TESOL and Business … Strange bedfellows?
I was asked the other day why Teach International offers a Diploma of Business. These two areas of study seem polarised … TESOL and Business.
A pretty fair question as we often defend why we keep such a narrow scope of qualifications… basically three … Cert IV in TESOL and Diploma of TESOL and a Diploma of Business. Most training organisations offer a plethora of qualifications… seemingly “Jacks of all Trades and Masters of None” is the best way I can describe this…. but we have resisted this norm.
So what is the relationship between TESOL and Business?
What we do know is that most of our students gain their TESOL qualification so they can get a job teaching English and travel the world. This is by no means a small undertaking and success will require some very specific skills… as Liam Neeson in the blockbuster film Taken would say “I have a very particular set of skills”. We have selected 8 subjects that arm our graduates with some “very particular skills” that will assist them in launching their TESOL / ESL career. Entrepreneurial spirits typically have a set of transferable skills that drives their success. The skills and knowledge that can be gained from a Business Qualification will provide a foundation set of transferable skills which will span many careers. These skills include:
Critical and creative thinking
Developing thinking skills and an enquiring mind where you will:
- Analyse problems and evaluate solutions.
- Use your judgment and make decisions.
- Engage in reflective and creative thinking.
Research and analysis
Ability to recognise when information is needed and the capacity to locate, evaluate and use information effectively through the use of:
- Analytical and search skills.
- Business models and frameworks.
- Data analysis.
- Information technologies.
All employers want graduates who are able to communicate knowledge, ideas, recommendations and decisions effectively. They will expect you to:
- Have sound oral and written communication skills, including the ability to make professional presentations.
- Develop coherent and justified arguments.
- Have strong interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to work in teams.
- Effectively consult and negotiate.
- Use contemporary communication technologies effectively.
Possess an understanding of values and attitudes consistent with your role as a citizen and member of your professional community, where you will need to:
- Identify and deal with ethical issues.
- Interact effectively with and show sensitivity towards others.
- Exercise leadership in local, national, global and professional communities.
- Adapt to uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
We have added a subject around “Identifying and evaluating marketing opportunities” which in my experience is a MUST HAVE when launching your new international career as a TESOL / ESL tutor or teacher.
A significant part of your brand is being a qualified and skilled Teacher of English … so it is not a big stretch to take your brand on board in a business context. Business relates to the buying and selling of goods, services and information – important exchanges in almost any area of life! As the world becomes more dependent on globalised trade, the demand for well-trained business people grows stronger. There are currently almost 1.5 billion people studying English across the globe. This presents an incredible opportunity for great English Teachers to achieve their work & travel goals. But the best opportunities are often competitive. You will need that “particular set of skills” to develop and hone your competitive edge.
So maybe TESOL and Business are not such strange bedfellows after all …