10 Jun 2014

English UK Business English Trainers' Conference

IH London was proud to host the 2014 English UK Business English Trainers' Conference, organised with Business English UK.

The conference took place on Saturday 7 June at our Covent Garden language school and teacher training centre.

Entering its seventh year, the event provides quality support for the Business English/ESP sector and is designed for both academic managers and teachers involved in business English and ESP programme design, delivery and management, or related areas such as staff development.

The programme for Saturday included plenary sessions on international skills and business meetings, and sessions on ESP training, technology, international HR training, EMP teacher-training and much more.

Highlights from Saturday’s conference included:

Bob Dignen’s opening plenary on the international skills which matter the most in BE teaching, focusing more exclusively on interpersonal skills e.g. relationship building, influencing, managing conflict.

Louis Rogers discussed self-help in the business classroom, looking at some of the psychology underlying the multi-million pound industry of self-help business books and asking if there is any logic and reason in visualizing yourself as a successful person.

Candy Van Olst spoke on how by using conversation as a pretext, many cognitive skills can be brought into the Business English classroom and honed and refined as an integral part of the English lesson. This also ensures that Business English students bring cognitive skills and their experience to the classroom while learning.

Ian Badger’s discussion on how  trainers can provide business-critical communications training, drawing on his experience of working in the business and medical sectors, Ian illustrated some critical communication needs in ESP with video, audio and written examples and  invited  participants to share their experiences.

Ellie Vignols and Christopher Hewitt delivered a talk on how they set up their own internet-based language teaching product, which aimed to exploit the strengths of online language learning and address the weaknesses.  And they examined three key principles which are vital to maximizing student satisfaction when offering internet-based language training.

Steve Flinders looked at the range of behaviours and skills required for effective Human Resource communications for HR managers working internationally.

Ros Wright presented a talk on dealing with the upsurge in demand for English training from medical professionals and the need to create a framework for good practice.

Philip O’Connor’s talk on making the transition from business English trainer to intercultural trainer proved to be very popular.

Nathan Arthur presented practical ideas for collaborative construction activities can play an important role in the teaching of valuable project management and team-building skills both in the workplace and in the language classroom.

And Nick Brieger’s closing plenary focused on soft skills. In particular, the soft skill of decision making. By linking the techniques for decision making to meetings, Business English trainers can add a dimension to meeting role plays and simulations in the classroom.

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