How to learn business English for free and the best free business English tools to help you
Some time ago, I went through my bookshelf and discovered this…
I found a few of my grandfather’s English books.
These were the only resources he used to teach himself English. Can you believe it?
Language learning has changed so much until now.
Today, we live in a time where we have infinite opportunities to learn and practice English, it seems.
With all of today’s technology, we can communicate in English from anywhere in the world using free or inexpensive tools.
Today, you can learn English for free.
Now more than ever, we have numerous tools available to learn English. We can learn English to do meaningful work, earn a good living, and make a difference all over the world.
But there’s one problem…
With so many opportunities, choices, and tools to learn English, we can often be more confused and overwhelmed.
We need to make choices even if it’s free.
Back in the day, there weren’t many options to learn a language: A bilingual dictionary, a grammar book, some American music on the radio…
Have you ever asked yourself:
- Are all of these tools really helping me learn the language?
- With so many apps and other tools out there, how can you choose the best one?
You are not alone.
I know how difficult it is to choose the right resources to really make progress in English.
That’s why I created an overview of my favorite tools and resources to learn English for business.
See also: Recommended Business English Learning Tools
How to Learn Business English for Free
Today I am sharing 4 steps to learn business English for free and 20 free business English tools to help you.
1) Start with a general course teaching you vocabulary and grammar
With so many free tools, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Taking an online business English course will guide you in the beginning and help you build a daily study practice.
Are you looking for a guided program to learn Business English phrases and expressions? This is one of the best ways to start learning Business English vocabulary. The Mosalingua app helps you remember useful phrases. I like their method for learning for your long-term memory and the guided approach of the app.
This is one of my favorite tools for language learning in general. Memrise is a great way to get started. The free version of the app offers courses, it’s easy to use, and best of all: There are many different courses. Here are some Business English specializations for you:
A free online university course
Free MOOCs are a great introduction for your learning habit. They are guided and last a few weeks. Experts teach you the most important skills. You can be part of a global learning community on websites, such as Futurelearn, Coursera or EdX.
Get an overview of free online Business English courses here:
2) Balance different learning methods and follow your interests
Next, a great way to learn business English effectively is to find out which learning method you prefer. You might enjoy watching videos, listening to podcasts, or reading blog posts.
But it’s important to use different approaches, not only one.
Read more: Why you need a process – not more motivation – to learn English successfully
I think the best way to learn any language is to find content in the language based on your own personal interests.
Ask yourself: What am I interested in?
This way, you become familiar with the pronunciation and grammar and build your vocabulary.
Try different learning tools and choose a few different ones. Then, use them regularly.
Follow your interests and have fun!
3) Practice all language skills
To become a fluent and confident English speaker, we need to learn all four language skills:
Here are my favorite tools and resources to improve your English skills for business:
Reading & Listening Material
This tool lets you “collect” new English words while reading. Here, you can find reading material or import interesting texts from books, articles or websites. This lets you practice important words and read something interesting in English. You can also translate new words and review flashcards of the new vocabulary.
BBC English at work
An engaging series of video lessons for business English learners. These are free English lessons by BBC Learning English for intermediate learners.
Here you can find free video lessons to learn the English language. Their videos can be found on Youtube, as well. I highly recommend their fantastic section with business English lessons!
Listen & Write
This dictation tool is not really for business English, but it’s fun nonetheless. You practice your listening skills by hearing about news stories, technology, and more. The site offers many entertaining lessons.
Magazines are great places to find interesting articles and audios on topics related to business and entrepreneurship. Some of the articles are challenging, but they are usually short and inspiring. Check out these magazines:
Do you want more ideas to practice reading in English?
Here are the best reading resources for business English learners
If you prefer shorter versions of interesting business books, this is a great app for you. Here, you can read summaries of the most popular business books. With Blinkist Basic you can read one free book summary per day. The summaries are inspiring and motivating. They give you fresh ideas for your professional life. Blinkist also offers many audio versions of the summaries.
Podcasts are so practical. You can listen to interesting audios on your way to work, while doing sports, or even while working.
I especially like these two business English podcasts:
Speaking & Writing Tools
Try these tools if you want to improve your English writing:
The Best Apps for Better Business Writing in English
I know writing in English is hard. A good web-based proofreader can make it much easier. This free tool checks your text and shows you any big mistakes that you made. It corrects your spelling and grammar mistakes in your text.
Do you want to improve your writing skills in English without a teacher? I recommend this service to simplify your text and get feedback for free.
BBC English Skillswise
This online service of the BBC is suitable for adult English learners who want to improve their written and speaking skills. They offer you several types of training:
This app is my favorite writing tool for non-native English speakers. It helps you write any text for your job, whether you are in business or in academia. You can translate words, find the right word for your sentence, see how words are used in context in real writing examples, and listen to the correct pronunciation.
Need some writing tips for better business writing in English?
4) Don’t forget to practice vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar
Practice makes perfect, they say.
Repeating new vocabulary, verb forms, and pronunciation is essential.
Read more: How to remember new words in English
The following tools are useful for everyday use – at the office, too!
Here are my recommendations:
This is my absolute favorite tool to practice new words. To learn new vocabulary, check out Globify’s Business English vocabulary sets on Quizlet. I regularly add new useful Business English words for you.
Cambridge Online Dictionary
This is my favorite online English dictionary. There are many options to use the dictionary:
- as a toolbar in your browser
- make and share your own word lists
- learn specialized vocabulary in the Business English section
Grammarly Grammar Check
This is a practical automated grammar check tool that helps you with your writing & grammar in English. It edits all your written work and checks for common and advanced English grammar rules. For me, it’s THE most useful browser add-on I use in English and in business. Plus, Grammarly recently launched an iOs app! Check it out
English verb forms are difficult. Even intermediate and advanced learners need to look up a verb form every now and then. That’s where Cooljugator can help. You can find the conjugation of English verbs quickly and easily.
With Speechling you can improve your pronunciation by recording yourself. You then get feedback from real English speakers. This is a great way to notice sounds and get human feedback on your pronunciation. I like the “coaching” approach and the focus on feedback and progress, which will motivate you to improve your English pronunciation.
The site Forvo is a “pronunciation dictionary”. Whenever you want to know how to pronounce a new word or phrase, you can listen to the correct pronunciation by a native speaker on this site.
More free pronunciation tools:
7 Free tools to improve your English pronunciation
How to learn Business English for free
Successful business English learners create these four habits. They carefully choose tools to help them and practice regularly.
I hope the free tools I showed you will help you with these steps!
- Follow a general course
- Try different learning methods and follow your interests
- Practice all four English language skills: reading, writing, listening, speaking
- Improve your grammar, pronunciation, and new vocabulary
Now I would like to hear from you
What is your favorite tool for learning business English?
Share your favorite tools and resources in the comments below!
3 thoughts on “How to Learn Business English for Free in 2020 – The Ultimate Guide”
I really like the tips and suggestions that you shared for learning how to speak business English. This is something that I have been looking into more for my foreign friends so that they can learn more about how to speak professionally in English. It would be great if I could find some sort of professionals that could help with this kind of thing.
I also recommend https://lingbase.com/en/. It’s a website totally dedicated to grammar, mobile friendly, no ads, currently free:) They have six types of interactive exercises so you don’t get bored when you drill a particular grammar issue.
Thanks for the recommendation! I always like to hear about new learning resources for my readers. I will check it out!