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Three Easy Steps To Learn Business English


Most business English students spend hundreds of hours studying business English vocabulary and conversations from textbooks. Yet many fail to get results, often expressing frustration with their slow progress.

Fortunately, research in English language education has identified more effective methods for learning. In particular, the work of Dr. Stephen Krashen, a professor at the University of Southern California, points to a powerful new way to learn business English.

According to the research, three key methods can be used to maximize results.

1. Focus On Authentic Business Content

Most learners use textbooks and vocabulary lists when studying business English. They study business terminology in isolation, with a focus on analyzing the mechanics of the English language. A wide variety of research shows that students soon forget what is learned in this way.

To learn language quickly, learners must use authentic materials that create a strong connection to their own life. For example, a marketing intern should study authentic articles about marketing which relate as closely as possible to their own job. Ideally, the students uses materials that are created for native English speakers, such as magazines, books, and business podcasts.

Research done at Shenandoah University shows that by using “authentic materials” rather than text books, students learn more vocabulary and remember it longer when authentic materials are used.

2. Use Listen and Answer Business English Lessons

Traditional business English lessons encourage the learner to be passive. The student listens or reads, then repeats standard words or phrases.

Research by language education expert Blaine Ray shows that “Listen and Answer Story Lessons” are much more powerful. In Listen and Answer lessons, the teacher asks a large number of simple questions in English. The student must answer every question quickly.

The process of constantly and quickly answering questions trains the student to think and answer in English- with no time for translation. The result is faster and more fluent speech.

3. Learn Business English With The Ears, Not The Mouth

One key finding of Dr. Krashen’s research is that the key to speaking English well is listening. Contrary to popular belief, speaking practice does not improve speaking quickly. The key to fast improvement in speech is to listen to a large amount of understandable English.

A.J. Hoge, Director of The Effortless English Club’s Online Education Department at, recommends that “students should spend 80% of their study time listening and 20% of their study time reading. Speech should not be practiced at all- but rather allowed to happen in an effortless way.”

Research shows that these three methods, when used together consistently, produce results 4-5 times faster than traditional business English programs.

Dr. Stephen Krashen’s research can be found at
The Effortless English Club’s Business English page can be found at


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