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  • A businessman writing on a whiteboard
    • Tips for careers using English

    A guide to mastering business English writing

    By Pearson Languages
    Reading time: 5 minutes

    Effective communication is critical in the fast-paced world of global commerce. For non-fluent English speakers (or emerging professionals who have just entered their first business careers), crafting compelling work documents can be a daunting task. Mastering workplace writing skills is vital whether you're seeking to close a deal, make contacts, establish a professional relationship or simply make your day-to-day correspondence more impactful.

    Understanding the nuances of business English and applying them skillfully can set your company and you apart in the competitive corporate arena. Have a look at our guide on how to improve your corporate English writing skills.

    What is it?

    Business writing refers to the clear and purposeful use of language in written form within a professional context. It encompasses a wide range of documents, including emails, reports, proposals and presentations, tailored to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues and stakeholders. That can also include writing web content for professional audiences and clients.

    What's an example of business writing?

    One example is a formal email to a client:

    Subject: Proposal for Partnership

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    I hope this email finds you well. I'm writing to present a partnership opportunity with XYZ Corp that aligns with your company's goals for expansion and innovation.

    [...]

    I look forward to your response and the possibility of future collaboration.

    Warm regards,

    Jane Doe

    Why is effective business writing important?

    Effective business writing is crucial as it reflects the professionalism and credibility of an individual and their organization. It ensures that the message is understood as intended, which is pivotal in decision-making processes and maintaining positive business relationships.

    Clear writing improves workplace communication by minimizing misunderstandings, saving time and enhancing productivity. It facilitates seamless collaboration between teams and departments and aids in developing and maintaining a positive professional image.

    Key elements of professional English writing

    When crafting business documents, several key elements ensure your workplace writing is effective and well-received. These elements include:

    • Structure and organization: A well-structured document with a clear introduction, body and conclusion makes your content more understandable and engaging. Use headings and bullet points to break down information and guide the reader through your message.
    • Tone and formality: The tone should match the context and purpose of your communication. While a business proposal might require formal language, an internal email to colleagues can be less formal. Understanding the nuances of tone can greatly impact how your message is perceived.
    • Purpose-driven writing: Every piece of corporate writing should have a clear purpose. Whether it's to inform, persuade, request or confirm, keeping the purpose in mind ensures that your writing is focused and achieves its intended goal.
    • Attention to detail: Precision and accuracy are paramount. This includes correct grammar, punctuation and spelling, as well as ensuring that all facts and figures mentioned are accurate. Errors in your writing can diminish your credibility and confuse the message.
    • Cultural sensitivity: In a global business environment, it is crucial to be aware of cultural differences and avoid culturally sensitive phrases. This sensitivity can prevent misunderstandings and foster more harmonious business relations.

    By focusing on these elements of workplace writing, you can enhance your business English writing and ensure it's both professional and effective.

    How can I improve my professional English writing?

    Improving your business English writing involves focusing on clarity, conciseness and appropriateness. Here are a few strategies to get you started:

    • Immerse yourself in business language: Read a variety of business-related materials such as reports, emails and articles.
    • Practice regularly: Engage in writing exercises that mimic real-world business scenarios.
    • Get feedback: Have your writing reviewed by proficient English speakers and incorporate their suggestions.
    • Brush up on basics: Reinforce your understanding of grammar, vocabulary and punctuation.
    • Utilize technology: Take advantage of language learning apps and online courses that offer business English modules. These tools can provide interactive learning experiences and immediate feedback.
    • Join professional networks: Participate in forums and networking groups where business English is used. Observing and engaging in discussions can enhance your understanding and application of business terminologies and conventions.

    Practical business writing tips

    You've got a writing task to start but you don't quite know how to approach it. Here are some actionable steps to help you:

    • Start with a clear purpose: Define the objective of your document and stick to it.
    • Organize your thoughts: Use headings, bullet points and paragraphs to structure your content logically.
    • Be concise: Use straightforward language and eliminate redundant words.
    • Use an appropriate tone: Maintain professionalism and consider the cultural context of your audience.
    • Revise and edit: Always revise your work for errors and clarity before sending it.

