Teaching business English in Germany

Your questions answered

Why consider teaching business English in Germany?

Companies and business professionals take training seriously, and enjoy developing and using their English. German professionals make conscientious learners and take pride in their English skills. Companies  invest heavily in training and set clear goals for everyone involved. Group sizes are small and 1-to-1 training is common.  This makes your job hugely rewarding. If you’d like to know more check out this article.

How easy is it to get a business English teaching job in Germany?

There is a lot of business English teaching/training work available and all the larger European EFL organizations are represented. If you are a native speaker (with permission to work in Germany) and you hold a recognized EFL qualification (CELTA and/or DELTA), you will have little problem finding work. It’s important that you realize that at least 90% of business English teachers in Germany work on a freelance basis. Very few business English providers offer full-time contracts from day 1 (making Target Training one of the exceptions).

What does my working day look like in Germany as a business English trainer?

Lessons can take place throughout the day and peak times are first thing in the morning e.g. 8:00 (or earlier) and afternoons/early evenings. If you are a freelancer you are likely to be working in several different companies in one area. In most cases you will need to travel. Some schools offer a car pool, but public transport is more typically used.

(If you work as an InCorporate Trainer, you are based in one company and you have a 40 hour week. You can agree start/finish times with your participants and all training takes places during office hours.)

What do German business professionals expect?

Your participants expect you to:

  • help them make progress
  • listen to them and their needs
  • adapt to what you hear them say
  • give engaging lessons with opportunities for everyone to engage in a meaningful way
  • set up practical and relevant learning opportunities
  • show them how to transfer what they have learnt back to the workplace

What’s the general English level of German participants?

Germans start learning English at primary school. By the time they have finished school they have a very good grounding in English though a lot of their knowledge is grammar based. They will be at least somewhere in the B1/B2 range. Some will be higher, especially if they have studied overseas or been on a long-term exchange. A few will be lower. However what everyone lacks is the practical business English vocabulary, phrases and skills.

Living in Germany

Jay has been an InCorporate Trainer since 2008. Here he talks about his experience of living in the beautiful country of Germany.

What are Germans like to teach?

People are people and, as in any country, you’ll run into a broad range of personalities. That said, here are some comments from our team:

  • “Germans can be shy about speaking in English to start with as they don’t want to make a mistake. If you set up a learning environment in which mistakes are not only tolerated, but welcome them, then you’ll quickly get participants talking.”
  • “In some cases, German participants may take a session or two to warm up. This has nothing to do with you. They are just settling in.”
  • “To establish and maintain credibility, you do need to know your language related stuff.”
  • “Germans learners follow instructions well. You need to give clear, succinct explanations with relevant examples to check understanding. If you can do that, they’ll love you.”
  • “You need to be clear about the “why” – they do need to know what you expect of them and why you are asking them to do something. If you can just phrase your instructions as “Today we’re going to….., so that….”, participants will be that much more willing to join in. “
  • “I know this is a cliché but Germans like structure. They need to know you have a plan.”
  • “Germans will tell you directly if they don’t like what you are doing. You know where you stand and how you are doing.”
  • “If you can add communication and business skills into your business English training you’ll do great!”