This Business English ESL lesson plan on business technology has been designed for business professionals or other adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.
Technology plays such an important role in all walks of life, and business is no exception. It was developments in technology that paved the way for globalisation in the past and continues to facilitate business transactions of all kinds today. No business can survive in the modern day without using some kind of technology, whether it’s something as simple as accepting cashless payments, allowing employees to send and receive emails, or more sophisticated technology like artificial intelligence and data analysis. In this Business English lesson plan on business technology, students will have the opportunity discuss and express their opinions on issues such as the different kinds of technology that businesses use and how business has changed because of this technology.
Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):
The article looks at some of the advancements in technology and how they will help businesses today and in the future, including 3D printing, drones, and blockchain. At the start of the class, hold a brief discussion about what the students thought about the article. What do they think about the issues raised in the article? Do they agree with what was written? Can they think of any ways they can add to the content of the article?
To save time in class, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below at home. In the class, the students will answer a number of conversation questions directly or indirectly related to the content of the video.
The video for this class is a TED Talk called “Why you should treat the tech you use at work like a colleague” which looks at the millions of dollars companies spend on new technologies and tools only to ignore them and not use them.
The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.
This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means, if they agree with it and how it could relate to business. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including technological advancements through the students’ careers, the most useful piece of technology at work, and how the internet and social media have changed business.
After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with business technology such as software/hardware, update and the cloud. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.
If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the conversation questions. Before the conversation, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.
Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about business technology. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as common technological problems, over reliance on technology, and how technology affects stress levels.
After the class, students will write a business proposal to introduce a new piece of software at work. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise business-style writing as well as improving their grammar with the feedback from their teacher.