Cartoon illustration of Berlin's cityscape, showcasing iconic landmarks and bustling streets with a playful touch, a perfect place to practice speaking English

English for Commercial Real Estate

Are you looking to excel in the world of commercial real estate? Then mastering English is a must! In order to conduct successful deals and negotiations with clients, landlords, tenants, and investors, fluency in English is key.

You need to be able to effectively and confidently communicate your ideas, proposals, and offers. Whether it’s presenting a property in a persuasive and informative manner, negotiating the terms of a lease agreement, or writing a convincing email, strong English skills can make all the difference.

But it’s not just about language proficiency. The commercial real estate industry has its own vocabulary and jargon that you need to know in order to navigate it effectively. Terms like cap rate, NOI, and LOI are commonly used in the industry and can be confusing to those unfamiliar with them.

Therefore, taking an English for Commercial Real Estate course can be instrumental in advancing your career. Not only will it improve your language skills, but it will also help you develop a deeper understanding of industry terminology and practices.

With the right language skills and knowledge, you can gain a competitive edge in the commercial real estate industry and achieve your professional goals. So why wait? Start improving your English for Commercial Real Estate today!

a cityscape of berlin including the tv tower, in a cartoon style
a cityscape of berlin including the tv tower, in a cartoon style

What is commercial real estate?

Commercial real estate refers to properties that are used for business purposes, such as office buildings, retail spaces, warehouses, and industrial buildings. Unlike residential real estate, commercial real estate is purchased for the purpose of generating income, either through rental income or through the resale of the property at a higher price.

Commercial real estate is a large and complex industry that plays a crucial role in the economy. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at what commercial real estate is, how it works, and the factors that influence its value.

Types of Commercial Real Estate

There are several types of commercial real estate, each with its own unique characteristics and investment potential.

Office Buildings:

These are the most common type of commercial real estate. They range in size from small buildings with a few tenants to large, high-rise buildings with hundreds of tenants. Office buildings are usually located in central business districts or in suburban areas with easy access to major highways and transportation.

Retail Spaces:

These are properties that are used for retail purposes, such as stores, malls, and shopping centers. They are often located in high-traffic areas with a large amount of foot traffic.

Industrial Buildings:

These are properties that are used for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution purposes. They are often located in industrial areas with easy access to major highways and transportation.

Multi-Family Buildings:

Multi-family buildings are properties that are used for residential purposes, such as apartments and condominiums. They are often located in urban areas and are popular with investors because of their steady rental income.

Investing in Commercial Real Estate

Investing in commercial real estate can be a lucrative way to generate income and build long-term wealth. However, it is important to understand the risks and challenges involved in this type of investment.

One of the biggest challenges of investing in commercial real estate is finding the right property at the right price. It is important to conduct thorough research and due diligence to ensure that a property is a good investment opportunity.

Another challenge is managing the property once it has been purchased. This involves finding and managing tenants, collecting rent, and maintaining the property. Many investors choose to work with a property management company to handle these tasks.

Sustainability in Commercial Real Estate

Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration in the commercial real estate industry. With growing concerns about climate change and environmental sustainability, many investors are looking for ways to incorporate sustainable practices into their properties.

There are several ways that sustainability can be integrated into commercial real estate. One way is through the use of green building practices. Green buildings are designed to be energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, with features such as high-efficiency lighting, water-saving fixtures, and renewable energy sources.

Another way to incorporate sustainability into commercial real estate is through the use of sustainable materials and construction practices. This can include using recycled or reclaimed materials, using sustainable wood products, and incorporating sustainable design features such as green roofs or rainwater harvesting systems.

In addition to environmental sustainability, social sustainability is also becoming a growing concern in the commercial real estate industry. This includes factors such as tenant comfort and health, community engagement, and social equity. Many investors are looking for ways to create spaces that are not only environmentally sustainable but also socially sustainable, with a focus on creating spaces that promote well-being and community.

Investors who incorporate sustainability into their commercial real estate properties can benefit in several ways. For one, sustainable properties are often more attractive to tenants and can command higher rents. Additionally, sustainable properties may be eligible for tax incentives or other financial benefits that can help offset the costs of incorporating sustainable features.

Overall, sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration in the commercial real estate industry. Investors who are able to incorporate sustainable practices into their properties may be able to benefit from increased demand and higher rents, as well as contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future.

