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Problems with Business English Classes - And How to Solve Them!

Problems with Business English Classes - And How to Solve Them! | ITTT | TEFL Blog

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the more common problems that can be associated with the teaching of Business English classes. They are some of the things that we need to be aware of as teachers about our learners.

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Firstly we need to bear in mind that very often our students will have been working all day before they come to their English classes and so our students are going to be tired. We need to be aware of that and we need to take account of it within our lessons. It is unreasonable to expect full attention and engagement from our students under these circumstances.

Secondly if the students come to us from a particular department in a company which is very often the case, the whole department comes across for their English lesson at once. It is very unlikely that all the students within that department are going to be at the same level, so we need to be prepared for mixed ability classes. Obviously we cannot present the same information in exactly the same way to all of those students if it's a mixed ability class. So we have to take techniques such as differentiated activities, which have varying levels within them, into consideration when planning the lessons.

Another thing you need to be aware of is that students will not always be able to attend your lessons. It could be that they have another meeting somewhere else within the company or they're off visiting clients somewhere and so their attendance could well be erratic. As this may well be a common occurrence, you need to be aware of gaps in individual student’s knowledge.

Finally for your business English classes do be aware that they're going to have different motivations for being there. If the company has decided that all of their employees will have to learn English up to a certain level, there may well be students in that class who don't really want to be learning English.

You have to be aware that they are going to have different motivations and it is very important in that situation therefore to find out;

  • what these people are interested in
  • what they're going to be using their English for
  • something about the jobs that they actually do and from this information, try to tailor your teaching to make it as useful as possible.

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