Justin Quinn, Managing Director, CES

Justin Quinn, Managing Director, CES

Executive English courses must be tailored to students’ needs

In a world where business has become increasingly internationalised and interlinked, effective international communication between top level managers and executives has assumed more and more importance.  Of course an awareness of differing cultural norms and perspectives is important, but just as important is the ability to communicate effectively in English.  This communication relies not merely on the ability to express oneself in general social situations, but just as importantly it also encompasses the ability to express views and opinions in the executive business setting.

The ability to use the language of meetings and negotiations, to make an effective oral presentation, to use appropriate language to agree and disagree, to state opinions and preferences, to write clear and lucid reports (to name but a few) are all key elements in the executive’s communicative armoury which will assist him or her in the process of making international business connections and ultimately getting the best deal possible for his or her own company.

There are any number of commercial text books on offer which promise to deliver these goals, but that is perhaps only part of the story. Also required is a school with a team of teachers with the ability to deliver the exact learning outcomes required by an executive student, learning outcomes specifically tailored to his or her business needs and objectives.

How do we put these ideas in practice? The example of CES Harrogate

CES Harrogate is a small school that has the capability to deliver programmes in a tailored and custom designed manner that will suite the demands of executive business men and women from all over the world.

For instance, CES Harrogate concentrates not only on the business language requirements of the students, but ESP (English for Specific Purposes) also plays an integral role in programme design and syllabus content.  The needs of an executive in the pharmaceutical industry may well be significantly different from the needs of an executive from the oil and gas industry. While both clients may share certain common executive English goals (for example the ability to deliver an oral presentation in English), the key is to tailor an executive English programme so that it is delivered with industry specific content.

CES Harrogate will conduct an extensive needs analysis with a particular client and produce a syllabus that reflect the precise needs identified by that needs analysis. A small school such as CES Harrogate, with an executive learning centre, is the perfect environment in which the top executive can fully immerse him or herself in a programme of study custom designed to his or her industry specific needs.

An effective Executive English course will ultimately be a hybrid.

It is likely to contain some or all or the following elements:

  • Oral Presentation Skills: the essentials of presenting in English. Using audio visuals effectively, having effective and appropriate body language, and using ‘signpost’ language essential for effective presenting in public.
  • The language of meetings: presenting a plan, stating preferences, expressing opinions, agreeing and disagreeing, and forming questions.
  • The language of negotiations: building cross cultural relationships, international negotiating styles
  • Business writing skills and report writing skills: being accurate, being concise, the language of cause and effect
  • Cross cultural communication: differing cultural norms in behaviour in the international arena
  • Social English: networking
  • Accuracy of the spoken and written word to avoid misunderstandings
  • ESP (English for Specific Purposes)

The weight given to each component of the Executive English course will naturally depend on the specific requirements of the client, but at CES Harrogate the expertise of the teaching staff and overall management of the school combine to produce a learning experience for the top executive which delivers on expectations.

CES acquires their latest branch in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

CES acquires their latest branch in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK

Justin Quinn is Managing Director of CES Centre of English Studies (www.ces-schools.com). With centres in Dublin, Leeds, London, Oxford and Worthing, CES acquired a new branch in Harrogate at the end of 2014. CES Harrogate specialises in Executive courses but also provides General English, Junior Winter Programmes and Exam Preparation courses (IELTS, Cambridge).

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Members of IALC share their insights on the language travel industry. Contributors are owners, directors, managers, teachers or administrative staff of IALC-accredited language schools worldwide.

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