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For teachers - Your ideas


Which of these Business English speaking skills are the most important for your students?

  1. Making phone calls
  2. Participating in meetings
  3. Participating in negotiations
  4. Giving presentations

Total votes: 575

Figures do not represent public opinion as a whole

Teaching materials

Teaching speaking skills for Business English? Try using our series 'Talking Business' in class to help your students build knowledge and confidence? Find classroom activities here.

What are the main problems that students face when speaking in business situations? What can you do to help students cope with these challenges?

Thank you for your comments. This topic has now closed.

Rozina Jumani, Pakistan
My university course allows graudate students to partake in discussion and presentation strategies more often, mostly case studies, that engage them for long. I have found out students relate to these cases comfortably that also last their interest in exploring the business terms and explanations on their own.

Victoria, France
Here is the outcome of my 8 years of experience in this domain. Lack of regular practice hampers their progress. The most effective method is to do role plays, simulations, visit their workarea & make them do their ppresentations... As vocabulary enrichment can boost their confidence encouragement is required to motivate them to create their lexique agenda & revise regularly

T. Djahida, Algeria
What an entresting topic! I personally advise my students to practice such situations a lot because this enable them to learn a lot of vocabulary in the context rather than learning words in isolation. I think that the practice is the key. Thanks a lot.

Luis, Peru
I think one of the principals difficulties for a english language student is when he have to follow a phone conversation, because there is nobody language that is a important support in conversations.

Djahida, Algeria
I think that the main problems that the students face when speaking in business situation is vocabulary.I personally noticed that the students talk about their ideas in their own way; they failed to use the appropriate vocabulary or expressions. Therefore, I advice them to listen to some economic news in purpose of learning more vocabulary. Thanks a lot.

Badran, Egypt
As a matter of fact, Students encounter a lot of problem when they deal with the language in business situations particularly when they give presentations. However, this challenge is a common case for a lot of people if they are not prepared well to handle such situations beforehand.

Akther, Russia
Most of the students have sufficient knowledge on communicative English but they feel shy or hesitated to speak while making phone calls as well as when giving their presentation. To overcome this I always try to improve their motivation and confidence. I strongly believe that confidence and knowledge about what the speaker is saying are main point to foucs on.

Djahida, Algeria
I think that the main problem the students face when speaking in business situations is business vocabulary or expressions because in the English language the meaning of a word changes from a situation to an other,from a domain to an other.I Suggest to my students to learn the maximum of vocabulary and expressions then, have a regular contact with the domain because the maximum of situation we find ourselves in, the maximum of vocabulary we learn and the success we realize. Thanks a lot.

V.Ssankaranarayanan, India
I feel that presentation skills are important for students especially students of professional courses since they have to give presentations of reports,designs, power point presentations,as well as lectures-cum-demonstrations

Usha, India
Practice and more practice is the only solution. Presentation skill has to to be perfected by actual practice and is not gained by teaching theory .I reserve about 5 to 10 minutes during every lecture for students to come before the class [in turns] and make a small and simple presentation and give feed back at once. Other students also give feed back. my students bless me for giving this opportunity to them.

Gigi, Morocco
The main problem that my adult particpants in business English classes mreet is language interference: the participants think in french or arabic, the langage of business and the language of the country respectively. My university level students face the problem of business concept while learnig business English.How do I deal with this problem?In the case of language interference, I draw the participants' attention to the confusion that may arise and/or ask for the equivalent in the other languages.With respect to the second problem, I try to make it an interdisciplinary issue. I try to see to what extent I can build my lesson on what they have learned in other subjects. And it seems to work.

Sandhya, India
I believe if we expose students to Business terminology through visuals, they might grasp the concept of presentation skills better as they get to see the posture, poise, tone, structure of language and the choice of vocabulary used by the speaker.

J. Praveen Paul Joseph, Madurai, India
As teacher of English, I would like to take a firm stand on presentation skills which is increasingly important to the student fraternity and giving presentations on their interested subjects in class room would certainly enhance their career as a student. Teachers should play a role to lift the students' presentation skills. Ample time to preparing a topic of subject was necessarily required for students. Practices on self introduction, description of a product or something,holding debates,group discussions, sharing experiences and coversational English with situations were the key componenets to make the student speak to enhance their presentaions on various topics. Above all, he or she should build confidence and get rid of stage fright to stay clear of all things.

Ms. Ravi
The main part of the business is making phone calls where my students really get stuck up.Though I give them enough practice in the form of 'Role play', the most successful method which I experienced is enabling them talk to me over the phone. Here, I act as a customer or business partner.It gives them enough confidence to face the reality.

NhaTran, Vietnam
Due to the legacy of culture, "participating in meetings or negotiations remain most dificult for my students so far.

All the Chinese students in my career had conversational problem..Their writing is better than their Pronunciation.

Kim, Viet Nam
Confidence is an important thing to speak English in business situations and trying to study Business vocabularies every day. Preparing presentations carefully and impressively is way to encourage effectively audience.

Sonia Yanishi, Brazil
The technical vocabulary is very difficult for foreigner learners, mainly because they don't speak this language every days. During the classes, we can do practice activities in group.

I also think vocabulary is the challenge for the speakers. Talking about an specific area requires vocabulary and knowledge the context (situation). Being in contact by reading any kind of material about it, and speaking can help the students.

Marcol - Brazil
Many students would like to speak English no matter wrong or right and be understood in their conversation with native speakers.

Marck. Mexico
Well, vocabulary is important, however, there are people who speak English very well but they do not know how to use this vocabulary in different situations. The use of English is extremely important so we can differenciate formal and informal English.

Well, I believe body language helps the speaker during a conversation even if it is in a business situation!

Iris, Brazil
I think vocabulary is the most difficult when talking about business situations because it is very specific. I think I can help my students by doing business activities with them so that they can have an idea about the topic and vocabulary. Conversation exercises in which they role-play a business situation are also interesting!

I think that for those who already speak some English, the very specific vocabulary in business situations can be a challenge. I believe that students should feel confident about the knowledge they have built in English in order to give a step ahead to develop specific skills for Business English.

Judy , UK
Body Language. Using suitable words. Structure of topics - intro, during, conclusion.