From Steglitz to Schönhauser Allee to Schöneberg. My week is spent traveling around giving business English language training in Berlin for companies. I normally give corporate language training at a regular time every week. Why does a company in Berlin have business English training?
There are many alternatives available. Perhaps you could have an intensive English class for a couple of weeks at a language school. You could start an evening class at a Volkshochschule. You could even sign up for an online course – or use a language app on your phone.
So, why do companies instead choose to have business English training at their office? Why do employees spend 90 minutes of their week training their English? Aren’t they busy enough?
Here are five reasons companies I work with choose corporate English language training:
Personalised, tailored training
Vockhochschules or online courses have a narrow structure. It is a process that you have to fit in to. One size fits all. The lessons are general and wide in content. This can be helpful if you want to methodically go through each level and sit exams. Many people who take these courses see it as a hobby. Personalised, tailored training focuses on the needs of the business.
For example, I did an e-mail course with a business in Berlin who dealt with exports to America. We put together a list of phrases that they would regularly use. We also looked at what would be seen as a polite or impolite answer. This is something they couldn’t get from a book – it was personalised and tailored to their company.
Tip: choose the time of the week to have business English training carefully. For example – don’t have training for the accounts department on a Tuesday morning when the weekly deadline to send out invoices is also Tuesday morning. It sounds obvious, I know, but it’s easy to forget about. The right day and time makes a difference to attendance.
Online courses can’t improve your speaking or writing
A lot of online courses and apps are very easy to start. It’s on your phone – very accessible. However, a lot of it is about reading and learning vocabulary. Unfortunately, this means you can’t train the two most important aspects of business English – speaking and writing. An app can’t help you practice your small talk. An online course can’t spot the mistakes you’re making in your writing and help you improve them. I encourage my students to bring their e-mails or documentation that they’ve written to me. It helps shape the programme of their English language training. It’s also a great opportunity to check the tone of your language – polite, impolite, friendly etc.
Away from the day-to-day tasks on their desks, training gives the chance for employees to meet together. It can be a chance to get to know each other and to exchange information – all in English! They say that ‘a change is as good as a rest’ – and a weekly English course provides that. In my training, employees give presentations about their job responsibilities to each other.
Is business English training a perk of working at your company?
Do you want to attract the best talent in Berlin to your company? Offering English courses in-house may be the reason why they decide to work for you. Are the most skilled candidates deciding to work for your competitors? Could it be that you’re not offering them the perks that other companies already have?
An independent trainer
Hiring an independent trainer means you have the chance to hire someone who can really get to know your business. This helps them personalise the training the company needs. An independent trainer can provide real life business examples. They can also model business conversations that are suited to your company.
So, how do you start improving your business English?
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