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8 Helpful Tips to Teach English to Business Professionals Online + FAQs
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Are you an ESL teacher who wants to teach English to business professionals online? If so, you’re in luck!
When you teach business English, you will need to focus on different topics than you would when teaching ESL to kids. Sometimes teaching business English just refers to teaching English to adults, not only business people in an office setting.
However, Business English generally focuses on topics such as email writing, presentations, and business meetings as well as cultural differences business people need to know in order to more successfully work with people from other countries.
In this blog post, we will share our top tips that will help you succeed in this venture. Keep reading for helpful advice on how to create a successful and engaging business English learning experience for your students!
Our Tips to Teach English to Business Professionals Online
You’ll want to be familiar with these sorts of topics before beginning to teach English to business professionals online.
1. Find Out What Your Students Need
Since coursebooks, textbooks, and other lesson plans exist to teach business English, your student is the best resource. Find out which situations they need English for at work. And base the lessons around real-life examples they encounter regularly.
That could be anything from giving a product demo to a customer or speaking up in meetings. Let their needs guide you as you plan ESL lessons together.
2. English Language Skills are Higher.
It’s also important to remember that business professionals are typically more advanced English learners. This means that you’ll need to adjust your teaching methods accordingly. For example, you’ll want to use more complicated grammar and vocabulary in your lessons.
Don’t worry, though! If you’re not sure how to teach more advanced grammar, there are plenty of resources available online. Just do a quick search and you’ll find what you need.
3. Higher Expectations.
In a Business English class, your adult students will have a distinct set of objectives than those in other classes. They generally have a certain career-oriented aim in mind, and the company where they work usually pays for their education. This implies that pupils will be highly motivated to succeed as quickly as possible.
Additionally, business professionals often have higher expectations for their English classes. They’re typically paying more money for their classes, so they expect to see results.
This means that you’ll need to be well prepared for each and every class. Make sure you know what you’re going to teach before each session and be ready to answer any questions your students may have.
If you can do this, you’ll be sure to impress your students and keep them coming back for more!
4. Real Life Examples.
One of the best ways to teach business English is by using real-life examples. Business professionals often appreciate seeing how the concepts they’re learning can be applied to their work.
If you have any business experience, be sure to share your own examples with your students. If not, no problem! There are plenty of other ways to find real-life examples. You can search online, read articles, or even watch videos.
Just make sure the examples you use are appropriate and relevant to your students’ needs.
5. Businesses May Pay for the Lessons.
Another great thing about teaching business English is that businesses may be willing to pay for their employees’ classes. If you’re able to find a company that’s interested in this type of arrangement, it can be a great way to secure long-term students.
Not only that, but you may be able to negotiate a higher rate since you’ll be teaching a group of students at once. It’s definitely worth looking into!
6. Classroom Settings Differ.
Another way Business English classes can differ from others is location. If you teach in person, it’s common to meet with students at their workplace. This could be anywhere from a corporate building, conference room, or other meeting space.
Consequently, you should dress even more professionally than if you were teaching a regular English class at a language institute. Be prepared with materials and flexible for whatever comes your way.
Although you’re teaching English online, your students could still be in their office. You might teach each student at their desk or they may all be gathered together in a conference room. It’s essential to dress like a professional, too, whether you’re teaching online or in person.
7. Pronunciation is Challenging.
Since it’s harder for adults to learn a new language than children, they might be stuck using the intonation, stress, and rhythm of their native language. Many times, adult students are scared of making mistakes when speaking or writing and need extra encouragement from their teacher.
8. Teaching Methods Vary.
The methods and approaches required to teach English language learners vary depending on whether those students are children or adults. Typically, adults have a stronger foundation in both their native language as well as basic English skills.
Additionally, most adult learners come into the classroom with a specific focus or goal in mind for their studies. This could be anything from wanting to improve their conversation skills for travel to becoming more proficient in order to advance in their career.
Knowing your students’ goals will help you determine the best teaching methods to use in your classes.
9. Time is Money.
Adults value time. Adults are more concerned about English language abilities than children because they have more responsibilities away from work, spend quality time with their friends and family, and take vacations.
Adults also aren’t as likely to complete their homework since adult life is busy and parents are absent. To make the most of the limited period, it’s important to understand their learning objectives and address the most pressing need first.
This is why having a well-organized lesson plan and materials are crucial when teaching business English to adult learners. You’ll need to be efficient with your time and make sure every minute counts.
