Business Course

English for Business

This course covers the full range of business English learner needs, including listening, situational role plays, reading articles and discussing a variety of business issues. This course is for students who want to improve all areas of their business English.
The course can be supplemented with our grammar course or one of our upper-intermediate courses.
On successful completion of the course students can choose to take the internationally recognised EfB (English For Business) exam or the Cambridge BULATS exam.

English for Business

Business English Programme - Intermediate B1-B2

 1. Introductions

This lesson teaches expressions for first-time introductions. Through listening and role play, students learn how to introduce themselves to a colleague or business associate and make appropriate small talk. This worksheet is suitable for the first lesson of a business English course, and provides a good opportunity for the student(s) and teacher to get to know each other.

 

 2. Company and job

This lesson teaches students useful vocabulary for talking about their company and job. Learners study expressions for describing a company’s history, location, size, market position, financial results and strategy. Students listen to or watch an animated video of three co-workers talking about their work. They learn how to talk about their job responsibilities and what they like/dislike about their work. This worksheet is particularly suitable for the first or second lesson of a business English course.

 3. Birth or upbringing

The theme of this lesson is what makes a successful businessman. Students read an article that discusses whether entrepreneurs are born with certain character traits or develop the necessary skills and mindset. Vocabulary for describing entrepreneurial activity and personality is studied, and students have an opportunity to share their opinions on the topic.

 4. The career ladder

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to job titles and career paths.

 

 5. Diplomatic language

This lesson teaches learners how to avoid causing offence by expressing themselves in a more tactful, diplomatic way. After studying a variety of adjectives for describing different attitudes, the students learn how to use special ‘softening’ structures through reading, language practice and role play.

 

 6. Liar liar

This lesson is based on an article that discusses why job applicants are increasingly lying on their CVs/résumés and how employers are trying to deal with the problem. Lesson activities include a game in which students write down and read out sentences about their own educational and professional background, and their partners try to guess if they are lying or not.

 

 7. Showing round visitors

In this lesson, students learn vocabulary for describing areas of an office, shop or factory and practise giving a tour of their workplace using a variety of useful expressions.

 

 8. Different perceptions

In this lesson, students read about a survey on men and women business owners and learn some new adjectives for describing character traits. The worksheet includes a grammar exercise on the structure verb + object + infinitive/-ing.

 

 9. Describing workers

This lesson plan is a great way to develop students' ability to talk about people’s personality and character traits at work. The worksheet presents a variety of adjectives for describing qualities and flaws, as well as additional expressions for describing typical office personalities.

 

 10. Common expressions in business

Common expressions used in spoken English.

 

 11. Starting and ending a call

This lesson teaches useful expressions for starting and ending a phone call. Through listening and role play, students learn a variety of ways to answer the phone, introduce themselves to the receiver, ask to speak to someone, state the reason for calling and end a phone call.

 12. Telephone messages

This lesson teaches useful language for taking and leaving messages during a business call. Through vocabulary, listening and role-play exercises, students learn how to leave a message for someone, take down a message from a caller and exchange information on the phone.

 

 13. Email style

This lesson teaches useful vocabulary for learners who need to write emails in English. The worksheet presents the differences between formal, informal and neutral email styles, and there are a number of writing exercises in which the students practise using different levels of formality.

 

 14. Thirsty work

In this lesson, students read an article on the benefits and drawbacks of the coffee shop as a place for work and business. In the grammar section of the worksheet, students practise using the present perfect for describing recent changes, changes over time and situations that have continued until the present. At the end of the lesson, the class share their own opinions about working in cafes.

 

 15. Managing tasks

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to tasks and time management.

 

 16. Telephone interruptions

In this lesson filler, students practise handling phone call interruptions. The worksheet presents a number of practical expressions which can be used to encourage the caller to be quick, persuade the receiver to listen as well as diplomatically avoid speaking to the caller.

 

 17. Corporate well-being

This theme of this lesson is corporate health. Students read an article about a company that is attempting to improve the well-being of its staff and listen to two corporate health experts commenting on the firm’s health initiatives. In the grammar section of the worksheet, the present simple, present continuous, past simple, present perfect simple and past simple are reviewed. This is followed by a discussion on corporate health initiatives.

