Teach English in Jiangba Zhen - Huai'an Shi

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Teaching business English has been growing in popularity around the world in recent years. Having the skills to read, write, listen, and speak English can be seen as valuable for business professionals and companies alike, as it can help with building and maintaining international connections. In this paper I will address two important components teachers should consider regarding the field of business English. The first part considers the needs of the students or company. The second focuses on differences of culture and etiquette a teacher should take into account before commencing a career opportunity in any given country. The first focuses more on the clients needs. Whether it is an individual student’s or the company they are employed with, it is important to consider the reason behind studying English and what skills they hope to improve or acquire throughout the lessons. The best way to determine these needs is to conduct a needs analysis before designing the syllabus for the course. Some things that should be addressed on the analysis include but are not limited to, how often English is used in the workplace, what tasks are performed in English, what English skills are required to complete these tasks, and the importance placed on learning or improving skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. For example, if the student has to write emails in English daily, a lesson could be focused on reading and writing, while introducing email etiquette and some useful phrases. Similarly, making phone calls, attending meetings, or giving presentations could work on listening and speaking skills. While there are some useful expressions that could be used in these situations, rather than teaching a script like conversation, it would be beneficial to teach functional English instead, helping students feel confident they can react appropriately in various business situations. For someone that needs to make negotiations, lessons on how to deal with formalities, how to agree or disagree, and how to make and accept offers, requests and invitations would be favourable. Case studies, problem-based, and realistic scenarios using authentic material would be a good way to conduct activities. If you are teaching at the request of a company, again it is useful to have an understanding of the goals they wish to achieve through these lessons, for example growing their network or increasing profits. Keeping a progress report of employees will be useful for both the employer and employee. There is no defined category of business English vocabulary, grammar structures, or phrases, and so it is best to create lessons suitable to the needs of the students and company. Another aspect a teacher should take into consideration when teaching business English involves the aspect working and/or living with cultural and etiquette differences. Especially when living and working abroad in a country or region whose primary language is not English, the differences may be greater and are thus of great relevance to a teacher. Research should be conducted into the the history, customs, and practices of the country’s culture. This is important to know what topics, activities, and classroom management should be avoided in class. This also includes what dress code and appearance is appropriate both at work and during free time. Understanding a region’s business culture is important to get a better sense of how the employees or companies view and conduct matters of business, where they place their importance, and what work environment and ethics they respect and uphold. Appropriate business etiquette is tied into the latter point, as respectful body language, gestures and customs may vary depending on your location in the world. For example in Asia, it is more respectful to bow as a greeting than to shake hands. To avoid offending anyone, inside or outside of teaching, it is best to stay conservative and culturally sensitive in any country you find work, making sure to conduct thorough research beforehand.