Commercial Real Estate in Berlin

Berlin is a rapidly growing city with a thriving commercial real estate market. With a population of over 3.7 million people and a strong economy, Berlin is home to a diverse range of commercial real estate properties, including office buildings, retail spaces, industrial buildings, and multi-family residential buildings.

One of the key drivers of the commercial real estate market in Berlin is the city’s thriving tech industry. Many international tech companies have established a presence in Berlin in recent years, attracted by the city’s vibrant startup culture and affordable real estate prices. As a result, demand for office space in Berlin has been strong, with vacancy rates remaining low and rents continuing to rise.

Another factor driving demand for commercial real estate in Berlin is the city’s growing tourism industry. Berlin is a popular destination for tourists from around the world, with millions of visitors coming to the city each year. This has led to a strong demand for retail and hospitality properties, as well as for multi-family residential properties that can be used as short-term rentals.

Despite the strong demand for commercial real estate in Berlin, there are also challenges to investing in the market. One challenge is the limited supply of available properties, particularly in prime locations such as the city center. This has led to intense competition among investors and rising property prices.

Another challenge is navigating the complex regulations and zoning requirements in Berlin. As with many European cities, there are strict regulations governing the use and development of commercial real estate properties in Berlin. Investors must be prepared to navigate these regulations in order to ensure compliance and maximize their returns.

Overall, the commercial real estate market in Berlin offers both opportunities and challenges for investors. With a strong economy and growing demand for properties, Berlin is a promising market for investors looking to capitalize on the city’s growth. However, investors must be prepared to navigate the complexities of the market and carefully evaluate potential investment opportunities to ensure a successful outcome.

Questions for English learners

What is commercial real estate, and what types of properties does it include?

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the commercial real estate market?

What are the benefits of investing in commercial real estate, and what are some of the risks and challenges involved?

What are some of the key factors that drive demand for commercial real estate in different markets?

How can sustainability be integrated into commercial real estate properties, and what are the potential benefits for investors who do so?

What are some of the unique characteristics of the commercial real estate market in Berlin, and what opportunities and challenges does it offer for investors?

Business English Learning materials

Practise this vocabulary and more here

Download the vocabulary below

Any questions? Let me know in the comments below

cartoon group of people in a speaking circle learning english

How can I help my career by improving my English skills?

Enrolling in a coaching program for spoken English can offer several benefits to individuals. These programs can be tailored to suit your specific needs and goals, and can help you in many ways, which we will look at here.

Improving Pronunciation

One common reason why people choose to enroll in coaching programs is to improve their pronunciation of English words and sounds. With the help of a coach, you can learn the nuances of the language and get feedback on your pronunciation.

Improving pronunciation is a crucial aspect of learning any language, and this is especially true for English. English is a language with many unique sounds and nuances, which can be difficult for non-native speakers to master. Even small differences in pronunciation can affect how well you are understood and can impact your confidence when speaking.

Enrolling in a spoken English coaching program is an excellent way to improve your pronunciation skills. A good coach can help you identify the areas where you are struggling and provide you with targeted instruction on how to improve. They can also give you feedback on your pronunciation and guide you on how to produce the correct sounds.

Improving your pronunciation skills can have a significant impact on your ability to communicate effectively in English. It can help you to be more easily understood by native speakers and make you feel more confident when speaking. Additionally, improving your pronunciation skills can also help you expand your vocabulary and improve your overall comprehension of the language.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, improving your pronunciation skills should be a top priority. With the help of a spoken English coaching program, you can achieve significant progress in a short amount of time and gain the confidence you need to communicate effectively in any situation.

Expanding Vocabulary

A coaching program can also help you learn new words and phrases, and teach you how to use them effectively in conversations. This can help you express yourself more clearly and confidently.

Expanding your vocabulary is a crucial part of becoming fluent in any language, and this is especially true for English, which has an extensive vocabulary. When you enroll in a coaching program, you’ll have the opportunity to learn new words and phrases that you may not have encountered in your everyday life. A good coach can help you understand the meaning of these words and how to use them correctly in conversations.

By expanding your vocabulary, you’ll be able to communicate your thoughts and ideas more clearly and effectively, which is essential for both personal and professional situations. In addition, having a wider vocabulary can help you understand English language media such as books, movies, and news articles, which can further improve your language skills.

A coaching program can also teach you how to use idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs, which are common in everyday English conversations. Learning these expressions and verbs can help you sound more natural and fluent in your speech, which can lead to better communication and stronger connections with native English speakers.

