Teaching Business English

“I really want to thank you. This course has changed my life and the way I look at Business English, and now even more after the completion of the course. It was challenging at times but with your guidance, examples and experience I could continue and see it through. Looking forward to using the new knowledge and skills.” – Stephen in South Africa


This 60-hour online course is designed for in-service English language teachers who wish to develop their career by moving into Business English training. The course is based in our Moodle VLE. All interaction takes place in asynchronous online forums, which means that participants can log in and work through the weekly units at their convenience.

By the end of this course, you will have a thorough understanding of all aspects of teaching Business English, from making initial contact with a client and performing a needs analysis, to designing a course based on individual requirements, to selecting or creating content, to assessing your learners’ progress, and more.

Your course tutor is Richard Gallahad, who has been involved in online and multimedia design since 1999 and has worked internationally as an English teacher and Business English trainer since 2005. His own training includes the Cambridge DELTA, Trinity Cert. IBET and MA Educational Technology & TESOL.


The training applies to teaching Business English both online and face-to-face. You will learn how to approach clients, perform needs analyses, and how to design tailor-made courses. This will allow you to start working independently as a professional Business English trainer. Supporting independent teachers is our main aim. We are not looking for employees.

We intend for this training to pay for itself. The course involves designing 20-hour courses for 3 authentic Business English learners from the ASEAN Business English community. We ask that you deliver a free 25-minute introductory lesson in return for your learners’ help in providing data for the course assessment. After that, you are free to make your own arrangements with your learners to deliver the full course you have designed for a fee of your choice. We suggest $30 per hour.

To further support our community members, all graduates of both our Teaching Business English and Online Course Delivery training automatically become associate teachers at ASEAN Business English. Associate teachers deliver 1-on-1 weekly review sessions for our standard courses and are paid $30 per hour. They also work with individual private learners who require tailor-made training. Duties include performing a needs analysis and bespoke course design. On average, individual training consists of 20 hours, entailing that teachers earn $600 per learner.

We also offer support in setting up your very own online school. ASEAN Business English was established to help you get started, but our main goal is for you to be successful as an independent online English teacher.

Course Syllabus

  1. Concepts and Language in a Business Context
    We’ll begin our journey by exploring our virtual learning environment (VLE), and finding our way around some of the course resources. We’ll start looking at some Business English concepts and vocabulary, and familiarizing ourselves with some useful tools and external resources. We’ll also focus on Socialising as a Business English Communication skill.

  2. What is Business English?
    Building upon the Unit 1 introductory tasks, in Unit 2 we’ll be thinking more about what Business English implies. We’ll be considering English for Specific Purposes (ESP), and how Business English and General English teaching differ. We’ll also begin to think about Business English learners in terms of their characteristics, motivation, needs and expectations. We’ll explore business settings and contexts, and familiarize ourselves with current and historic trends in professional English teaching. Finally, we’ll turn to the next BEC skill: Presentations.

  3. Needs Analysis & Research
    Having explored ideas of what Business English actually is, we can now think about the learner in more depth. In Unit 3 we’ll focus on needs analysis and profiling of learners’ communication and language needs. We’ll consider how to identify the communication purpose and language needs of the company, and how to negotiate course content. We’ll also look at techniques for researching companies, industries and sectors. Finally, we’ll turn to the next BEC skill: Meetings.

  4. Materials & Resources
    Armed with our needs analyses, we now have an understanding of our learners’ requirements, and can begin to think about the course that we will deliver. We’ll start by thinking about the kinds of materials and resources that are available to Business English teachers. Finally, we’ll turn to the next BEC skill: Negotiations.

  5. Internationalism & Culture
    At the beginning of our course, we thought about why people study Business English, and globalisation is a key factor in terms of employment within international companies, the need to trade globally, and English being the lingua franca (common language) of the modern world. In unit 5 we’ll look at globalisation in more depth. Finally, we’ll turn to the next BEC skill: Business Travel.

  6. Course & Syllabus Design
    Back in Unit 3 we considered needs analyses. Building from there, in Unit 6 we’ll look at interpreting needs analyses to set learning and training goals. We’ll think about course and syllabus design, and how to develop a Scheme of Work. We’ll also take a look at the Common European Framework for Reference (CEFR). Finally, we’ll turn to the next BEC skill: Telephoning.

  7. Methods, Approaches & Course Delivery
    In Unit 7, we will be looking at course delivery. We’ll explore lexical, discovery and task-based approaches, and consider the use of technology in our teaching. We’ll explore blended learning and online learning. Finally, we’ll turn to the next BEC skill: Interviews.

  8. Evaluation & Assessment
    In Unit 8, we’ll be considering evaluation and assessment, in terms of both our learners and our course delivery. We’ll also look at staff appraisals, and how to give feedback to learners and to their HR departments. Finally, we’ll turn to the next BEC skill: Reports.

  9. The Written Assignment
    During the course, participants will have been introduced to 3 authentic Business English learners, performed needs analyses and developed a Scheme of Work for 20 hours of tailor-made training. The written assignment focuses on one of these learners, with a rationale for the training plan. Unit 9 provides support in writing this final assessment. We’ll also wrap up our tour of BEC skills by looking at Business Writing.

  10. Professional Development & Your BE Career
    This final unit of the course provides advice for launching your Business English teaching career, along with preparation for teaching with ASEAN Business English.