You won’t learn how to swim by sitting on the edge of the pool.
Just like you won’t learn business English by working only in your native language.
Instead, you have to try immersion, or surrounding yourself in the spoken and written language.
An immersion course is the perfect option to truly dive into business English.
Business English immersion courses are usually pretty intense, with lots of class time so you’re truly surrounded by English.
Many of them also take place in English-speaking areas, so that you’re communicating in English 24/7.
We’ll show you seven great options for all types of professionals.
So come on in, the water’s fine!
How to Take Advantage of Immersion
Whether you’re learning online or offline, you can maximize it by creating your own immersive environment with these simple tips:
- Role-play a lot: Think of the ideal workplace personality that you’d like to cultivate. Role-play that character in English. Practice saying important phrases, like introducing yourself or starting off meetings.
- Be culturally aware: In this age of diversity, it’s very important to be aware, respectful and understanding of different cultures. You’ll interact with a wide variety of people in the workplace. Try your best to interact and socialize with everyone in your course or in your work environment, paying attention to the similarities and differences.
Often, staying with a host family while you complete an immersive English course will give you plenty of opportunities to observe and learn. Some of the courses we’ll recommend below have host family options for accommodation.
- Make enough time for it: Be prepared to dedicate a lot of time for studying. Put other projects on hold if you have to.
- Expose yourself to audio/visual content: Look up YouTube channels, listen to podcasts, attend your industry’s conferences in English—the more you do things to get into “English-mode” the better you’ll be.
7 Incredible Business English Immersion Courses to Dive Into
If you’re looking for the right business English immersion course then you’re reading the right article. I’ve curated a list of seven options, both online and offline, which you can check out to pick the one that matches your learning needs, aims and budget.
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Visions International has been providing professional coaching and mentoring for almost two decades now. Located in the beautiful city of Greenville, South Carolina (U.S.), the center runs business English immersion programs throughout the year.
You’ll spend at least 46 hours per week learning business English and you’ll receive expert guidance on giving presentations, making conference calls and building strong relationships with your colleagues.
Their courses cover both language and cultural immersion, so you’ll also get to attend business events as well as interact with a wide variety of people who are in the same professional field as you.
Their daily schedule includes group workshops, private study time and sessions on speaking, listening and reading.
Moreover, when it comes to accommodation you can even opt to stay with a host family in an English-speaking environment and have a life-changing experience!
With FluentU, business English immersion can happen anywhere.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Unlike traditional language learning sites, FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.
FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:
FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you'll see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and recommends examples and videos to you based on the words you’ve already learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video.
You can start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
English at Oxford
If you’re someone who prefers a one-on-one learning approach, then you might want to check out this small school in Oxford, U.K.
The venue is cozy and comfortable and you’ll feel at ease in no time. This school is particularly suited for professionals from all fields from the arts, to medicine, to the media and more.
The training is tailor-made to suit your needs, with two trainers available to teach you. You have the option to stay with a host family or in a hotel in the area.
Can’t make the trip to Oxford? The school also has a special e-learning program available to intermediate language learners and above.
If you already have a strong grasp on English and are looking to improve your business and communication skills, BridgeEnglish might be of some help. Located in Denver, Colorado (U.S.), they have a number of immersive language programs catering to individual students as well as group classes.
If you sign up for a small group class (not more than six students) you may get to visit a local branch of a multinational corporation or attend a guest lecture by an industry professional.
You can join a “combo course,” where in addition to group workshops, you’ll also have a private instructor.
They even have a “full immersion” option where you’ll have 37.5 hours of private classes weekly along with daily lunch and conversation practice with your teacher.
There’s even an Executive Enrichment Program where you can use all that you’ve learned in the real business world. You’ll get access to special workshops, lectures and networking opportunities with major business organizations.
This is another great intensive learning opportunity based in Oxford, U.K. that you can opt for either full- or part-time, or even online and offline. It’s only 20 hours of training, so if you’re looking for an immersive but quick course on the essentials of business English, you can try for this.
However, to get the most out of this course, you’d need at least an intermediate level of English. Moreover, the course can be customized to suit your needs and the class hours are flexible.
The interactive, online “Zoom” platform also makes it easier for online learners to participate and keep track of what they’ve studied.
Commercial Language Training
Commercial Language Training is another U.K.-based option that provides tailor-made business English courses. So whether you wish to focus on presentations, workplace conversations or networking skills, the course will be adjusted to best suit your needs.
Moreover, you’ll have a TESOL-certified native speaker to guide you through every step. In order to make the learning experience even more memorable, you’ll also be provided a personalized schedule of activities to immerse yourself in British culture. Activities include horse riding, movie trips, shopping and more.
After completing the course, you’ll also have the opportunity of furthering your learning via Skype lessons.
If you’re looking for an immersive and one-on-one learning experience in a specialized area of business English, such as aviation English or English for finance, then Homelingua promises to be your best friend.
Homelingua’s courses are 100% personalized, innovative and exciting. You can choose from different “blocks” of courses or create your very own combination course. All of their teachers are qualified professionals and in addition to regular classes, you’ll also get to partake in two half-day activities per week and even a full-day trip on a weekend.
You’ll also be provided with all the study materials and can stay in a private room at the teacher’s house.
If you’re serious about mastering business English, an immersive learning experience is your best bet. So, if you’re ready to be passionate, patient and persistent, the benefits will be immense, and you’ll be an expert and informed speaker of business English in no time!
Archita Mittra is a freelance writer, journalist, editor and educator. Feel free to check out her blog or contact her for freelancing/educational inquiries.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.