A course framework is crucial to a good English course. I believe four main competencies provide the framework of a good Business English core. These competencies cover skills and knowledge affecting businesses either directly or in an indirect manner. They include: business, personal, social, and linguistic competencies.
All course components – goals and objectives, activities and processes, materials, tasks and drills, and method of evaluation- must work together harmoniously to serve learners in developing those competencies. In addition, knowledge of international, regional, and local advancements, changes, and status are also central to the syllabus. Therefore, I have included them independently. To know more about what each category entails, read below.
An organization is similar to a living organism in that it is comprised of independent yet interconnected sections. Each section is responsible for certain activities independent of other, but in the end, they collectively affect the life of that organism. Updated knowledge of business management and processes enables organizations to improve how they function within and consequently out in their community and the world.
At the same time, technology has deeply affected how businesses function, and new terminology have entered Business English to define the technological elements as well as their processes. Since changes are prevalent in professions and areas that affect businesses, the language used in this area needs to be updated as well. One of the functions of Business English is to introduce these new terms as well as what they entail. Empowering business persons requires both knowledge of Business English and business advancements.
Perhaps the most valuable assets in every aspect of a person’s life are their abilities and skills. By the same logic, the liabilities to the individual’s progress, and at times their success, include their weaknesses, as well as their lack of knowledge. The saying ’what you don’t know cannot hurt you’ cannot be farther from the truth. It is essential to be aware and accepting of our limits, than to take unnecessary risks and suffer the consequences.
perhaps it can be said that personal competencies are the foundations for relationship building as well as success in personal and professional life. Personal competencies from the Emotional Intelligence (EI) standpoint, includes self-awareness, and self-management. This is also important from the learning aspect.
A business course involves the integration of personal views and knowledge with language: how to identify and conduct yourself, how to understand people and manage relationships, and how to understand and apply business information. This is indeed a sophisticated process. Every activity or action involves using several capabilities, and everything will reflect the individual, their values and thoughts, and skills.
As a business person, knowing your strengths and weaknesses puts you steps if not blocks ahead of the game. you can easily maneuver on your strengths and skills, and spend time improving where your weaknesses lie. meanwhile you can get help from people whose strengths cover for your weaknesses.
This is where you need to find people who are compatible with you, or develop compatibility with people around you to reach goals. This is where teamwork reaches its true potential, since everyone knows how to help where they can be most helpful.
One matter in the business world is out of the question: building and maintaining relationships is the only way your business can survive. In order to do so, personal competencies can be of great help, especially when you are aware of them. Social competencies are those relative to various types of communication, networking, relationship and conflict management, and even leadership. The ability to communicate feelings, thoughts, wishes as well as to understand them is crucial to relationship management.
The importance of social competencies is heightened in particular when it comes to meetings, negotiations, working towards a contract, attracting and maintaining customers, persuading investors, and more. This is where my favorite subject becomes the star of the show: Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).
While NLP has a lot to say in personal development, it also introduces an approach to communication. This involves careful observation and understanding of people’s actions and behaviors. The application of NLP approach is as interesting as the subject itself.
Direct communication (explained above) is one of the ways people can develop their network, yet indirect ways of communication are prominent in business settings. Presentations, public speaking in seminars and conferences, and reports are regularly challenging business people to bring their A game to the table.
This area is closely connected to linguistic as well as business competencies in that a person should be not only knowledgeable in their particular field, but also be able to present themselves as well as the business using English. Portfolio making can be very helpful in this area, since it provides real-life practice as well as a future reference.
The linguistic element of the Business English course, English, connects are the components of the framework mentioned above. The amount of information available in English, even from non-English speaking countries, is far more than any language in the world, not to mention the fact that the information is frequently updated and accessible.
English is also widely used in business settings. Thus, having the knowledge of business English offers two advantages. One is the ease of access to state-of-art knowledge of global practices, and therefore the ability to improve businesses. The other is the chance to become a global organization, expanding overseas to new markets.
Every component of the framework has a specific role, and complements the others. Together, they create a Business English course that takes into accounts the linguistic needs of learners to improve business performances with a global mindset. That is why Business English is an English business.
There is yet more to learn!
A good Business English course should pay careful attention to the type of context with which it provides its learners. A course that mainly focuses on its linguistic aspect will look rather like a General English course with confusing vocabulary. Therefore, the framework, or the curriculum, needs to include subjects that are relevant and current to businesses at this time.
Perhaps a business does not intend to enter global markets or even sell products or provide services overseas. But they still need to be able to understand the global factors that could potentially affect their businesses locally. Economies are not that independent anymore and technology is alleviating the hard barriers that define countries geographically. Knowledge is invaluable these days.
Regional & local info
Regional and national information should be addressed in a practical course framework. Regional and local factors play a crucial role in directing businesses. Local knowledge allows businesses to realize existing potentials and opportunities, limitations, and future threats.
Correct and in-time analysis of current macro factors, helps businesses devise strategies to minimize their risks. In a world where businesses are interconnected through underlying local, regional, and global decision making processes, a 360 degree knowledge is crucial. Business laws, available markets, market needs, and available financial tools are examples of local business guidelines.
The following list shows examples of the course framework subjects which are addressed in the main competencies.
- Business competencies
- other technical specialties
- Personal competencies
- Expressing yourself
- Social competencies
- Social awareness
- Relationship management
- Active listening
- Preparing your response
- the role of objectivity
- conflict management
- linguistic competencies
- Business English vocabulary
- Using grammar for Business English
- global economy
- international business
- Regional & local info
- Regions and countries from international point of view
- Regions and countries from local point of view
- international reports