I want to take a general look at where you can take or get business English lessons and courses in Taiwan. The main places you can get these English lessons are at English cram schools, English language schools, Universities, private tutors, online schools, and the International Trade Institute (ITI). My writing might be biases in that I spent seven years teaching at ITI.
Language Schools for Business English in Taiwan
I will group English cram schools and English language schools together as one. This is because it is sometimes difficult to tell them apart and they basically do the same thing. So, what business English do they have in Taiwan’s cram schools? There can be a lot of BE in some Taiwanese cram schools, depending on their focus. A cram school may have business English courses, but that doesn’t mean they are good. For business English I would prefer a native speaker because you want to learn the mainstream pronunciation and word usage. Are their native speaker instructors qualified to teach business English? Do they have some business experience? This helps in explaining the business situation and understanding the words and phrases used in different businesses. As well, it helps in teaching about giving presentations if you have given presentations yourself. It also helps in writing a business resume if you have had to write business resumes. Resumes that are used in the academic or arts world are not used in the business world. Be aware that a low cost lesson may mean that the teacher is unqualified for instructing business English.
Universities for Business English in Taiwan
At universities their primary reason for being is not to teach English and Business English, but to teach academic programs. You may find that some or many universities do not teach business English or only have a few business English courses. The business English lessons might be part of the business programs. Outside of the business programs there may not be business English lessons. In an MBA program I would expect that there would be a more business focus in the English courses. The English instructors at a university should be well qualified to teach English, but may be lacking in teaching business English courses.
Private Tutors for Business English in Taiwan
Another source for business English lessons in Taiwan is through private tutors. You can find them all over Taiwan in coffee shops, in bars, in restaurants, and in ads on bulletin boards. While this is an illegal activity for most non-Taiwanese English teachers in Taiwan you can easily find a private tutor. The one thing to be concerned about is what are their qualifications to teach business English lessons? Just being an English teacher does not qualify you to teach business English. Do they have any business experience? Have they taught business English courses at a reputable school or institution? These are a couple of things to think about before engaging a private tutor.
Online Courses for Business English in Taiwan and Worldwide
You will also find business English lessons through online English schools such as John’s Online English. These schools could offer good business English lessons. They may not be located in Taiwan, but this doesn’t matter since they are online and can offer these courses from anywhere. You should check them out the same way you would check out an English language school or a private tutor by checking the qualifications of the instructor to teach the business English course that you want to take. Also, be careful about a low price for the course because this probably means the instructors are unqualified for teaching business English or at the very least are underpaid.
ITI for Business English in Taiwan
The International Trade Institute (ITI) is run by the Taiwanese (Chinese) External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and is administered through the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). The school was set up to develop international business people and to improve Taiwan’s international competitiveness. The students receive both business and business English courses during their one or two year stay at ITI. For the English program the school had qualified native and non-native speakers as instructors. Many of the teachers have a business or teaching background and the school provides seminars in how to teach the specific business courses. The drawbacks to the ITI program is that it is expensive and the students have to commit one or two years of their lives to this program.
Here are some things to do or think about when looking for a business English course in Taiwan:
- Check the course provider out
- Don’t prepay for a long term course until you are sure it is working for you
- Are the instructors qualified to teach a business English course
- Remember that low pay attracts non-business people and unqualified teachers
- You get what you pay for
The business English lessons that you get will probably come down to the individual teachers and not the company or institution that provides the course. When taking a course check on the teacher and see if they have the ability to teach Business English or if they just go through the motions.
Summary for Business English in Taiwan
To summarize business English in Taiwan: ITI is very good and has qualified instructors and many types of business English courses; cram and English language schools have a money focus and may make it seem like you are learning, but may have unqualified teachers (there are some exceptions); at universities English is a requirement, but they may not offer Business English courses; with private tutors and online can find some good instructors, but it could be hit and miss, so check them out and test them – interview them and ask questions
If you have the time and money my suggestion would be to go to ITI where you will not only get business English courses you will also get business courses. There are other institutions where you can take business courses, but the Business English part of the program, if offered, is not as good.
You can find out more about our Business English courses at http://johns-online-english.com/business-english-course/
See our Business English course videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk7wrbiwHTkuMK85G0eanTg