BCCJ Member Spotlight: Beni Powell, British Council Japan

Written by BCCJ
December 6, 2023


Written by BCCJ
December 6, 2023

BCCJ Junior Editor, Ami Endo caught up with Beni Powell, Sales Account Manager at British Council Japan to learn more about the crucial role of English language in global business success.

This interview highlights the pivotal role of English proficiency in the global business arena and the comprehensive support provided by the British Council to individuals and corporations seeking to enhance their English communication skills.

In today’s global business environment, the command of the English language has become indispensable. The BCCJ spoke with an expert to delve into the significance of English proficiency for businesses and the role of the British Council in fostering these skills.


Beni, thank you so much for joining us. Could you elaborate on how proficiency in English contributes to the success of a business on a global scale?

There is no doubt that the global business environment today demands proficiency in English. From facilitating better client and colleague communication to easing contract negotiations, the mastery of English is not just a convenience – it’s a key to success. When it comes to communicating with your prospective customers, speaking to them in their language is important. Several of the world’s most prestigious organisations have made English their official language, including some well-known Japanese companies. There is a growing need to communicate in English if you want to grow and expand your business internationally. English proficiency puts you ahead of the competition in many markets and allows you to communicate easily with the key people in your industry. On the other hand, not having English proficiency may lead to misunderstandings, which could at the very worst, put your job at risk.


What specific programmes does the British Council offer to support businesses in enhancing their English communication skills in Japan, and are there any success stories of businesses that have benefited from these programmes?

From general English language skills to specialised training, the British Council equips teams to enhance engagement, collaboration, productivity, and performance. Understanding that one size does not fit all, the British Council adopts a personalised approach. Our 4-step process – consultation, solution design, delivery, and evaluation – ensures that each organization receives a programme that designed with its specific needs in mind. After the global pandemic, it has become increasingly common for various services to be offered online, and the British Council has developed its own live English online programmes which are well-structured and maintain its trademark high standards, as well as being flexible and more affordable to suit the client’s budget.

The British Council’s impact is evident through its partnerships with leading global organisations. A notable example is our collaboration with Santander Bank in Poland, where the British Council played a crucial role in Santander’s corporate social responsibility project, benefiting over 10,000 participants. This partnership exemplified the Council’s ability to provide scalable, effective solutions tailored to diverse learner needs.



How has the approach to teaching and learning English evolved with the advent of digital technology?

The British Council has evolved with the times, embracing digital technology to make learning more accessible and effective.

For a few decades now, the modern approach to facilitate learning English requires more interaction during lessons than traditional ‘scholastic’ styles of education, especially when the students are adults with more specific personal and professional communication requirements. At the British Council, we customise the ways in which we interact with students according to their preferences in order to increase their productivity.

After experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people opt for online learning. The British Council’s online platforms offer flexibility, quality and affordability, and caters to the busy schedules of today’s working professionals, with courses designed to be accessible 24/7. We have ensured that the platform is easy to navigate, students’ progress is shown consistently and clearly, learners are sent reminders of the classes they have booked, and the themes and topics are constantly being updated to ensure relevance and to keep motivation levels high. These online programmes maintain the high standards of our traditional, in-person training, demonstrating the Council’s commitment to innovative, effective teaching methods.


How does the British Council ensure the quality and effectiveness of its English teaching programmes?

At the heart of the British Council’s success is its commitment to quality. With a rigorous curriculum and experienced educators, the British Council ensures that each programme delivers measurable results. The success of our programmes is continuously assessed through tests such as IELTS, English Score, and Aptis ESOL.

All classes are live lessons to ensure the maximum benefit of all learners. As well as offering English Language Skills training which is personalised language skills development from beginner to advanced level, we also offer Professional Communication Skills training.

All of our passionate and dedicated teachers meet high international standards with formal qualifications and extensive experience in teaching English to adults. They are highly qualified, with Teaching-English-as-a-Foreign-Language dedicated qualifications that include the Cambridge CELTA and DELTA.



What makes the British Council a trusted choice for corporations seeking to improve their workforce’s English proficiency?

The British Council has an unparalleled track record of 80+ years in partnering with corporate, governmental and educational organisations in 80+ countries for the development of English and communication skills. We use our expertise and experience to create scalable, engaging, and impactful learning solutions for professionals in all roles, industries and career stages, as well as students, recent graduates and researchers.

The British Council understands the unique challenges faced by corporations in today’s fast-paced environment. Their training programmes are not just about language proficiency; they are about empowering employees to succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. Our courses are specifically designed with the unique needs of different industries, integrating real-world examples and scenarios relevant to your fast-paced projects. Our aim is to build confidence, increase engagement and boost performance for each individual learner.

With customisable training solutions, the British Council stands as a trusted partner for corporates worldwide.


This interview highlights the pivotal role of English proficiency in the global business arena and the comprehensive support provided by the British Council to individuals and corporations seeking to enhance their English communication skills.


Beni Powell | Sales Account Manager
E: [email protected]
W: www.britishcouncil.jp
British Council Japan | 1-2 Kagurazaka | Shinjuku-ku | Tokyo | 162-0825 | Japan