In today’s post, we will talk about what to look for when hiring a “Business English Teacher” and what your “Business English Teacher” wants to know before meeting their new student … you! The main things to look for when hiring a business English teacher are as follows: Class Type- Structured Versus Unstructured; Teacher Qualifications – Degree and TESL? Teacher Experience – Online/Real Class Room/Real Life; Teacher Resources-Professional Platform?; Teacher Personality; Expected Cost Per Hour; and Summary!

Class Type – Structured Versus Unstructured Classes
Simply put, an unstructured class is basically a general conversational class, whereas a structured class is more of a “forced march” and usually combines several learning goals such as: reading, speaking, listening and writing. A structured class will also strive to have the student speak at least 70% of the time as per general TESL (“Teaching English As A Second Language”, certificate) guidelines. A structured class is generally the most productive and best type to choose!
Teacher Qualifications – Degree – TESL
I personally would choose a teacher with a degree as it indicates a certain extra level of character and merit obtained through hard work and study. I would also choose a teacher that has also earned a teaching certificate such as a: TESL/TESOL/TEFL/CELTA, etc for the same reasons as stated prior.
Teacher Experience – Online – Real Classroom – Real Life
Teacher experience is also a teacher qualification, however, it is a much more subjective qualification. That being said, it may be the most important teacher qualification there is! There is a very big difference between online teaching and offline or “real classroom” teaching. Online teachers have to use body language such as TPR = total physical response to facilitate teacher <-> student(s) communication and in addition, have access to a wealth of teaching tools at their fingertips! Real classroom teaching often indicates that a teacher is good at “crowd control”. Now, real life experience is the true golden gem, especially when it comes to business English teaching. It is one thing to be a good talker and teacher, but to combine that with real life business experience … well, you just cannot trump that!
Teacher Resources – A Professional Platform?
When looking to hire the best online business English teacher it should be emphasized that what the teacher uses to teach each class is of utmost importance! I personally spend many dollars a month so that my business English students have access to a top of the line, professional, English teaching platform. I draw 70% of my professional material from this platform and it also allows me to: issue an English placement test to the student and view the results with the student; hold a class with the student and issue homework after each completed lesson.
Teacher Personality:
There is the old adage that says “not every one learns the same way and not everyone teaches the same way” and that “When the pupil is ready, the Master appears”. This being said, be prepared to shop around until what you find in a teacher is more like a good friendship. That is the best relationship to have, in my humble opinion!
Expected Cost Per Hour – Frequency Of Classes — Some Great Student Tips:
When learning general English you can expect the cost per hour to be much lower than when learning a specialized niche of English, such as Business English. The general hourly price range that I have seen ranges from about 20 US to 70 US an hour, for a truly qualified teacher. I personally charge around 30 US an hour at the moment.

The frequency of your classes, in my opinion, should be no less than 60 minutes long and twice a week (preferably separated by a few days), so as to maintain, learning retention continuity.

You should base those committed hours per week on your goals and the time you need to accomplish those goals.


As a professional, business English, niche teacher I have a general questionnaire that I ask each student to fill out after they hire me and before our first class. I ask them the following questions:

1) Have you done an English placement test before and if so when and what were your scores on: reading, writing, listening and speaking?

 2) What are your short term business English learning goals and your time frames to reach them?

3) How many hours each week are you committing to, in order to accomplish your stated goals?
In Summary

I would look for a business English teacher who has all of the above mentioned documents and experience and who has a personality that I feel I could become friends with. I would then analyze my personal, business English language, learning goals and time frames. I would then set a weekly schedule, that I would commit to, steadily. I would then start and succeed!

Source: Mr Robin Small – Rams Business English

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