The choice between business and general English is not always easy for someone who wants to enrol in an English course. Perhaps you are in a situation where you use English for work and already have a fairly good command of the technical vocabulary, but you find it difficult to chit-chat about this and that, and vice versa, you might have a good command of English, but you feel lost at a business meeting or have difficulties conversing with business partners and/or clients.
One of the advantages of one-on-one classes is that they can be tailored to the student’s needs. In other words, it is possible to switch from business English to general English, and back again, depending on the student’s interests, line of work or a particular situation in which the student can find himself/herself, for example preparing for a speech at a conference, preparing to hold a workshop or going to the airport to meet an English-speaking client and take him/her to lunch and to the hotel.
If you use English mostly at work, then business English seems to be the best choice. Keep in mind, though, that it does not mean that during the course you are only going to build your business vocabulary. For example, students in a beginner’s course in business English learn phrases such as:
These business-related statements just form the basis for learning grammar, vocabulary and the structure of the sentence. Besides, the key vocabulary can just as easily be used in an everyday conversation about family, for example:
Who’s responsible for paying the bills in your family?
This week you are in charge of taking out the rubbish.
There are many challenges that parents deal with every day.
Teachers report to the parents about the child’s academic progress.
My brother manages the family restaurant.
If, on the other hand, you opt for a general English course, you can rest assured that the teachers at Smart School will bring your attention to how you can use general English in a business context. For example, if we look at the following extract from an article on changing values and norms of the British family from projectbritain.com, we can see that the underlined words can also be used to describe a company, a business sector or industry, to analyze statistical data or trends, etc.:
The family in Britain is changing. The once typical British family headed by two parents has undergone substantial changes during the twentieth century. In particular there has been a rise in the number of single-person households, which increased from 18 to 29 per cent of all households between 1971 and 2002. By the year 2020, it is estimated that there will be more single people than married people. Fifty years ago this would have been socially unacceptable in Britain.