New teacher seeking advice on Business English activities

dave mitchell

New member
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Australia
Current Location
Colombia
Hi folks,

I am a brand new Celta graduate who has just started teaching a one to one business executive here in Colombia.
I obviously have little experience in activities to fill a 120 min lesson, 3 times per week. One to one business teaching is very different to everything we learned during Celta and I am basically just following the coursebook at the moment and interspersing that with some Kahoot and Quizlet activities but those seem to last a matter of seconds only.

I would really appreciate any advice from experienced teachers who have taught one to one english lessons to executives. In particular, any activities or ideas that I can tailor to the course book that will eat up some time and create some interest. I am planning on introducing some Youtube and Ted talks this week but I am unsure of how they will go.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance,

Dave.
 

teechar

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Iraq
Current Location
Iraq
Hi Dave, and welcome to the forum. :)
Always capitalize "English", and "one on one" as an adjectival needs a couple of hyphens. You need to get yourself some specialized books/resources. I'm no expert on business English, so I'll leave that for others to offer advice on.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Joined
Nov 13, 2002
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Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Business English coursebooks are often a bit too general for such lessons. Drill down into their job a bit and use materials and texts that are more relevant to their actual work.
 

NinjaTurtle

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2018
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Dave,

What of level of English are your student(s) at? High? Middle? Low?

Do you have a system for determining a student's level of English?
 

ESLplanner

New member
Joined
Feb 7, 2019
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Academic
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Hi Dave,

Consider straying from the course book a bit. Private lessons offer a great opportunity to cater to the student's specific needs. Consider teaching functional language and ESP (English for Specific Purpose). That is, what does your student need to be an effective communicator in their job? Some examples could be language used for sales presentations, negotiating skills, technical vocabulary, socializing skills, or writing formal/informal emails.

As for activities, include role playing scenarios which the student would encounter in their own job. This can be speaking, writing, reading, or listening skills practice. Follow up with error correction. Also, ask the student about real-life scenarios they encountered that day or will encounter before the next lesson and help the student analyze that communication.

Lastly, don't be afraid to throw in an occasional "silly" activity, such as hangman, sentence jumbles, ESL connect four, etc. Most top execs will enjoy the reprieve and a good challenge of solving the problem. Just be sure to tie the activity into your overall lesson so they clearly see the purpose of it.

Good luck,

John
 

EnglishArrow

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
Colombia
Hi Dave,

Congratulations on the new job. I have plenty of experience with adult business English learners and I also live in Colombia. I think the best approach when you are teaching one-on-one is to ask the learner what they want to focus on. Help them identify strengths and weaknesses and plan the curriculum as a collaborative effort. If you go with a pre-designed course it will feel impersonal and parts will not be relevant to the learner. I'm not sure the nature of your position exactly, but think of yourself as part teacher and part "language coach." Give them independent work and hold them to a high standard. If they are not using English outside of the few hours they spend with you each week, they will not advance as quickly as they want to. Make sure the lessons are relevant for their job and also explain why you are teaching each topic. Good luck!
 
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