    Bad corporate writing

    To illustrate what to avoid, here are a few examples of bad writing:

    • Overuse of complex vocabulary leading to confusing sentences.
    • Long-winded paragraphs that bury the main point.
    • Casual or inappropriate language and words that don't fit the business context.
    • Writing that lacks a clear call to action.
    • Ignoring cultural nuances and making assumptions based on one's own cultural context. This can lead to misinterpretations or even offense, undermining the purpose of the communication.

    A bad example

    Applying the points above, you can begin to see how this message uses some of these examples, this could be perfectly fine for written conversation with a friend but not on a more serious, professional level:

    Subject: Quick Hello and Ask 

    Hey!

    Hope this message finds ya in good spirits. Wanna catch up real quick this Thursday on a lil' something I've got on my mind? Got an idea that might just be up your alley - think major game-changer vibes for both of us. Let's make it happen. Excited to hear your thoughts!

    Cheers!

    Alex

    The effects of poor professional writing

    Poor business writing can have far-reaching repercussions that can significantly impact an individual's career progression as well as an organization's reputation. Ineffective communication may lead to misunderstandings and loss of opportunities, eroding trust between parties and taking a toll on professional relationships. It's not just about immediate confusion or delays; the long-term effects can include the potential loss of business, as clients and partners may perceive inefficiency and lack of professionalism.

    English for effective business writing

    Mastering workplace writing is a continuous process that demands dedication and practice. By focusing on clarity, structure and an audience-centered approach, you can craft messages that not only inform customers but also influence them.

    Keep refining your skills, taking feedback positively, and staying updated with trends. Your written word has the potential to make a real impact in the business world, so wield your pen (or keyboard) and write with confidence and precision.

    Unlock your full potential in the business world with our comprehensive Business English courses. Also, check out our post '5 ways to politely say no in business English' and other language learning posts

  • A teacher with children stood over a globe of the world, with children pointing to it
    • Teaching trends and techniques

    Using gamification in teaching: Engage, educate and excite

    By Pearson Languages
    Reading time: 6 minutes

    In an era where student engagement can be as challenging as the teaching itself, educators are constantly seeking innovative ways to capture attention and enhance learning. Gamification has emerged as a dynamic solution, promising to turn education into a more engaging and enjoyable experience. But what does gamification really entail, and how can it be effectively implemented in teaching? Let’s have a look:

  • A teacher stoof over computers that students are sat at
    • Language teaching

    Boosting your learners' English language speaking skills

    By Pearson Languages
    Reading time: 4 minutes

    Teaching a language goes beyond imparting the rules of grammar and vocabulary. It's about unlocking the confidence in students to use that language in real-life conversations. Confidence in speaking is the bridge that connects classroom learning with the world outside.

    In the era where digital solutions can complement traditional teaching methods, Mondly by Pearson can play a pivotal role in boosting learners' speaking confidence.

    Why is it important to build students confidence?

    Before we explore Mondly by Pearson's strengths, it's crucial to understand why speaking confidence matters. Communication is the heart of language, and confident speakers are more likely to use their language skills actively. They're more open to participating in conversations, which reinforces their learning and fosters better retention of the new language used.

    Research has shown that 52% of English Learners leave their formal education without confidence in their speaking skills. Mondly by Pearson is your ultimate solution in tackling this challenge head-on, with 500+ minutes of English-speaking practice to build your learners' skills and confidence.

    What causes a lack of confidence in speaking English?

    There are a multitude of factors that contribute to a lack of confidence in speaking the English language well or any language for that matter. Some English learners feel self-conscious when their accent doesn't match what they perceive as the standard or desired accent.

    Additionally, a lack of practice opportunities or speaking practice, especially in a supportive and constructive environment, can hinder students from becoming comfortable and fluent speakers. Understanding these challenges is the first step in overcoming them, allowing educators to tailor their teaching strategies to address these specific concerns and build a more inclusive and encouraging learning atmosphere.

    What is Mondly by Pearson?

    Mondly by Pearson is an English language learning application aligned to the Global Scale of English. With Pearson pedagogy at its core, Mondly by Pearson offers over 500 minutes of speaking practice. Immersive AI-powered conversations, advanced speech recognition and engaging role plays, accelerate learning and build confidence.

