Business English Materials

I am going to be teaching an English class at my company. They want me to focus on business English with general English thrown in for good measure. Can anyone suggest texts and/or other materials to use – author, publisher, title, store, etc…

Thanks. :slight_smile:

Two popular texts here are Survival English and Business Objectives. Caves carries both I believe.

You are in the wrong forum.

I’ve used a book called “Business Solutions” by Cambridge. It contains about a dozen short stories (with photocopiable worksheets) each dealing with contentious business situations (e.g. face, copywright, contract, stereotypes & prejudism, etc). Each reading comes with various questions that encourage students to think about the situation in terms of their culture or experience.

Although it’s pretty easy to guess the meaning of new words in each story, students still need to understand the context. You can complement these stories with a relevant local news story, which then gives the lesson some more relevance and makes it easier for them to understand, but I’d say it’s really suitable for intermediate to advanced students.

Caves should have this book, but it will probably be cheaper at Crane Books in Shida (Heping East Rd, Sec 1, 109, 6F). Cost: about $1100.

As for the international texts, they’re all crap, with the exception of Business Matters, and that’s crap too. My advice: write your own materials or PM me if you’d like to contact someone who has written some for the local market. Not recommending them because they’re crap, but I would say they’re more adaptable, perhaps, locally.

Ironlady, please move this thread. Ta!

Oops :blush: My eyes were on Teaching English… but my mouse must have strayed [sp?] to Learning Chinese. Damn that little bugger, and after all I’ve done for him – feeding him, washing him, putting bows on his tail…

Mod, would you please transport me to the right forum? Thanks…


Ok… tell us how you really feel about the texts!

Oh, no! :shock: Don’t send the Iron Maiden after me. She’ll make me do TPR in a crowded coffee shop. :shock: Egad!!!


Ok… tell us how you really feel about the texts![/quote]
True! It’s my business to know which texts are crap and which aren’t crap and MOST are crap. Especially the business English ones.
There are only like 5 (slight exaggeration) on the international market after all, because they take friggin ten years of editing and trialing to get one out. By then, they’re really, really useless… :unamused:

Oh, no! :shock: Don’t send the Iron Maiden after me. She’ll make me do TPR in a crowded coffee shop. :shock: Egad!!![/quote]
:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

I’ve used Business Objectives. I thought it was pretty well-organized and well done, but very, very advanced. (A lot of my old colleagues in the U.S. might be challenged with that one.)

Macmillan has a new text that ESLite bookstore has (at least here in Tainan). It’s called In________? like InBusiness or some title like that. I just did a search on the Web, but I couldn’t find it. I thought it looked very promising.

Isn’t Business Opportunities the lower level one? The conversations/tapescripts are very advanced, and they don’t concentrate enough on functional language development, which is what business people mainly need. Why should they have to fill in a chart with grammar or gapfill when they need practical English contextualized for the types of situations they’d encounter.
Alwayslol, is it International Express? That’s Cambridge text.
For writing, though, i find the very simple text called Company to Company quite good for classes of 6 or more. They have to write letters to each other. A good teacher would use the chunks/patterns and then design their own role play writing scenarios that would be more in keeping with the kinds of businesses their students are in.
That’s the thing about ESP, particularly business English, since each company is diff, pharma, engineering, banks, etc, it’s very hard to write a standard type book across the spectrum of professions. In Japan lots of companies hire their own in house staff of teachers who design specific materials for them based on such things as hotline conversations (Amex, phone companies, etc), or particular types of negotiations. This is much harder in Taiwan as usually business Eng teachers are hired through buxibans or consultants and then farmed out and meant to use the textbooks that those companies sell the students. This is a flaw in the system, I saw after so many years. There are quite a few people I know in the field of designing corporate presentation and negotiation courses, but they mainly just do it kind of freelance (well some have legally set up companies here specifically to do this) It’s hard work, and there’s lots of schmoozing involved. But one thing to remember, be tough on corporate students, give em a good bollocking, and dress and act as professional as a Sr. manager, and you’ll do fine. Carry a damn briefcase and wear a tie or Armani. That ropes them in, I’ve seen.

Sorry if I’ve got the names of texts off. Maybe that was Business Objectives. The other book I was talking about is definitely a Macmillan book. Maybe it was called InCompany? I’ll have to take a look at ESLite this weekend and get back to you.

Yes, most of the classes want stuff that is very specific to their area, so if you don’t know anything about it, it would be very difficult to meet their needs. I’ve been lucky and had classes very close to my background in software and Web design.

Thanks for all the help. :smiley: Eventhough, for some reason, this thread was never tranferred to the Teaching English forum. Guess the moderators are sleeping or on vacation.

The class will be at my own company. So, I’m not going to worry about how I dress. I’ll dress the same as I wear everyday, and that doesn’t include a tie.

Though they want to focus on business English, I don’t know if they care if it is specific to the industry as much as wanting to be able to deal with clients better… and not embarrass the company. Especially, since it is supposed to be an international company.

I’m sure, though, that most of our time will be spent on just basics – which I’ve taught and can handle. I’ve heard many of the prospective students speak. We’ll be lucky if we get to the stuff in a business English text. However, the VP asked for business English, so I need to provide a book for him to prove that is what I’m doing.