Business English is English as it is used in the business workplace.
Business English focuses on business phrases and typical workplace vocabulary in the context of language functions such as: negotiations, telephone conversations, interviews, presentations, meetings, conflict resolution, etc.
The main difference between teaching General English and Business English is contexts. In a Business English course the language is often taught and practised by recreating the same business settings your students may find themselves in. This is why it is important for you as a TEFL teacher to know what language functions are, how to identify them and how to use them to your students’ advantage.
All the main language skills taught in a General English course are included in a Business English course but the slant is obviously on business. So, for example, writing concentrates on using proper salutations, writing orders, memos, proposals, "thank you" letters or complaints or putting together a smart cover note, etc. Listening can include dealing with an angry customer or handling enquiries over the phone, etc. Speaking may be linked to brand presentation or taking part in a meeting etc.
English language teachers with a background in the corporate sector are the ideal candidates to teach Business English as they can combine their knowledge of English language and grammar with up to date and accurate business vocabulary, phrases, expressions, and jargon.
Accounting, Banking and Financing, Sales and Marketing, Project Management and Information Technology (IT) are only some of the specialized fields that go under the Business English umbrella.
When it comes to materials, one of the most useful resources for Business English teachers is by far authentic material. This comes in many forms such as: podcasts, specialized magazines, company literature, corporate websites, etc.