Overall, expanding your vocabulary through a coaching program can help you become a more effective communicator and give you the confidence to express yourself more effectively in any situation.

Building Confidence

Learning a new language can be challenging, especially when it comes to speaking it fluently. Many people feel shy or nervous about speaking a foreign language, and this can hinder their ability to communicate effectively. A coaching program can help you overcome these obstacles and build your confidence in speaking English.

A good coach will provide a safe and supportive environment for you to practice your speaking skills. They can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and provide constructive feedback to help you improve. Regular practice sessions with your coach can also help you become more comfortable with speaking English in different contexts, such as in social settings or in the workplace.

As your confidence grows, you may find that you are more willing to engage in conversations in English and take more risks with your speaking. This can lead to a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment as you become more proficient in the language. With the help of a coaching program, you can build the confidence you need to communicate effectively in English and achieve your language goals.

Preparing for Exams

Preparing for exams such as TOEFL or IELTS can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially if you’re not confident in your spoken English skills. This is where a coaching program can come in handy. With a targeted approach, a coach can help you prepare for these exams by identifying your strengths and weaknesses and tailoring the instruction and practice to your specific needs.

A good coaching program will cover all aspects of the exams, from the format and structure to the types of questions you can expect. The program will also provide you with ample opportunities to practice your skills, including mock exams and feedback on your performance.

In addition, a coach can help you develop strategies to manage your time effectively during the exam and deal with stress and anxiety. By preparing thoroughly for these exams with the help of a coach, you can feel confident and ready to perform your best on test day.

Improving Professional Opportunities

In today’s globalized world, speaking fluent English is becoming increasingly important in many professional fields. Whether you’re in business, education, or healthcare, good communication skills are essential for success. By enrolling in a coaching program for spoken English, you can improve your ability to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, and patients.

Not only can improved English skills help you perform better in your current job, but they can also open up new career opportunities. Many companies and organizations require employees to have strong English language skills, and being able to communicate effectively in English can give you a competitive edge in the job market.

Moreover, speaking fluent English can also help you build relationships with people from different countries and cultures. This can be especially important if you work in a multinational company or have clients from around the world.

A coaching program can provide you with the skills you need to succeed in your professional life. By improving your spoken English skills, you can become a more confident and effective communicator, which can ultimately lead to greater success and advancement in your career.

In conclusion, if you want to improve your spoken English skills and achieve your language goals, enrolling in a coaching program could be an effective solution. These programs can be customized to suit your needs and can help you become a more confident and effective communicator.

property manager looking at building, cartoon style, english learning

Using English as a property manager

property manager working hard to look after buildings in a cartoon style
property manager working hard to look after buildings in a cartoon style

A quick guide on English and the property management industry

As a property manager, it is essential to have excellent communication skills, and it all starts with mastering the language of communication. English has become a universal language, and using it effectively in your line of work is crucial for success. Here are some tips on how to use English as a property manager.

Master the basics

It’s important to learn basic English rules such as sentence structure, tenses, and grammar. Having a good comprehension of these basics will make it easier for you to communicate effectively with anyone.

Keep it brief and concise

When speaking or writing in English, it’s important to keep your message brief and to the point. Long-winded communication can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. So, be clear and concise in your messages.

Learn property management terminology

Property management has its terminology, and it’s essential to learn them. Understanding these terms will make communication easier between you and your clients, tenants, and other property management professionals. Follow the link if you want to practise

Download a pdf of property management vocabulary here

Use appropriate tone and language

It’s crucial to understand the appropriate tone and language to use in different situations. For example, formal language is more appropriate when communicating with your clients or other professionals, whereas casual language is more suitable for communicating with your tenants.

Listen actively

Communication is a two-way street, and active listening is key. Listening carefully to your clients, tenants, and other professionals will help you understand their needs and suggest effective solutions.

Mastering English as a property manager will undoubtedly make you more effective in your line of work. So, take the time to learn and use these tips to communicate effectively with all involved parties in your property management career.

As you know, managing a property can be a complex task, and it requires a range of skills and knowledge to ensure success. From tenant relations to maintenance and repairs, property management involves a variety of responsibilities. Similarly, the construction industry is a challenging and dynamic field, requiring a range of skills and knowledge to complete a project successfully. In this blog post, we will explore various topics related to property management and the construction industry, including common challenges and best practices.

