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Developing Business English Teachers





Session Outline






Professional development is something we all know we should be making time for, but often the busy lives we lead as teachers make it difficult for us to find the time and the space to focus on it.  Our Developing Business English Teachers session will give you the time and the space to do just that.  Together with top practitioners in the field of Business English from Europe and South America, you will be given the opportunity to develop your knowledge, broaden your horizons and share your experience. The course is aimed at practising business English teachers and those interested in working in this exciting area of ELT.




Target Audience


Inexperienced and experienced teachers of Business English and English for Specific Purposes, as well as those who are interested in working in these areas in the future.


Interest Section Sponsors

IATEFL: Business English SIG

TESOL: Computer-Assisted Language Learning IS, English for Special Purposes IS




Weekly Outline


We will look at two topics in each week of the course as follows: 


1. Learner motivation (lead moderator: Kristen Acquaviva)


  • To discover how to turn a Business English classroom into a supportive learning community. 
  • To highlight effective classroom management strategies that promote active and purposeful learning.
  • To introduce mixed-level group activities that reinforce learner motivation and class unity.


2. Teacher motivation (lead moderator: Roy Bicknell)


  • To approach Business English teaching through the lens of reflective practice.
  • To react effectively to formal and informal learner feedback.


3. Needs analysis (lead moderator: Charles Rei)


  • To compare at least two different approaches to initial needs analysis.
  • To create an in-class activity to conduct feedback on progress and reassess needs during an ongoing course.


4. Learning Styles (lead moderator: Marjorie Rosenberg)


  •  To clarify what learning styles are and what they are not
  •  To discover your own style and the impact it has on your teaching
  •  To become aware of learners’ styles and the diversity in the classroom


5. Teaching effective small talk (lead moderator: Gabrielle Jones)


  • To examine the differences between transactional and relational language
  • To discuss the contexts in which small talk is used
  • To identify additional skills which are needed to make small talk effective
  • To establish how and why to use rapport building strategies in business English training


6. Developing interpersonal skills (lead moderator: Dana Poklepovic)


  •  To discuss the importance of interpersonal skills in business
  •  To explore techniques that help develop interpersonal skills
  • To create class activities that integrate interpersonal skills elements


7 Using tech tools (lead moderator: Claire Hart)


  • To explore the range of technological possibilities we can harness to promote learning inside and outside the classroom.
  • To examine the pedagogical value these technological possibilities can convey.
  • To look at and try out the practical applications of tech tools. 


8 Using technology to develop business English materials (lead moderator: Mercedes Viola) 


  • To explore how to effectively select online materials for use in business English courses.
  • To look at and try out ways of using this material to design and develop materials that suit our business English clients´ language needs. 


9. Building and growing your own teaching business (lead moderator: Justine Arena)


  • To look at ways to improve our teaching practices by learning how to brand ourselves.
  •  To reflect on what we have been doing with regards to branding ourselves through the building of our own roadmap to enhance their managerial competencies as entrepreneurs in the teaching world.


10. Developing your personal professional development plan 


  • To look at ways of formulating realistic professional development goals and prioritising them.
  • To explore the practical ways in which you can meet these goals. 
  • To develop a personal professional development plan. 





Week 1  (Jan 13 - 19, 2014)


  • Getting to know you and familiarisation with the platforms being used  
  • Exploring learner and teacher motivation 



Week 2  (Jan 20 - 26, 2014) 


  • Needs analysis 
  • Learning styles 



Week 3    (Jan 27 - Feb 2, 2014)


  • Teaching effective small talk 
  • Developing interpersonal skills 


Week 4     (Feb 3 - Feb 9, 2014)


  • Using tech tools 
  • Using technology to developing motivating business English materials. 


Week 5  (Feb 10 -16, 2014) 


  • Building and growing your own teaching business.
  • Developing a future professional development plan
  • Wrap-up and session evaluations 




Join this session


Sign up for the session starts on Jan 6th, 2013

The action starts on Jan 13th, 2014.


