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Pre-Conference Event at the IATEFL Annual Conference, Manchester, UK

April 17, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm UTC+0

Our Pre-Conference Event at the 2020 IATEFL Annual Conference will be held at the 54th IATEFL International Conference & Exhibition, Manchester.

Stepping outside our comfort zone


Download the flyer here: BESIG PCE 2020 v1


Business English is often described as an “umbrella term” that covers a wide range of communication skills, teaching contexts and disciplines. Learners’ needs often differ widely, as do the approaches used by teachers and trainers, who may come from very diverse backgrounds and have different levels of experience.

This means that as business English trainers we are often confronted with the requirement to step outside our own comfort zones and develop new training activities in order to meet our learners’ or our clients’ specific needs.

These activities will typically range from task-based approaches, which focus on simulating real world business communication, to more language-based approaches which focus on areas like context-specific lexis or pronunciation.

This pre-conference event aims at bringing together business English professionals who are interested in exploring a wide range of business English training activities.

Our speakers and events for the day will be:

ADAPT: how to help students work and relate across cultural borders

We might teach our students to make meaning with words, but do we help them communicate effectively with people from different cultures? Do we prepare them for situations where they are faced with unexpected behaviour and communication styles? In this workshop, we will consider the role culture plays in areas like giving/receiving feedback, team collaboration, and negotiations and presentations, and explore concepts of face, time, trust, and reasoning styles. We’ll also be looking at how the ADAPT framework can help us and our students become better at relating to people across borders.

Chia Suan Chong is a writer, a communication skills and intercultural skills trainer based in York, UK. She is the author of Successful International Communcation, where she presented her ADAPT model as a framework for dealing with intercultural conflict.  Having been etprofessional’s resident blogger from 2012 to 2019, Chia specializes in interactive workshops that encourage reflection for more effective international communication and improved collaboration.



Dare to do it: Business English training activities for heterogeneous classrooms at technical universities

For non-native students at technical universities having to speak English in class is often very much outside their comfort zone. Nevertheless, with English being the language of business and science in a global market, they are required to train and improve their skills in this area. In this session I will discuss challenges in extremely heterogenous classrooms, share methods that have proven successful, and explore ideas that dare both student and teacher to step outside their comfort zone.

Birte Horn has been teaching English as a Foreign Language for more than fifteen years. Working predominantly in tertiary education at STEM-focused universities of applied sciences, she tirelessly seeks new and creative ways to engage and motivate her students. Her main areas of teaching and interest are Business English, Technical English and Intercultural Communication.


How to handle specialized clients

Training/coaching clients that are top tier or specialized executives means that BE trainers often go beyond comfort zones. This workshop explores handling such clients, due diligence analysis of functional needs, clarity of goals, coaching around actions and exploring how to create focused sessions based on the three former points. Profiles of clients will be used as case studies to troubleshoot needs and content.

Rachel Paling began teaching English in Spain at 17. She has a BA Honours in Law/Spanish, Masters in Human Rights and qualified as a UK Lawyer in 2003. She is a PCC ICF Coach and has been coaching Business clients over the past 20 years. She has created Neurolanguage Coaching®, a language coaching certification course accredited by International Coach Federation USA.




AFTERNOON swap shops


The afternoon event is designed to enable attendees to share ideas and activities which they have developed themselves. The swap shop will be split across different tables, with each table focusing on a specific theme – needs analysis activities, vocabulary and lexis building, intercultural perspectives, business English as a lingua franca (BELF), replicating the “real-world” of business English, soft skills, online resources and promoting learner autonomy.

Attendees are free to move around between tables and discussions, or simply remain in one place.

Click on the button below for details of how to register for this event.


April 17, 2020
10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Evan Frendo, IATEFL BESIG Joint Coordinator


Windmill Street
Manchester, M2 3GX United Kingdom
+ Google Map
+44 161 834 2700

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