 

 18. Financial statements

This lesson plan is suitable for students who deal with accounting issues, especially those who need to prepare or interpret financial statements in English. This worksheet presents vocabulary related to a company’s balance sheet and profit and loss statement. For teachers who are unfamiliar with accounting terms, we have included additional notes in the key to help clear up any confusion.

 

 19. Bad debt

This lesson plan is based on an article about how bad debt is affecting small businesses in the UK and what they can do about the problem. The worksheet focuses on reading and vocabulary work, rounding off with some sample expressions for chasing payments via email.

 20. Salary and pay

This worksheet covers a range of vocabulary for talking about salary and pay. The lesson plan rounds off with a discussion activity in which students put the target language into practice.

 

 21. Business meetings

This lesson plan covers vocabulary for talking about meetings. Students learn a number of terms for describing the different types and purposes of meetings as well as problems and other issues related to organised discussions.

 

 22. Discussions

This lesson teaches useful expressions for students who need English for business meetings and discussions. Through reading, language practice and role play, students learn how to structure an argument with linking words and phrases as well as respond to opinions using a variety of techniques for agreeing and disagreeing.

 

 23. Working together

In this lesson, students read about how a successful British co-operative is managed. The worksheet includes vocabulary work and a grammar review exercise on the present perfect.

 

 24. Problems and suggestions

This lesson teaches useful expressions for discussing problems and possible solutions. Through listening and role play, the students learn how to make, ask for and respond to suggestions in a variety of ways. The lesson plan includes an animated video version of the dialogue.

 

 25. Hello, I’m on the plane

Technology has been developed to allow passengers to use their mobile phones safely on planes. Students read an article about the different attitudes among business travellers towards this development. In the grammar section of the worksheet, the first and second conditionals are studied and practised. Students then discuss the lesson topic and debate the pros and cons of in-flight mobile phone use.

 

 26. Chairing meetings

This lesson teaches useful expressions for learners who need to chair meetings in English. After studying vocabulary for describing the skills and roles of a chairperson, students listen to a dialogue in which the managers of a language training centre discuss their company’s advertising strategy. Key expressions used by the chairperson of the meeting are studied. At the end of the lesson, the students role-play a meeting, taking turns to chair the discussion. In this updated version of the lesson plan, there is a fun animated video which can be played instead of the audio.

 

 27. Statistics and trends

In this lesson, students learn how to talk about visual representations of statistics and describe trends using combinations of nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives.

 

 28. Presentations

In this lesson, students learn vocabulary for describing visual aids and practise giving a presentation using a variety of useful expressions.

 

 29. Business phrasal verbs

This lively lesson plan presents 16 common phrasal verbs used in business. These business English phrasal verbs are presented in their natural context. There are two speaking activities in which students interview each using the target language. For larger classes, there is a 'Find someone who' activity at the end of the worksheet. This is the business English version of our general English worksheet Phrasal verbs 1.

 

 30. Project management

In this lesson, students learn important vocabulary for project management, including describing the progress of a project, key stages and useful terminology.

 

 31. Unusual CV mistakes

In this lesson, students read an article about mistakes that job candidates make on their CVs and the consequences of these errors. The worksheet activities focus on vocabulary, comprehension and speaking.

 

 32. Job interview stories

In this lesson, students read about some unusual incidents that have happened during job interviews, according to a survey of HR managers in the US. The worksheet focuses on vocabulary and speaking.

 

 33. Work clothes

In this lesson, students learn how to talk about work clothing and dress code. The worksheet includes a recent news report about a London receptionist who was sent home for not adhering to her company's dress code policy.

 

 34. Recession marketing

The theme of this lesson is marketing in a recession. The worksheet is suitable for people who are responsible for marketing in their companies or who work for marketing agencies. Students read an article about successful marketing strategies for businesses during an economic downturn and learn a variety of terms for describing different marketing tools, strategies and concepts. At the end of the lesson, students talk about how the global economy has affected their or their clients’ approach to marketing.

 

 35. Marketing strategies

This lesson plan is designed to get your students talking about marketing. The worksheet covers modern methods of marketing, including social media marketing, email marketing, internet advertising and search engine optimization. The lesson can be used to stimulate a lively debate among the students on traditional vs. online marketing.

 

 36. Selling air

In this lesson, students read an article about a Canadian company that has been cashing in on China's pollution crisis. The worksheet includes a two-part grammar exercise on infinitive clauses.

 

 37. The sales meeting

This lesson teaches a variety of useful terms for learners involved in sales. Through vocabulary and role-play exercises, the students learn how to describe the benefits of their product/service and make an effective sales pitch in English.

 

 38. Negotiations

This lesson introduces students to negotiating in English. Common terms for describing different points of discussion and negotiating positions are studied. Students then share their own experiences and opinions on a number of negotiation issues. In the second part of the lesson, there is a listening and role play activity in which useful expressions for negotiating are studied and practised.

 

 39. The fame game

The theme of this lesson is celebrity endorsement. Students read about the benefits and drawbacks of companies associating their brands with celebrities. Students learn key vocabulary related to marketing and advertising, and useful expressions for developing an argument are also studied. During the lesson, several aspects of the worksheet topic are discussed.

 

 40. Complaining and apologizing

The theme of this lesson is handling complaints in business. Students study a text on the importance of welcoming customer complaints and dealing with problems promptly. Through listening and role play, the students learn useful expressions for making complaints, apologizing and taking action.

 

 41. Motivation

In this lesson, students read an article about innovative methods, ideas and devices designed to improve motivation among office staff. Students also learn how to speculate and make predictions with a variety of different structures. The lesson rounds off with a discussion activity on the worksheet topic.

 

 42. Innovation and product development

This worksheet presents vocabulary related to product innovation and development. A variety of terms are introduced for describing the pre-launch stages of a new product as well as adjectives and expressions for describing technological innovation. The lesson plan includes discussion ideas and should be particularly useful for students involved in market research and/or product development.

 

 43. The future of streaming

This 6-page lesson plan is based on an article about the future of the music streaming sector. The worksheet covers a broad range of activities, including reading, vocabulary work, grammar practice (relative clauses) and speaking.

 

 44. Mixed signals for outsourcing

The theme of this lesson is outsourcing. Students read an article about how rising wages and a stronger currency are affecting the Indian outsourcing industry. In the grammar section of the worksheet, the difference between the present and past perfect is studied. At the end of the lesson, students talk about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing.

 

 45. Flying for business

The theme of this lesson is business travel. Students read a traveller's tips on how to handle a long-distance business trip. The lesson activities focus on vocabulary, comprehension and speaking.

 

 46. Ethics and conduct

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to business ethics and conduct.

 

 47. The new consumer

This lesson plan is based on an article about changing shopping habits among consumers in the UK. The worksheet includes a grammar exercise on tenses for describing changes.

 

 48. Conflict of interest

This lesson is based on an article on a dispute between the McDonald's fast food chain and the Italian city of Florence. The worksheet focuses on vocabulary development, reading comprehension and speaking.

 

 49. Sick leave

Thinking of calling in sick? Under a new Belgian proposal, you will be obliged to remain at home for a medical check-up. In this lesson, students read about and discuss this proposal. The worksheet rounds off with a vocabulary exercise on common ailments and remedies.

 

 50. The stress timebomb - Part 1

The first of a two-part lesson plan that looks at the causes and impact of stress in the workplace. Students read about how stress is affecting small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. The lesson rounds off with a grammar exercise on reported speech in which students complete a stressful negotiation dialogue using the target language structures.

 

 51. The stress timebomb - Part 2

The second of a two-part lesson plan that looks at the causes and impact of stress in the workplace. Students read about and discuss how small and medium-sized businesses can reduce stress among employees. The lesson rounds off with a exercise on expressing future probability.

 

 52. Space tourism

This lesson is based on an article on the nascent space tourism industry. The text focuses on the different companies that will be operating in this market, including Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, as well as the future costs and environmental impact of commercial space flights. In the grammar section of the worksheets, reported statements and questions are studied and practised. At the end of the lesson, students discuss whether they believe space tourism could become mass market.

 

 53. The e-commerce revolution

The theme of this lesson is e-commerce. Students read an article on the changing shopping habits of British consumers and the development of online retailing. Tenses for describing trends are studied and practised in the grammar section of the worksheet, followed by an end-of-lesson discussion on Internet buying habits in the students’ own countries.

 

 54. The next emerging market

The theme of this lesson is international investment. Students read an article about the investment potential of Iraq and study vocabulary related to infrastructure and development. In the grammar exercises, students practise asking each other for information using subject and object questions. At the end of the lesson, the class discusses their own countries’ potential for foreign investors.

 

 55. The economy

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to the economy.

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