Entries in business vocabulary (4)


Using the phone in English: building our course document

As we start our new topic of "Company Communication: Using the Phone in English," you the students are going to take charge of your own learning.

Is all of this because I didn't prepare my class? NO!

In fact, I have a document on "Phoning in English" all ready to photocopy, and using it would be the easiest thing in the world.

But wouldn't it be more interesting and relevant to produce a document based at least partly on materials found or created by the class? Of course, I can always add a few elements myself if I feel you're missing something crucial.

So today, you're going to work in pairs on Internet in the lab and your task will be to find materials to help create our unit on "Using the Phone in English."

Here are some guidelines to help you work better:

1. Each pair is NOT responsible for finding ALL the materials that the class will use. Focus on one element: vocabulary, expressions, a text, a video, a listening extract, images...and try to do your best to find useful and interesting material.

2. In your research, try to address the question "What do we need to learn about using the phone in English?"

3. When using Google for research, you will of course find more material if you do your research in English, although a search in French could uncover something useful. Add +ESL or +EFL or +"business English" to help you find materials adapted to learners of English.

4. You need to leave a trace of your discoveries for me, and we aren't going to print everything out. Either leave a link/links in the blog comments area, or, if you prefer, send me a link/links or a document by email.

5. If you find your material quicker than the other groups, you can already start working on it and learning from it, or even create an activity that could go with it.

6. When you return to class today, you will give a short presentation of how you worked, what you found, and what you have already learned along the way.


Strikes and WD40: Class links for the week of October 11 2010

I haven't been here for a while, but then again, have you?

This week was full of classes for me, and I was definitely not...In three of my classes, though, we dealt with the theme of the recent strikes in France: Depending on the class, I used an audio resource, a video resource, or both.

Here is the link to the audio resource by Sean Banville about the September strikes in France. You can also consult his entire lesson here, as we didn't do nearly all of the activities.

Some of you also commented on and listened to a Reuters video about Tuesday's strikes.

For my sales rep course students, here is the WD40 demonstration video we worked with. This was kind of an unusual choice, but we got some great vocabulary out of the "without the sound" portion of the lesson.

Have a great weekend!


Listening Activity: Job Descriptions

In this activity, you will work in pairs and listen to a job description of your choice from the following site:


1. Each pair must listen to a different job description, so tell me your choice.  All of the scripts are interesting; for example Tracey, the secretary, works as a secretary to a very important government official, so her job is much more exciting than you might imagine.

2. Listen two or three times, starting and stopping as you please, and taking notes with your partner and comparing them. Do not try to note every word, this is not a dictation.

3. From your notes, try to orally construct a coherent summary of what the person says. Do not consult the script!

4. You will present your summary to the group if time allows.

5. You will be able to check your understanding with the script if time allows, or at home.


Seven links for my sales and management students: Week 1

Well, it's back to school and time to communicate Internet resources to you to help you work on your English outside of class.

Here are five links for the first week -- some are connected to work done in class, others not.

1. Audio file for the text "Stress, holidays and work."

In my sales class, we listened to this and some of you found it difficult. In my management classes, we didn't use the audio, but it could be interesting for you to listen to the text.

2. The News: The Death of Laurent Fignon

There's not a lot of English on this YouTube video -- just the song and the introduction. But if you're interested in cycling, you might like this.

For something more traditional, read this article from The Telegraph.

3. Flash Quiz: Basic Question Words

It's been a long time since you've spoken English, and some students have forgotten basic question words like "Who, What, When, and Where!" Try this Flash Quiz to remember. Be careful -- it's timed.

4. Le vocabulaire de la vente et le commerce

There are 49 French-English quizzes on this site -- expect to see this link again!

5. Visit a Japanese University

A subtitled video with basic English expressions. Slow speaking; good for revision.

6. "Is it OK to lie in job interviews?"

Audio extract used in my management assistant class. Go to the extract from 30/03/2010.

7. "The Elegant Guide to Telephone Etiquette"

Video extract used in my management assistant class.