Why “Business English” and “English” Aren’t Synonymous

When it comes to language, workers and travelers have very different needs 

“Where is the train station?” “I would like a coffee, please.” And the frequently requested, “Where is the restroom?” These are all sentences that are helpful to know in English … if you’re a foreigner visiting an English-speaking country like the UK or US on holiday. And they’re the type of sentences that many language-learning programs excel at drilling into English students. Corporate employees, however, need to focus on Business English, which embraces the day-to-day professional world of presentations, meetings and conference calls.

But they’re not sentences that are very useful in a phone conference with an English-speaking supplier or while trying to read an electrical manual in English or while interacting with headquarters. The language of business is different from the language of everyday living, and it’s a distinction that GlobalEnglish thoroughly understands—because it’s one upon which we’ve built our business.

That’s why you’ll regularly see us refer not to “English” but to “Business English” in this blog, and we wanted to take a moment to highlight the differences. The GlobalEnglish Suite is entirely business-oriented; it focuses on English in the context of real-life business situations so employees can relate to what they learn and see how to apply their newly acquired skills in their work. Business English is a skill many global employees feel they need immediately.

In fact, a 2011 survey of 26,000 global employees found that 55% must use English daily, and 93% report that it’s important or required if one is to receive a promotion. But only 7% feel comfortable with their current proficiency level—and learning how to order coffee or buy museum tickets won’t change that.

With GlobalEnglish, employees learn while they’re getting the work done that they need to do, which results in immediate productivity gains for the individual and the company. In fact, on average, employees increase their productivity by at least one hour per week, and 92% of subscribers report being able to immediately use their new skills on the job.

Improved business correspondence, the ability to participate confidently in an international conference call, fewer requests lost in translation—these are the benefits that global leaders discover when they take responsibility not for their employees’ English skills, but for their Business English proficiency. Sound exciting? Contact us about our Business English solutions today.

Posted in : English Communication & Language Skills, Global Business Challenges, Global Enterprises Need Business English, Global talent management strategies, GlobalEnglish Corporation, Insights & Research
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