Business English Services
  Intensive English Courses

About BES

How it all began

Business English Services began in fact in January 1994. That summer, Sue Kunst-Elliott wrote this extremely friendly article in “The Hamburger”, a local magazine for people who live in Hamburg - included here with her kind permission.

 

Business English Services

 

So many times, the same desperate plea: “I’ve got to make a presentation / negotiate a contract / attend a vital conference / entertain some visitors / phone clients in English next month and urgently need a crash course in England - can you recommend a good school?”.
David Heitler, a qualified teacher of English for Business here in Hamburg, wanted to research the field and give his protégés sound advice. So, one year, he upped and offed with Anne Wegner, his teacher, law graduate and copy editor friend, and spent some time investigating language schools in the Oxford area at first hand.

Lovely countryside, super pubs, oodles of tradition, yes. But many of the schools seemed to have surprisingly shabby premises, and to cater for their business students (many of these from the middle and upper management echelons) by dumping them into a general English group along with students in their late teens and early twenties in the mornings, and offering a supplementary “business option” lesson a couple of afternoons per week.

Ho-hum, pondered David, we could do much better than this. After many years of teaching English in industry over here in Hamburg, he and Anne of course knew precisely what their students required. Very small groups, lots of opportunity to speak, individual guidance, intensive and tailor-made programmes, contact with native speakers from their own field of interest, and shielding from the distractions of their jobs. And experienced teachers who really loved the profession and cared about the individual student. Teachers who would understand their needs and the business contexts of their language requirements, as well as the learning problems faced by German native speakers.

Their next move was pretty much a foregone conclusion. David and Anne moved to the Cotswolds and set up a tiny specialist school as a first step towards filling a yawning gap in the market. BUSINESS ENGLISH SERVICES was born.


David Heitler

 

David Heitler

Originally from London, David has been teaching English for over thirty years. He has lived and worked in France and Germany and, since 1988, has specialised in teaching English for Business. From 1990 to 1993 he was director of studies for the English Language Workshop in Hamburg and, with Anne in 1994, he founded Business English Services in the Cotswolds, an ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’ in the south of England.

He speaks good French and German, barely tolerable Spanish, poor Russian and has a smattering of Greek! He has the LCCI Diploma in Teaching English for Business, the Institute of Linguists Diploma in Translation and is currently studying for a mixed degree (in German and business) at the Open University.

David is well known as a teacher trainer and gives regular workshops at conferences. He enjoys working with languages and tapping people’s creativity. He writes teaching materials and articles about teaching English for Business and has published two books:

  • (As co-author with Rick Baldwin) Creating Opportunities Video - Activity Book and Video Guide (Oxford University Press 1995); for more details, see the OUP website www.oup.com/elt.
  • PONS Grosser Anfängerkurs "English at Work". A beginners' or a revision/brush-up course in basic English for business (PONS 2000).

He has also written the grammar supplements to the following audiocourses for PONS: Live! Sprachtraining; Land und Leute Sprachtraining; People & Business Sprachtraining Wirtschaftsenglisch. For more information, take a look at their website www.pons.de.

For Pearson Education/Longman he has been writing lessons based on Financial Times articles for the Market Leader website since 2003, and he also contributed the text bank section to the 2006 Market Leader Upper Intermediate Teacher’s book.

David also translates industrial documentation and consultancy literature (among other things) from German into English.

David loves cooking (he trained at the Savoy Hotel, London, a long time ago), eating, wine, whisky, cycling, walking (in cities and in the country) and classical music; he also feels lost if he doesn’t have a book to read (eighteenth-century novels, management and scientific literature at the moment – but he also enjoys Terry Pratchett novels or a good detective story).


Anne Wegner

 

Anne Wegner

Born in Oxford, Anne has a degree in English, French and Law from the University of London. Before teaching English for Business, she worked in business herself for several years in London and in the USA where she has gained considerable experience in the areas of advertising, sales and publicity.

Anne underwent a Berlitz Method training in Hamburg and also completed a further teacher training in Oxford. She has taught in England and in Germany. Most notably, after ‘the Berlin Wall came down’ in 1989, she travelled extensively with David in the former East Germany. Here, she taught Business English in companies at a time when it was vital for them to enter a previously inaccessible world market. Since then, members of these companies have also come to Business English Services in England for their training needs.

Anne is a trained copy-editor and proofreader. She specialises in:

  • company documentation - sales and marketing literature, company brochures, training materials, press releases, business correspondence;
  • law;
  • texts which have been translated or written in English by non-native speakers;
  • texts which need to be reader-friendly and sound natural in English
  • and, through no fault of her own other than a love of history, has come to specialise in medieval history.

Anne speaks good French, can get by in German and Spanish, and has a basic knowledge of Russian and Greek. She is passionate about tennis, loves good food and wine, canal boating, walking in the country and reading – when she has the time!

 

A brief update

 

Business English Services has now been running for sixteen years.
Here are the most recent developments:

 

Language Training

 

In May 2008 we withdrew our service for teaching people in England to devote more of our time to the other areas of our business. We still provide Courses in Europe and Management Support and are happy to visit your company to give intensive business English seminars.

 

Translating

 

Since obtaining the Institute of Linguists Diploma qualification – and also fine-tuning his German through his Open University course - David has obtained the most up-to-date CAT software. The result is that Translating has become a more significant part of our business.

 

Corporate Communication

 

Corporate communication is far too important to be merely a translation job. Many companies only prepare their communications for a readership of members of their own nationality – then they have this translated into English, regardless of how relevant or useful this is for an English-speaking readership.

This is why it is essential to get your communications perfect in your own language first. By ‘perfect’ we mean text that not only communicates the content of your message effectively but also in a style which includes its readership and is easy and pleasurable to read.

Only then can you choose which parts of your text should be translated into English and why, and which parts of your text have to be written additionally for an English-speaking readership. We see it as our mission to give you every help and encouragement in getting these communications right and effective for whoever reads them, preferably so that they get excited and inspired by your message.

 

Our customer base is expanding

 

Since our inception, in association with our agents abroad, we have worked with members of the following companies:


BAXI INNOTECH GmbH, BP Flüssiggas, Deusa International GmbH, Erdöl-Erdgas GmbH, Gas de France, Geostock, Glacier Vandervell (Osterwieck), Hamburg Gas Consult GmbH, MTU Munich, PCK Raffinerie, Promonta Hamburg, Reuters, Rohrleitungs- und Anlagenbau Engelsdorf, SBS Dresden, SAP, Untergrundspeicher- und Geotechnologie-Systeme Mittenwalde, Verbundnetz Gas AG, Technische Systeme und Services AG, Walzwerk Finow, Zimmermann Denkendorf and Wildenmann Consulting GmbH.