EFL/ESL lesson plans: English for Business

Business English course plans - Intermediate

This course plan covers the full range of business English learner needs, including listening, situational role plays, reading articles and discussing a variety of business issues . Use this course plan with students who want to improve all areas of their business English. Provide further grammar practice where needed by using our grammar worksheets as supplementary material.

This lesson teaches expressions for first-time introductions. Through listening and role play, students learn how to introduce themselves to a colleague or business associate and make appropriate small talk. This worksheet is suitable for the first lesson of a business English course, and provides a good opportunity for the student(s) and teacher to get to know each other.

This lesson teaches students useful vocabulary for talking about their company and job. Learners study expressions for describing a company’s history, location, size, market position, financial results and strategy. Students listen to or watch an animated video of three co-workers talking about their work. They learn how to talk about their job responsibilities and what they like/dislike about their work. This worksheet is particularly suitable for the first or second lesson of a business English course.

The theme of this lesson is what makes a successful businessman. Students read an article that discusses whether entrepreneurs are born with certain character traits or develop the necessary skills and mindset. Vocabulary for describing entrepreneurial activity and personality is studied, and students have an opportunity to share their opinions on the topic.

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to job titles and career paths.

This lesson teaches learners how to avoid causing offence by expressing themselves in a more tactful, diplomatic way. After studying a variety of adjectives for describing different attitudes, the students learn how to use special ‘softening’ structures through reading, language practice and role play.

This lesson is based on an article that discusses why job applicants are increasingly lying on their CVs/résumés and how employers are trying to deal with the problem. Lesson activities include a game in which students write down and read out sentences about their own educational and professional background, and their partners try to guess if they are lying or not.

In this lesson, students learn vocabulary for describing areas of an office, shop or factory and practise giving a tour of their workplace using a variety of useful expressions.

This lesson plan is a great way to develop students' ability to talk about people’s personality and character traits at work. The worksheet presents a variety of adjectives for describing qualities and flaws, as well as additional expressions for describing typical office personalities.

Need to fill up 15 minutes of an intermediate business English class? Use this lesson filler to teach your students ten common expressions used in spoken English.

This lesson teaches useful expressions for starting and ending a phone call. Through listening and role play, students learn a variety of ways to answer the phone, introduce themselves to the receiver, ask to speak to someone, state the reason for calling and end a phone call.

This lesson teaches useful language for taking and leaving messages during a business call. Through vocabulary, listening and role-play exercises, students learn how to leave a message for someone, take down a message from a caller and exchange information on the phone.

This lesson teaches useful vocabulary for learners who need to write emails in English. The worksheet presents the differences between formal, informal and neutral email styles, and there are a number of writing exercises in which the students practise using different levels of formality.

In this lesson, students read an article on the benefits and drawbacks of the coffee shop as a place for work and business. In the grammar section of the worksheet, students practise using the present perfect for describing recent changes, changes over time and situations that have continued until the present. At the end of the lesson, the class share their own opinions about working in cafes.

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to tasks and time management.

This theme of this lesson is corporate health. Students read an article about a company that is attempting to improve the well-being of its staff and listen to two corporate health experts commenting on the firm’s health initiatives. In the grammar section of the worksheet, the present simple, present continuous, past simple, present perfect simple and past simple are reviewed. This is followed by a discussion on corporate health initiatives.

This lesson plan is suitable for students who deal with accounting issues, especially those who need to prepare or interpret financial statements in English. This worksheet presents vocabulary related to a company’s balance sheet and profit and loss statement. For teachers who are unfamiliar with accounting terms, we have included additional notes in the key to help clear up any confusion.

This lesson plan is based on an article about how bad debt is affecting small businesses in the UK and what they can do about the problem. The worksheet focuses on reading and vocabulary work, rounding off with some sample expressions for chasing payments via email.

This lesson plan covers vocabulary for talking about meetings. Students learn a number of terms for describing the different types and purposes of meetings as well as problems and other issues related to organised discussions.

This lesson teaches useful expressions for students who need English for business meetings and discussions. Through reading, language practice and role play, students learn how to structure an argument with linking words and phrases as well as respond to opinions using a variety of techniques for agreeing and disagreeing.

In this lesson, students read about how a successful British co-operative is managed. The worksheet includes vocabulary work and a grammar review exercise on the present perfect.

This lesson teaches useful expressions for discussing problems and possible solutions. Through listening and role play, the students learn how to make, ask for and respond to suggestions in a variety of ways. The lesson plan includes an animated video version of the dialogue.

Technology has been developed to allow passengers to use their mobile phones safely on planes. Students read an article about the different attitudes among business travellers towards this development. In the grammar section of the worksheet, the first and second conditionals are studied and practised. Students then discuss the lesson topic and debate the pros and cons of in-flight mobile phone use.

