4 Best Ways to Choose Business English Course Materials
When teaching Business English, it is important to tailor lessons to the maturity and ability of the class. Essential to any lesson is the course materials to be used by both the teacher and the students. By tailoring these course materials to be more relevant to the Business English students, the teacher will hopefully gain a greater level of interest and create a better learning environment. To assist with a teacher with the style and type of course materials to be used with a specific Business English class there are several things the teacher could do.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Peter O. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Research First
The teacher could do some research about the culture, company or industry of the students. The needs analysis taken by the students in the first class could be used to give some indication of the best course materials to be used. The teacher could also draw on their own experience or the experience of colleagues in regards to which course materials may work best. In any event, the relevance of the course material to the students will impact their learning and every effort should be made to tailor these materials to the students and their preference.
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2. Sourced Materials
Once a teacher understands the style and type of course materials that are best suited to their students, they can easily source Authentic Materials like Newspapers, Radio Stations, Magazines, Brochures, TV Shows or Movie to use in the classroom. Getting Business English student familiar with using Authentic Materials is fantastic as these materials are readily available to practice both readings or listening and in turn, students can then practice or speaking also if they choose. Although these course materials are not graded and do not offer any educational structure, the ease of access, the variety, and the relevance makes Authentic Materials a necessary and compelling resource for teachers in the lesson and students at any time.
3. Created Materials
Equally, the teacher can also invest some time in Created Materials by making their own course materials like Crosswords, Word Search Puzzles, Role Play Cards, Flashcards or Gap Fill activities. These are excellent course materials as the teacher can actually tailor them to the students and the specific theme of the lesson. These Created Materials can be broad in their relevance to the students or very specific to them, creating a greater level of interest and a better learning experience. The benefit of these materials is they will provide an engaging way to learn, with an educational structure that works and that is enjoyable or even fun for the students.
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4. Ready-to-Use Materials
Of course, the syllabus will most likely have Created Materials like a Course Book, Work Book, Cassettes, DVD/Videos, Student Books and a Teachers Book too. Students may also draw on other language books and dictionaries. These materials are very structured, offering the ability to grade and educate in a controlled manner, but it is important not to find to follow these course materials too closely. There is a real risk of lessons losing their relevance and student becoming disengaged if a teacher simply works through the Course Book from start to finish.
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A balance must be found with all the materials listed above to ensure students have a learning experience that interests and inspires them, but that is also structured and gradable. A teacher needs to make sure the course materials being used are introduced with careful thought and purpose. This will lead to engaged students ready to learn and a successful lesson and syllabus.
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