  • A group of students celebrating results
    • English for work and migration
    • English language testing

    Understanding your PTE test scores and university entry requirements

    By Pearson Languages
    Reading time: 4 minutes

    So you've just received your PTE score and are looking at what to make of them and what universities you can apply to. Don't stress, we've got you covered.

    Whether you're an international student or already a professional looking to upskill, PTE is a crucial milestone on your academic and career journey.

    Understanding your PTE scores is vital for self-assessment and university admission requirements globally. Read on to find out how PTE academic scores impact university admissions when you're a test taker looking at studying abroad.

  • A teacher sat at a table with a laptop and whiteboard behind her
    • Language teaching
    • Language learning

    Championing language learning and teaching – introducing Learners' Voice

    By Adita Putrianti
    Reading time: 4 minutes

    In today's world, where global communication is not just a luxury but a necessity, having a strong grasp of language learning is essential for expanding horizons. As an educator, being part of a supportive community can enhance your teaching experience and improve results. That's where Learners' Voice comes in – not only as a platform but also as a lively community where learners and educators come together to innovate and excel in the field of language mastery.

    Understanding the complexities of language acquisition and changes in teaching methodologies is crucial for success in the education industry. Joining Learners' Voice can be a significant step forward. This post will guide you through this program, how to join, and how becoming part of the Learners' Voice community can enrich your language learning and teaching experience.

    What is Learners' Voice?

    Learners' Voice is more than just an online community – it's a movement to foster collective knowledge sharing and growth in language learning and teaching. Imagine a digital space that brings together language enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds – students, teachers, language professionals and academics – all united by their passion for mastering and imparting linguistic skills. Participation in Learners' Voice isn't just about passive engagement; it's an active alliance towards the progressive development of language educational practices.

    Participants – who can join?

    We're seeking passionate individuals who are ready to contribute to and learn from a global community dedicated to language learning. Participants include:

    • Language learners: From novices to seasoned language polyglots, anyone striving to enhance their language competencies can find a supportive environment.
    • Educators: Teachers of languages at various levels, ranging from primary to tertiary education, as well as private language institutions, are encouraged to participate.
    • Parents: Those keen on supporting their children's language education and understanding the latest pedagogical trends.
    • Corporate employees: Individuals using languages in a professional setting who would like to expand their communication skills and contribute to language education research.
    • Language test takers: Participants at various stages of language proficiency evaluations, including preparation, test takers and educators, involved in the testing ecosystem.

    What Learners' Voice members do

    Members are invited to engage in diverse activities:

    1. Research collaboration: Work in unison with experts and peers on language research projects.
    2. Discussion forums and webinars: Foster engaging conversations and enhance your understanding of language learning trends.

    Joining Learners' Voice isn't limited to the virtual realm; it's a tangible commitment to advancing your language learning or teaching abilities. Here's how the program can become an integral part of your linguistic journey.

    The Learners' Voice experience – what's in it for you?

    A community that listens

    Join Learners' Voice and ensure your thoughts on language learning and teaching aren't just registered but given the platform they deserve. It's a community that values each unique perspective as a brick in the foundation of innovative language education.

    Professional and personal enrichment

    Participating in Learners' Voice exposes you to a range of resources and interactions that can significantly enrich your language learning and teaching experience. From sharing best practices to receiving and providing support, the community is a huge pool of opportunities for growth.

    Ongoing support, monthly draws and Incentives

    Beyond the exchange of knowledge, Learners' Voice offers tangible rewards for your active involvement. From monthly draws to recognition for contributions, the program ensures that your efforts are appreciated and your aspirations to excel in language learning and teaching are duly recognized.

    How to take that first step and join Learners' Voice

    Joining Learners' Voice is simple and rewarding, with just a few clicks standing between you and a robust platform for growth in language education.

    Start by accessing the community

    Visit our portal or scan the QR codes provided to access the 'Join Learners' Voice' link. The process is quick and you'll be welcomed into a world of like-minded peers passionate about languages. Learners can sign up here and Educators can sign up here

    Spread the word

    Once you're part of the community, share your experiences and encourage your colleagues, friends and social networks to join. The more voices we have, the richer the dialogue and the stronger our collective learning experience.

    Stay engaged

    Active participation is key to making the most of your Learners' Voice membership. Whether you contribute to ongoing research or share your insights on forums, every interaction is an opportunity to learn and grow.

