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RESOURCES FOR ENGLISH TEACHERS

Course Plans

Provide a comprehensive course with our ¼ϲͶע worksheets. Each of our evolving course plans and worksheet series can be followed systematically or you can select lessons to use as supplementary material.

English for Business

Level: Intermediate (B1-B2)

This course plan helps learners improve their English for business or work. A diverse range of topics, language areas and activities are covered. The course plan can be used as a supplementary resource or as a standalone course.

Part 1 - Socialising
Business English
Lesson 1
Introductions

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson teaches expressions for first-time introductions. Through listening and role play, students learn how to introduce themselves to a colleague or business associate and make appropriate small talk. This worksheet is suitable for the first lesson of a business English course, and provides a good opportunity for the student(s) and teacher to get to know each other.

Business English
Lesson 2
Company and job

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this updated version of our classic lesson plan, students learn useful vocabulary to talk about their company and job, including expressions for describing a company’s history, location, size, market position, financial results and strategy. Students listen to or watch an animated video of three co-workers talking about their work. They learn how to talk about their job responsibilities and what they like/dislike about their work. This worksheet is particularly suitable for the first or second lesson of a business English course.

Business English
Lesson 3
Birth or upbringing

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson has been updated. The theme of this lesson is what makes a successful entrepreneur. Students read an article that discusses whether entrepreneurs are born with certain character traits or develop the necessary skills over time. Vocabulary for describing entrepreneurial activity and personality is studied, and students have an opportunity to share their opinions on the topic.

by Gillian Smylie

Business English
Lesson 4
The career ladder

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to job titles and career paths.

Business English
Lesson 5
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Diplomatic language

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson teaches learners how to avoid causing offence by expressing themselves in a more tactful, diplomatic way. After studying a variety of adjectives for describing different attitudes, the students learn how to use special ‘softening’ structures through reading, language practice and role play.

Business English
Lesson 6
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Liar liar

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson is based on an article that discusses why job applicants are increasingly lying on their CVs/résumés and how employers are trying to deal with the problem. Lesson activities include a game in which students write down and read out sentences about their own educational and professional background, and their partners try to guess if they are lying or not.

Business English
Lesson 7
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Showing round visitors

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students learn vocabulary for describing areas of an office, shop or factory and practise giving a tour of their workplace using a variety of useful expressions.

Business English
Lesson 8
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Different perceptions

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students read about a survey on men and women business owners and learn some new adjectives for describing character traits. The worksheet includes a grammar exercise on the structure verb + object + infinitive/-ing.

Business English
Lesson 9
This lesson has some
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Describing workers

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson plan is a great way to develop students' ability to talk about people’s personality and character traits at work. The worksheet presents a variety of adjectives for describing qualities and flaws, as well as additional expressions for describing typical office personalities.

Business English
Lesson 10
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Common expressions in business

Intermediate (B1-B2)

Need to fill up 15 minutes of an intermediate business English class? Use this lesson filler to teach your students ten common expressions used in spoken English.

Part 2 - Desk work
Business English
Lesson 1
Starting and ending a call

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson teaches useful expressions for starting and ending a phone call. Through listening and role play, students learn a variety of ways to answer the phone, introduce themselves to the receiver, ask to speak to someone, state the reason for calling and end a phone call.

Business English
Lesson 2
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Telephone messages

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson teaches useful language for taking and leaving messages during a business call. Through vocabulary, listening and role-play exercises, students learn how to leave a message for someone, take down a message from a caller and exchange information on the phone.

Business English
Lesson 3
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Email style

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson teaches useful vocabulary for learners who need to write emails in English. The worksheet presents the differences between formal, informal and neutral email styles, and there are a number of writing exercises in which the students practise using different levels of formality.

Business English
Lesson 4
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Thirsty work

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students read an article on the benefits and drawbacks of the coffee shop as a place for work and business. In the grammar section of the worksheet, students practise using the present perfect for describing recent changes, changes over time and situations that have continued until the present. At the end of the lesson, the class shares their own opinions about working in cafes.

Business English
Lesson 5
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Managing tasks

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to tasks and time management.