10. Determine Who Should Receive Student Progress Reports.
From the beginning of the course, it’s important to identify who will be able to answer any questions you may have as well as who would like to see your students’ progress. You’ll also need to know how often these reports should be sent.
Find out if you should be contacting your supervisor at your language institute or the students’ work supervisor for this. If your point of contact is the students’ supervisor, then you don’t want to overwhelm them with too many reports.
However, you do want to keep them in the loop with progress updates. Agree upon a schedule of reporting in advance to make things easier.
Teach English to Business Professionals Online FAQs
These are some frequently asked questions often asked by people who want to teach English to business professionals online. If you think we missed any, please contact us so we can add them to help future readers!
What Do I Need to Know to Teach Business English Online?
If you’re looking to teach business English, then there are a few things you should know. You’ll need to have a combination of knowledge of:
- international business
- communication skills and business etiquette
- language teaching
First, if you have any prior experience working in a company, then you already have some of the skills that will be required. However, it’s also important to be able to teach communication and soft skills effectively.
Pro Tip: These are skills that you probably already picked up if you have worked in business before!
For example, workplace etiquette in English-speaking countries may be very different from the way it is practiced in your student’s home country. In that case, as important (if not more important) as using the correct verb tense or adjective is preserving cultural standards.
Even a fluent English speaker can struggle to communicate if they don’t respect business etiquette and politeness norms in English-speaking countries.
It’s not that having fundamental grammar and vocabulary knowledge isn’t useful. In fact, if you lack business skills but have the ability to teach or speak English, you’ll need to brush up on those as well!
You can learn how to impart these commercial communication abilities if you don’t have business expertise. There are courses, textbooks, and other free resources available online for teaching business English.
You can also work on your English language skills in areas such as CV writing or negotiation.
Related Reading: Cool Benefits of Teaching English Online
How Do I Qualify to Teach Business English?
There are a select number of online English teaching companies that don’t require a degree but for the most part, you need proficient English language skills and a college degree (which doesn’t have to be in education).
Some companies require native English speakers while others just require English fluency for their online English teaching jobs. Previous teaching experience is also a huge plus, whether a company requires it or not.
Pro Tip: Previous experience teaching online business English is rarely a requirement for jobs as online English teachers.
Having a TEFL certificate is also really helpful. You can get an online TEFL certification through an online TEFL course. Some companies even require it. If you’re not sure whether or not you qualify, the best way to find out is to apply to a few companies and see what they say.
Are you seeking certification for teaching English?
If you are or want to be an online ESL tutor, then certification is required by many companies & desired by many private clients.
We recommend this TEFL course! They even offer post-completion job support and resources.
What Do I Need to Teach Business English Online?
In order to teach business English online, you need a computer with a good internet connection and audio/video capability. A good headset and a microphone will also help you better connect with your students during class.
If you want a really nice office setup, then keep reading here for everything to consider when arranging your home office.
Most companies will provide you with the necessary teaching materials, but it’s always helpful to have a few extra resources on hand, just in case. If you need curriculum ideas, The Tutor Resource can help!
You should also be familiar with the different business English concepts that your students will need to learn. This includes things like email etiquette, giving presentations, and taking part in conference calls.
If you’re not familiar with these concepts, don’t worry! There are plenty of resources out there that can help you learn. Just make sure to give yourself some time to prepare before your first class.
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What is the Pay Like for Teaching Business English Online?
The pay for teaching business English online can vary depending on a number of factors, including your qualifications, experience, and the company you work for.
It’s important to remember that you won’t be offered a job, even by a business, so the earnings listed below are not compensation. You’ll have to factor in taxes and national insurance contributions when calculating your take-home pay as a freelancer in your nation.
That said, most online teaching companies pay between $15 and $25 per hour. Some companies also offer bonuses or other incentives, like paid vacation days.
If you decide to become one of the growing plethoras of freelance online business English teachers, you can set your own rates. Some of our vendors and customers who are freelance tutors charge +$40 USD per hour!
What Are the Hours Like for Teaching Business English Online?
The hours for teaching business English online can also vary depending on a number of factors, including the company you work for, the time zone of your students, and your availability.
That said, most companies offer classes during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, from around nine to five). This means that you can usually teach during the daytime, in the evening, or even on weekends.
Unlike teaching English abroad from within a certain country, if you’re teaching a country in another time zone from the one you live then keep in mind that business hours in Asia might be overnight or late night hours if you live in the Americas.
