How to Improve Your Business English Vocabulary
While many people learn English as a hobby, some are drawn to the language for employment purposes. It’s no secret that English language fluency is a huge asset when you’re on the job market (or even just searching for a promotion). If you’re looking to improve your business English vocabulary, it can be tough to know where to start. After all, most of the classic learning methods are focused on teaching you conversational, everyday English. While it’s great to be able to name all your fruits and vegetables, that won’t get you very far in the business world
English is a critical skill in many sectors around the world, including medicine, tourism, education, and entrepreneurship, among others. In your career, you will likely use English on a daily basis in some capacity. You may be asked to prepare English presentations, lead meetings in English, or connect with clients in English, all of which draw on your writing, speaking, and listening English skills. It’s important to be strong in all three areas.
In many cases, business-level English is a job requirement, however, others may simply need to improve their English in order to qualify for promotions within their company. In any case, improving your business English vocabulary will only open up employment opportunities for you. Having more skills makes you a more competitive candidate, every time.
Another key benefit of learning business English is the increase in self-confidence you’ll experience at work. You’ll be able to communicate with ease and reach your full potential without worrying about any language barriers.
To improve your business English vocabulary, you need to access targeted strategies that are focused on your profession. There are several ways to achieve this, both informal and formal; we are going to review both as often the best learning comes from a combination of the two.
Informal Methods of Improving Your Business English Vocabulary
Learning English is easiest when you fully immerse yourself in the language. Here are some suggestions for how you can integrate more business English into your life in an effective way. Our focus for these recommendations was on accessibility, so we selected methods that you can include in your day-to-day life with minimal disruption and maximum benefit.
Listen to English Podcasts
There’s a podcast for everything nowadays, and I’m willing to bet there’s an English podcast focused on your industry that’s available to you. Search for podcasts that feature experts in your industry who converse in English. This is an excellent way to not only improve your conversational English, but also to acquire new vocabulary and learn how to use those words correctly. You’ll also keep up with trends in your field, which is always an asset!.
The beauty of podcasts is that you can listen to them at any time. If you want to sit down and do nothing while you listen, that’s totally fine, but you also have the option to listen while doing other activities. Personally, I like to listen to podcasts when I’m commuting to work or cooking dinner because it keeps me entertained.
Subscribe to English Youtubers
Similar to podcasts, there’s a YouTube account for pretty much any topic! Try to find an English-speaking industry expert and start tuning into their videos regularly. It will be entertaining, informative, and really helpful in improving your English. The bonus here is that many YouTube videos offer subtitles in multiple languages, so if you’re just beginning to learn, you can have subtitles in your native language to help you understand the English. Whenever there’s a word you don’t quite understand, just check the subtitles for help.
Next time you find yourself bored and surfing social media, why not head on over to YouTube? You’ll feel like you’re being productive because you’re learning, but it’s also a nice way to relax and unwind.
Tune in to English Television
While it can be slightly trickier to find relevant TV content to your industry, it’s one of the most fun ways to improve your vocabulary. You might be thinking that there’s no way your desired job has a show that can teach you business vocabulary, but I bet you’ll be surprised if you take a look! Here are some suggestions for popular industries:
– If you’re in education, try Glee, an American musical-comedy-drama series that follows a group of high-school outcasts as they join choir.
– If you’re in entrepreneurship, try Dragons Den, a show where up-and-coming entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to the “Dragons”, a group of established businesspeople who may invest their own money if the business is promising.
– If you’re in medicine, try: Grey’s Anatomy, a medical drama that follows an aspiring surgeon through medical school and throughout her professional journey.
Formal Methods of Improving Your Business English Vocabulary
Taking a course is one of the most efficient ways to pick up business English vocabulary- if you pick the right one, of course. There are some key features that you should look for in an English course to determine its quality. Here are our recommendations:
Select a native English-speaking instructor
Your instructor will make or break your course experience. Great instructors must have an incredible grasp of the English language, which is typically achieved when one is a native speaker. This means that they are intimately familiar with vocabulary and usage, but also how to employ it in “normal” ways. English is can be full of slang, especially in the business world, and it’s important to know how to adopt it in order to fit in. At Insight English, all of our instructors are native English speakers because we believe that they deliver instruction of the highest quality.
Prioritize live instruction
Live instruction completely levels up your course experience. The ability to engage with your instructor in real time means that you benefit from active learning strategies. Activities and discussions comprise the bulk of your lesson time as only grappling with the language yourself in practical scenarios truly helps you retain new vocabulary. After all, you’re hoping to apply your new skills in the real world, so it only makes sense to teach using real-life scenarios. All Insight English courses offer live instruction to help you gain the most from your educational experience. We are primed to prepare you to enter the real world.
Look for tailored courses
Business English vocabulary varies greatly from industry to industry, so it’s best to select targeted courses if they’re available to you. Many schools offer an “English for Business” course, but it’s tough to have one course teach you everything you need to know… as well as a few dozen others in different sectors. Think about it: imagine having a nurse, a customer service representative, and a teacher in the same course. Their language needs are drastically different, so shouldn’t they have distinct courses that address their unique needs?
Insight English recognized this need and has developed a fleet of English for Specific Purposes courses targeted at specific industries. These courses aim to help you gain proficiency in your specific area of work without any unnecessary fluff. Here are the specialized course areas that are available to you:
– Airline business
– Call centres/telephone English
– Flight attendants
– Human resources
– Customer care
– Hotel staff
As you can see, there’s quite a variety here. If your area of work isn’t yet featured in our course list, we invite you to call us to discuss your needs. We’re always innovating and finding new topic areas to expand to- yours could be next!
Although we segmented this article into the best informal and formal methods of improving your business English vocabulary, it’s important to stress that a combination of the two is best. While
courses are the most efficient way to learn context-specific English, tuning into English media also has a lot to offer.
If you want to learn more about Insight English and our course offerings that help budding professionals like you to improve their business English vocabulary, we invite you to give us a call. With so many courses available, we’re bound to have one that suits your needs. Of course, each of our courses is led by a native English speaker, offers live instruction, and applies active-learning strategies to help prepare you to enter the business world as an English speaker. For more information, check out our course catalog.