Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you practice self study when it comes to learning English?

Have you considered this as a way of complementing the other ways in which you learn?

Today we’re talking about self study when it comes to Business English, and how you can make this an effective learning method for you.

We have a special guest, Skip Montreux from Down to Business English, on with us to give us three tips to help us improve at this and be much more effective.

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Business English Is So Important

So if you haven’t really focused on self study, there is no time like the present.

If you have then you can always work to improve it.

This can work particularly well with business English, which is something that most of us can improve upon.

Today our guest Skip from Down To Business English, shows us three tips if to maximize your business English if you want to improve your overall speaking.

Business English is such an important part of your professional life, and so it is something that you want to focus on moving forward.

Our special guest, Skip Montreux, specializes in business English and has focused on this for 15 years.

He is from Canada, but has been living in Japan for over 20 years.

He has observed so many differences in Japan as opposed to where he is from in Canada.

One such thing he has observed is just how dense the population is within Japan— there are so many people there compared to other parts of the world!

We’re going to talk about business English today, as it’s a very important concept for our students and English learners overall.

Skip is going to help us to determine how to be more effective, and how to really make this work for you in the best way possible.

Three Tips To Help You Be More Successful With Self Study

Self study can be particularly helpful when it comes to learning business English.

Skip is going to share with us three tips to be more successful when we do self study.

This is very important because it can be something that is done independently outside of the classroom.

It may also be something done in tandem with what you are doing in a classroom.

It’s important to focus on some self study in your regimen, and if possible supplement with a class as well.

1. Make self study part of your daily life: It’s so important because it becomes your normal. You don’t want to cram in studying for a test in just one day, and this works much the same way. You would much rather study 4-5 times a week for even 15 minutes each day. Create a good balance that focuses on acquisition and repetition overall. These two things should work in conjunction with each other.

You want to learn new vocabulary and speak out loud and use repetition, for that is what will help you to stay on track. You have enough passive learning, but you have to put it to work for you. It may be as simple as speaking aloud along with audio like a podcast to follow along with. Be aggressive with working those mouth muscles and almost retraining yourself to say things a certain way. You have to speak loudly in a new language, and not be shy about it. This will help you to formulate the words and sounds, and then the repetition will help you to commit it to memory. You have what you need and then it’s a matter of how to speak!

2. Every student must create and maintain some sort of vocabulary activation system: There are a lot of apps for vocabulary learning, but you need to create your own system. This could be a notebook or it may be a simple Excel spreadsheet. This is your system to create, and it needs to be focused on what works best for you! If you were to use Excel, you could create a column for the new word word, a column for the pronunciation, one for a sample sentence, and one for the source you learned it from. Sort this out and then produce it on your own out loud.

It doesn’t have to be Excel, just find the medium you are likely to go back to. This is the same philosophy and approach as time management, and finding a system that works for you. Just find what works best for you and that you will utilize the most! You want to focus on useful language and passive language, and there’s a distinction. Pay attention to words that you may see on paper but don’t use much, as those are the passive words and should just go into your overall system. Even if you don’t encounter a given word very much, put it in your system. You may use it at a later time, and you certainly want to be sure to have it available to you if you want to use it later. This is your activation system at work for you—full of active and useful vocabulary that you can use at anytime.

3. Expose yourself to authentic language: This will vary depending on what you need, but be sure that you expose yourself to the language that you will use. It should be related to what you do and what you focus on each day. The Internet can be a very useful resource, as many students find something like YouTube to be very helpful. The Business Insider Channel on YouTube can be an excellent resource to use on a regular basis. Hit the pause button as you listen, take some notes, look up words that you don’t know, collect them in your activation system, and then listen to it again. This is beyond what teachers can provide on a regular basis, so this is above and beyond what you would learn in just a classroom alone.

Be sure to use your resources that are available to you—such as All Ears English where you can listen to the podcast and then use the transcripts in addition to this.

If you can’t catch something the first time, you can go back and listen to it. Some other channels on YouTube include: Bloomberg, CNN Money, CNN Ten (aimed at ESL students), Wall Street Journal, and even Fox Business can be good.

Really Making This Work For You

There are always helpful ways to add to your self study routine, and you want to continue to let this evolve for you.

In terms of reading, you should be using news websites to help here.

You can read about domestic news, but then go back and read it again in English, and that’s huge.

There are almost always English resources that you can use or find to help supplement your learning in this area.

You have to know the context to really learn English, but you already have that if you are reading something in your domestic news.

You can really make business English your own, and all of this will help—now the ball is in your court!

You can find Skip at where they take a story from somewhere in the world and then they break it down there.

For every episode there’s a free audio script that you can download and utilize, so this is another thing to add to your system.

Modern business issues are fascinating, and you can learn this from Skip and really get yourself tuned into this.

You can reach out to Skip if you want him to cover certain topics, so it can be a great resource overall.


Learning business English is so important to your professional life, and so you want to place a strong emphasis on this.

Using self study is an important way to master business English, and it will help you to improve dramatically.

These methods presented here will help you with self study, and this will all help you to be more successful.

Create your own system that works for you so that you stay motivated and can really make self study an important way of learning business English and being successful.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Skip’s Bio:

Originally from Saskatchewan, Canada, Skip Montreux has been living and teaching English in Tokyo, Japan since 1997. For the past 15 years he has been primarily focused on corporate language training, helping business people from a wide range of industries and professions communicate their ideas and opinions on the global stage.

He is also the executive producer and co-host of Down to Business English: Business News for your Business English.

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