depth. Take care,

Kim

http://elcschicagoland.com
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