Frequently Asked Questions

This page includes answers to some frequently asked questions. If you wish to ask a question not on the list, please use the form at the bottom of the page. We regret that we cannot reply to all questions.


BEhereBEthere is a fun and free eLearning website for Business English.

The name means ‘Business English here, Business English there.’ BE is here on your PC, tablet or phone and there in the real world. By studying here you will communicate better there.

BEhereBEthere is the ‘baby’ of just one person, Paul Emmerson. The site is completely independent of any publisher, language school chain or outside investor. Paul is a well-known figure in the Business English world. He works as a writer, teacher, teacher trainer and website owner. Find out more about Paul here.

Find out about the vision and values of the site in the next FAQ, just below this one.

Find out the background story behind BEhereBEthere by reading this article.

Find out when new content is added by signing up for the newsletter. No spam, and all emails have one-click unsubscribe.


BEhereBEthere was started in October 2014 by Paul Emmerson. He had looked at other eLearning websites, and they felt more like a series of hoops to jump through, and less like a fun place to spend time. The sites also relied heavily on passive reading, easy quizzes, and giving the user a false sense of progress. Paul wanted to try to do something better. And in particular, he wanted to draw on his twenty five years’ experience as a Business English teacher and writer. In the eLearning industry Paul would be called an SME (Subject Matter Expert). So, in summary, he is an SME solopreneur!

His vision includes:

+ having real, experienced teachers actually teaching

+ a clear context for new language, not just isolated words, phrases and grammar points

+ going round new language several times in a course, to help remember it

+ minimizing pages of dull text and maximizing video

+ quizzes that review the course material in a challenging way, rather than giving an easy free ride

+ feedback on incorrect quiz answers so that you know why you are wrong

+ ability for the learner to go on their own journey and do any course at any time

The values of the site are:

+ loving   BEhereBEthere explaining, and you understanding for ever

   hating   BEhereBEthere putting up slides full of text, and you reading and forgetting

+ loving   craftmanship, individuality, and the passion of great content creators

   hating   corporate blandness and scalable boredom

+ loving   integrity about what eLearning can and cannot do

   hating   marketing hype, techy gimmicks, and false claims about learners making progress


Following on Facebook or Twitter is fine. But you miss a lot of updates. So the best way to stay in touch is to join our email newsletter. That way you’ll never miss anything. We promise not to spam you. We are language teachers, not aggressive marketers.


The people behind BEhereBEthere are teachers, not business people. But we teach Business English, and have years of experience behind us. We have sat in class and listened to hundreds and hundreds of students: from secretaries to CEOs, from pharma to banking, from Germany to Brazil. We have listened with attention and interest as our students explain their work, discuss issues and do role-plays.

This puts us in a unique position: we have watched ‘from the outside’ as students from many areas of business talk and interact. In fact … we probably know more about business language than a ‘real’ business person who has spent all their career in just one industry sector. We fly high and see things with a wide-angle, birds-eye view.

We know how language is used in a business context. We are fascinated by it. Our passion for Business English shows on every page of every course.


BEhereBEthere uses the well-known words Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate and Upper Intermediate to talk about language levels.

There is also an EU system for defining your level called CEF (Common European Framework). It uses letters and numbers like A2, B1, B2.

There are also many international exams to measure your level, like Cambridge ESOL, TOEIC, IELTS.

Below is a table showing how they all compare. Pre-Intermediate is A2. Intermediate is B1. Upper Intermediate is B2. BEhereBEthere currently has no courses at Beginner (A1) level or Advanced (C1) level.

CEF Levels

BEhereBEthere uses the well-known words Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate and Upper Intermediate to talk about language levels. After the word there is a code like A2 or B1 or B2. The code comes from the EU system called CEF (Common European Framework).

If you are at PreIntermediate (A2) level, you should be able to:

  • Understand simple sentences.
  • Communicate while doing simple tasks.

If you are at Intermediate (B1) level, you should be able to:

  • Understand the main points of clear speech.
  • Deal with most situations while travelling.

If you are at Upper Intermediate (B2) level, you should be able to:

  • Understand ideas in complex speech.
  • Interact with fluency and spontaneity.

 


What are CEF levels?

To see more about ‘CEF’ levels and how they compare to exams such as Cambridge ESOL, IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, etc. click here.

What is your level?

To get a very approximate idea of your level now, click on this link to an external site called ExamEnglish.

Making progress

To read about making progress in language learning, click here.


Revise and Review

You need to review and revise for learning to happen. The key idea here is ‘spaced repetition’ – this means revising several times, with longer and longer breaks between each revision.

So do a course, then review it a few days later, then a few weeks later, and then finally a few months later. After that you will remember just about everything.