About Property Management

Property management involves overseeing a property’s day-to-day operations and ensuring that it remains profitable and well-maintained. Successful property management involves various aspects, including tenant relations, maintenance, and marketing. Here are some common challenges in property management and best practices to overcome them:

  • Maintenance: One of the most common challenges in property management is maintenance. Ensuring that a property is well-maintained is essential for attracting and retaining tenants. Regular inspections can help identify any maintenance or repair needs, and prompt action can help prevent more extensive damage. Responding promptly to maintenance requests is another critical aspect of successful property management.
  • Tenant Relations: Another essential aspect of property management is tenant relations. Building positive relationships with tenants can help improve tenant satisfaction and reduce the likelihood of disputes. Addressing tenant complaints and concerns promptly and professionally can help build trust and prevent potential conflicts.
  • Lease Agreements: Lease agreements are a critical aspect of property management. Lease agreements outline the terms and conditions of the tenant’s tenancy, including rent, security deposits, and lease terms. Consistent enforcement of lease terms and conditions is important to ensure that all tenants are treated fairly.
  • Tenant Screening: Screening potential tenants is another essential aspect of property management. Thoroughly screening potential tenants before approving their application can help ensure that they are a good fit for the property and reduce the likelihood of problems down the line.
  • Property Appraisal: Property appraisal is the process of evaluating a property’s value. Property appraisals are necessary for various reasons, including determining the rental rate for the property and marketing the property to prospective tenants.

Managing a property or overseeing a project requires a range of skills and knowledge. From tenant relations to project management, there are many challenges to overcome. However, by implementing best practices and prioritizing communication and transparency, property managers can ensure success.

Test your knowledge of the property management industry

By taking our quiz and stay updated on industry news by subscribing to our newsletter.

In addition, as an English speaker, you have an advantage in the property management industry, as English is the language of business worldwide. Being proficient in English will allow you to communicate effectively with a diverse range of clients, contractors, and stakeholders. Therefore, it’s wise to invest in English language courses or materials to enhance your communication abilities and increase your marketability as a property manager.

Success! You're on the list.

In conclusion, property management is a complex and challenging field requiring a range of skills and knowledge. However, by implementing best practices, prioritizing communication and transparency, and investing in improving your English proficiency, you can ensure success and excel in your career as a property manager. Stay tuned for more blog posts on property management and the construction industry.

How to Choose the Right Spoken English Coaching for You

If you’re looking to improve your spoken English skills, enrolling in a coaching program can be a great way to achieve your goals. However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. This guide will help you navigate the factors to consider when choosing a spoken English coaching program, so you can make an informed decision.

Determine Your Goals and Needs.

Before choosing a spoken English coaching program, it’s important to determine your goals and needs. Are you looking to improve your pronunciation, expand your vocabulary, or gain confidence in speaking? Do you need a program that is flexible and can accommodate your schedule? Understanding your goals and needs will help you narrow down your options and choose a program that is tailored to your specific needs.

Research the Coaching Options Available.

The first step in choosing the right spoken English coaching for you is to research the options available. Look for coaching programs that have a good reputation and positive reviews from past students. Consider the teaching methods used, the qualifications of the instructors, and the level of support provided to students. It’s also important to consider the cost and whether the program fits within your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from friends or colleagues who have taken a similar course. By doing your research, you can make an informed decision and choose a coaching program that will help you achieve your goals.

Check the Qualifications and Experience of the Coaches.

When choosing a spoken English coaching program, it’s important to consider the qualifications and experience of the coaches. Look for programs that have experienced and qualified instructors who have a strong command of the English language. You may also want to consider coaches who have experience working with students from your native language background, as they may be better equipped to understand and address your specific needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for information about the coaches’ qualifications and experience before enrolling in a program. A good coaching program will be transparent about the qualifications of their instructors and will be happy to provide this information to prospective students.

Look for Reviews and Testimonials from Previous Students.

One of the best ways to gauge the effectiveness of a spoken English coaching program is to look for reviews and testimonials from previous students. These can give you valuable insights into the quality of the program and the experiences of other students. Look for reviews on the program’s website, social media pages, and other online platforms. You can also reach out to current or former students directly to ask about their experiences. Keep in mind that no program will have 100% positive reviews, but look for patterns in the feedback to get a sense of the program’s strengths and weaknesses.

Consider the Location, Schedule, and Cost of the Coaching.

