Secretaries/Admin staff

English for Secretaries and Administrative Staff

English has become the language of business and it has therefore become important for all administrative staff and secretaries to be able to communicate effectively in English.

The focus of the course is on speaking and listening skills to ensure effective communication within the workplace. The course assumes that students will have an intermediate level of English and is ideal for students who need to further their business English within the workplace.

The course will focus on language needed for practical tasks and communication in the workplace:

Vocabulary is of paramount importance and therefore the focus is placed on using the correct vocabulary at the appropriate time and within the correct context, ensuring effective communication between work colleagues, customers and suppliers. An emphasis is placed on real work situations using business terms and expressions, including abbreviations and colloquial expressions.

Grammatical structures are introduced and reviewed according to the needs of students. Areas such as imperatives and message-taking are introduced to prepare learners for real life situations. Discovery learning activities are favored where students are encouraged to notice and work out structural patterns rather than learn rules that have little or no practical application.

Speaking skills development activities simulate real-life communication, such as describing basic company information, arranging meetings and setting agendas, message-taking and other basic administrative functions. These are practiced using role-play and information gap tasks that involve finding out information from a partner.

Reading and listening skills are developed through tasks that involve studying authentic and simplified authentic-type texts. Listening texts prepare students for communication with native speakers and non-native speakers by using recordings that contain different accents and regional variation. Written tasks aim to motivate students by developing their knowledge of useful language phrases and vocabulary chunks for different text types such as meeting requests, written notices and message-taking. Written exercises are used to reinforce vocabulary and grammatical

Who are the courses for?


The intensive course is suitable for groups (Minimum 5) of any personnel involved in an administrative function in a company, whether this be as a secretary, personal assistant, warehouse manager, or an administrative clerk.


This course is for individuals who are involved in any form of company administration. It combines general English classes with additional 10 private lessons, focused on administrative vocabulary, telephone conversations and message-taking, email communication, and other general administration tasks.

How long are they?

For group bookings (minimum 5 clients)

8 weeks (240 lessons – cost: $2920)

or 4 Weeks (120 lessons – cost: $1540)

For individual bookings

minimum 2 weeks at $420 (30 lessons) per week. These classes run “on demand” for as long as the client wants.


International House Cape Town can arrange accommodation in self-catering apartments or homestay – please see or contact us at for more information.