This lesson teaches useful expressions for learners who need to chair meetings in English. After studying vocabulary for describing the skills and roles of a chairperson, students listen to a dialogue in which the managers of a language training centre discuss their company’s advertising strategy. Key expressions used by the chairperson of the meeting are studied. At the end of the lesson, the students role-play a meeting, taking turns to chair the discussion. In this updated version of the lesson plan, there is a fun animated video which can be played instead of the audio.

In this lesson, students learn vocabulary for describing visual aids and practise giving a presentation using a variety of useful expressions.

This lively lesson plan presents 16 common phrasal verbs used in business. These business English phrasal verbs are presented in their natural context. There are two speaking activities in which students interview each using the target language. For larger classes, there is a 'Find someone who' activity at the end of the worksheet. This is the business English version of our general English worksheet Phrasal verbs 1.

The theme of this lesson is marketing in a recession. The worksheet is suitable for people who are responsible for marketing in their companies or who work for marketing agencies. Students read an article about successful marketing strategies for businesses during an economic downturn and learn a variety of terms for describing different marketing tools, strategies and concepts. At the end of the lesson, students talk about how the global economy has affected their or their clients’ approach to marketing.

This lesson plan is designed to get your students talking about marketing. The worksheet covers modern methods of marketing, including social media marketing, email marketing, internet advertising and search engine optimization. The lesson can be used to stimulate a lively debate among the students on traditional vs. online marketing.

This lesson teaches a variety of useful terms for learners involved in sales. Through vocabulary and role-play exercises, the students learn how to describe the benefits of their product/service and make an effective sales pitch in English.

This lesson introduces students to negotiating in English. Common terms for describing different points of discussion and negotiating positions are studied. Students then share their own experiences and opinions on a number of negotiation issues. In the second part of the lesson, there is a listening and role play activity in which useful expressions for negotiating are studied and practised.

The theme of this lesson is celebrity endorsement. Students read about the benefits and drawbacks of companies associating their brands with celebrities. Students learn key vocabulary related to marketing and advertising, and useful expressions for developing an argument are also studied. During the lesson, several aspects of the worksheet topic are discussed.

The theme of this lesson is handling complaints in business. Students study a text on the importance of welcoming customer complaints and dealing with problems promptly. Through listening and role play, the students learn useful expressions for making complaints, apologizing and taking action.

This worksheet presents vocabulary related to product innovation and development. A variety of terms are introduced for describing the pre-launch stages of a new product as well as adjectives and expressions for describing technological innovation. The lesson plan includes discussion ideas and should be particularly useful for students involved in market research and/or product development.

The theme of this lesson is outsourcing. Students read an article about how rising wages and a stronger currency are affecting the Indian outsourcing industry. In the grammar section of the worksheet, the difference between the present and past perfect is studied. At the end of the lesson, students talk about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing.

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to business ethics and conduct.

This lesson plan is based on an article about changing shopping habits among consumers in the UK. The worksheet includes a grammar exercise on tenses for describing changes.

Thinking of calling in sick? Under a new Belgian proposal, you will be obliged to remain at home for a medical check-up. In this lesson, students read about and discuss this proposal. The worksheet rounds off with a vocabulary exercise on common ailments and remedies.

The first of a two-part lesson plan that looks at the causes and impact of stress in the workplace. Students read about how stress is affecting small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. The lesson rounds off with a grammar exercise on reported speech in which students complete a stressful negotiation dialogue using the target language structures.

The second of a two-part lesson plan that looks at the causes and impact of stress in the workplace. Students read about and discuss how small and medium-sized businesses can reduce stress among employees. The lesson rounds off with a exercise on expressing future probability.

This lesson is based on an article on the nascent space tourism industry. The text focuses on the different companies that will be operating in this market, including Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, as well as the future costs and environmental impact of commercial space flights. In the grammar section of the worksheets, reported statements and questions are studied and practised. At the end of the lesson, students discuss whether they believe space tourism could become mass market.

The theme of this lesson is e-commerce. Students read an article on the changing shopping habits of British consumers and the development of online retailing. Tenses for describing trends are studied and practised in the grammar section of the worksheet, followed by an end-of-lesson discussion on Internet buying habits in the students’ own countries.

The theme of this lesson is international investment. Students read an article about the investment potential of Iraq and study vocabulary related to infrastructure and development. In the grammar exercises, students practise asking each other for information using subject and object questions. At the end of the lesson, the class discusses their own countries’ potential for foreign investors.

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to the economy.

