Course Outcomes

This business writing course for non-native speakers will:

  • Outline what native-English speakers expect from workplace writing.
  • Explain when it makes sense to write versus communicating via another channel.
  • Review audience analysis.
  • Highlight common errors non-native speakers often make.
  • Identify terms, phrases, and words that are outdated, offensive, or otherwise unacceptable in workplace writing.

Course Overview

Whether it’s email, a letter, product documentation, or some other type of text, business writing is a part of daily work.  While spell check and online translation tools can certainly help the non-native speaker, those tools are no substitute for well-planned well-written text.  This business writing workshop targets non-native speakers.

To get the most from this training course, this workshop requires participants to complete an assessment and submit a handful of short writing samples prior to the session’s start. 

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Quickly determine when they should write or use another method of communication.
  • Organize information in such a way that it is easy to understand.
  • Avoid common mistakes made by non-native speakers.
  • Recognize and write in the active voice.
  • Explain basic rules of punctuation.
  • Describe parallel structure.
  • Demonstrate subject-verb agreement.
  • Avoid outdated and inappropriate language.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline 

Deciding If You Must Write: Choosing the Right Communication Channel

Writing can be time consuming and even more so when the writer is not working with the language with which he or she has the best command.  In this opening segment, we will discuss communication channels and when it does and doesn’t make sense to devote time to crafting written text.  Following this discussion, course participants will identify challenges they would like to address during the course, and we will shape the agenda for the day. 

Writing It Is: Now What?

In this next part of the workshop, we will explore audience analysis, formality, tone, and format.  After that review, we will look at how native English speakers expect writers to organize documents.  Then working with an upcoming writing task, participants will practice two methods for grouping their thoughts and finding the main idea.

It’s a Sentence, not a Sentence: Punishment-Free Prose

Without good sentences, you can’t have a good piece of text.  In this part of the program, we will examine how English sentences work: word order, parts of speech, grammar, punctuation, and writing in the active voice.  The facilitator will determine the specific content of this section based on the participants’ pretest results.

Disorderly Discourse: Confused, Misused, Sexist, and Outdated Words 

Depending on where you learn it, English varies.  For example, what sounds up-to-date in Indonesia may be downright archaic in Indiana.  This program segment highlights words that are outdated, those that are sexist, words people frequently misuse, and those they often confuse. At the conclusion of this portion of the workshop, participants should be able to avoid the most egregious mistakes related to word choice.

It’s Getting Better All the Time: Where to Get More Help

As with the development of any skill, becoming a better writer is a process and not an event. A one- or two-day writing workshop will answer a lot of questions, but it’s not a magic fix. In our final segment, we will look at tools and tips for improving after the session ends.

By the conclusion of this program, participants should have an understanding of what others expect from their workplace writing. They should also know where they have difficulty and how to remedy those problems.