to practice for a job

to get things going       to practice for a specific job     to practice a grammar point

Many adult learners ask for conversation practice with a specific objective in mind. Whether it be business English or coaching for academic English, some learners have a specific goal in mind. This page offers links to first language material that is job focused. The purpose is to generate discussion around job-specific vocabulary and perhaps even expose learners to cultural beliefs and practices within their professional community. After all, language is not the only thing involved in communication.

Business ◊ Sales ◊ Science

Business English

The Wall Street JournalNot the easiest for basic learners, but the WSJ is pretty much the reference for business English vocabulary. If you dig a little you might find easier texts to use as a starting point for business-related discussion. Sometimes just scanning for words can be interesting to do. Articles

The Harvard Business Review's Most Popular
A nicely selected group of articles from the Harvard Business Review. Wide range of business topics, there is something for all business concerns and interests and can be a great launch pad for a business English lesson. Articles

Top 15 Most Popular Business Websites
You may have to dig a little more for the perfect article, but this is a good starting point to look for business-related information. If you want native sounding authentic material this is a good start for business English.   Website

TED Ideas about BusinessWhat can I say...I love TED talks. The speakers are engaging, you can put close captioning to help comprehension, they are real and they inspire. You can make great "TED lessons worth sharing" out of these presentations. Always a great way to get a business-related discussion going. Video

ForbesSomething for all business interests, the themes included in Forbes should get the business English vocabulary flowing. If you have more basic students, you can scaffold the exercise by describing the photos, making predictions from titles and even scanning for important words. Articles

Yahoo! Finance Rated #1 in the top 15 business websites. Personally I would need a crash course in finance lingo get the most out of this site. But it is all there. Articles

The Business Insider Quick and concise articles in business and finance. Short paragraphs and rich vocabulary. Articles

The Tim Ferriss Show Podcast The Tim Ferriss show is a well followed podcast that can be listened to online as well as on the go. They don't speak too too quickly and do cover topics that can conjure some interesting business English vocabulary. Podcasts are not everyone's favourite, but they are so great to train learner's ear for native accents and expressions. You can use it in a session, or recommend it as self-directed learning they can do while dog walking or commuting. Podcast

Planet Money Podcast by NPR National Public Radio's podcast on business news. Good commentators and great topics. Rather than hunt around for an ESL listen activity, this is way better and more a propos to practice business English. Podcast

BusinessEnglishPod The site is full of audio and video material for learning business English. It is conceived for ESL, so not a first language resource, but the material features authentic situations and topics that will develop your business ear and vocabulary for sure. The material is a little one-directional in that I did not find and questions, or discussion topics. So basically you listen and absorb. Still a great resource for teachers.  Podcast

Crash Course: EntrepreneurshipFunny, pertinent and bare-bones, this is a awesome series of YouTube tutorials that highlight all the key concepts and vocabulary associated with business and entrepreneurship.  If you want your business students to 'talk the talk' this is a great place to start. The speaker is a fast talker, so I suggest turning on the CC feature and slowing down the video. This is a journey that will make both you and your students go to bed a little less ignorant.

7 Habits by Stephen Covey
Love it or hate it, Stephen Covey's 7 Habits for Highly Effective People is pretty much on every business person's bedside table (mine included). Here we listen to Covey's son talk about the fable that initiated the book. A nice discussion tool. Video

Sales English

Sales Hacker Sales Hacker is rated as the #1 source for all things sales. Here I am linking the extensive list of podcasts because they make for great ESL discussion launch pads. However, I would encourage you to look through the entire site...trainings, webinars and articles. Bound to get the sales talk flowing. Podcast

YouTube on SalesGreat list of YouTube presentations on a variety of sales related topics. Video

Science English

Scitable is a subsidiary of, the most important journal repository in science. Scitable offers online courses, videos, podcasts, laymen's articles of all sorts. If I were you, I would let the participants tell you what they want to look at. There is so much stuff and the mind of the scientist is so complex (I am married to one), I would let them drive and take you along for the ride.  Website

One of the top visited Websites for scientific news, Discover is mostly articles. There are some podcasts, but I would not recommend them for ESL. Still there is a lot of photography and just the headlines can sparks a natural context to talk science.  Website


ASAP Science

ASAP Science is a kid friendly YouTube channel presenting answers for science questions and issues. A great place to start for science English. Their animations are well done and the topics they chose can be sometimes controversial, which can make for good discussions if your group isn't too litigious.   YouTube Channel


It's Okay To Be Smart

It's O.K. to be Smart is a PBS YouTube channel that is full of short (under 10 min) clips on a variety of scientifically related topics. Perhaps NOT for a hard core PhD student who needs more pointed vocab, but for the average science aficionado, this is a treasure trove of great materials  YouTube Channel