When choosing a spoken English coaching program, it’s important to consider practical factors like location, schedule, and cost. Look for a program that is conveniently located and has a schedule that works for you. Consider whether you prefer in-person classes or online instruction. Additionally, compare the cost of different programs and make sure you’re getting good value for your money. Keep in mind that the most expensive program isn’t always the best, and a lower-priced program may still offer high-quality instruction.

Choosing the right spoken English coaching program can be overwhelming, but by considering your goals and needs, researching available options, checking the qualifications and experience of the coaches, looking for reviews and testimonials from previous students, and considering practical factors like location, schedule, and cost, you can make an informed decision. Remember, finding the right program for you can take time and effort, but it’s an investment in your future and your ability to communicate effectively in English.

SME climate hub committed business

The SME Climate Hub is an initiative of the We Mean Business Coalition, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, the United Nations Race to Zero campaign and the International Chamber of Commerce. This partnership is an exercise in radical collaboration that opens the doors for SMEs to join the United Nations Race to Zero campaign — an international campaign that brings together an unprecedented coalition of real economy actors and 120 governments committed to achieve net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.

In collaboration with the Net Zero team at Oxford University, the SME Climate Hub provides tools and resources to enable SMEs to make a climate commitment, take action and measure their progress.​ It is our belief that climate action is everyone’s business.
We know that many businesses like ours are faced with the challenge of transitioning to a low-carbon economy. But we also know that SMEs are vital in driving change and will play a key role in achieving the net zero targets set by the UK government.

That’s why we’re proud to have signed up to the SME Climate Commitment, meaning we’re ready to take action to reduce emissions, develop green energy initiatives and engage with new green technologies.

The SME Climate Hub has been created to help SMEs meet the commitment.

By joining the SME Climate Hub, we’ll get access to a range of tools and resources, such as:

-A way to measure, track and report our carbon emissions
– Advice on setting targets
– Access to green energy initiatives
– Monthly webinars from experts on relevant concepts
– A forum to support discussion, problem-solving, and collaborative action

We’re confident that through tools such as these we’ll achieve our net zero goals and contribute to helping the EU become as climate-friendly as possible

We’re proud to have made the SME Climate Commitment. Join me and get access to a range of tools to plan how you’ll get to net zero: @SMEClimateHub 

Home – SME Climate Hub

How to speak English fluently

Practice regularly:

The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with the language. Try to speak English as much as possible, whether it’s with native speakers or other learners.

Improve your vocabulary:

The more words you know, the more easily you will be able to express yourself. Try reading books, watching movies, or listening to podcasts in English to expose yourself to new words and phrases.

Immerse yourself in the language:

Surround yourself with English as much as possible. Listen to music, watch TV shows and movies, and try to find opportunities to speak with fluent speakers.

Be patient:

Learning a new language takes time and effort, so be patient with yourself and don’t get discouraged. With practice and dedication, you can become more fluent in English.

Listen to fluent or native level speakers:

Pay attention to how they use the language, including their intonation, stress, and rhythm. This will help you develop a better sense of how the language sounds and how to use it more naturally.

Find a language exchange partner:

Practice speaking with someone who is learning your native language. This will give you the opportunity to speak English in a low-pressure setting and receive feedback on your pronunciation and grammar.

Take an English course:

Consider taking a online English course with Shaun Trezise. This will provide you with structured lessons and feedback from a teacher who offers a personalized approach to cater to each student’s unique learning style and needs.

Use English as much as possible:

Try to use English as much as possible in your daily life. This could include setting your phone and computer to English, listening to English-language music, or joining an English-language club or group.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes:

It’s natural to make mistakes when learning a new language, so don’t be afraid to try new things and make errors. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with speaking English.

Any questions? Comment below or contact me

Email Us

What are some reasons to learn a new language in the New Year?

Here are 5 reasons to learn a new language in the New Year:

Improved communication:

Learning a new language can improve your ability to communicate with people who speak that language. This can be especially useful if you plan to travel to a country where the language is spoken or if you want to connect with people from a different cultural background.

Improved job prospects:

Being fluent in more than one language can be a valuable skill in the job market, as it can make you a more competitive candidate for certain jobs.

Improved brain function:

Studies have shown that learning a new language can have positive effects on cognitive function, including improved memory and problem-solving skills.

Cultural enrichment:

Learning a new language can also give you insight into the culture and history of the people who speak it. This can broaden your perspective and deepen your appreciation for other cultures.

Personal satisfaction:

Finally, learning a new language can be a rewarding personal accomplishment that can give you a sense of pride and accomplishment.

A review of “How to teach business English: tips and techniques for developing yourself as a BE trainer with Helen Strong”

It was a beautiful summer day when we made our way down to Potsdam to hear Helen Strong give her workshop on “How to teach business English”. Despite the best efforts of Deutsche Bahn, it was a great turnout with around 30 teachers, trainers, language school owners and other miscellaneous ELTABB members attending down at the University of Potsdam. Helen herself had driven up from Ingolstadt the night before on her motorbike, so presumably was spared all public transport related dilemmas.


What I want to do in this review is describe the ideas that Helen put forward and also provide feedback of how it went when I put them into practise. On the day, we started off with speed networking; the classroom was rearranged into four rows of chairs, facing each other in two lines, with 3 questions provided by Helen, and three minutes to get the answer from the person opposite before the bell rang and we moved on to the next person. I really like it as an icebreaker; I ended up talking to ELTABB members that I had never spoken to before and what I especially like was that when the activity ended, Helen left us there in our new positions. It meant I went from my teacher’s pet position on the front row, right to the back row but it also meant I got out of my comfort zone of interacting with people that i already knew well. This is always a good thing!


I tried this out with two classes after the workshop and both times it was a success. The first group was actually a beginners group, and it still worked well. I asked them what they wanted to know when they met new people and we crowd sourced the questions. I also did with an intermediate group with some randomly chosen conversation questions. What I learned here was that I really needed a bell like Helen has. As she said it is important to explain the task beforehand, and I think the repetition aspect that is inherent in it really helps get learners going in a lesson.


The next discussion was about the difference between teachers and trainers. I don’t think it’s controversial to say there is a huge difference between teaching 30 school children and a 1-on-1 session with a business person. The way English language professionals approach this is still up for debate. The main point I took away from this was how we as workers shouldn’t undersell our knowledge and abilities, and also that it’s important that we are clear what they are for each of us.


The next section was about the importance of a needs analysis. Helen’s opinion was that this is a critical step for a taking on a new client as a BE trainer, and should be non-negotiable. We discussed the various ways you can carry out a needs analysis, including shadowing, interviews or questionnaires. I decided to test this with a potential new client of mine. I began with an interview with the department head. She was very clear that the workers needed English due to a switch in the computer systems in the company from German to English, which is happening in August. Before the workshop with Helen, this would have been enough for me to begin with. In this case, I decided to use the needs analysis form that had been provided by Helen.

Part One looked like this

Teil 1

It’s a tickbox exercise covering many typical business interactions. I had twelve respondents, who I met for an individual face to face meeting, and what is interesting is that none of them mentioned computer systems, even after some gentle prodding from me. The biggest concern for nearly all of them was telephone English or speaking with English speaking colleagues. As this was different from I had initially been told, it already highlighted how useful this tool was going to be.


Part two caused some confusion at first, but after some explaining, and some thinking most got the gist of it. This particular cohort only only communicates with two groups of people in English: tenants and Swedish colleagues. So I didn’t get too much new information here, but I think that comes down to this particular situation. In a more varied international setting its value would increase a lot.

Teil 2

Part Three was particularly interesting. Again no mention of the forthcoming computer system change. However it provided a lot of topics will be used in upcoming lessons. The fact it was in German relaxed the students, although one was frustrated that she couldn’t express herself as she wanted in English. Overall I think that Helen’s advice to allow German at this stage is definitely sound advice. Different students used that permission to differing degrees, some wanting an early start to their practise, others wanting to get their reasons across in German.

teil 3.png

The final section was a description of English language capabilities taken from the CEFR framework. I have to be honest and say I didn’t get much benefit from this, except perhaps a small psychological insight. I found students were very poor at correctly identifying their ability. Some who used English very well were marking themselves as an A1 and others who couldn’t complete a sentence in English were marking themselves as B2. Obviously, there will always be outliers but I’m not sure if I would include it in a needs analysis of my own. Overall, I found the document to be a very useful tool for a BE trainer and I am now firmly on the needs analysis bandwagon.

teil 4.png

After all that, we had a break with a very nice spread laid on by the organisers. What I particularly liked was that Helen was very accessible here, as I had some questions that I wanted her opinion on. It was interesting to hear that networking brought in far more business for her than her website did. Which makes the next Stammtisch with ELTABB even more vital!


