Business/Professional English


Business English is English especially related to international trade. It is a specialism within English language learning and teaching. Many non-native English speakers study the subject with the goal of doing business with English-speaking countries, or with companies located outside the Anglosphere but which nonetheless use English as a shared language or lingua franca. Much of the English communication that takes place within business circles the world over occurs between non-native speakers.

Similarly, Professional English focuses on vocabulary and topics used in the worlds of business, trade, finance, and international relations. It also refers to the communication skills used in the workplace, and focuses on the language and skills needed for typical business communication such as presentations, negotiations, meetings, small talk, socializing, correspondence, report writing, and so on. It can also be a form of international English.


English for the world of work

More than ever, a good knowledge of English is needed to succeed in international business and commerce: whether for working with multinational companies in your own country, or living and working abroad.

In many areas of international commerce, English is used as the common language, and if you can show you have an internationally recognised business qualification in English, you will have a greater advantage in the jobs market, and much greater flexibility if you want to work abroad.

Cambridge ESOL has a wide choice of certificates aimed at the business community that will help you get the most advantage from using English.

The Business English Certificates

The Business English Certificates (BEC) are internationally recognised qualifications that show to employers what skills the test taker has for using English in the workplace. There are different levels of BEC, reflecting the differing reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities needed for business.

BULATS Business Language Testing Service

For companies which need a rapid, accurate means of assessing the language skills of employees, BULATS offers an economical, easy to understand test and reporting system.

Available online and in paper-based formats, BULATS is a multilingual assessment service used by companies worldwide.

Cambridge ILEC

The International Legal English Certificate

For any lawyer working with international matters, English is an essential tool. It is the common language of the legal profession, of business and of international affairs. ILEC is designed to assess English language competence in a legal context.

International Certificate in Financial English

Individuals who wish to succeed in the international business community need to possess first-rate English language skills and the ability to converse with accounting and finance professionals. ICFE, developed in collaboration with ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) helps finance professionals demonstrate they have the financial English skills they need.