Teaching Business English usually means solving real-life problems and dozens of case studies. The more customized, the better, and here comes not only your creativity but, first and foremost, the time you need to spend on tailoring a course book story to your students’ actual professions. Ironically enough, not having a lesson plan often brings much more engaging and professional results than having each minute worked out in your notes. And here is how:
The key to success is to have a strong trigger, a Perpetuum mobile that drives your students’ engagement and captivates their attention as much you need to force them out of the classroom at the end. “Too Many Bananas” in English (UK) by BookBox.com happens to be such a trigger. It’s hilarious, universal enough to be applied in any professional background, calls for sharing experiences and bringing up solutions. All done by your students.
Since the story is merely four minutes long, I suggest it as a warm-up. Tell your students to focus on the general meaning and follow up with questions and eliciting vocabulary according to their level. I asked my intermediate students which business terms relate to the subject, and we came up with the following:
Supply and demand, market development, flexibility, rebranding, supplier, business growth, expansion, creative solutions
The second step was creating engagement; creating a space for my students to discuss their own experiences. This conversation allows them to relate to one another and build a meaningful connection. I asked them if they’d had any personal experience with rebranding or if they knew about any well-known case studies. After that, they were asked to write down any problems connected with changing markets they could think of.
This step, in turn, provided for student-made phrases I could use for a grammar exercise. For me it was the Conditional Tenses, so I asked them to use the problems they’d written down as the cause, and come up with a remedy which would stand for the second part in the conditional tense.
Done. My ninety minutes’ Business English class which required five-minute preparation on my part in total. Result: satisfied students who didn’t even notice they were learning new words and practicing grammar. However, make sure to check all the necessary vocabulary before the class if you are not super familiar with the subject!
How do you use “Too Many Bananas” in your classroom or living room? Tell us in the comments section!
Marta has turned her passion for languages and traveling into a daily routine as a is a foreign language teacher, educational content writer, translator, and backpacker. Her mission is to encourage people to enrich their lives through learning new languages and traveling, always inventing new techniques for faster learning and sharing them through her website 5 Language Club (still under construction), Vegan Beauty Travels and Facebook.