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Teacher vote

What do you think is the most important aspect of business English?

  1. Listening skills
  2. Business vocabulary
  3. Writing - letters, emails etc.
  4. Social English
  5. Speaking skills

Total votes: 1151

Figures do not represent public opinion as a whole

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What are your top tips for teaching business English?

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Sukhvir Kaur, India
I think,all the above skills are necessary for good bussiness communication. Nobody can do business well if he/she does not have enough business vocabulary or good speaking, listening as well as writing skills.

Dr. Saleem Altamimi, Yemen
When you teach business English, you actually teach English, but the difference lies in the language needed. In other words you teach English in a new context.It is helpful to adopt a content-based approach. The acqusition of the language should be from authentic business text and language.Learners of business English are expecting to express themselves properly in their business envioronment.So the focus should be on the needed writen and spoken language.

Hoan533, Vietnam
Hi! In my opinion, all skills are so important if you want to be a good business man/woman. For this question, I think the most/first important is Speaking skills. You should speak first when you want communicate with others face to face. Of course, your Listening skills is also important, if you are not good in listening skills, you could not understand what they said. Business vocabulary and Writing letters, emails skills are also important, it makes you more pro when you contact with others.

Rafael, Brazil
I want to sound polite but I do know that a good friendship or a partnership is made by informal conversations. You have to be friendly if you want conquer your main client, be his(her) friend would be the best choice for a seller. My advice if I can give it is: be friendly always

Mehnoosh Iran
I think speaking skills are more important than the other factors, since when you can't speak easily, you won't be successful in your business.

Ursula Huancas, Perú
Well, I consider that social English is very important because nowadays every body use the net as means of communication, so we need to know how to deal with our customers, the way to talk to them, etc. In oder to make business successfully.

Mahesh Chandra Dash, India
It is difficult to classify my tips in the top-bottom order because in business we find so many people with so many requirements.Communication needs of a salesperson is different from those of a CEO.It is therefore necessary that a person to be successful in business must have a good stock of vocabulary and he/she should have acquired the basic skills in speaking, writing and listening.But the best way to teach business English is to understand the needs of individual learners and duplicate situations leading to perfect understanding and assimilation.

Jacob, USA
The most important factor of any type of communication needs to come from listening first.So i would assume listening would be an essential factor in any type of business interaction.

Samia Khan, Pakistan
Business Vocabulary,ofcourse because without this one might not be carrying out the communication propely be it through written or spoken discourse!

J. Praveen Paul Joseph, Madurai, India
Hi everybody,As a teacher, I would say that Written communication in the aspects of business played a key role in demonstrating the skills of students. Drafting letters and placing orders in business perspectiive has to be done with sheer dedication to promote the business acumen which lies hidden in the minds of students. Written communication provides significance to the student fraternity right from schooling and goes on till higher studies. In my perspective, teaching business English should be imparted at tertiary level itself. Such a move will encourage and enlighten the students.

Rasha, Saudi Arabia
Well, I believe that we should cover all the skills because even writing emails is as important as speaking with customers or staff.

Mahesh Chandra Dash, India
Teaching English to people engaged in some businessis different than teaching Business English to students in the classroom.A teacher has to adopt different strategies in these two different situations.But a few things are very common:Focus on business vocabulary, drafting business-related documents like sales letters, quotations and circulars and speaking skills which include presentation skill, press briefings and business announcements.But in both of these simulations play a pivotal role.

In my opinion speaking essentially determines the success of all business dealings and transactions. How you greet and persuade people need to be mastered to ensure sales. Making technical presentations also determine success in business. Therefore developing speaking skills dealing on topics related to technical and persuasive presentations are essential communicative skills to be included in business English.

Mourad, France
Hi everyone,To me the basis to communicate in a business environment is vocabulary. Indeed, how could you talk with someone (negotiate) if your business vocabulary is poor.No matter if your grammar is poorer than your vocabulary range, the most important in business situation is "to understand and to be understood".So how could you understand without vocabulary? you can't of course. Afterward you can keen on your grammar and writing expression -when you got enough business vocabulary to understand most of the word that your opponent use-I've got long business experiences in many foreign countries, my piece of advice is to work on every kind of aspect -vocabulary, grammar...- at the mean time because actually everything is important but privileged the business vocabulary learning.Good luck,ps : Where do you live in France Sophie ?

Ernesto, Cuba
Any language must be taught as a whole and it is necessary to develop speaking skills, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, writing, and lexicon. In my opinion they all go together, but in this case it is very important to introduce business vocabulary since the beginning.

Prabha muthukrishnan, Bangalore, India
Business communication involves lots of spoken and written skill. Hence it is mandatory for students to gain proficiency in these two areas.Verbal skill can be sharpened by making students talk on various general and technical topics.The more they talk the more will they acquire proficiency. Written skill can be improved by writing general or business based write ups and letters.My students simply love G.D s and discussions. Writing activities are not much appreciated, but they do it as essential for their communication skill.

