Business English for English Learners

Tuesday 10 November 2020


Ainur Rohmah Widyaningsih

Ternate-DailyFastNews.COM. Business English is one of the branches of learning English Specific Purposes (ESP) because of its specific characters. Dudley-Evans and St John  (1998) present three different definitions of ESP and state that ESP is likely to be used with adult learners although it can be used in a secondary school setting. They claim that ESP should be associated with the intermediate or advanxed level of the learners, which makes the use of the aunthentic learning materials feasible. This indeed a feature of ESP, particukarly in self-directed study and research tasks.

According to Dudley-Evans (1997) stated  two characteristics of ESP. There are absolute characteristics and variable characteristics. The explanation as follows:

Absolute Characteristics

  1. ESP is defined to meet specific needs of the learners.
  2. ESP makes use of underlying methodology and activities of the discipline it serves
  3. ESP is centered on the language appropriate to these activities in terms of grammar, lexis, register, study skills, discourse and genre.

Variable Characteristics

  1. ESP may be related to or designed for specific disciplines.
  2. ESP may use in specific teaching situations, a different methodology from that of General English.
  3. ESP is likely to be designed for adult learners, either at a tertiary level institution or in a professional work situation. It could be for learners at secondary school level.
  4. ESP is generally designed for intermediate or advanced students.
  5. Most ESP courses assume some basic knowledge of the language systems.

Business English is a language for business situations. The style and forms of the language use for business correspondence. Business English reders to language for commerce topics, such as goverment and corporate policy, programs, functions, and procedures. Business English focues on the vocabularies used in the world of commerce, trade, finance, professions, politics, and international relations. In communication, Business English used to promote a product, service, or organization; relay information within or outside the business; or deal with public, legal, or goverment issues.

Business English have some variety of function. The explanation as follows:

  1. Marketing,
  2. Branding,
  3. Customer relations,
  4. Costumer behavior,
  5. Advertising,
  6. Public relations,
  7. Media relations,
  8. Corporate communication,
  9. Community engagement,
  10. Research and measurement,
  11. Reputation management,
  12. Interpersonal communication,
  13. Employee engagement,
  14. Online communicatiion, and
  15. Event management.

To make an effective communication in Business English, the business people try to acquire relevant vocabulary to make the communicatio success or growth of the business. Communication in Business English covers a wida range of verbal and written communication and it comes into two main categories:

  1. Vocabulary – the study of words or terminology of Business English
  2. Functional Language – the study and practice of the language and language skills needed to conduct various business function.

Business English also have the importance things in it. Studying English for business teach the vocabulary that students use in business and the working world. As well as learning corporate-speak, the students also learn how to do business related tasks that would be the norm in general working settings. These include things like business writing and reports, how to deliver presentations, and then  put forth opinions and conduct meetings.Business English courses can also prepare the students for life in a corporate, office environment.

An important aspect of business English is learning how to express yourself in a confident and professional manner.The student may have to convey important information to groups of people, and so will need to know how to do so clearly and without confusion. Work hard on the pronunciation and fluency by speaking as much as possible during the classes, and spend the time by going out and meeting new people with whom you can practice. Improving English can make a difference to the student business's success, as well as the student own personal and professional development.

The students who a business person needs professional etiquette at the time of his/her business dealings. Business etiquette makes communication and negotiation easier. Etiquette means protocol, manners or guidelines that control an individual to behave in the society or people around us. Based on custom and morality, business people have to follow some social guidelines and manners in business situations. It is to note that proper manners and business etiquette are essential to the success of the business negotiations. There are some etiquette in professional business negotiations:

  1. Be punctual: you should be punctual that your counterpart might expect. So, you are regarded as a responsible and reliable person.
  2. Greetings/salutations: you should know how people greet one another and remember about polite and appropriate greeting.
  3. Degree of Formality: With due respect, you have to behave as your counterparts expect, getting and giving each other business cards and gifts.
  4. Eye Contact: you have to get direct eye contact politely with your counterpart.
  5. Style and proper language: you should be conscious about the style and proper language with polite forms.
  6. Emotions and Body Language: you have to express your emotions that are polite, amicable and intelligible, with proper and polite gestures presented body language


Dudley-Evans, & St John. (1998). Developments in ESP: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.,norm%20in%20general%20working%20settings.

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