Business English is one of the forms of the language used for a Specific Purpose, such as Aviation English, Technical English, or Scientific English. These various uses fall under the title of English for Specific Purposes, or as it is more commonly known, ESP. In the case of Business English, it is used largely in international trade by many whose primary spoken or written language is not English. In this article, we will discuss the uses of Business English and what courses are available to learn the language.
The English for Specific Purposes sphere details the criteria that must be met for the use of English in a particular field. It must meet the needs of the learners, in this case largely professional adults studying the language in a Business English Language Course as a second language. It must also have an organized system of teaching and learning that imparts the appropriate grammar, expressions and terminology that the student will encounter in the use of the language. The ultimate goal of any Business English Course is to allow its users to effectively communicate with others in a business environment, whether that communication is in correspondence, face to face meetings, or other methods. Therefore a Business English Language Course may include topics such as business English reading, letters and resumes, business phrases, or terms in sales and marketing. While the study of Business English largely serves students of English as a Second Language, many secondary schools in English speaking countries offer courses in the field to prepare its students for entry into the workforce.
Numerous schools and universities throughout the world offer courses in Business English, such as England’s Cambridge University, which offers an on-line course entitled Professional English On-Line. A Google search for the term Business English Courses yields over twelve million results. Publishers offer hundreds of textbooks, dictionaries, handbooks, and self-help guides to serve the field. In addition, several organizations serve the topic, and publish journals addressed to the field, such as Elsevier’s English for Specific Purposes, An International Research Journal and Asian-esp-journal.com’s Asian English for Specific Purposes Journal.