Working Abroad and Using English

Working Abroad and Using English

Living and working abroad would be really easy if everyone spoke the same way and behaved in the same way. But, as soon as you leave your own culture it quickly becomes clear that things are not the same. There are small and large differences between cultures. And how well you are able to deal with these differences will affect how good your experience will be working overseas.

  • What do you think the speaker meant when he talked about one’s career ‘shooting off’?
  • The speaker talked about a ‘geographic comfort zone’. Do you believe you are in a geographic comfort zone?
  • Do you agree with the speaker that the best way to compete and succeed in today’s economy is to move to other countries?


  • First impressions – the original feeling or thoughts you have about something
  • Foreign culture – a culture that is different to your own
  • Gap year – a year that some young people take after school and before university
  • Comfort zone – a situation where one feels safe or at ease.
  • Misunderstanding – a failure to understand something correctly
  • Stereotype – a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing
  • Custom – a traditional and widely accepted way of behaving or doing something that is specific to a particular society, place, or time

Conversation Questions

  • Have you ever worked in another country?
  • If yes, what was your experience like? What challenges did you face?
  • If you could choose, where would you like to work abroad? Why?
  • What factors do you think people need to consider when choosing a country to work in?
  • What are the main reasons people work abroad?
Business Vs. Busyness

Business Vs. Busyness

Business is two syllables, and busyness is three syllables:

business = BIZ – ness

busyness = BIZ – ee – ness

Business is a noun, quite a common one, meaning commerce, the activity of buying and selling products and services.

During a really hot day, if lots of customers come into an ice cream store, the owner could say “Business has been good today” because the shop has sold a lot.

Finally, a business is another word for a company – someone can start their own business, or work as a manager in a construction business, and so on.
The word busyness – three syllables –means the state of being busy, having a lot of things to do, lots of responsibilities and tasks and scheduled activities.

Busyness is not nearly as common of a word as business, but you’ll sometimes see it. You could say, “I took a vacation so I could have a break from the busyness of everyday life” – again, it’s the state of being busy.

Or a college student who has a very intense few weeks at the end of the semester, might not have much time to hang out with her friends during the busyness of final exams – she has a lot of things to do, big assignments and studying for all those exams.

One final example, think of a company that sells holiday decorations like Christmas lights – most of their sales are going to be made in December. So maybe in November, they start preparing for the busyness of the holiday season.

You could say that business (that company) is preparing for a season of busyness (having a lot of things to do).

Now you know how to pronounce and how to use business and busyness. Remember, I can help you speak English more confidently at work when you join my Business English Course. It’ll teach you what to say in lots of professional situations like interviews, meetings, phone calls, and much more.

How to learn Professional English – Living Your Life

How to learn Professional English – Living Your Life

English is the fastest growing language in human history.

Today, about 1.75 billion people around the world speak the language.

That’s almost 25% of the world’s population!

English is not just used in everyday situations—it is also used in businesses and professional settings all over the world. Learning English is not just a fun and interesting thing to do, it is an important career move!

If you are learning English with the purpose of advancing your career, you are probably taking professional English courses, classes or training programs. Getting professional help is an important step towards improving your English and learning language specific to the work setting.

But are these courses enough? To learn even faster and more effectively, you should be practicing your English outside of the classroom setting.

There are a number of things you can do in your daily life to make professional English a part of your routine. The more you practice, the better you will get—and the more opportunities you will have!

Reasons for Learning Professional English

There are many reasons for learning professional English, even if you are not looking for an English-speaking job right away:

  • You will have more job opportunities. Many large businesses now require that you speak English, especially if they deal with any international customers or partners. Knowing English will open doors for you to better careers and make you stand out as an applicant. Learning professional English is a great way to master English for advanced learners.
  • You will be able to communicate better. No matter where you are in the world, since so many people know at least a little bit of English, you can use the language to communicate.
  • You will have an easier time getting promotions. Even if you start at the bottom of a company where knowing English is not that important, you will have an easier time getting promoted if you know English. Many managers, executives and other important company members must know English.
  • You will have the chance to work abroad. If you’ve been hoping to move someplace that speaks English, getting a job there will be important. Knowing English will give you an important advantage when you are applying.

As you can see, learning professional English has many benefits!

The Difference Between Professional and Casual English

Do not worry if you’ve been learning “regular” English all this time—you need to know basic English reading, writing and speaking skills to learn business English well. The basics of English are the same whether you are talking about the great movie you saw yesterday or the important meeting you have coming up.

The differences are found in the vocabulary and topics of conversation. Professional English is focused on communicating clearly in a business setting, with co-workers, customers, your boss or anyone else related to work.

Knowing professional English really means knowing how to make phone callswrite reportsengage during meetings and be a part of the everyday office routine.

You will also need to know how to speak about the area of expertise of your company in English. In other words, if you work in a law company, you might need to speak about law in English.

There are ways to make professional English part of your everyday life, so you can be ready to apply your skills to your career.

Tips to Make Professional English Part of Your Everyday Routine

1. Focus on a profession.

“Professional” is a catch-all category. That means it is a very general term that includes many different professions.

Professional English classes and courses such as Creativa cover the basic ideas, topics and vocabulary that you will need to know in any business setting. In Creativa’s case, this includes business greetings and openings, the different parts of a business meeting, keeping the attention of your audience and talking about future plans and ideas over 10 video episodes.

In other words, they teach more general language that is useful for all the students taking the class.