Business English
Lesson 6
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Telephone interruptions

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson filler, students practise handling phone call interruptions. The worksheet presents a number of practical expressions which can be used to encourage the caller to be quick, persuade the receiver to listen as well as diplomatically avoid speaking to the caller.

Business English
Lesson 7
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Corporate well-being

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This theme of this lesson is corporate health. Students read an article about a company that is attempting to improve the well-being of its staff and listen to two corporate health experts commenting on the firm’s health initiatives. In the grammar section of the worksheet, the present simple, present continuous, present perfect simple and past simple are reviewed. This is followed by a discussion on corporate health initiatives.

Business English
Lesson 8
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Financial statements

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson plan is suitable for students who deal with accounting issues, especially those who need to prepare or interpret financial statements in English. This worksheet presents vocabulary related to a company’s balance sheet and profit and loss statement. For teachers who are unfamiliar with accounting terms, we have included additional notes in the key to help clear up any confusion.

Business English
Lesson 9
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Bad debt

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson plan is based on an article about how bad debt is affecting small businesses in the UK and what they can do about the problem. The worksheet focuses on reading and vocabulary work, rounding off with some sample expressions for chasing payments via email.

Business English
Lesson 10
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Salary and pay

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This worksheet covers a range of vocabulary for talking about salary and pay. The lesson plan rounds off with a discussion activity in which students put the target language into practice.

Part 3 - Meetings
Business English
Lesson 1
Business meetings

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson plan covers vocabulary for talking about meetings. Students learn a number of terms for describing the different types and purposes of meetings as well as problems and other issues related to organised discussions.

Business English
Lesson 2
Discussions

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson teaches useful expressions for students who need English for business meetings and discussions. Through reading, language practice and role-play, students learn how to structure an argument with linking words and phrases as well as respond to opinions using a variety of techniques for agreeing and disagreeing.

Business English
Lesson 3
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Working together

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students read about how a successful British co-operative is managed. The worksheet includes vocabulary work and a grammar review exercise on the present perfect.

Business English
Lesson 4
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Problems and suggestions

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson teaches useful expressions for discussing problems and possible solutions. Through listening and role play, the students learn how to make, ask for and respond to suggestions in a variety of ways. The lesson plan includes an animated video version of the dialogue.

Business English
Lesson 5
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Hello, I’m on the plane

Intermediate (B1-B2)

Technology has been developed to allow passengers to use their mobile phones safely on planes. Students read an article about the different attitudes among business travellers towards this development. In the grammar section of the worksheet, the first and second conditionals are studied and practised. Students then discuss the lesson topic and debate the pros and cons of in-flight mobile phone use.

Business English
Lesson 6
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Chairing meetings

Upper-intermediate (B2-C1)

This lesson teaches useful expressions for learners who need to chair meetings in English. After studying vocabulary for describing the skills and roles of a chairperson, students listen to a dialogue in which the managers of a language training centre discuss their company’s advertising strategy. Key expressions used by the chairperson of the meeting are studied. At the end of the lesson, the students role-play a meeting, taking turns to chair the discussion. In this updated version of the lesson plan, there is a fun animated video which can be played instead of the audio.

Business English
Lesson 7
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Statistics and trends

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students learn how to talk about visual representations of statistics and describe trends using combinations of nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives.

Business English
Lesson 8
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Presentations

Intermediate (B1-B2)

Students briefly discuss their own experiences of presentations before identifying types of diagrams often used in presentations and their functions. They listen to a business presentation and identify and practise a range of functional language for structuring presentations. The lesson includes vocabulary development and a presentation activity which can be extended to include preparation of slides with visual aids. Students should prepare and practise their presentation as homework and deliver it in another lesson. The materials also include an optional extension activity relating to what can go wrong with a presentation.

by Stephanie Hirschman

Business English
Lesson 9
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Business phrasal verbs

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lively lesson plan presents 16 common phrasal verbs used in business. These business English phrasal verbs are presented in their natural context. There are two speaking activities in which students interview each using the target language. For larger classes, there is a 'Find someone who' activity at the end of the worksheet. This is the business English version of our general English worksheet Phrasal verbs 1.

Business English
Lesson 10
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Project management

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students learn important vocabulary for project management, including describing the progress of a project, key stages and useful terminology.

