How to Improve English for Business Professionals

You’ve landed your dream job in Canada—congratulations! Now you’re surrounded by colleagues, meetings, and presentations, all in English. While exciting, the corporate world can also feel daunting if English isn’t your native language. 

But don’t worry, with dedication and the right strategies, you can improve your English communication skills and unlock your full potential. That’s why we’re here!

Whether you’re a newcomer to the workforce or an experienced employee, these tried and tested strategies on how to improve English can open doors to new opportunities and help you climb the corporate ladder.

Let’s take a look at effective ways to improve your business English and impress your colleagues and clients!

Read and Watch the News in English

The news is one of the best resources for business professionals looking to learn how to improve their English. Both reading and watching/listening to the news expose you to current business vocabulary, proper diction, and terminology used in the corporate world.

Not only does this help you with learning English, but it also keeps you informed on the latest industry developments that can give you an edge in your career. Pretty soon you’ll improve your English and sound more like a knowledgeable insider when communicating with clients, managers, and peers!

A person reading the news on a tablet

Image source: Canva

Take a Business English Course

Learning how to improve writing skills in English means building up a wider vocabulary, especially with industry-specific terminology and phrases. That’s why one of the best ways to improve your English proficiency is to make an effort to study common business vocabulary. 

While practicing on your own is super helpful, one of the most efficient ways to rapidly improve your English communication skills is by taking a specialized course designed for professionals like yourself.

A business English course provides structured learning with an experienced instructor who understands the specific communication needs in corporate environments. These intensive courses cover relevant scenarios you’re likely to encounter in the workplace, like: 

  • Email writing
  • Leading meetings
  • Handling negotiations
  • Delivering presentations
  • Selling products
  • Talking to customers

✏️  Bonus Tip: Look for Business English courses offering evening classes to fit your work life. Having dedicated time to focus solely on your English development can accelerate your progress exponentially!

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Mastering a foreign language takes a lot of practice. If you’re a business professional working in an English-speaking country, we recommend seeking opportunities to practice speaking English in professional settings. 

For example, you can attend networking events, join English language groups, or find a conversation partner at your workplace. The important thing is to keep putting yourself in situations where you’re motivated to speak English clearly.

Trust us, the more you immerse yourself, the more natural speaking English becomes!

Conversation partners reading about studying business English at ILAC

Ask for Feedback from Mentors and Peers

Learning how to improve English is an ongoing process. One of the most valuable resources in your arsenal? Feedback.

Constructive criticism from colleagues, managers, or instructors who are more proficient in English helps you identify weaknesses in your written or spoken English that you may be blind to. So, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and seek feedback on areas like pronunciation, grammar, word choice, and language usage—things you might not notice on your own.

✏️  Bonus Tip: If the main concern is how to improve writing skills in English, you can benefit greatly from sharing your writing with a trusted colleague, mentor, or even a professional writing service for a constructive critique.

Record Yourself Speaking and Listen Back

Knowing how to improve English speaking skills often comes down to hearing yourself speak. Self-evaluation is also another type of feedback you’ll do well to learn from. 

Try recording yourself the next time you practice a presentation or have a mock conversation in English. Then go back and listen with an objective ear. Check if you:

  • Conveyed ideas clearly and concisely
  • Used appropriate vocabulary and maintained a professional tone
  • Had issues with pronunciation, filler words, or grammar mistakes

✏️  Bonus Tip: Make notes of things to work on—mispronounced words, unclear phrasing, overuse of filler words like “um” or “you know”, and more. This will give you specific targets as you practice how to improve English.

Initiate Phone Calls Over Texting

Even for seasoned professionals and native speakers, phone calls can be more intimidating than in-person interactions. Without visual cues like the other person’s body language, it’s easy to feel unsure of how your message is landing. This is especially true if English isn’t your first language.

That said, phone conversations can also be great opportunities to sharpen your listening skills and speaking abilities. The lack of visual context forces you to concentrate solely on enunciation, tone, and effectively communicating your points.

If you want to learn how to improve your English speaking skills, you may want to practice speaking on the phone more often!

✏️  Bonus Tip: Try practicing mock phone scenarios with a language partner before important calls to get feedback and build confidence.

International students taking an English language course

Enjoy the Learning Experience! 

Learning how to improve English requires diligence, but the process doesn’t have to be a chore. The more fun you have while learning, the more motivated you’ll be to stay on course.

So, have fun! Learn common idioms and slang used in professional settings, but also expose yourself to English multimedia that interests you personally. Watch movies or TV shows, listen to podcasts, and read novels. Make an effort to enjoy the content while passively improving. As long as you approach each learning experience with an open, curious mindset, you’re going to succeed.

Don’t forget to maintain your sense of humour; after all, language learning can occasionally lead to some comedic misunderstandings!

Master Business English With ILAC Night School

These strategies are your best friends when strengthening your business communication skills. But why go it alone? At ILAC and ILAC Night School, we provide a supportive, modern learning environment to help motivated professionals like yourself master English for the corporate world.

Our flexible Business English course models cater to all schedules to accommodate your busy lifestyle. Choose between full or part-time programs in Toronto or Vancouver and feel confident in taking the first step to learning a new language.

Don’t let language be a barrier to your climb up the career ladder. Invest in yourself and enrol in ILAC’s Business English Program today!

Enjoy this post? Please share!