What is the Schedule Like for Teaching Business English Online?
The schedule for teaching business English online can vary depending on the company you work for and the needs of your students.
However, most companies offer classes on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This means that you’ll usually have the same students for each class, and you’ll be able to build a rapport with them over time.
Some online teaching companies want you to commit to a minimum number of scheduled hours each week while others don’t. Know what you’re willing and able to do before you apply.
What is the Student-Teacher Ratio for Teaching Business English Online?
The student-teacher ratio for teaching business English online can vary depending on the company you work for.
However, most companies have a maximum ratio of four students to one teacher. This allows you to give each student the attention they need and ensures that everyone gets a chance to participate in the class.
Where Can I Teach Business English Online?
Teaching English online to business professionals Before you start looking for an online teaching position, ask yourself:
What is it that YOU really want from getting a job to teach English to business professionals online? For some of our customers, these are non-negotiable items:
-A flexible online teaching schedule (without set hours)
-The freedom to travel while working
Teaching English online to adults is a viable option with many different companies. Here are a few options to get you started.
Voxy is an ESL platform with adult students from all over the globe. If you work with them, you can teach English for specific exams (like the TOEFL), Business English, and many other specialized courses.
Preply is an online tutoring platform for students of all ages, from all over the world. You can teach English, as well as other languages, and there are options to teach Business English, as well.
iTutorGroup is an online teaching platform with adult students from all over the world. It only offers English classes to adults but the pay isn’t great.
English First is an online teaching platform with adult students from all over the globe. It’s based in the UK, so the pay is in British pounds. They have a wide variety of courses, including Business English.
Learnlight is another great company that offers specialized programs to students. Their clients come from all over the world, and the company favors teachers who have a background in business.
Lingoda is a German-based online teaching platform. They offer courses in English, as well as other languages, and they have a Business English curriculum as well.
Bright English is an online teaching platform with adult students from all over the globe. They offer a variety of courses, including Business English.
Break into English
Break Into English is an online academy offering challenging and affordable 1-to- 1 online English classes via Skype for adults and children.
If you don’t want the commitment of working for just one company, you can freelance and teach Business English instead. With some effective marketing, you’ll be able to attract both private students and corporate clients who want to invest in their employees’ language skills.
There are many other companies that teach English online to business professionals, so be sure to do your research before you commit to anything!
If being your own boss and setting your own rates interests you, then you can start by checking out How to Start an Online Teaching Business so you can start working as a freelancer.
How Would I Get Students if I Teach English to Business Professionals Online with a Company?
English First and other large companies keep their client rosters to themselves and assign students to teachers as they see fit. On the other hand, Preply, Cambly, and other startups have created a new model: The site functions as an “agent” that connects students with teachers.
Your preference will likely depend on:
- How much control you want in deciding whom you teach
- How much effort you are willing to put into building your online profile to attract students
Questions to Ask a Company When You Apply to Teach English to Business Professionals Online
- Do I need a degree to apply?
- Do they accept applicants from my home country?
- Is an ESL certification, like a TEFL certificate, needed?
- Is there a minimum number of hours I have to work?
- What are the peak teaching hours? (Remember to convert to your time zone if necessary!)
- How often can I make changes to my availability?
- Can I make last-minute changes to my schedule?
- Is it OK to work from anywhere in the world?
- Who are my students? What is their age? Where are they from?
- Is there anything I need to prepare for my lessons?
- Do I need to buy any technology or props to teach?
- What are Internet requirements?
- What’s the base pay like?
- Am I paid by the hour or lessons taught?
- Are there any bonuses?
- Do I get paid if a student cancels the day before or within 24 hours?
- What happens if my student is a no-show?
- What happens if I get sick?
Extra Resources to Teach English to Business Professionals Online
The British Council offers excellent English teaching resources. You can also check the curriculums here on the Tutor Resource, as new material is added weekly by our talented creators.
Or become a creator to make money on your lessons and curriculums when you aren’t using them to teach for yourself!
Final Thoughts: Teach English to Business Professionals Online
Teaching business English can be a great way to make extra money and help professionals improve their language skills. It’s also a great opportunity for people interested in teaching English but who don’t necessarily want to teach kids all the time.
If you’re thinking about giving it a try, be sure to do your research and find the right company for you. Or be brave and launch your own freelance teaching career!
We hope you found this blog post helpful and that it gives you some ideas on how to teach English to business professionals online. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us! Thanks for reading!