Friday, November 04, 2005

The buzz of Business English

Since September 2003, the main task I'm paid for - I hesitate to call it a job, because it's too much fun for that - has been teaching Slovak and German adults to speak English in business situations. And I love it. Not only do I learn a whole lot - much of which makes it way into this blog in one way or another - but we also laugh a lot. Usually this comes from my students' sense of humour, but inevitably some language errors slip in to make me break into a smile. Last month two such incidents caught my fancy: when "What does 'CEO' stand for?" brought the answer "Chief Execution Officer" (sometimes, yes!); and when I asked for a synonym for to be sacked or to be fired, beginning with "dis" - "Ah, to be dismembered!"

But seriously, what a privilege it is for me to enter these people's working lives and help them to express themselves in another language. This month Inside Out magazine has published an article of mine on the topic, titled "Kurt's Pizza: Teaching Business English in Europe" ... names changed to protect the innocent, of course.

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