However, depending on where you want to work, you are definitely going to need some specialized vocabulary in addition to your general business English.

To make sure that you can actually use your English skills in the real world, use your time outside classes to learn professional English that is relevant to your industry. The vocabulary you learn, the news you read and every other part of your learning should have your industry in mind. This will make you even more prepared for a job in the field!

2. Listen to the radio.

Wait, the radio still exists? Yes! Even in an age of computers, streaming services and TVs, the radio is still one of the best places to get your news and information on the go.

There are many news and talk shows on the radio, which you can listen to on the way to work or school or while you are doing other things around the house. Listening to news or industry talk shows can expose you to professional English, as well as to opinions and ideas about things that are happening in the business world.

The radio has also learned to work together with the internet to be heard anywhere you live! Many radio websites stream their current program. If you cannot access the station that way, you can use a service like Tunein, which lets you listen to radio stations from anywhere in the world.

Some great general business talk and news shows are the “Bloomberg Radio,” “The Larry Kudlow Show” and many others that you can find here.

3. Always be listening.

And while we’re on the subject of listening…always have your ears open!

If you already work in a place where people speak English, listen to the language they use. Listen during meetings or in lunch outings. Just listening to the language will help you learn it better. Pay close attention to the words they use, when they use them and how the use them. Listen to accents. Listen to jokes, slang, idioms, phrases and anything else that you hear people saying.

If you do not understand something, ask what it means. Do not feel shy!

If you do not work in an English-speaking environment, visit one! Find a place where people from your profession of industry go, and listen to them speaking. If it is a public place, you can even introduce yourself, explain that you are learning business English and ask them if they’d mind if you just sit and listen to them talk. You might make a connection that way, too!

4. Mix business English with regular English.

Even if you are learning professional English, you might still be learning regular English as well. The two do not have to be separate! You can easily learn both at the same time. Learn things in pairs, combining your casual English learning and vocabulary with the professional version of it.

For example, if you are learning words related to shopping, you can also learn words related to business expenses.

receipt is called an invoice in the business world. The store you just bought pants at is a retailer, which buys the pants in large numbers from a wholesaler. You wanted to buy more things, but you have a low balance in your bank account. If you were on a business-related shopping trip, you would have called your low balance a small budget.

Let the business and the casual worlds of English join together into one!

5. Go face to face.

Nothing beats real conversations and meeting people in person!

Talk to people who work in the business you are interested in, visit meetings or special events open to the public, and just get yourself out there! You will be getting practice, but you will also be networking—that is, meeting people who might be able to help you in your career one day in the future.

If you are nervous about your level of English, and it is preventing you from joining conversations, tell people that you are still learning. Most people will be happy to help, slow down, or explain things if they know you are learning.

Professional English learning does not have to happen only in the classroom. Now get out there and start learning!

Teaching in the Corporate Environment

Teaching in the Corporate Environment

Teaching English in the classroom has that scholarly dictionary feel, and is often associated with conjugating verbs, memorizing vocabulary and taking quizzes to see how many you get – or guess – right. When it comes to teaching a language in the corporate world, although most language learners inevitably went through the same stages at some point, teachers should be geared for a context that is quite particular.

First off, these are clients and should be treated as such. They have objectives and expectations. These persons tend to be more mature, not just age wise of course. Interestingly, their motivation to learn English comes with stakes that are not the same as the typical high schooler. They indeed have different reasons for wanting to learn the most communicated language in the world – spoken by an estimated 1.5 billion speakers according to This inspiration may spur from business targets: a desire to tackle an English-speaking clientele, or a need to communicate with colleagues and management located in anglophone headquarters or subsidiaries. Some may even have a project to change jobs and transpose skills from their own language to English. You may encounter a small percentage though who take up English somewhat grudgingly if this became an unexpected work-related requirement. With an engaging, persuasive style and valuable lesson material, this can be deftly converted into a new experience they should take advantage of. The task would most likely not be as daunting as students who study English simply because it is on their curriculum.

If the ability to speak English is needed for a business environment, this may call for catch phrases and content such as ‘getting the green light, ‘signing the dotted line’, ‘looking at the big picture’, ‘raising the bar’ and so on. Generally, language learners like quick fixes that make them sound authentic. Basic level learners may need to brush up on polishing their introductions to talk about their career experience and expertise. However, these speakers want above all to learn practical vocabulary that they can put to proper use in the workplace. They may have specific presentations to work on, conference calls to conduct or participate in, physical meetings to attend while travelling on business. Assessing the learners to make sure there is a well-rounded base is excellent too for confidence and credibility. Are they able to talk about their personalities and backgrounds with anglophone colleagues? Order a taxi or a meal at a restaurant with ease? Express an opinion on current affairs?

In addition to doing business, areas that companies are active in can be technical, financial, scientific, among other genres. Being a native level English speaker is not sufficient in all cases to teach the language within a company. Sometimes it is mandatory to have a teacher with a particular career path or familiarity with specific topics.

All in all, teaching English to adult learners in a corporate environment is exciting. It differs greatly from teaching within the traditional education system, and some may even see it as demanding. However, you have the chance to help your learners step out of their daily comfort zone and challenge and increase their language skills. To them, you are a brand and a service provider all in one. If you are dynamic and serious about the progress of the learners you coach, this type of teaching experience can be enriching for you. This context is also particularly interesting as your clients are adults who generally want to hone their abilities and chart their language development. They would thus expect you to deliver proficient English classes and feel the results in how they communicate.