We use English, like any other language, for a variety of purposes which include communicating information and ideas, and when we speak or write, especially in more formal situations, we employ a number of linguistic tools to get a message across to our interlocutors or recipients. Unlike the skill of riding a bicycle or swimming, which are learned once and for all, and are never forgotten, the practical use of a foreign language needs constant practice. Practice – as the proverb says – (not only) makes perfect but keeps that use ‘well-oiled'. Systematic work is crucial. Paraphrasing another well-known proverb we may say that ‘a session a day keeps “English rust” away'. Yes, it is the frequency of your studying that matters. So, you can learn English little by little but ensure it is done often, i.e. on a regular basis. With me things that I teach don't just ‘get done'.
I often recycle them in a stress-free spiral syllabus which enables my students to remember the input more easily.

Modern teaching techniques give us easy access to authentic English and its various accents. But the Internet also reveals a vast number of mistakes that should not be made in the first place as they hinder communication. Remember, it is not only your school English knowledge that matters. Practical experience of using English at work combined with the former will single you out for a sought-after job or post.

Business English is tailored specifically to the needs of working professionals. It deals with a number of skills of which the most important are:

  • contacting, socializing and making small talk with business partners and colleagues,
  • social competence – customer-oriented behaviour,
  • politeness and diplomacy in English,
  • verbal, non-verbal and written communication styles,
  • effective conversation techniques,
  • intelligible pronunciation,
  • writing professional correspondence, especially emails,
  • handling telephoning in English,
  • business-vocabulary and word-building,
  • managing and taking part in international meetings and engaging in negotiations,
  • coping with problems and conflicts, and finding solutions – handling difficult situations with ease,
  • giving presentations (better speaking techniques),
  • idioms and special expressions,
  • intercultural communicative competence,
  • dealing with financial and legal issues,
  • common English (L2) – German (L1) contrasts,
  • British and American English differences.

The world of Business English is a very picturesque territory language-wise. Here we deal not only with an intensively and ever-changing language but also with rich metaphorical expressions featuring among others:

  • colour (‘ golden handshake ', ‘ white knight ', ‘ black market ', ‘ to be in the red/black ');
  • animals (‘ bullish/bearish market ', ‘ dead cat bounce ', ‘ rat race ', ‘ talk turkey ', ‘ skunk works ', ' cash cows ');
  • human body (‘ head of a company ', ‘ someone's right hand ', ‘ to be all ears ').

It goes without saying that Business English will not be the same ‘animal' it once was. Constant change requires on the part of its users or learners keeping abreast of what's new in terms of vocabulary, technology, methods of management, new professions, differences between British English and American English, and so on.

If you are interested in an ESP (=English for Specific Purposes) programme, i.e. in a specific course tailored more to the English of your business sector click on TECHNICAL ENGLISH . If it's business-oriented exams you're after go to CAMBRIDGE EXAMS .