After the break we returned with a look at business skills starting with the six classic skills. What Helen did next which I found very interesting was transitioning these into functional skills. The business matrix that she used makes this very straightforward. The key point there sís inter… Rather than learning the six skills in solution, the suggestion is to see how these skills are usually used. I would highly recommend the use of her business skills matrix for devising training sessions when a specific purpose can be identified. Following this was a focus on culture in the workplace and a discussion of how these sometimes difficult issues could be addressed.


The penultimate segment dealt with the difference between International Business English (IBE), where at least one speaker has English as a first language, and Business English as a Lingua Franca (BELF), where none of the participant share English as a mother tongue. I found this idea very interesting, and getting the terminology made this different ideas more concrete. These particular issues and how you deal with them, are taking on increasing influence in Germany and particularly Berlin. The point being that communication and comprehension have to be the key as BE trainers. The week after I found myself saying to a student “That expression doesn’t exist in English” but when she asked me what was wrong, I had to admit there was no mistake. The sentence was grammatically and semantically sound. This prompted the workshop to pop into my head, and this reinforced my decision to change my mind with the reaction to the student. The sentence was acceptable International English, the other students, as well as me, had understood when it was spoken. What Helen Strong focused on, as I understood it,  was making students aware of what barriers to communication might exist, and her argument that language is really the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to BE training seemed particularly apposite here.


The workshop finished with a description of the Cert IBET, which the workshop took a lot of information from and Helen is a provider of. The pitch was good, especially as we all know how much Germany loves certificates! As Helen said, it is something which could make a trainer stand out from the crowd, and my feeling on the day was that some attendees were interested in having her return to Berlin to provide it. I think I might be one of them, so if there are any other like minded members we should discuss it (on Ning of course!)

Overall, there was a lot of interesting point discussed, and as I’ve shown, plenty which can be put into practise. What I liked the most, that I’m definitely planning on using is the business skills matrix, and the necessity of a needs analysis is now a firmly held belief.

What about you? What did you find interesting? Was there anything you disagreed with?  


Don’t forget to check out the slides from the workshop!


Berlin: The ″Carnival of Cultures″ | DW Travel | DW.COM | 13.05.2016

Every year during Pentecost weekend, Berlin residents and lots of tourists gather in Kreuzberg district for a celebration of cultural diversity. It’s a great chance to get delicious, authentic food and learn more about the people who live in this amazing city.

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is a vibrant and diverse city with a rich cultural history. One of the most significant cultural events that takes place in Berlin every year is the Carnival of Cultures. This event, which is held over the course of four days in late May, celebrates the diversity of the city’s inhabitants and their cultural heritage.

The Carnival of Cultures is a colorful and lively event that features a parade of floats, live music, and traditional dances from around the world. It is attended by thousands of people from all over Berlin and is considered to be one of the largest street festivals in Europe. The parade is led by a group of samba dancers and drummers, followed by an array of colorful floats representing different cultures and countries. The floats are decorated with traditional costumes, flags, and other cultural symbols, and they are usually accompanied by groups of dancers and musicians.

The event is not only a celebration of different cultures but also a platform for integration and learning. It is a great opportunity for visitors to learn more about different cultures, customs and traditions. The festival is also a great way to meet people from different backgrounds and to improve your language skills. The event is a great opportunity to practice your English as many visitors come from different countries. Especially when you meet people from other countries, you can learn a lot about different cultures and customs.

The festival also includes a wide range of food and drink stalls, offering a diverse selection of traditional dishes from around the world. Visitors can enjoy delicious food and drink from different cultures and countries, including African, Asian, and European cuisine.

The Carnival of Cultures is not only a celebration of the diversity of the city’s inhabitants but also a celebration of the city itself. Berlin is a city with a rich cultural heritage, and the festival is a great way to experience this heritage. The event is a great opportunity to learn more about the city and its history, as well as to enjoy the stimulating and fiery atmosphere of the city.

In conclusion, the Berlin Carnival of Cultures is a vibrant and diverse event that celebrates the cultural heritage of the city’s inhabitants. It is a great opportunity to learn more about different cultures, customs, and traditions, and also to improve your language skills. The event is a great way to experience the rich cultural heritage of Berlin and to enjoy the unique atmosphere of the city. It is a must-see event for anyone visiting Berlin and is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant and diverse culture.

Source: Berlin: The ″Carnival of Cultures″ | DW Travel | DW.COM | 13.05.2016