    Your voice matters

    In conclusion, Learners' Voice is an innovative platform that puts the power of learning and teaching back into the hands of the community. For those dedicated to the mastery of languages, this isn't just a community – it's an indispensable tool that can enhance your skill set, broaden your educational horizons, and even offer the chance to shape the future of language education.

    Join us and be part of a rich, dynamic community that values your voice and awards your commitment to language education. 

  • Students in uniform sat at tables in a classroom with a teacher at the front talking to them all.
    • Language teaching

    Bridging the gap: How to equip English learners with workplace-ready language skills

    By Pearson Languages
    Reading time: 5 minutes

    Educators worldwide are faced with a vital challenge: closing the language education gap between traditional schooling and the practical language requirements of the modern workplace. With English established as the language of international business and in light of our ground-breaking new research, the need for education to address this disparity has never been more critical.

    In this blog post, we'll explore why teaching English through a lens of real-world application is necessary, what our research shows about the current gap in language education, and some ideas for how English teachers can integrate employability-focused lessons into their own English teaching curriculum.

  • A teacher helping students at a table. The GSE ambassador logo is to the left of them.
    • The Global Scale of English
    • Language teaching

    Empowering future educators: Integrating the GSE into pre-service teacher training

    By Belgin Elmas
    Reading time: 6 minutes

    When we used to go somewhere by car, my son, who was just three years old, would repeatedly ask me, "How far do we need to go?" every five minutes. He was curious to know where we were and how close we were to our destination. Even though the answer was just a number, it would satisfy him and relieve his curiosity.

    For language learners, it is important to maintain a high level of curiosity about progress and the distance needed to cover in their language learning journey. This can help identify areas for improvement and help them stay motivated. For teachers, it is also important to have a tool that can assist their students in visualizing their language learning goals more concretely. The Global Scale of English (GSE) is a valuable resource for this purpose. It not only indicates learners' current proficiency levels but also provides learning outcomes to help them progress in their abilities. The scale ranges from 10 to 90 and offers a personalized pathway for improvement in each individual skill based on global research. By using the GSE, both learners and teachers can work together to achieve language learning success.

    I believe the GSE is one of the most valuable resources a language teacher needs in teaching English; the learning outcomes provide clear guidance on what to teach, tailored to the specific needs of learner groups. With five options designed for pre-primary, young, general adult, professional and academic English learner groups, the GSE offers educators clear paths to customize their teaching strategies effectively. It also assists teachers in motivating their students by showing their progress regularly, which provides precious support throughout their learning journey.

    I also believe that the sooner we introduce teachers to this valuable tool in their teaching careers, the better equipped they will be to help their learners. With this belief in mind, we integrated the GSE into our pre-service teacher education program, making it the cornerstone for lesson planning and assessment. This blog aims to explain our implementation process at TED University's Education Faculty English Language Teaching Department, hoping to provide a model for other programs interested in adopting a similar approach.  

    Implementing the GSE

    Our implementation process started with conducting in-service training sessions for the faculty members, many of whom were also unfamiliar with the GSE. To ensure comprehensive understanding, we organized meetings with the teacher trainers responsible for teaching the methodology courses. These sessions consisted of in-depth discussions on the nature of the GSE, its significance in language teaching and practical guidance on integrating it into the curriculum we were following.

    As the second step, we designed a lesson plan to be used for the first methodology course our pre-service teacher trainees would undertake for the same objective we had for in-service teacher training sessions. In this initial lesson, we started by discussing the aims of CEFR and GSE, highlighting their differences.

    Then, we facilitated discussions on how GSE helps to monitor the progress of learners, what the main features are that the GSE has been built upon, and most importantly, we focused on increasing our future teachers' consciousness on how learning objectives can help a teacher. The lesson proceeded with an introduction to the GSE Toolkit, clarifying its categories, contained skills, and the target language learners it caters to. After providing diverse samples across various skills and outcomes, we demonstrated how our pre-service teachers can find learning objectives within the scale and how they can use them. 

    The lesson then transitioned into practical exercises designed to familiarize the teachers with the toolkit. Through guided instructions, such as selecting a target group, a skill, and a proficiency range, we prompted them to engage in activities aimed at perceiving the usefulness of the toolkit. We then asked them to report on some chosen parameters, such as the selected range, the number of objectives identified, and the potential text materials applicable to the chosen skill (e.g., reading comprehension). We followed a similar process for the other skills. 

    The second part of the lesson illustrated how different teaching materials were mapped with the GSE framework, utilizing sample coursebooks like Speakout, Roadmap and Startup. The lesson concluded with getting reflections from the pre-service teachers on their perceptions of the GSE. We gathered their insights on its usefulness, including its impact on curriculum design, teaching methodologies, and skill assessment practices.

    After being introduced to the GSE, we asked our pre-service teachers to integrate it into all their teaching-related courses. They now plan their lessons based on the learning outcomes provided in the toolkit, benefitting from the additional resources it offers to enhance their instructional practices. Teaching Skills, Teaching English to Young Learners, and Material Development can be given as samples of the courses the GSE was integrated into; there is no need to mention that all teaching practicum-related courses are in the integration part as well.

    The benefits 

    What did we gain by integrating the GSE into our pre-service teacher education program? Quite a few significant benefits, actually. Firstly, it standardized the language and terminology used throughout the department; when we refer to terms like 'learning outcomes', 'proficiency of language learners' or 'learner progress', everyone understands the set of terms uniformly across our department. No need to mention that our pre-service teachers gained the privilege of being introduced to a widely recognized toolkit in the field. While their peers may not yet be familiar with the GSE, our students gain early exposure to this valuable resource. Incorporating the GSE into our program also has allowed our pre-service teachers access to a range of valuable resources.

    In addition to the GSE Toolkit, resources such as Text Analyzer or instructional materials aligned with the GSE help our future teachers plan and deliver language instruction more effectively. As a result, our pre-service teachers enter the field with a deeper understanding of language assessment, proficiency levels, and learner needs.

    Next steps

    What's next? There's still much to accomplish and a considerable journey ahead of us. Currently, our primary focus is on making our initiatives more public, aiming to share our experiences with other pre-service teacher education programs considering integrating the GSE into their curriculum. In addition, introducing the GSE to in-service teacher programs in Turkey and globally could also be valuable for enhancing language teaching practices and the professional development of language teachers worldwide.

    Publishing articles, presenting at conferences, hosting workshops, or developing online resources might be some of the sources for sharing our practices. Increasing the awareness of policymakers, school administrators, and language teachers on the GSE and highlighting the benefits of using a standardized granular framework like the GSE can encourage broader adoption and implementation across educational settings. Collaboration opportunities with other institutions and stakeholders in language education will help all of us to reach our destination more quickly and efficiently. Finally, research on the impact of the GSE in language education is required to refine our approaches.

    As a result, we are very pleased with the integration of the GSE into our teacher education program, as it has paved the way for significant advances. While recognizing there's still a considerable journey ahead, we also celebrate the progress we've made thus far and are curious about the other possible opportunities that lie ahead.

  • A group of business people talking together
    • Business and employability

    Future of global workforce decoded: A Pearson and People Matters study

    By Samantha Yates
    Reading time: 5 minutes

    Companies today face a renewed skills challenge. One that goes beyond the traditional skilling agenda that helps employees keep up with the ever-evolving nature of technology. But rather one that prioritizes soft skills and seeks to leverage the right tools and modalities to address change.

    The Pearson and People Matt­ers study, Future of Global Workforce Decoded, echoes the growing importance of having the right skilling pedagogies in place to build communication and collaboration within globally distributed teams. Download the full report here or keep reading this summary.

    The study surveyed around 70 business and talent leaders across India to assess how they see the future of global workforces evolve and unpacked trends on how companies are driving productivity.

    The new skilling agenda: communication and collaboration

    The Pearson Power Skills report contextualized this need for skilling by identifying communication and collaboration as pivotal soft skills required to build a capable workforce across India and APAC. For companies hoping to accelerate growth through a productive global workforce, the need for developing these soft skills rises exponentially.

    For around 56% of leaders interviewed, the right learning certification and skill building programs enabled them to improve business performance. This was closely followed by creating the right employee experience and increasing inclusivity.

    The rise of skilling and certification needs echoes a business concern common to companies with global workforces: to accelerate growth and leverage post-pandemic consumer behavior shifts to build more profitable business processes. Focusing on building communication and collaboration is central to this.

    Previous studies noted that communication and collaboration remained vital soft skills for companies across APAC to develop. And with good reason. With its impact felt across different aspects of an employee's journey, the focus on building communication and collaboration is imperative.

    Around 60% of companies reported that communication and collaboration helped them:

    • Improve employee performance
    • Increase engagement levels
    • Increase cross-functional work
    • Improve retention

    Building the right skilling pedagogies

    When it comes to top talent challenges among global workforces, the lack of communication and collaboration as an essential part of teams remains an important challenge. Over 45% of companies today state this as a pivotal barrier. Another 47% of companies stated the difficulty in reskilling remains concerning.

    The solution: new, more relevant learning pedagogies that address the skilling needs.

    The right pedagogies also help raise performance and drive workforce productivity.

    Besides focusing on developing managers to lead global teams, for over 58% of companies, providing bespoke learning opportunities is key to their ability to solve future uncertainty and raise employee productivity.

    This need to adopt bett­er skilling methods is driven by many who find themselves in uncertain waters. The study found that over 77% of companies identified skill gaps bett­er and provided more relevant learning opportunities as a top learning priority.

    Having the right learning pedagogies that enable tracking and impactful, new-age interventions targeted to improve communication skills is the need of the hour. The study found that the ability to work cohesively in a global work sett­ing depended crucially on how easily different teams can communicate with each other.

    Assessments and hiring for success

    To ensure the success of learning tools and goals related to communication and collaboration, companies also need to consider another key component of their talent management process: whom they hire.

    As recruitment becomes a key HR function, companies with globally distributed and diverse workforces today need to hire individuals who fit their culture and can upskill quickly. Therefore, it's no surprise that the top hiring priorities for companies in the coming year are:

    1. Assessing candidates’ ability to learn new skills
    2. Assessments to gauge job and culture fit
    3. Better engagement and experience

    While building the right communication skills focuses on enabling learners to gauge the nuances of a global work sett­ing and enhance their proficiency in the language, how companies hire proves to be equally important.

    Platforms such as Versant by Pearson prove vital tools for assessing job fit and communication skills, enabling companies with global workforces to hire those who meet their requirements. While new-age learning techniques help address gaps and spur productivity by enhancing communication and collaboration skills, ensuring the right candidates are hired greatly improves the ROI and impact of such skilling programs.

    Driving skills forward to help recruit, develop and retain talent

    The future of global workforces is increasingly dependent on how successfully they can communicate and collaborate with each other. While once considered skills that were good to have, they have risen to the forefront of business demand.

    There is a clear demand for bett­er assessment and learning tools that enable companies to hire and train bett­er. Companies with a global workforce today require personalized learning programs that leverage the latest tech solutions like generative AI, immersive learning, and greater ROI and impact tracking. The diversity of a global workforce throws up newer challenges, and as companies expand, having the right tools – that address both hiring and learning needs – can greatly improve how HR leaders create impact.

    With varying expectations and aspirations, aligning company needs with those of the employee is critical for success.

    Those who focus on building the right communication and collaboration capabilities within their global workforces today stand bett­er prepared to tackle business challenges and drive productivity.

    Investing in the right learning pedagogies and addressing communication concerns thus have a direct impact on how productive global workforces are. The new skilling agenda of focusing on communication and collaboration is today driven by a need to channel diverse workforces to tackle business uncertainty.

    A defining factor of how companies ensure a productive future is by building the right hiring and learning capabilities that address the new skilling agenda.

    To find out more about this study, download the full report here.

    Pearson works with over 2,000 leading enterprises around the world, helping them to diagnose skills gaps, identify learning pathways and interventions, and mobilize their workforces through verifiable skill credentials.

  • A business woman stood at a desk with a computer with two colleagues sat at the desk
    • Business and employability
    • The Global Scale of English

    8 ways language training can transform your business

    By Pearson Languages
    Reading time: 5 minutes

    Around 20% of the world's population speaks English, making it an integral component in global business operations. But the question remains for business leaders and HR professionals: how can language learning, specifically, business English courses, drive your organization forward? Here are 8 ways language training can impact your business.