The Basics of Business English

This page covers a variety of topics to be used at the beginning of the semester. It includes tips for reading and writing. If your student's knowledge of Business English is fairly limited, exercises from this page can help build vocabulary and familiarize them with business terminology. 


Reading Writing Business Vocabulary



A. Basic Tips on How to Read

1. If you would like some general information on reading theory, visit the Bangkok Post. The Post is an English language newspaper in authentic language created for TESL. It has a guide for teachers, a Reading Theory section, and many lesson plans for using news stories in class.

2. Reading Better and Faster. Dennis Doyle's 5 Tips for Reading. You can print out this article and go over it in class, or assign it for outside reading.

3. How to Read a News Story

a. Bangkok Post has a fantastic series of lesson plans on how to teach students to read newspaper articles. For a great lesson on introductory news reading called "What? When? Whom? Why?, click here.

b. Here's an example of an article from the Bangkok Post describing the capitalist economic system, called Market Forces. You can take your students to this site in the language lab or have them read the article and answer the questions at home. If you assign this as homework, tell students you will give them a short quiz on the article at the beginning of class.

c. Reading Comprehension Texts and Questions. Here are more articles that can be used in the same way as Market Forces. These come with definitions for hard vocabulary words, and short practice quizzes so students can test their comprehension. Of interest to students of business are:
#5: Special Economic Zones in china; and
#17 The Corporate Message

Want to find some up-to-date articles? SmartBiz contains a huge variety of articles in many business domains. Click on the link, scroll down the page, search subject, and hit "go to selected topic". You are sure to find something exciting to suit your needs.

1. Tips-O-Matic by WritingDEN is an excellent source for students. They can look up grammar rules, helpful lexicon, and other tips for writing sentences, paragraphs, and essays.

2. The Online Writing Lab at Roane State includes a comprehensive listing of other OWLs. This page lists links to all the resources one would ever need for teaching and learning how to write.


1. These quizzes/games can be played in the computer lab, be used as homework (have them print out a copy of the completed crossword puzzle, or ask them to email to their classmates or bring to class a list of 3-5 new words + definitions that they learned playing these games.

Englishtown has three quizzes on business vocabulary for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students.
Better English lists 59 different exercises and games for Business English students.
Hangman Hangman games using business english terms. Plus lots more! Using this site's search engine I uncovered over fifty business links: quizzes, games, vocabulary, etc. for business English.
Crossword Puzzles Business English Terminology for students at all language levels.

2. The following sites can be shared with students via email or handouts. Suggest they consult them when writing reports, doing homework, communicating through email or anytime they need appropriate vocabulary:

American Business Jargon Alphabetical listing of American business vocabulary
EFL/ESL Business World Business vocabulary in 13 domains.

To other pages: