Business English is a specialised area of English relating to the language used in business. Every year more and more people are studying courses in Business English to improve their chances of finding a job at home, career prospects and to be able to work in English speaking countries. If you’ve already studied a General English course or similar, or your English is already quite good, you might be wondering if it would be useful to study Business English.
In a Business English course you learn the vocabulary used in business and perform different business tasks to practice applying it. These include, for example, how to do a presentation in English, how to negotiate and formal writing. Further topics include how to conduct meetings, how to give opinions, understanding job profiles and marketing vocabulary and writing letters and emails.
While business has its own vocabulary, specialised areas within business have their own (unique) vocabularies as well. Such areas include finance, politics, law and trade. It is not possible to cover all the vocabulary in these areas in a course. There just isn’t the time! It is useful to take a course to learn general business vocabulary and practice carrying out business tasks in English. Many people use an English textbook or dictionary to translate specific terms in their area of work or profession. There are also specialised courses for lawyers, bankers etc, but these are usually quite expensive and are normally paid for by the employer.
English is the universal language of business, trade, politics and international law. The majority of students study to improve their job prospects at home. Many companies like their staff to improve their English and send them to study at language schools. It may be worth asking your employer if they would pay for your course, while showing it will have a benefit for them.
The second great reason to study English for Business is for living abroad in an English speaking country such as the UK, United States, Canada and Australia. There are many jobs that you can start after you have studied English to Advanced or Upper Intermediate level. You don’t need to have studied Business English to work in a bar or restaurant, for example! For many office based jobs however it is best to be able to understand English business terms and to have carried out business tasks before in English, such as presenting and writing. There are still some office based jobs you can apply for, however, and learn Business English as you go. They usually require some clever searching, but they are out there! If you manage to secure an office based job it will help to take a course at the same time. This will also demonstrate to your employer that you are serious about working in the country. If you are just looking or are working in a temporary position, a course will definitely make you more attractive to employers.