- What is business English?
- 1. Immerse yourself in professional tools
- 2. Study the fundamentals of doing business in the English-speaking world
- 3. Read international financial news
- 4. Join a local networking group
- 5. Practice, Practice, Practice
Do you want to advance in your career, build a more robust professional network and open the door to new opportunities?
We don't live in a world where swallowing a magic potion suddenly becomes a superstar. However, there is a simple way to dramatically improve your potential for success in the world of work. The solution: Business English!
What is business English?
If you are fluent in English, you will be able to use it in different situations. Whether chatting with the cashier in the supermarket or abroad to meet new friends having a solid knowledge of English will serve you throughout your life. But, of course, achieving mastery in English is a challenge that will take you several years of study.
Business English is a specialized field in studying the English language that enables communication with native speakers in the workplace. If you're not yet fluent in English, learning Business English is a great way to upgrade your professional skills.
Whether negotiating contracts or socializing with coworkers, a solid foundation in business English makes it easy to collaborate with coworkers and other business partners. Studying it includes learning basic polite phrases commonly used in the workplace, business vocabulary, and expressions used in written correspondence.
Ready to get started? To optimize your business English, use the following five keys.
1. Immerse yourself in professional tools
So it's no surprise that the best way to learn the ins and outs of business English is to spend time familiarizing yourself with English used in professional contexts. Also, watching reruns of TV series such as How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory could be an excellent way to boost your overall understanding of English.
In addition, you need to look for audio and video content that gives you a taste of the business world. These resources will allow you to familiarize yourself with the world of work better.
Watch Stanford professor Margaret Neale as she explains the art of negotiation.
There are many valuable resources available for business English students. If you don't already have the "English Phonetics" app, why not download it and start viewing content from some of the world's most famous business press publications? Regular immersion in audio and video content has been proven to increase comprehension skills.
2. Study the fundamentals of doing business in the English-speaking world
Do you know how to get acquainted naturally in a business environment?
Would you be surprised to learn that corporate habits and customs vary from one end of the planet to the other? For example, in the UK, professionals can touch the tips of their noses when discussing private or confidential information. This tiny signal tells the other person the private nature of the conversation.
In Canada, punctuality is essential. It is considered quite offensive to show up a few times late for a meeting. If you aren't aware of minor cultural differences like these, you could quickly find yourself in an awkward situation.
There are countless other examples potentially relevant to your career. Before you find yourself in the middle of a business meeting without the proper preparation, take the time to learn more about the business world. Many exciting books have been written on the subject. You might also consider taking an international business course at a local university to strengthen your understanding of how businesses operate globally.
Don't have the time or the resources to take classes? Do not despair! Many world-famous institutions offer online educational resources, which you can access with just a few clicks. So why not learn the right and wrong way to shake hands or discover the impact of social entrepreneurship around the world.
3. Read international financial news
Some magazines offer articles primarily to professionals in the financial sector. Articles published in renowned newspapers such as "Wall Street Journal," "The Economist," or "Financial Times" contain a large number of references, specific vocabulary words, and phrases that you can use to speak English. You don't have to rush to buy every newspaper on the planet. Fortunately, many international publishers provide free sample articles online.
Of course, it is not easy to memorize all the new words and phrases that you will learn while reading these posts. It's a good idea to choose a strategy for increasing your vocabulary. Many learners find it helpful to look up words they don't know and write them down in a small notebook. Then, be sure to note the phonetics of these words to learn how to pronounce them out loud.
There are also plenty of mobile apps that make it easy to create flashcards to review vocabulary.
Whatever methods you find helpful, it's essential to have a guideline for learning new words and stick to it.
If you're particularly motivated to learn more about Business English, don't overlook the web content. The "New York Times" regularly hosts panel discussions and interviews with influential business experts. Also, check out recent videos on the Times Talk newspaper channel.
4. Join a local networking group
Join a networking group to meet English speakers and improve your language skills.
Most of the big cities around the world offer plenty of opportunities for businessmen and women to meet. These organizations vary greatly depending on their purpose and focus. There are also many industry-specific network groups broken down into themes in different cities around the world.
Networking can open the door to many career possibilities, allowing you to develop relationships with native English speakers. In addition, making friends with people who understand all the intricacies of Business English will give you a leg up on others who exclusively use textbooks.
Networking groups are a great place to find language exchange partners. If someone arrives in your country without speaking much of the language, they may be in dire need of help learning about business customs and traditions. So why not help each other to improve your mutual understanding?
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
As the old saying goes: "it is by forging that you become a blacksmith." Only by practicing the language will you acquire the English business skills you so desperately seek.
Make an effort to use the phrases you remember while reading the newspaper or in a daily conversation with your coworkers. Don't be shy asking native speakers to correct you. You will take one step closer to perfect business English.
Don't you have anyone around you who speaks English? Why not have a conversation with yourself? It may sound silly at first, but speaking the language aloud helps you perfect your pronunciation and accent.
It would be best if you adapt your schedule to listen to Business English continuously. Find business podcasts you love and make listening to them in your calendar, or get into the habit of watching business videos over your daily lunch. You can even add more entertaining options to your study of Business English.
Studying English for business purposes is an exciting goal. If you dream of a career abroad or want to improve your chances of success with a local business, focusing on improving your business English will pay off in the long run. However, the best is the enemy of the good; set achievable goals. Use the five keys we have explored in this article to work tirelessly, and you will be on your way to success.