Phil, China
A fully-rounded course teaches the five skills mentioned (plus business expressions and business idioms), but in my view the keystone is speaking skills. A student must feel confident before any progress can be made,so in my classes I always include a "warm up" conversation session at the start - any topic - and a wrap-up discussion of the class for ten minutes or so at the end.It is during these sessions that everybody realises that mistakes are not too much of a problem as long as we get some communication flowing. Once students become more comfortable and confident with the English language, they are much more happy to tackle all the other skills needed for good Business English.

Marie-Thérèse, Belgium
Social English is important to me, it helps to understand and to speak about various subjects. When you are aware of social matters you get more subjects to work on and more vocabulary to improve your speaking skills and listenning skills as you may speak. Writing letters, emails etc are more technical skills that comes to the end.

Rajesh, India
As per my views, understanding the business language (international English) must be priority and for that you must have listening skills; coz without that you can not communicate well & properly. It's also more important where to speak, how to speak & how much to speak. These all are basic essentials what I believe. So, it's necessary to learn proper way to communicate in business language. No-one came with 100 % fluency in business language. But I think and believe; one must have to take care to use most of the time to find out ways to communicate in business language. With "practical" only, one would be top in business language. He should learn by the way of communication with local people (they are the best to get the basis information for local business); how they talk & how they react. One must have time to get replies through e-mails. My best hint to get proper skills in business language is to appear for an interviews in service industry and thereby getting the best out of you.Class-room exercise can help for getting the hints but actual experience; one can get from the market or society only.

Tu, Vietnam
Personally, I think the most important and difficult skill English is Listening in daily conversation as well as in Business English. Because if they can't understand what the counter-part is talking they aren't able to do contracts and transactions...They will be afraid and never succeed in working on the phone.That is all my idea.Hope to receive your feedback.Thank you and see you soon.

Hao ,China
I strongly argree what Sophie said that if we want to improve our English language skills, just to speak, speak and speak. Now I am living in the UK and aslo meet some problems in English communication with locals , especially these very native speakers and voice in phone, now I am trying to contact more local person and I will take Sophie's advice.

Dai Le, Viet Nam
In my opinion, the first skill in business English is speaking - then other skills. Because if we couldn't speak well, how could we communicate with other business people or customers, right? That's why I think speaking is the most important skill.

Sophie, France
Well I guess the most important aspects are Social English and speaking skills. The main thing students have to get is that the more they try and express themselves, the more they get familiar with a foreign language. It does not really matter if they make mistakes, we can always correct them. The problem with French people when it comes to learning a language is they have been educated in a way to always think twice before speaking, they are afraid of making mistakes or looking stupid when speaking. This is not good at all, learners have to forget about these fears if they want to improve their language skills. So to put it in a nutshell, don't worry about what people might think, just speak, speak and speak. Communication is the KEY.But we can't change people and things from one day to the next, these things take time, It is a challenge, and that is the reason why I love teaching English ;-)

Cabdalle, Somalia
If you cannot speak well, how can you do business? I think speaking skills are the only way that you can interact with your customers. If your speaking skills are poor, how can you partcipate in the world trade market? When your speaking skills are good, the customers will be attracted by you.

Suh, Korea
I think the most important aspect is Social English. Because there are many gadgets that help you translate English into your own language. If you ask me to choose the important aspect in a general situation, I would choose Listening skills, but when it comes to business English, I think the most important thing is Social English.

Shakeel Amjad,Pakistan
Though business English requires an integrated skill approach for a businessman, the ability to tailor your messages such as letters, memos email, etc. needs writing skill as a basis. In organizations not all the people use all the skills mentioned. Some use more listening skill than speaking skill. But undoubtedly, all need and use writing skill more than any other skill. Besides, if one is adroit in writing skill one can learn to deal with other situations. Moreover, if skills other than writing would be more impotant, then no business English would effectively take place in second language situation.

Mohamed Abdel Radoul, Egypt
Though I have never taught business English, I think having all mentioned skills in the vote are necessary plus other skills of course.It is important to have a very good command of business vocabulary and idioms. It is also important to have social and communication skills. A business personnel needs to be able to use computer skills, write business letters and so on.Thank you.

Kate Irving, UK
Tune in, through a thorough introductory Needs Analysis discussion, to what is the student's real requirement - meetings, email, telephoning, Social English in business - or a combination of any - and agree priorities. Stretch the student through BBC World Service News English articles, interviews with local business people, and opportunities to practise Social English with as many people as possible. If at the end of the course you can arrange a business meeting or social gathering, the student will be able to judge their own progress by how well they discussed business, social and economic affairs - or just networked with native speakers. I love teaching Business English.