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Business English Programs


Business English Program teaching

The English Language Institute offers special one-on-one classes for business employees and managers who need to improve their English language skills for their professions.  We take pride in our program because it not only develops English skills but also develops an understanding of how to do business in the United States.  We welcome you to our program.
The Business English Program is designed to provide trainees with a broad English language background along with the specific business English skills required to meet their professional goals.  Trainees (or company officials) are interviewed to determine the precise skills needed for job performance (such as conversational English, presentation delivery, business writing, cross-cultural communication, vocabulary building, accent reduction, and so on).  Trainees are tested to determine the level of English they have mastered. Instruction is then targeted to the individual trainee’s needs.

Individuals may enroll in Business English programs.  The ELI can also provide English training for employee groups. This can be accomplished at the university both for companies sending employees from abroad and for companies in the Houston area.  The ELI can also provide a trainer to instruct at the local company’s site.

In addition to the Business English programs listed below, the ELI can also provide cultural and professional excursions to accompany English programming for employees sent from companies abroad.  Excursions vary from in-city fieldtrips to day-trips to nearby areas of interest.  Contact the ELI Director for possible destinations and pricing.
Types of Courses
Business English courses are developed for the trainee based upon time and duration limitations, available groups at similar levels of ability, and special needs disclosed during interviewing.  A typical course may consist of several types of classes:  one-on-one classes, small group classes, laboratory training, large group conversational practice, and academic language training.  The mix depends upon the trainee and is guided by the English Language Institute’s Director along with the trainee’s company.
Types of Classes

One-on-one instructors work with the trainee using textbooks and other material that support language development.  These classes use a business content and may target a specific skills and language functions such as business writing and negotiation, or may be a general development of language ability over all skills.

In the business laboratory, the trainee works on software DVDs in a program that has been specifically selected by the trainer to target the trainee’s needs.  The laboratory is used mainly as reinforcement and practice over skills taught during other classes, although some new material is also introduced.

In the small group class, which is only offered if there are several trainees at the same language level, spoken English skills are developed using business content in activities that rely upon pairs and group activities.  These classes develop vocabulary, pronunciation, conversational fluency and presentation skills.

Trainees practice conversational functions and skills in large group conversation classes that may also contain students from other types of English programs.  The purpose of these classes is to provide a wide range of purposes and audiences so that trainees may test their language in diverse contexts.

Some trainees choose to attend one or more academic English classes.  These classes target a particular skill and focus upon an academic content.  Trainees often choose listening and speaking classes.

Types of Business Programs

Customized Business Program  (5-hour day for two weeks)

  • 3 hours of one-on-one classes
  • 1 hour of large group conversational practice
  • 1 hour of Business English laboratory practice

Intensive Business English Program  (7-hour day for two weeks)

  • 3 hours of one-on-one classes
  • 1 hour of large group conversational practice
  • 1 hour of Business English laboratory practice
  • 2 hours of academic language training

Targeted Business Training

The trainee or company and the Director can work together to create a specialized program to fit the needs and requirements of the trainee.

Special Topics Classes for Resident Professionals

Professionals (residents or citizens of the United States) may take special short-term courses of one-on-one training in targeted skills such as accent reduction, conversational fluency, business writing or other topics.  Courses are typically 12 hours in duration.  To register, contact the ELI Director.

Start Dates

Customized Business English Programs can begin at any time.  Consult with the ELI Director.

Intensive Business English Programs must coincide with the academic Intensive English Program schedule, which has 6 start dates per year.  See the calendar for start dates.

Targeted Business Training and Special Topics Classes for Resident Professionals can begin at any time.


Public universities are not allowed to accept the B visa (business or visitor’s visa).  We cannot enroll any trainee who is in the United States on a B visa.

Trainees must either obtain a student visa (F-1) from the university or obtain another acceptable visa through their company or government (such as an A visa – diplomatic;  E-1 – treaty trader;  H-3 – trainee; H1B – temporary worker;  L1 – intra-company transferee) or have some form of resident status in the United States.

Getting Started

Companies or persons interested in the business program may contact the ELI Director:

Ms. Gail Kellersberger
Telephone:  1-713-221-8047

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Last updated or reviewed on 2/19/10

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