Quote Originally Posted by purplefool View Post
i have been teaching english for the last 7 years here in germany and have resisted teaching a purely business course for the whole time because i believe that grammar, sentence structure and ease of use are more important. however, i have a new job teaching a business english course and now have no alternative.

however, i don't even know where to begin. it is a medium sized company doing international trade in the auto industry. their level is easily advanced and they want to be more efficient at writing letters, conversing on the phone, understanding contracts and general business terminology. since my business understanding is limited to very small local companies(like mine), i am way out of my depth. any help on structuring a course would be much appreciated!
Business English is an area where coursebooks tend to be even more bland than normal, possibly because ESL teaching tends to attract people whose interests lie elsewhere. If they want things like business terminology, it might be better to use materials designed for teaching business rather than the ESL business courses. They're advanced, so why not have a look at undergraduate business books?

ESP also requires a considerable investment of time to do it properly- if you're going to be teaching this for a long time, it's worth getting to know the area. I have had to teach legal English and some very specialist scientific area and in both cases I had to read a huge amount to get to know what it was all about, but they were fairly long-term jobs. The hardest is a short specialist course, which often requires some advanced improvisational footwork.