Why Joining a Course on Teaching Business English is Valuable
Undoubtedly, English is a global language; it is used in international negotiations, used in foreign-affiliated companies, used to write academic papers, used to set up homepages, and used to perform commands while playing games. The ability to command this global language seems to be convenient and fair because we can make many things possible, including traveling around the world and gathering various kinds of information.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Yoriko I. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
However, the fact that English is a global language does not always make our life easier.
On the contrary, we sometimes run into irritating accidents. For example, I live in a multicultural, big city, and I cannot understand the taxi driver's English. In a hospital, I cannot get what the receptionist suggests to me. For, we have dialects and accents; we have incurable habits and flows of thinking. Although all of us use the same language, it seems absurdly impossible for us to achieve perfect mutual-understanding. So, a question arises: what is the definition of "authentic" or standard English? In so far as many of us learn English in our countries in which the first language is not English, how can we adjust divergences and fill in the gaps? I do not know to what extent the other party knows well about English phrasal verbs and proverbs. Also, I am aware that my English often sounds strange and unclear for people from other countries.
If we assume that the definition of "English as a global language" is ambiguous, we may easily imagine how teaching and learning Business English is significant — learning Business English is not just only getting how to write emails and answer the phone. Good negotiations require us to have a broad education, a sophisticated manner, and respect for other cultures and religions. Also, he/she is expected to know well about some general social etiquette which can be acceptable in any region. More importantly, the business negotiations should end in agreement. In short, a talented businessman is expected to have a high command of language.
To negotiate with people from different countries, such as Mexico, China, and Mongolia, it is the foremost important for businessmen to master "global" Business English. It is not necessarily "authentic" British or American English. I would say that "global" English is, following the famous words by the writer George Orwell, like "a windowpane". It should be clear, simple, and understandable. Besides, as their English is used for business, it must be formal, polite, and professional.
In other words, we may say that Business English is a unique language in the sense that the users have specific purposes, and the number of speakers is relatively limited. Of course, most of the adults engage in any kind of job, yet the percentage of the population that needs to command English for business is not the majority. Their aims, goals, required language levels, vocabulary, opportunities, and places are often similar, and yet the clients are all expected to get excellent results after operating this global language. The teachers for Business English should keep in mind that their teaching plan may cause a considerable impact and influence on their business competence.
A course on Business English is essential for those who wish to teach English to people in the business. Especially if the teachers have no experience in in-house experience, joining the course is crucial. It suggests to us how to behave for the interview and also in the first class, what kind of questions and contracts should be kept in mind, how to make a "Needs Analysis", and also what materials and what methods are useful. It also helps us to be familiar with some possible problems and disadvantages before teaching. We can learn the "authentic" and global Business English from the course work, and then we make use of this knowledge in the classroom.
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Also, the teachers need to know with which countries the company he/she is working for has unique connections. It might be Asian or European. Then the teacher gathers some necessary information on the countries' customs, traditions, and taboos in English. Knowing in advance about target countries may build some confidence in the clients.
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