Guide to Teaching One-to-One & Group Business English Classes
2019-04-23 Linda Dunsmore Alumni Experiences
The main reason for doing this TEFL course was to improve my teaching skills and to use them to teach business English. Even though I studied business and economics, I cannot know everything in this field or other fields like hotel management or IT. But I can help my students to improve their vocabulary and to speak more fluently at meetings. It is important in the beginning that we ask our students what they would like to improve and why they decided to take special business English classes. Based on their needs we can provide a high-level class, tailored to their needs.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Gabriella S.
Design the lessons in a way that nobody feels uncomfortable.
Although I prefer to teach individual students, it is possible that in the future I will teach groups as well. In that case there are several other issues which need to be taken into consideration. One of the most important factors is the age because the age group of students can vary in a class. Especially in in-company groups. Younger learners can pick up a new language more easily, while the older generation tends to feel less self-confident in a group and they are more self-conscious when they need to speak in front of a group. Therefore, it is important to design the lessons in a way that nobody feels uncomfortable. In general we can say that adult learners might be more motivated than younger learners because they decide to start lessons.
Students who decide to take private lessons are highly motivated.
One-to–one lessons might be easier to teach because there is only one student whose needs and requests need to be taken into consideration. These students often have a specific goal in their mind. Either they want to take another position in their field or they have to talk English with their customers and business partners and they want to feel more confident. The students who decide to take private lessons are highly motivated and really determined to learn. However, they often have other occupations such as work or school so while planning the classes, we need to think of the right time and the right amount of homework and class activities. If the lessons are planned for the evening, the student might be more tired than someone who has flexible working hours and just needs to focus on learning English. So we need to be more patient and need to plan interesting activites to keep the attention of the student.
In the following paragraphs I would like to describe, how I would build up the first lesson for a student who wants to learn business English. First of all, we need to know why the student wants to learn business English. We need to have clear goals for both short-term and long-term. So it is useful to interview the student during the first lesson and to take notes about the student’s needs and wishes. We can always revise them later and we can plan our lessons accordingly.
Questions which may help to find out the needs of the student:
- What do you need to do in English?
- Which skills would you like to improve? (reading, writing, listening or speaking)
- What do you need English for?
- What is your area? What do you need to talk about?
- Do you need English specifically for one event or would you like to improve it in general?
- What did you study? What are your interests and hobbies?
- How often would you like to have lessons?
After this introduction I would fill in a placement test to see the possible grammar issues and then I would give a short written assignment to see a sample writing. Based on the first lesson I am able to plan a course for the student which can help her/him to improve her/his skills and to feel more confident to use English in a specific work environment.
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