In order to be successful and make the learning process more meaningful for the students, find out what their position in the company is, what they need English for and what they really want to learn.
Activities & Resources – Teaching Business English in Prague
It is useful, for instance, to have them bring to class a real sample of a document they had to read or an email they are supposed to write. If there is a syllabus, you may find yourself having to adapt it frequently, constantly trying to draw a connection between what they have to learn and what is really important for them. If there is not, you may want to create one with the student. OnTESOL’s 20-hour Teaching Business English Course gives you the skills you need for preparing a syllabus for each Business English student/class.
Remember that the vast majority of students are busy middle-aged parents, so do not rely on your students to do some extra studying at home. By the same token, it is crucial to review frequently, mainly by means of more communicative vocabulary and grammar games, case-studies, simulations, role-plays and the like.
If your Business English students need to improve their phone conversation skills, introduce a few exponents and show them how to do it; should they need to get ready to chair a meeting, provide an illustration (perhaps as a listening) and practice with them. Any presentation in sight? Give some guidelines, ask them to get ready and present it to you as they would at work. Ask them to do it, show them how to do it better, then record their second attempt and have them use this as a guided self-assessment.
Classroom Management – Teaching Business English in Prague
If you decide to come to Prague as an English teacher, remember the context of the lessons, who the students are and the varied needs they may have. The key to success with Business English one-to-one students is to find the balance between helping them improve their skills and creating a relaxing, open and friendly atmosphere.
Flexibility is always welcome and necessary, so allow some leeway for chit-chatting (relaxing from work) and for the students to give vent to their feelings. It is essential that you lead the students back to the topic as soon as possible, but if you do not give them the opportunity to digress for a little while, they may see your lesson as a burden, feel bored and/or tired, and end up giving up.
Many students will ask you about your life and activities with genuine curiosity, and will expect an answer. In all cases, however, never lose track of the lesson and be aware of your TTT. I have heard many cases of teachers who truly believed they were doing what the students “really wanted and expected,” i.e. chatting, and were blamed for that. Do not fall into this trap: Czechs avoid displaying dissatisfaction overtly and only rarely will they complain directly to you. At the end of the day, informal chatting is not your job.
As a result, even though at times you may feel tempted or even forced to digress by your student’s insistence to chat, most of the lesson should be really focused on teaching Business English.