EFL/ESL lesson plans: English for Business

Business English course plans - Upper Intermediate - Advanced

This course plan covers the full range of business English learner needs, including listening, situational role plays, reading articles and discussing a variety of business issues . Use this course plan with students who want to improve all areas of their business English. Provide further grammar practice where needed by using our grammar worksheets as supplementary material.

This lesson teaches expressions and techniques for making conversation. The students study vocabulary for describing different types of social interaction as well as typical conversation openers and responses. Through listening and role play, the learners practise greeting each other and making small talk.

The topic of this lesson is the importance of understanding the cultural etiquette of different countries. The lesson introduces idioms concerned with etiquette and behaviour such as go Dutch, follow suit, return the compliment. Present modal verbs for advice, possibility and necessity are revised and past forms are introduced and practised. Finally, students get to talk about the cultural etiquette of their countries and their experiences doing business in a cross-cultural environment.

This lesson teaches language for sharing opinions during business meetings and discussions. Students listen to or watch an animated video of a teleconference involving the board members of an IT distribution company discussing a proposal to expand their business. After studying the key expressions from the dialogue, students role-play a management meeting in which they practise exchanging their own opinions and ideas.

The theme of this lesson is customer service. Students read an article about the opinions of business travellers on the customer service at hotels in different parts of the world. Words and expressions for describing customer service are practised. In the grammar section of the worksheet, tenses for describing a past experience are studied. At the end of the lesson, students talk about their own customer service experiences.

In this lesson, students learn useful language for handling and solving problems at work. Vocabulary for describing different types of problems and solutions is studied. Students then listen to several dialogues and study the expressions used by the speakers to declare and diagnose a problem as well as make suggestions and take action. At the end of the lesson, there is a role play activity in which the language from the lesson is put into practice. There are two animated videos which can be played instead of the dialogue or given to the student(s) as material to take away.

The theme of this lesson is work stress. Students read an article about an unusual method of relieving stress involving volunteers from Madrid. In the grammar section of the worksheet, reduced relative clauses are studied and practised. At the end of the lesson, there is a speaking activity in which the students discuss different stress relief methods.

This lesson teaches useful words and expressions for writing emails in English. The lesson warms up with a vocabulary exercise in which the students study some common terms for describing emails and email features, e.g. attachment, read receipt, disclaimer, etc. The worksheet then presents a variety of words and expressions that can be written in formal or informal style. This language is put into practice at the end of the lesson.

The theme of this lesson is networking. Students read an article on the benefits of making useful connections in business and how to be a good networker. In the grammar section of the worksheet, a variety of structures with ‘get’ are studied and practised. At the end of the lesson, students talk about the usefulness of networking in their businesses, careers and in job hunting.

This lesson plan looks at the benefits of working at home compared with office work. Students read an article about Yahoo!'s controversial decision to ban staff from working remotely.

In this lesson, students learn how to manage a phone conversation in English. Vocabulary for describing telephone behaviour is studied. Students then listen to a phone call and study the expressions used to direct and change the topic of the conversation. The language from the lesson is put into practice during a telephone call role play.

The theme of this lesson is business ethics. Students read an article about a UK chocolate company called Montezuma’s, whose founders decided to put ethics at the heart of their business. The lesson introduces a number of common phrasal verbs, which are studied and practised. Finally, students discuss attitudes to ethics in their own businesses and countries.

In this lesson, students read about how the modern office environment has changed and the innovative workplace practices of Google, Facebook and other big tech companies.

In this lesson, students learn how to query figures in English. Vocabulary for describing different numerical mistakes is studied. Students then listen to a phone call in which the speakers report and explain errors. The key expressions used for reporting an error, quoting a discrepancy, explaining an error and promising action are studied and practised.

This lesson plan is based on an article about 'mumpreneurs' -- women who combine being a mother with running a business. The worksheet comprises of reading, speaking and vocabulary activities, including an exercise on phrasal verbs. An American English version called 'Mompreneurs' is included.

The topic of this lesson plan is predictive shopping -- how technology companies are predicting buyers' behaviour by collecting data. Students read about a method developed by Amazon called 'anticipatory shipping'.

The theme of this lesson is the global financial crisis. Students read an article on how the economic downturn was affecting Britain in 2008. A number of economic terms are introduced, and a variety of structures for predicting and speculating about the future are studied and practised. Students discuss how their countries have been affected by the crisis.

The topic of this reading and discussion lesson is coupon marketing and the American internet company, Groupon. Students read an article about Groupon’s business model and its impact on the UK's discount marketplace. This is followed by a speaking activity in which students discuss Groupon's recent troubles and the drawbacks of the discount voucher business model.

This lesson teaches useful language for learners who need to negotiate in English. After studying vocabulary for describing the different stages in a negotiation, students listen to two extracts from a negotiation and study the tactics and key structures that are used by each side to make proposals, bargain, and reach a deal. At the end of the lesson, the students role-play a negotiation using the language from the lesson.

