There is an overall lack of really good, up-to-day coursebooks for Business English. The general consensus amongst teachers is that what is currently available on the market tends to have a rather uniform approach in style and a “one size fits all” attitude which merely reproduces familiar linguistic patterns in business contexts.
However there are some exceptions, and for those out there teaching Business English here are some ideas for good business coursebooks and materials.
Market Leader by Longman is an interactive series popular with both teachers and students. It has good graphics and layout, and light-weight grammar modules. If you don’t have much experience in international finance, commerce, or other international industries, a book like Market Leader gives you a good base to start from. It can help build confidence and give you the experience you need. As your confidence grows, you can start to branch out and explore different materials to integrate into the course.
New International Business English by Cambridge has good communicative activities, thought it is geared more for a British audience.
For courses on business correspondence you might like to try the Oxford Handbook of Commercial Correspondence. It has a lot of templates and serves as a good reference. (Alternatively of course, you can work directly with the students’ real emails, reports, and faxes.
- It is always a good idea to involve the student/company plan and real world corporate activities into a class/curriculum.
- Make your own course! Try to examine the business practices in the country you’re working in and then sit down and write a short curriculum. You, as teacher, must learn something from your students in order to successfully convey your message. Take the most proficient student from your group, sit him or her down, and then work out the program together.
- Negotiate the syllabus; try more interaction before getting stuck into a course book.
- Make sure your international business students are also aware of the cultural bias that may be expressed in linguistic form or through other signs.
- Use authentic materials. Business newspaper articles, financial reports, company mission statements, company videos for internal use, etc. can be a great resource. Make sure you edit them to suit your lesson target.
Authentic Materials – what they are and how to use them in your lessons.
Teaching Materials – our section on TEFL books and coursebooks.