To join this group:


From January 6 to 12:


  1. Go to: https://www.edmodo.com/ and sign up for an Edmodo account. 
  2. Click the "Plus" icon on the left side panel.
  3. Type in this code: uc5e58 in the pop up box  and click “Join."




Moderators and Biodata



Claire Hart






After studying at the University of Cambridge and University of Leeds in the UK, Claire decided that English language teaching would be the most rewarding career for her. Since then, Claire has built up several years of experience in the corporate sector. She now combines in-company training with teaching business English courses in the tertiary sector in Southern Germany and is also currently the IATEFL BESIG Web Coordinator. 

Kristen Acquaviva








Kristen Acquaviva is a freelance business and technical English trainer and teacher trainer based in Germany.  She offers a range of courses including in-company training, intensive seminars, and continuing education classes. She studied Linguistics and holds an MA in TESOL. She is on the IATEFL BESIG Editorial Team (BET). 

Roy Bicknell






Roy Bicknell lives in Amsterdam and teaches Business English and Intercultural Communication. The training he provides is mostly in-company and for corporate clients. He is endlessly curious about our evolving ELT practice and what it takes to be an educator. Roy is currently Editor-in-chief of the IATEFL BESIG Editorial Team and a member of the IATEFL Publications Committee.



Michelle Hunter michelle.hunter@besig.org






Michelle Hunter has worked for 13 years as a freelance teacher of EFL to in-company learners in and around Stuttgart. The last couple of years has seen me teaching Business English in universities as well as companies. My on going professional development has been greatly enriched by being actively involved in ELTAS (the EL teachers’ association in Stuttgart) and now as a member of the IATEFL BESIG Online Team.

Pete Rutherford






Pete Rutherford is a business English and communication skills trainer from Cape Town, South Africa, and now based in Düsseldorf, Germany. He is currently employed by a European language and communication training organization, where his primary responsibility is the delivery of personalized courses and workshops to individuals and small groups. 

Mercedes Viola



Mercedes Viola holds an MA in TESOL. She is in charge of designing business English learning experiences for government-owned organizations, universities and many well known global companies such as Microsoft, HP, American Express, McDonalds, Deloitte, John Deere and MasterCard. She designs materials for business English clients and trains new teachers on business.

She is a writer for the Teaching English site of the British Council, a member of the BESIG Online Team and a member of the IATEFL Electronic Committee.

Twitter: mercedesviola

Blog and site: http://mercedesviola.wordpress.com & www.4d.edu.uy

Justine Arena




Justine Arena lived in Boston for 13 years, where studied and worked. Now back in Brazil, Justine combines her international business experience with the teaching of English as a second language. 

Marjorie Rosenberg




Marjorie Rosenberg teaches English at the University of Graz, Austria, trains teachers and works with corporate clients. She has published course books and resource books with CUP, Pearson, and Cengage-National Geographic and is the author of ‘Spotlight on Learning Styles’ (Delta Publishing). She writes business English materials for Professional English Online and is currently the Coordinator of IATEFL BESIG. 

Dana Poklepovic



Dana Poklepovic, Business English trainer and materials writer, has worked with professionals for over 20 years in Argentina and abroad. She holds a PhD in Modern Languages from USAL, Argentina. 

Charles Rei



Charles is an in-company Business English Trainer in Germany.  He focuses on designing and leading customized e-learning, seminar, and coaching programs to improve employee performance.  He discusses his training approach at businessenglishideas.blogspot.com. 

Gabrielle Jones



Gabrielle Jones has specialized in business English and ESP in multinational companies worldwide since 2000.  She has a strategic role in a training company in Germany, where she develops training concepts for corporate clients. 





Digital Media

Edmodo group

PBWorks wiki  - Please note: you need a user name and password to access this wiki and these will be communicated through our Edmodo group

Adobe Connect 



The Electronic Village Online is a project of TESOL's CALL Interest Section



Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Language, an international education association







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