How can comedy be useful in a business environment? That's the topic of this lesson plan. Students read an article on the benefits of improvisational comedy in business and discuss whether learning improv would be useful in their professions.

In this lesson, students learn general expressions for discussing and selecting suitable candidates for a job. The worksheet is especially useful for students who work in human resources or management.

The theme of this lesson is what makes a country attractive to potential investors. Students read about the investment potential of Germany and learn a variety of important terms for describing a nation’s economy. At the end of the lesson, students discuss the investment potential of their own countries using vocabulary from the worksheet.

This lesson teaches useful expressions for learners who need to chair meetings in English. After studying vocabulary for describing the skills and roles of a chairperson, students listen to a dialogue in which the managers of a language training centre discuss their company’s advertising strategy. Key expressions used by the chairperson of the meeting are studied. At the end of the lesson, the students role-play a meeting, taking turns to chair the discussion. In this updated version of the lesson plan, there is a fun animated video which can be played instead of the audio.

In this lesson, students learn useful words and phrases for talking about advertising methods and promotional strategies.

The theme of this lesson is employee misconduct. Students read an article about how companies in the UK deal with employees who have committed offences at work and in their leisure time. Terms for describing different offences, crimes and aspects of the legal system are studied. In the grammar exercises, the students review and practise the first, second, third and mixed conditionals. At the end of the lesson, the class discusses the worksheet topic.

In this lesson, students learn how to describe different types of corporate crime and read about big corporate scandals including Enron, Worldcom and Parmalat. There are plenty of opportunities for discussion.

This lesson teaches the vocabulary and grammar necessary for taking meeting minutes in English. Students listen to a dialogue of a meeting and read an extract from the minutes. After studying the vocabulary and grammar used in the text, they practise reporting statements and taking minutes.

The theme of this lesson is company dress code. Students read a short article about the changing attitudes towards employee dress code among businesses in the UK. In the grammar section of the worksheet, the passive voice is reviewed. This is followed by a discussion on the issues raised in the article and the general attitude to company clothes policy in the students’ own countries.

This lesson plan is the first of three-part worksheet series based on an interview with the British entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin business empire, Sir Richard Branson. In this extract from the interview, Branson talks about the foundations of his empire, what the Virgin brand stands for and what drives him to launch new businesses.

In the second part of our Richard Branson interview series, Branson jokes about some of his business ventures, including his Virgin Galactic space tourism business. He recalls a daring hot air balloon flight and talks about his adventurous spirit.

The theme of this lesson is the growth of the social networking tool Twitter. Students watch Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, talking about the reasons for Twitter’s popularity. Several idioms and phrases related to launching a business are studied. In the grammar section, emphatic structures used by the speaker are studied and practised. Finally there is a discussion activity on Twitter and how social networking tools can be used in business, as well as an optional video-based exercise for more tech-savvy students.

Note: The video is played in two parts. Follow the instructions in the worksheet key for pausing and resuming play.

The theme of this light-hearted lesson is office jargon. Students read a satirical article on everyday business clichés used in the modern workplace. There is a speaking activity at the end of the lesson in which the students describe situations that illustrate particular clichés and discuss the use of business jargon in their own countries. The worksheet works well with advanced, good-natured classes.

In this lesson, students watch Richard St. John talking about his success and failure in business. Idiomatic expressions for describing succeeding and failing are covered in the worksheet. There is also an optional activity on functional words and expressions used in storytelling.

EFL/ESL course plans

General English course plans

Elementary English:

Elementary

English for Life:

Intermediate

Upper Intermediate - Advanced

Pre-intermediate

English Vocabulary to Go:

Intermediate

Upper Intermediate - Advanced

Pre-intermediate

TED English:

Upper Intermediate - Advanced

English Grammar Reference:

Intermediate

English Speaking and Conversation:

Intermediate

Exam preparation course plans

IELTS Speaking:

Intermediate

Business English course plans

English for Business:

Intermediate

Upper Intermediate - Advanced

Business English Vocabulary:

Intermediate

English for Human Resources:

Intermediate

Mixed course plans

English for Work and Life:

Intermediate

Upper Intermediate - Advanced

Elementary

Current Issues:

Intermediate

Upper Intermediate - Advanced

English for special purposes

Questions about work:

Upper Intermediate - Advanced

Featured worksheet for teachers

Longevity

The theme of this lesson is longevity. Students read an article on the habits that can lead to a longer life and study common collocations for describing healthy lifestyles. Structures for speculating and explaining are also studied and practised. At the end of the lesson, the students discuss the article topic.


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26th January 2013

These worksheets are really helpful to me and my students.

~ Sein (ESL teacher)
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