English for Business

The books below are all in the Guides to Professional English series, first published by Springer Science in 2014.

They are aimed at students and teachers of business English. Apart from the CV book, they are NOT intended for academics.

To buy them directly from Springer, go to springer.com. This will take you to a page in your own language. In the search window type in “Guides to Professional English” and a list of the books will be displayed. You can either buy:

  • the traditional paper version
  • the eBook
  • iTunes version
  • individual chapters

You can also ‘look inside’ the books.

If you are interested in the paper version or Kindle version, then these are normally cheaper on Amazon. They vary considerably from one Amazon site to another: amazon.it usually has the best price. If you decide to buy them on Amazon, then it would be great if you could write a short review!

CVs, Resumes, and LinkedIn

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 13.34.58Are you a graduate, postgraduate or PhD student? Or are you simply looking for a new job in the private or public sector, in research or industry? If you are aged between 20 and 35, then this book is for you. Based on interviews with recruiters and HR managers, and an analysis of hundreds of CVs from around 40 different countries, the book is structured as a series of FAQs .

Topics covered include:

  • how recruiters and HR people analyse a CV

  • whether using a template is a good idea

  • the difference between a CV and a resume

  • how to present your personal details and whether to include a photo

  • how to write an Executive Summary

  • what to write in each section (Education, Work Experience, Skills, Personal Interests)

  • how to write dates

  • how to highlight your language, communication and team skills

  • how to get and write references

You will also learn some hints and strategies for writing a:

  • cover letter

  • LinkedIn profile.

  • reference letter

  • bio

The last chapter of the book contains a simple template to help you get the job of your dreams!

Email and Commercial Correspondence

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 13.35.21If you write emails and letters as part of your work, then this book is for you. By applying the suggested guidelines, you will stand a much greater chance of getting the desired reply to your emails in the shortest time possible.

Some of the key guidelines covered include:

  • Write meaningful subject lines – otherwise recipients may not even open your mail.
  • Always put the most important point in the first line – otherwise the reader may not read it.
  • Be concise and only mention what is truly relevant. Write the minimum amount possible – you will also make fewer mistakes!
  • Be a little too formal than too informal – you don’t want to offend anyone.
  • If you have two long important things to say, say them in separate emails.

  • Give clear instructions and reasonable deadlines.
  • If you need people to cooperate with you, it is essential to highlight the benefits for them of cooperating with you.

  • Empathize with your recipient’s busy workload.
  • Never translate typical phrases literally – learn equivalent phrases.

The book concludes with a chapter of useful phrases. There is also a brief introduction for trainers on how to teach Business / Commercial English.

Meetings, Negotiations and Socializing

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 13.36.06This book is a guide to taking part in meetings and negotiations, and to the socializing required before and after such events. If you are a non-native English speaker, with an intermediate level and above, and you work for a company with international relations, then this book is the solution to all your English problems!

Four main topics are covered:

  1. Meetings
  2. Negotiations
  3. Socializing
  4. How to understand fast-speaking native English speakers

This book is designed to be used like a manual or user guide – you don’t need to read it starting from page 1. Like a manual it has lots of short subsections, and is divided into short paragraphs with many bullet points. This is to help you find what you want quickly and also to assimilate the information as rapidly and as effectively as possible. The book concludes with a chapter of useful phrases.

There is an introduction for trainers on how to teach the skills required for meetings, negotiations and socializing in Business / Commercial English.

Presentations, Demos and Training Sessions

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 13.36.24This is the first book ever for non-native speakers on how to conduct technical demos and training sessions. You will also learn how to present your company, and explain your products and services. The book is designed to help both those who have never done presentations before, as well as those whose English is already good but who want to improve their presentation skills.

The focus is on language, rather than on the creation of slides from a technical / artistic point of view. This book will help you to:

  • prepare and practice a well organized, interesting and memorable presentation
  • give effective demos and training sessions either on site or via audio/video conference
  • highlight the essential points you want the audience to remember
  • avoid problems in English by using short easy-to-say sentences
  • involve your audience, check their understanding, and deal with their questions
  • improve your pronunciation
  • overcome problems with nerves and embarrassment
  • motivate your audience to listen and act on what you have said

There is an introduction for trainers on how to teach presentations and demos within a Business English course.

Telephone and Helpdesk Skills

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 13.36.48If you are a non-native English speaker and make telephone calls as part of your work, then this book is for you. By applying the suggested guidelines, you will stand a much greater chance of making an effective telephone call. You will learn how to:

  • prepare for a call both psychologically and from an English language point of view
  • receive calls (if you work on reception)
  • leave messages
  • find out about another company and talk about your own company
  • chase people (i.e. people who have not followed up your requests)
  • deal with difficult calls and callers, and improve your telephone manner
  • use the telephone while working on a help desk or helpline
  • resolve language difficulties (i.e. when you cannot understand the other person’s English)
  • improve your pronunciation
  • use resources on the Internet to improve your listening skills

The book concludes with a chapter of useful phrases.

There is a brief introduction for trainers on how to teach telephone and helpdesk skills within a Business English course.

User Guides and Manuals

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 13.35.44This book is intended for anyone whose job involves writing formal documentation. It is aimed at non-native speakers of English, but should also be of use for native speakers who have no training in technical writing.

Technical writing is a skill that you can learn and this book outlines some simple ideas for writing clear documentation that will reflect well on your company, its image and its brand.

The book has four parts:

structure and content Through examples, you will learn best practices in writing the various sections of a manual and what content to include.

clear unambiguous English You will learn how to write short clear sentences and paragraphs whose meaning will be immediately clear to the reader,.

layout and order of information Here you will find guidelines on style issues e.g. headings, bullets, punctuation and capitalization.

typical grammar and vocabulary mistakes This section is divided alphabetically covering grammatical and vocabulary issues that are typical of user manuals.


Course books for Oxford University Press


International Express, Interactive Editions: Upper-Intermediate: Student’s Pack

publication date: 2007 | ISBN-13: 978-0194597395

International Express combines general English with business situations, giving students the social and functional English they need to work, travel, and socialize. The balance of general and business English is suitable for those who need to interact in a variety of situations both in and out of the workplace.


Business Vision: Student’s Book

publication date: Feb 2002| ISBN-13: 978-1904720003

A contemporary, highly practical language course for professional adults. The book offers an intelligent and logical approach to teaching adults business english with organised and interesting lessons. This book is part of a series that contains:

  • grammar syllabus gives students the structured language input they need to improve confidence and competence
  • up-to-the-minute content from popular business literature and personalities from cutting-edge companies provide the basis for stimulating activities
  • skills work covers communication techniques as well as functional language
  • listening skills and pronunciation syllabus to improve students’ ability to understand natural speech
  • a complete e-mail writing course and tips and discussion on handling mobile phones, the Internet and other technologies

Also available:

Business Options: Student Bookpublication date: 1999 | ISBN-13: 978-0194572347Business Options completes Oxford’s series of business English courses and is suitable for professional people from all areas of business, particularly those functioning in an international environment. It is aimed at business people who already have a good working knowledge of the language, but who lack confidence when they are required to step outside their own professional area. Each of the 14 units is based around a theme, such as Performance and Trade, as a means of focusing on real business situations. These include formal scenarios inside the workplace, as well as more informal exchanges in social settings. A strong feature of the material is its attention to social and cultural awareness, often the most difficult area for students at this level.

  • 14 free-standing, theme-based units
  • clear grammar summary at the back of the book
  • files for information gap and extra activities included in a separate appendix
  • tapescripts of the listening passages

Also available: