This is a question we get asked regularly : do I need to take a General English course or a Business English course? Or another way of asking : what is the difference between a General English course and a Business English course?

In essence “English is English” and by that I mean that the basic building blocks of the language are the same whichever way you look at it. For any student you need to learn those basic building blocks to a point where you can comfortably use the language in everyday life, to get about on a day to day basis and to ‘survive’ in an English speaking country.

Once you have achieved this then the differences between General English and Business English start to become meaningful. It becomes all about context; where and for what purpose do you use your English?

If you are a leisure user of English – for example you need it for either generally living in an English speaking country or for travel (holidays), then going down the path of developing your General English is the best choice.

If you are a business person – for example working in international sales or technical support / engineering – dealing with either native or non-native English speakers in a work environment, then Business English is probably the better option.

Being a ‘business person’ doesn’t mean you don’t need General English, but perhaps your use of English in a general context is not ‘mission critical’ whereas your use of English for negotiating that 10 million Euro equipment deal is!

So taking a Business English course is all about giving you that confidence to feel comfortable interacting in a structured commercial environment where certain behaviours are expected. You will feel you have all the linguistic tools with which to operate. There is no magic to Business English; it’s all about enabling you to function in your work environment with the appropriate language skills.

At Kingsway English Centre here in Worcester we have a programme which is probably our most popular – that is our General and Business course (called GB30) which combines General English classes in the mornings with Business English classes in the afternoons. It gives you the best of both worlds and worth considering as it boosts both your everyday English and your ability to operate successfully in a business environment.

If you need any help or guidance please feel free to contact me, Rick Johns – email rick@kingsway-english.com, or give me a call on +44 1905-619877. Look forward to hearing from you.