In the competitive business market, often times having an edge is the key to success.
When you are just entering the business world, English could be your second language. When you begin to move up in your career, mastering business English could be the one skill that sets you apart from the rest of the pack.
If taking courses on your computer is the best and most convenient way for you to learn, then you will appreciate these great options for reinforcing your knowledge of business English. With free options that you can check out on your own time, it will not take long to absorb crucial business jargons.
With free online courses from reputable companies such as Microsoft and Google, Alison offers a terrific business English class. The Introduction to Business and Travel English Language Skills course is separated into three modules, one of which is an assessment. The class duration is one to two hours and includes an option to purchase your diploma once completed.
With a few class options for business English, BusinessEnglishSite.com is not only great for learning the language but also for testing your knowledge of it. You can begin by choosing from General Business Terms and Grammar Exercises. In addition, the Other Types of Business English section includes quizzes for job interviews, negotiations, project management, and several other category terms.
Video Vocab, from BusinessEnglishPod, offers a variety of short, under 10-minute videos that teach vocabulary in specific business areas. With lessons for human resources, accounting, marketing, project management, and technology, becoming familiar with terms used in those fields takes only minutes.
For business lessons in a variety of categories from office basics to presentations, TalkEnglish.com offers a simple way to learn commonly-used business phrases and terms. You can browse the selection for a quick tutorial for free or download complete courses starting currently at just $21. This resource is a good one for those whose first language is one other than English because the phrases are linked to audio.
Blair English is another useful site for those who do not speak English as their first language. The website covers information technology, emails and writing, telephone English, and general business English, to name a few. With introductions, examples, and quizzes, learning the correct phrases to use is the mission of the lessons.
Learn on the Go
Often, the best way to learn is by filling the wasted time — while waiting in line, commuting on the train, on a coffee break, or as a passenger in the car pool lane. Even these little moments give us opportunities to brush up or learn something new. These mobile apps for business English are just the ticket to your free minutes.
FluentU for iOS provides videos, audio clips, and flashcards for business English. You can listen to dialogues as well as view and hear relevant vocabulary. The videos display text as they play and can be paused for further details on specific words and phrases at any time. The app has a 15-day free trial and monthly or yearly subscriptions after that.
Download: FluentU for iOS (Free)
From HarperCollins Publishers, Grammar and Practice for Business offers information and activities for all levels of business English users. Verbs, nouns, adjectives, sentence structure, and other grammatical terms are available for review. With over 800 activities and 144 units, you can try out the app for free on iOS and purchase additional content with an in-app purchase.
Download: Grammar and Practice for Business for iOS (Free)
The Real English Business Course provides several lessons for conducting meetings, giving presentations, negotiating, and communicating by telephone. The sections include vocabulary, practice, and test areas along with an introduction video for each. There is also an informative study guide and a handy spot for saving words. The app is available for free and includes in-app purchases for specific lessons.
For video and audio lessons, vocabulary series options, and common contexts, Business English — Vocabulary and Lessons in Contexts is a good option for iOS users. Each section provides videos that you can watch or listen to for business conversations, commonly-used expression, job interview training, and lessons in special fields. You can also check out the Pro version for full access and to remove the ads for $2.99.
Download: Business English – Vocabulary and Lessons in Contexts for iOS (Free)
For those brushing up on the English language in addition to business terms, Business English Free is a helpful quiz tool. The app displays activities in which you must select the correct answer to fill in the sentence so that it is grammatically correct. This is a good app for those whose first language is one other than English to test their business English knowledge. The app also has paid versions available for both Android ($0.99) and iOS ($4.99) which remove the ads.
Learn by Listening
Maybe you are already a huge fan of popular podcasts or perhaps you have never listened to a single one. Either way, listening your way to improved or new business English is easy with these tools. You can take your evening walk, relax with your eyes closed after a long day, or go on a revitalizing hike, all while listening and learning.
From the same company responsible for the online Video Vocab above, Business English App by Business English Pod is a great way to listen on-the-go. With vocabulary lessons for business strategies, communication skills, handling criticism, and selling your ideas, there is a large variety of options. Each has a brief description, option to view the transcript, and ability to save your favorites. Do note that there is a problem with the Back button in newer versions of iOS.
Download: Business English App for iOS (Free)
Down to Business English is another resource for those whose first language is one other than English, but it can still be a valuable reference for others. Currently over 25 episodes are available on iTunes with new content added somewhat regularly and based on business news stories. Reviews of English grammar, vocabulary and phrases, and keeping up with business trends are all available options. For those who do not use iOS, there are options to listen online or download an MP3 from the website.
Download: Down to Business English for iOS (Free)
Offering more than just business English assistance, Manager Tools provides podcast episodes for a variety of business situations. From how to conduct a phone screening of potential job candidates to how to say no to requests, there are terrific and useful episodes to check out, with over currently 300 on iTunes with one added per week.
Download: Manager Tools for iOS (Free)
From Harvard Business Review, the episodes in the HBR IdeaCast vary from how to ask for help to how to say no to more work. With 300 available iTunes episodes that are updated weekly, you can not only listen your way to better business English, but also how to handle work situations effectively, how to make better business decisions, and how to give constructive criticism.
Download: HBR IdeaCast for iOS (Free)
From QuickAndDirtyTips.com, this podcast series can help you communicate better in the workplace. The iTunes episodes are not simply about public speaking, but include tips on how to adjust your tone of voice, how to be influential without authority, and how to continue a conversation that has gone silent.
Download: The Public Speaker’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills for iOS (Free)
For becoming more familiar with terms and phrases, reading articles, using reference tools, and listening to business leaders speak, resources are also useful. Here are additional references to help you apply what you have learned by reading and listening to how it all is used.
- The Economist
- Newsmart: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription-based)
- BBC Business Daily
- Business Dictionary, iOS (Free) | Android (Free)
Are You Ready for Business English?
These tools provide a variety of ways for you to learn and reinforce your use of business English. If you are fresh out of college seeking a job, somewhat new to the English language overall, or are already in the workforce looking for an edge, there is bound to be a tool here to help you.
Are you using a different website, app, or podcast to assist you with business English? If so, please share it with our readers in the comments below.
Image Credit: Constantin Stanciu via Shutterstock.com