Business English on the go
Maybe you’re as serious as all of my clients about improving your business English – but like them, you have other priorities too! What it comes down to is that learning English takes a back seat when important deadlines loom. Half the time, you’re travelling and the other half, you’re too busy to go to English training. Or something like that. There are many valid reasons for not having the time to practise your English. Even if you don’t have time to do the homework your trainer has given you, or time to listen to an audio book, or time to watch a movie in English, you still have time to learn English.
With five or ten minutes here and there, on the train or while waiting for your next meeting to start, there are a number of business English apps that can support you. I’ve tried a few of them and I’ve compiled a short list for you. All these apps are free and available for both Android and Mac users.
Business English Test
This app focuses on English in the workplace and tests common business phrases and vocabulary with quizzes. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jquiz.english_business
My Grammar Lab
A popular app with hundreds of practice exercises to keep you focused on your grammar when on the go. An advanced version is also available. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-grammar-lab/id516583295?mt=8
Sounds: The Pronunciation App
A great pronunciation aid for learners, this app lets you focus on specific sounds and then test yourself. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sounds-pronunciation-app-free/id428243918?mt=8
Dictionary – Merriam-Webster
This dictionary app also offers word of the day, synonyms, antonyms and a voice search feature to help you find new words. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.merriamwebster&hl=en
EnglishPodcast for Learners
Free video and audio podcasts allow you to play back podcasts faster or slower depending on your level. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tidahouse.englishpod&hl=en
The importance of independent learning
These apps are an additional tool for you to use when learning English and it’s great that they’re so widely and freely available. While virtual training, on-the-job support and face to face training all have an important part to play in learning – independent learning is essential.
Check out these links if you want to read more about independent learning:
- 10 Reasons Why Educators Should Encourage Independent Learning (A recent experiment in Africa discovered that children who had never seen a tablet -or knew how to use one- were able to sing the ABC song two weeks later.)
- Independent Learning: What role does the teacher have to play?