21 Business English Textbooks

Business English is a highly sought after skill that requires a special kind of classroom. As the teacher, choosing a textbook for your class is one of the most important steps you can take in your preparation. 

Today’s business English textbooks are designed to give learners techniques and structures for specific situations while also solidifying their fundamental vocabulary and grammar.

This post will show you 21 of the best business English textbooks on the market as well as tips for choosing which ones are meant for you and your classroom!


General Business Books

1. Market Leader

5 business english textbooks“Market Leader” takes a four-skill approach to learning Business English with relevant and challenging communicative activities on every page.

Each unit covers a theme and includes authentic reading materials, listening activities and case studies that really put things into perspective for the reader. 

Students will love “Market Leader” if they’re at a lower-intermediate level or above and seeking to improve their overall Business English.

2. Business one:one

5 business english textbooks“Business one:one” is the perfect text for the student with some experience using English for business, but who want to be more fluent and natural.

It provides key vocabulary, phrases and grammar for specific speaking and writing skills. 

The book is designed for private lessons, but it could also be used for group lessons without much difficulty.

3. Total Business

5 business english textbooksThis book is designed as in introduction into English for business.

It covers essential vocabulary, grammar and expressions and follows a modular structure.

The modules are uniquely divided into Business Topics (focusing on discussion), Business Skills (focusing on functional practice) and Learning Strategies (techniques to help students across several situations).

4. Intelligent Business

5 business english textbooks“Intelligent Business” is made for students with limited knowledge of and experience in business.

Each unit explains basic business concepts such as Productivity and Etiquette and contains real-life examples and role-play activities.

“Intelligent Business” is available in five different levels, from Elementary to Advanced.

It has a Coursebook which focuses on Business English across the four skills, and a Skillbook which is devoted to functional practice.

5. Business Builder

5 business english textbooks

“Business Builder” is best for students that want a short, intensive course and are intermediate or above.

The book contains a set of modules that cover business scenes and important language. 

There is not a lot of emphasis on grammar or correct English, but rather on learning whole phrases and practicing them. 

Although its focus is on intermediate learners, this book’s content can easily be adjusted to suit any level.

6. “English for Everyone: Business English Course Book”

This is a complete self-study guide for learning business English that is meant for all levels.

You can either have students use the guide on their own or take exercises from the book to complete them as a class. 

The guide is extremely visual and covers common words and phrases as well as relevant grammar. There are listening, writing and reading exercises, making the textbook extremely well-rounded.

Topics covered include emails, negotiations and job applications.

7. “ESL Business English”

This book is designed to help the reader achieve fluency in all areas of business English by focusing on clear communication.

It includes telephone communication, how to write business emails and memos, small talk, speeches and much more.

This is a great book for any students that really want to focus on the idea of conversing in the workplace. 

8. “Grammar for Business”

This book will give students the chance to learn proper business English grammar and put it in to practice.

Grammar is a very important part of business English as good grammar will create a more professional image. This book provides plenty of examples and practice sections.

Additionally, it offers advice and tips on topics such as giving presentations and stating opinions.

9. “25 Business Stories”

This book uses real-life business stories and dialogues to help students learn more business English vocabulary and phrases.

Not only will students learn more about business English, but they’ll also be learning about aspects of success and failure in the business world.

This book includes notes on grammar and reading comprehension exercises and is best to use with more advanced learners. 

10. “Business English”

This book is specifically designed for ESL students and is focused on advanced grammar and understanding of business English.

This book will help students gain confidence and improve their business English speaking abilities.

It includes advanced grammar and idiomatic expressions as well as lessons on business etiquette and cultural differences. It also includes a CD with dialogues which is great for listening practice.

11. “Speak Better Business English and Make More Money”

If your students want to sound like native English speakers, this might be the right book for you to use in your classroom.

It focuses on the more casual, everyday business English used by most businesspeople in the U.S.

It includes hundreds of common business idioms and expressions on topics ranging from marketing to finance to HR issues. 

Business Vocabulary Books

12. “Oxford Business English Dictionary”

The “Oxford Business English Dictionary” is specifically designed for English language learners. It’s useful if you want to find a term’s definition quickly.

This works similar to any other dictionary but with a more clear focus on business concepts and even examples and break-downs of business processes. 