Business English
Lesson 11
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Unusual CV mistakes

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students read an article about mistakes that job candidates make on their CVs and the consequences of these errors. The worksheet activities focus on vocabulary, comprehension and speaking.

Business English
Lesson 12
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Job interview stories

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students read about some unusual incidents that have happened during job interviews, according to a survey of HR managers in the US. The worksheet focuses on vocabulary and speaking.

Business English
Lesson 13
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Work clothes

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students learn how to talk about work clothing and dress code. The worksheet includes a recent news report about a London receptionist who was sent home for not adhering to her company's dress code policy.

Part 4 - Sales and marketing
Business English
Lesson 1
Recession marketing

Intermediate (B1-B2)

The theme of this lesson is marketing in a recession. The worksheet is suitable for people who are responsible for marketing in their companies or who work for marketing agencies. Students read an article about successful marketing strategies for businesses during an economic downturn and learn a variety of terms for describing different marketing tools, strategies and concepts. At the end of the lesson, students talk about how the global economy has affected their or their clients’ approach to marketing.

Business English
Lesson 2
Marketing strategies

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson plan is designed to get your students talking about marketing. The worksheet covers modern methods of marketing, including social media marketing, email marketing, internet advertising and search engine optimization. The lesson can be used to stimulate a lively debate among the students on traditional vs. online marketing.

Business English
Lesson 3
Pitching an idea

Intermediate (B1-B2)

Students learn how to present an idea to their colleagues or associates and persuade them to support the proposal. The worksheet focuses on listening comprehension, vocabulary, and speaking.

Business English
Lesson 4
Selling air

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students read an article about a Canadian company that has been cashing in on China's pollution crisis. The worksheet includes a two-part grammar exercise on infinitive clauses.

Business English
Lesson 5
The sales meeting

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson teaches a variety of useful terms for learners involved in sales. Through vocabulary and role-play exercises, the students learn how to describe the benefits of their product/service and make an effective sales pitch in English.

Business English
Lesson 6
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Negotiations

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson introduces students to negotiating in English. Common terms for describing different points of discussion and negotiating positions are studied. Students then share their own experiences and opinions on a number of negotiation issues. In the second part of the lesson, there is a listening and role play activity in which useful expressions for negotiating are studied and practised.

Business English
Lesson 7
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The fame game

Intermediate (B1-B2)

The theme of this lesson is celebrity endorsement. Students read about the benefits and drawbacks of companies associating their brands with celebrities. Students learn key vocabulary related to marketing and advertising, and useful expressions for developing an argument are also studied. During the lesson, several aspects of the worksheet topic are discussed.

Business English
Lesson 8
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Complaining and apologizing

Intermediate (B1-B2)

The theme of this lesson is handling complaints in business. Students study a text on the importance of welcoming customer complaints and dealing with problems promptly. Through listening and role play, the students learn useful expressions for making complaints, apologizing and taking action.

Business English
Lesson 9
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Trade fairs

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students learn vocabulary covering all aspects of trade fairs. Exercises cover reasons to attend, preparation, items to take, and questions that company representatives should ask during a trade fair. There is also an activity to write a follow-up email to a potential customer.

Part 5 - Business developments
Business English
Lesson 1
Motivation

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students read an article about innovative methods, ideas and devices designed to improve motivation among office staff. Students also learn how to speculate and make predictions with a variety of different structures. The lesson rounds off with a discussion activity on the worksheet topic.

Business English
Lesson 2
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Innovation and product development

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This worksheet presents vocabulary related to product innovation and development. A variety of terms are introduced for describing the pre-launch stages of a new product as well as adjectives and expressions for describing technological innovation. The lesson plan includes discussion ideas and should be particularly useful for students involved in market research and/or product development.

Business English
Lesson 3
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The future of streaming

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This 6-page lesson plan is based on an article about the future of the music streaming sector. The worksheet covers a broad range of activities, including reading, vocabulary work, grammar practice (relative clauses) and speaking.

Business English
Lesson 4
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Mixed signals for outsourcing

Intermediate (B1-B2)

The theme of this lesson is outsourcing. Students read an article about how rising wages and a stronger currency are affecting the Indian outsourcing industry. In the grammar section of the worksheet, the difference between the present and past perfect is studied. At the end of the lesson, students talk about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing.