Relax About Your Level

Your progress through different language levels depends on many factors. Here are some of the main ones: your natural ability as a language learner; your motivation and level of attention; how good the learning material is; getting the right level of challenge; your frequency of revision; how much you use language with others in the real world; whether you have access to personalized feedback via a teacher; and much else.

All of the above work together to give the speed at which you make progress through the levels. There is no magic way to learn fast.

And remember that your ‘level’ is not something clear and obvious. You may get a high score on grammar tests, but not be very fluent when you speak. Or you may speak confidently but have poor grammar.

Use The Materials Flexibly

Go on your own journey. With BEhereBEthere we do not force you to do courses in a particular sequence. All the material is available to everyone all the time. We believe that you, not a computer algorithm, will make the best choice about what to do next.

Look For Opportunities To Speak

Progress can take place in three ways:

  • complexity (for example knowing new words and phrases that help you communicate better)
  • accuracy (for example better grammar, or better word order, or getting the right words for the right situation)
  • fluency (putting it all together in speaking and writing).

An eLearning website like this one can help with the first two. It can help with your passive understanding. It can help with storage of language in long-term memory. It can give you a good launch pad. It can make a real difference.

But in the end you need to speak. You need to use the new language actively. You need to build up channels from long-term memory back into working memory. You need real conversations with real people.

Don’t worry about making mistakes and speaking slowly. Just do it.


We’re working hard to bring you more content here on the website. But it takes time and right now we’re just one person.

Going to a language school is always a good idea. The owner of BEhereBEthere has been a classroom teacher all his life, and still is. Try to find a teacher who gives you plenty of opportunity to speak, interesting and varied tasks, and personalized language feedback. The mix of online input via an eLearning platform, and classroom-based speaking practice with teacher feedback, is called ‘blended learning’. It’s a great idea.

Another way to study is with self-study print books. Just like a website, they are available any time and anywhere (on your shelf or in your bag). You may prefer them, particularly if you look at a screen all day in your work and don’t want to do the same in your leisure time! Paul Emmerson, the owner of BEhereBEthere, has written many self-study BE books – take a look here.


Here are some basic questions to ask yourself about any eLearning language website:

  • Do I actually enjoy my time here, or is it just a series of hoops to jump through?
  • Is there enough variety as I move from course to course and section to section?
  • Does the site use video as well as text?
  • Is the presentation of new language clear? Is there a meaningful context, helpful examples and good explanations?
  • Do the quizzes revise and recycle the key language that I want to learn?
  • Are the quizzes at the right level to challenge me?

Here is what we believe a good eLearning site should do:

  • Invite you in to click around freely and look at some sample material. Put no log-in barriers in your way. If the site has great content, then the owners should be proud of it and want you to see it easily and quickly. You can give them your email later, after you have seen what is on offer.

And here are some warning signs that a site is not very good. Please beware the following:

  • Free trial‘. But you have to give your credit card details first. The trick is this: after the trial period they want you to keep your subscription even though you stop using the site. You become a ‘good intentions’ user. You say: “I have good intentions. My subscription proves it. Tomorrow I will do some eLearning”. The business runs on the subscriptions of inactive users. Great work, guys.
  • Your rapid progress shows you are doing great‘. But you are never asked to use the language actively, and in reality you soon forget it. The trick is this: you make progress by getting high marks on easy quizzes. But most of what you learn is quickly forgotten and the progress is false.

Not right now. We know that many sites make their money by giving certificates, and it can be motivating to get a certificate after all your hard work. But here are some problems:

  • ‘Completed’ written on a certificate does not equal ‘learned’. Unfortunately, forgetting happens.
  • ‘100% correct’ does not equal ‘learned’. Maybe the quiz was just very easy.

Right now, as language teachers, we can’t see how certificates from eLearning sites prove anything.

 


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If you can’t find the answers you need from our FAQ page or from our social media you can contact us here. We regret that we cannot answer every email we receive.

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1. Tell friends and colleagues

Please tell people about our fun and free courses. And of course at the bottom of every page there are social media share icons.


2. Buy Paul’s print books

Yes, you came here for eLearning, not learning from a book. But we like books as well. And at the moment Paul’s time spent developing this site is entirely funded by royalties from his print books.

You can see a list of Paul’s books here. They are published by Macmillan. You can buy the books from BEBC with a 10% discount.

Students working with a teacher can recommend that the books are bought as a class set.


Yes, of course! With BEhereBEthere you can put your brand name in front of aspiring professional people from all over the world.

Your logo can appear on our home page and elsewhere, for every course. That’s a great way to increase your brand awareness with our users.

And we have a number of other ideas for sponsors, such as an interview in Talk Business.

Please get in touch via the Contact form at the bottom of this page. We’ll be happy to share some of our Google Analytics with you, and also happy to work on a performance-related basis where what you pay depends on visitor traffic.



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