A month ago I started teaching basic Business English in a company. I was assigned a short group full of diverse and respectful people, so things have gone kind of well so far...but not as much as I'd like. Most of the time I can't make students realize how the contents we study in class can be meaningful for their day to day activities. And regardless of how hard I try not to, we usually end up solving loads of text book exercises, and I end up being (politely) ignored if I suggest a different activity (roleplay, discussions, debates).
I would like to know if you have any recommendation for approaching Business English in a more efficient way: a way that shows the utility and linguistic value of what is studied in such kind of courses.
Thank you in advance!
Why are your students learning Business English? To speak with English speakers on the telephone, in person, via email? How old are they? Younger people are often more open to different methods. How many students are in the class and how long is each class session?
What kind of textbook are you using? Did the company supply the book?
One method I use is the one-on-one teacher-student interview. While the other students do textbook work, you take a student outside the classroom and have a conversation with them. Ask what he/she does for work, family, education, what they want to learn English for, etc. Take brief notes. The conversation can be 5 minutes. If you have 6 students, that's 30 minutes. This method gives the student conversation practice and gives you an idea about their English speaking level, grammar ability, learning motivation, etc. Depending on how often you have the class per week and whether the students like this activity determines how often you do this.