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TEFL Masterclass – From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Becoming a Business English Professional

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Exclusive Contents

Rob Howard – Teacher trainer & Joint Coordinator @ IATEFL BESIG.

Rob Howard is online as an active EFL Teacher and Neurolanguage Coach and training teachers to build their own freelance businesses. Rob is the owner of Online Language Center, managing partner at Business Language Training Institute and founder of EFLtalks – teachers teaching teachers.

What you will learn

It is estimated that soon 87% of global business will take place in English. Students, although they can speak well in day-to-day conversations, still lack the professional communication skills required by employers today.

Many talented and devoted teachers have decided to enter the world of Business English without any background, training, or planning on how to make a successful go of it.

21st Century Skills, the Soft Skills, the 4C’s, are just a small part of what learners will need in the future. This talk will visit the problem and present a constructive future for new and improving BE professionals.

Workshop Summary

Introduction to Business English and Education Evolution

Rob Howard introduces a masterclass aimed at transitioning educators from traditional teaching roles to becoming Business English professionals. He discusses the importance of aligning educational goals with real-world job market demands. Howard questions the motives behind current educational pursuits, highlighting the gap between students’ aspirations and the practical skills required for future employment. The emphasis is on preparing students not just for traditional roles but for a future where IT, management, and communication skills are paramount.

The Changing Landscape of Job Market and Education

The session underlines a significant shift in the job market, as identified by the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Skills Outlook. This shift towards analytical, leadership, and communication skills necessitates a revision in teaching methodologies to include modern competencies like customer relationship management and collaborative working. Howard points out the decline in demand for traditional skills and the need for educators to focus on developing the competencies required for 2030, particularly for today’s younger generation who will soon enter the workforce.

The Crucial Role of English in Global Communication

Howard stresses the importance of English proficiency in accessing global knowledge and opportunities, given that over half of the internet’s content is in English. He argues for a balanced approach to teaching English, focusing on both fluency and accuracy to meet the demands of professional contexts. This includes preparing students for a future job market that will be influenced by advancements in technology, such as AI and machine learning.

Preparing Students for Tomorrow’s Challenges

To equip students for future challenges, Howard emphasises the need to teach practical skills like interviewing, negotiation, professional writing, and collaboration. He also highlights the importance of diversity, presentation skills, and the ability to conduct meaningful research. Utilising online resources and platforms for pronunciation practice and learning business concepts is recommended to enhance students’ skills further.

Fostering Entrepreneurship and Lifelong Learning

Encouraging entrepreneurship and a thorough understanding of financial, legal, and accounting principles is considered essential in preparing students for the future. Howard advocates for fostering a culture of lifelong learning and autonomy, ensuring students are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of their future professional lives.

The Importance of Professional Development for Educators

Business English professionals are encouraged to recognize their value and commit to continuous professional development. Understanding students’ unique needs and adapting teaching strategies to meet the evolving demands of the business world are crucial. Howard stresses the importance of rapport, emotional intelligence, and cultural awareness in enhancing teaching effectiveness.

Conclusion: Becoming a Business English Professional

In conclusion, Howard emphasises the commitment required to become a Business English professional, focusing on self-improvement and adapting teaching strategies to prepare students for the global job market. By concentrating on the skills and competencies most relevant for the future, educators can significantly impact their students’ professional success.

Reflective Questions

Have a quick think about the reflective questions below in order to get the most out of the workshop:

  1. Is a business background needed to teach Business English?
  2. What improvements should I make in myself to better serve my students?
  3. Is there really much difference between General English and Business English?
  4. Do I need to learn how to teach Business English to be a teacher in the future?

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