BE Unit 1 – Why Formal English for Professionals?

This course is for professionals who are working in English, with a minumum Intermediate level of English, but also for individuals who are starting their business career. In each unit you will learn about distinct items that will help you improve your business interactions – be it written or verbal ones.

This lesson is a podcast and it serves as an introduction to the Formal English for Professionals course. It includes an examination of the need for fine-tuning English communication skills

If your English is Intermediate (B1) or above then this course is perfect for you!

This lesson includes but is not limited to an overview of the lessons in this course.

Download Unit 1 Student Materials/Transcript

Please download the .pdf file with this lesson’s student materials.

You will benefit the most if you print them out and use them while watching the lesson.


Welcome. This course Formal English for Professionals is aimed at professionals who have already been working in English, but it’s also good for those who are still starting out. We have eight units, and in each of these units we’ll look at distinct items that can help us improve our interactions, be they written or verbal ones.

So the first unit is this podcast. Why formal English for professionals in this podcast, I’m introducing the different units that we will be looking at in the seven upcoming lessons.

Unit two, avoiding multiple negatives. And why does is important in English? Do you remember polarity from physics? Negative negative makes a positive, well, that’s the same thing in English and that is why we should avoid multiple negatives.

Unit three we look in depth at the active and passive. We don’t only look at the grammar and structures that we use, but perhaps more importantly, we look at when to use, which when do we use the active and when do we use the passive and which considerations should we keep in mind when we need to make these choices?

In the fourth unit, we look at two adverbs thereby, and therefore they can be easily confused, one for the other, but they have different meanings. One answers the questions, why the other one answers the question, how. You need to do the lesson to find out which is which.

Unit five. On the other hand, we look at parallelisms in English language and perhaps more so in writing, this helps to give our sentences structure. So when we are writing for professional purposes, clarity is of the utmost importance. And that is what this unit will help us improve in our writing.

Number six is an extremely important unit. We look at ways of being diplomatic and isn’t that so important. We don’t want to offend clients or colleagues. So we need to be a little bit more careful in the way that we speak. Ways of being diplomatic is a very interesting unit. You’re going to enjoy this one.

In unit seven, we look at gender neutral language, different strategies and techniques that we can use in this complex time that we are living in, in order to be more politically correct, and we do not offend anyone accidentally.

In the last unit Advanced Punctuation, we review some of the basics, but we also look in depth at when we use, not just the full stops or the capital letters, but also at dashes. We’ll look at colons and semi-colons the differences between them. And we also take a close look at the coma, which is a very important punctuation mark. Perhaps also, because it is so versatile.

These units were planned around real needs of learners of English who are also professionals in their sphere. So the aim is to improve your confidence so that you can transmit that knowledge that you have in English as well.

Some of these language points might be a little bit difficult or challenging. There’s a lot of support in the video itself in the students’ materials, as well as in the quizzes. But don’t forget, you can book a lesson with me anytime you want. And in these lessons, if you have any questions or queries, we will clarify them and we will cater to your needs. The upcoming seven units are interesting ones and I’m sure you’ll find them useful. So don’t forget to leave us your feedback as well. We always look out for the written comments underneath the videos. Thank you for listening and for registering for this course. See you in the next lesson.

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