Best Business Exercises for ESL Students
If you are interested in finding a job in an international company or doing business overseas, you are going to have to study Business English.
Business English includes vocabulary necessary for conducting meetings, having negotiations, making presentations, and planning marketing efforts.
Here are some business exercises to help you improve your skills.
1. Write Emails in English
Emails are the main method of communication in business these days. To start, print old emails that you’ve sent recently. Read the emails and find areas where you can improve. Keep a notebook with all of your ideas, so the next time you have to write an email, you can easily find your suggestions.
Next, look at your emails again and rewrite a few with two versions: formal and informal. It’s best to send formal emails to new clients, people you don’t know, and managers. It is fine to send informal emails to your co-workers and people you have been doing business with for a long time.
2. Practice Job Interviews
If you are interested in working in another country, you will most likely have to conduct an interview in English. Role-plays are a great way to become more confident when speaking English.
You can do this by practicing with a friend or classmate and recording it. Assign one person to be the interviewer – the person who asks the interview questions (find sample questions online). The other person is the interviewee and answers the questions.
After the first role-play, switch roles. Then watch the recording and see where you can both improve.
3. Learn Job-Specific Vocabulary
Business English covers a broad range of skills, but you also need to learn vocabulary related to your specific field. For example, if you are an accountant, learn business English vocabulary related to accounting. You may also want to read articles about accounting in English.
Use a bilingual dictionary to translate specific words and phrases, and write them in a special vocabulary notebook. In the notebook, write the new word, the definition, and make a sentence using the word.
4. Study Business Expressions and Idioms
Do you know native English speakers use idioms in nearly 50% of their conversations? It’s very important to know these expressions in order to communicate with people in English-speaking countries.
Luckily, idioms are fun to learn. Sign up at English Sherpa to learn the most common idioms and phrases in America.
Here’s one last business exercise you can try with a friend or colleague. Choose one new idiom each day, and see who can use it the most in your conversations throughout the day. If you work with native English speakers, use the idiom in your conversations with them as well. Have fun!