It comes with a CD version and there are “study pages” to help you use business English vocabulary in real-world contexts.

13. “Business Words You Should Know”

This book is ideal for ESL speakers who already have a solid grasp of the English language.

It’s set up like a dictionary and provides over 1,000 of the most common and useful business English words and phrases.

The words relate to all areas of business and even include relevant acronyms.

14. “Business Vocabulary in Use” Series

This is a series offered by Cambridge that shows how business English vocabulary is actually used. 

These books teaches business vocabulary and offers the chance to practice using it with exercises.

The series offers books for the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Business Phrase Books

15. “Business Idioms International”

This book is a great resource for business English idioms as it has 200 idioms available. 

The idioms are present within sample texts, so you can see exactly how they’re used in natural conversation. Additionally, the book provides exercises to practice using the idioms.

There is also an option to buy an accompanying audio cassette that will allow students to hear the idioms used while they read them. 

16. “505 Business English Idioms and Phrasal Verbs”

Students can start to sound like a real native English speaker with this book.

They’ll learn plenty of idioms as well as some of the more useful phrasal verbs found in business English.

The book covers several categories such as deal-making, hiring, firing and financing.

17. “Speak Business English Like an American”

This book teaches students idioms and common business expressions in American English and even comes with a CD so they can hear them!

Use the book with the CD to teach new idioms and expressions and practice clear pronunciation.

This is a great choice for students that specifically aim to work in the U.S or work with American colleagues as it is focused so much on American business English. 

18. “Business English ESL”

This phrase book will help teach students how to answer difficult English questions at a job.

It includes phrases related to meetings, networking and delegating work.

It provides students with ways to give and receive feedback and guidance on how to conduct an interview.

19. “Perfect Phrases” Series

The “Perfect Phrases” series offers books on a range of business English topics.

Students can really choose whichever book they want from this series.

It covers everything from speaking confidently to phrases for managers and even an entire book is dedicated to meeting phrases.

Business Writing Books

20. “Business Writing: What Works, What Won’t”

If students already have a good understanding of English and want to improve their writing skills, this book is a good choice. It covers how to write reports, letters, memos and emails among other things.

It includes examples and exercises as well as notes on grammar.

21. “Barron’s ESL Guide to American Business English”

This book teaches business English writing for the U.S. It includes samples and examples of reports, proposals, resumes and more.

The book also has exercises and focuses on sentence structure and different verb forms.

The Characteristics of Good Business English Textbooks

While there are so many options for textbooks, you need to look at what you want for your students in order to choose the right on. Here are some tips when analyzing which textbooks might work for you:

  • It needs to be relevant. The business world changes so rapidly. The best Business English textbooks are revised frequently enough to stay either current enough or general enough that they don’t fall behind the times. 
  • It needs to be four-skill focused. That is, it needs to contain activities to support speaking, writing, reading and listening. 
  • It needs to be functional. Your students aren’t in your class to learn about business. If they want that, they can get an MBA. They’re there to learn how to complete business functions in English: with the right phrases, tone and logical order. 
  • Look for books with structure. The book should have a good flow with a balance between content, examples and practice opportunities.

How to Choose the Right Textbook for Your Class

Finding the right text for your class is a simple matter of following “The Three Ls:” Level, Learner and Length.

First, find out what the students’ levels are – but not only their English levels. Equally important here is their Business English level. Do they use English for business on a regular basis? If so, in what capacity? For how long? All of this can tell you how difficult your chosen textbook should be and how deeply it needs to delve into business topics.

Next, find out what kind of learners your students are. What are they looking for out of their lesson? Perhaps your students want to build their business vocabulary while also reinforcing their grammar. Or they might be more interested in functional practice using discussions, role plays and case studies. Then again, they might want a bit of both. Look at how the text is built and what kind of activities it emphasizes, and see if it matches the needs of your learners.

Finally, what is their course length? Are they going to take several lessons over a lengthy period? Or are they going to do something more short-term? Some Business English textbooks are better suited for long-term courses, while others are more flexible and could easily be customized for a shorter program.


Now that you know of 21 of the best business English textbooks and how to choose the right one, you are well on your way to prepping for an amazing course!

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