Business English
Lesson 5
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Flying for business

Intermediate (B1-B2)

The theme of this worksheet is business travel. Students read a traveller's tips on how to handle a long-distance business trip. The lesson activities focus on vocabulary, comprehension and speaking.

Business English
Lesson 6
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Ethics and conduct

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to business ethics and conduct.

Business English
Lesson 7
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The new consumer

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson plan is based on an article about changing shopping habits among consumers in the UK. The worksheet includes a grammar exercise on tenses for describing changes.

Business English
Lesson 8
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Conflict of interest

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson is based on an article on a dispute between the McDonald's fast food chain and the Italian city of Florence. The worksheet focuses on vocabulary development, reading comprehension and speaking.

Business English
Lesson 9
This lesson has some
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Sick leave

Intermediate (B1-B2)

Thinking of calling in sick? Under a new Belgian proposal, you will be obliged to remain at home for a medical check-up. In this lesson, students read about and discuss this proposal. The worksheet rounds off with a vocabulary exercise on common ailments and remedies.

Business English
Lesson 10
This lesson has some
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The stress timebomb - Part 1

Intermediate (B1-B2)

The first of a two-part lesson plan that looks at the causes and impact of stress in the workplace. Students read about how stress is affecting small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. The lesson rounds off with a grammar exercise on reported speech in which students complete a stressful negotiation dialogue using the target language structures.

Business English
Lesson 11
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The stress timebomb - Part 2

Intermediate (B1-B2)

The second of a two-part lesson plan that looks at the causes and impact of stress in the workplace. Students read about and discuss how small and medium-sized businesses can reduce stress among employees. The lesson rounds off with an exercise on expressing future probability.

Business English
Lesson 12
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Career crossroads

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This worksheet is based on an article on job dissatisfaction and typical signs that show that someone may want to change their career path. The lesson focuses on reading, vocabulary and speaking.

Business English
Lesson 13
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Space tourism

Intermediate (B1-B2)

This lesson is based on an article on the nascent space tourism industry. The text focuses on the different companies that will be operating in this market, including Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, as well as the future costs and environmental impact of commercial space flights. In the grammar section of the worksheets, reported statements and questions are studied and practised. At the end of the lesson, students discuss whether they believe space tourism could become mass market.

Business English
Lesson 14
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The e-commerce revolution

Intermediate (B1-B2)

The theme of this lesson is e-commerce. Students read an article on the changing shopping habits of British consumers and the development of online retailing. Tenses for describing trends are studied and practised in the grammar section of the worksheet, followed by an end-of-lesson discussion on Internet buying habits in the students’ own countries.

Business English
Lesson 15
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The next emerging market

Intermediate (B1-B2)

The theme of this lesson is international investment. Students read an article about the investment potential of Iraq and study vocabulary related to infrastructure and development. In the grammar exercises, students practise asking each other for information using subject and object questions. At the end of the lesson, the class discusses their own countries’ potential for foreign investors.

Business English
Lesson 16
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The economy

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students learn and practise vocabulary related to the economy.

Business English
Lesson 17
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Pay crisis

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson, students read an article about how young men in Britain now earn much less than those from the previous generation. The worksheet includes reading and speaking activities, vocabulary and a grammar exercise on present perfect vs. past simple.

Business English
Lesson 18
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Salary reviews

Intermediate (B1-B2)

Students follow a short business scenario based on a salary review. The worksheet focuses on past, present and future verb tenses (PPF) and vocabulary development and offers practice in listening comprehension and speaking.


By Stephanie Hirschman

Business English
Lesson 19
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Side jobs

Intermediate (B1-B2)

In this lesson plan, students read an article about the trend in the UK to have more than one job or business. Exercises focus on key words, phrases, and collocations. Students discuss the topic at the end of the lesson.

Business English
Lesson 20
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Uber and the law

Intermediate (B1-B2)

Students read about Uber's legal problems in this lesson plan, concentrating mainly on the decision that Uber can no longer call itself an 'information service'.  There is an activity on legal terms, plus exercises on key vocabulary and collocations from the text. The worksheet ends with a role play activity where students debate the temporary ban on Uber that happened in Italy.