Stuart Mill English

How to Learn, How to Teach English

Corporate Titles and Organization Charts

Corporate Titles and Organization Charts

Many Business English students ask about titles. For example: What’s the difference between a Senior Manager and a Vice-President? Where do General Mangers do exactly? How do companies use titles differently? Trying to translate titles between English and another language can be quite tricky.

But a lesson on the topic can easily solve the problems. Here are several resources you can use and then some follow-up questions.

For starters… Wikipedia’s article on corporate titles is a good place to start. You’ll find a list of over 70 titles and descriptions of what the people do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_title

Check out some org charts… You can find links to thousands of org charts on the internet. Just do a search for “org charts” or “organization charts”. Here are a few links, anyway. Look at them with your students and discuss how they are similar or different to each other. Also, which titles do you see?

Here’s one.

And another.

And one more.

How about a joke? Follow this link for a funny cartoon. Ask your students why it’s funny?

And an article to read… Finally, about.com has a nice article about org charts. It briefly talks about charts, titles, and the purposes behind them. You can use it as a starting point for a discussion.

http://management.about.com/cs/generalmanagement/a/OrgCharts.htm

Here are some discussion questions you might ask your students:

  • What’s the purpose of an organization chart?
  • Do small companies need organization charts too?
  • At what size does a company probably need a chart?
  • How might a manager use a chart to increase productivity?
  • How might an unclear chart hurt productivity?
  • Which titles do all org charts need? Which titles are specific to certain companies?
  • What’s your dream title? Why?

June 28, 2011 Posted by | Lesson Plans, Teaching Strategies | , , , , , | 1 Comment

22 Lesson Ideas

22 Private/Small Group Lesson Ideas…all you need is a laptop and a dream. And you don’t really need the laptop.

  1. Look at pictures of places and discuss.
  2. Read “The Road Not Taken” and discuss.
  3. Read “The Lottery” and discuss.
  4. Discuss trips you’ve taken. Start by thinking of all the adjectives you can.
  5. Think of a business situation and role play it (interviews, etc.).
  6. Summarize a movie.
  7. Summarize a book
  8. Summarize a trip.
  9. Summarize a past project.
  10. Summarize a future project.
  11. Visit the Centers for Disease Control website and discuss.
  12. Read an article from The Economist and discuss.
  13. TED.com videos (watch, discuss, comment).
  14. Learn speaking techniques at rachelsenglish.com.
  15. BusinessEnglishPod has 20 minute listenings you can expand into lessons.
  16. Pretend you’re making a hotel reservation online.
  17. Go shopping online and buy presents for the people you love.
  18. Or, buy stuff for yourselves online.
  19. Go to craigslist.com and try and sell something online.
  20. Order a pizza for a charity. Practice, then make a real phone call.
  21. Comment on YouTube videos. Like this one.
  22. Comment on Blogs. Like these.

May 24, 2011 Posted by | Lesson Plans, Teaching Strategies | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Business English Role Play Cards

Business English Role Play

These role play cards will help you practice some business English expressions.

Click here to get the role play cards. Find a partner. You should talk to each other as different people. Use the expressions on the cards. When you have used all three words/expressions, switch to a new card.

After you’ve used these cards, you can make some new ones using the blank cards at the end of the second page.

Here are the words with brief descriptions and examples.

  • Well received: Something that that people liked
    • My report was well received. I got lots of compliments
    • The new boss was immediately well received. All the employees really liked her.
  • Ill received: Something that wasn’t liked.
    • I made a new design and I thought it looked great. Unfortunately, it was ill received, so I should try again.
    • They didn’t really like it. It was ill received.
  • Input: Ideas that should help something like a project
    • My boss is great. He always asks for input.
    • You shouldn’t give input unless you have good knowledge. You might just look stupid.
  • To execute: To do something that requires skill and careful effort.
    • He executed the marketing strategy quite well. Sales of the new product are good.
    • Don’t execute these new policies right away. Let’s review them more carefully first.
  • Stressed out: To feel anxiety.
    • I’m so stressed out because I’ve been working a lot.
    • Don’t get stressed out over the new program. You’ll make some mistakes but it’s normal. Don’t worry.
  • Dark ages: Times that are not modern
    • Our managers are really in the dark ages when it comes to technology. Did you know the CEO doesn’t use a computer?
    • The hotel’s system is from the dark ages. They still use tape drives!
  • Up-to-date: Current, modern, new
    • My training is up-to-date. I understand how everything works now.
    • If we get all the computers up-to-date, we’ll save a lot of time and money.
  • Extensive training: A lot of training. Much education on a topic.
    • I have extensive computer training. I won’t have problems.
    • You need extensive training if you want to be a doctor.
  • I’ve been working at my job for ____ years.: How long you have worked somewhere.
    • I’ve been working at the hospital for 12 years.
    • I’ve been working at Nike for a year.
  • Just a number: Not important at all.
    • I’m really just a number here. As long as I do my reports, no one notices me or cares about me.
    • When I started I was just a number, but now I’m a senior manager.
  • Routine tasks: Normal work, things you often do.
    • I’m in HR. These days my routine tasks include doing payroll and training new employees.
    • Every day is different for me! I think my only routine task is turning on my computer.
  • Daily basis: Everyday
    • On a daily basis, I read more than 100 emails.
    • I can’t have meetings with you about this on a daily basis. You need to be more independent.
  • Modern: Current, up-to-date, not old
    • The modern office design is often very open. You can see what everyone is doing.
    • I don’t really like all this modern technology. What’s wrong with using a pencil?!

Business English Role Play Cards

Cut these cards up. Students should take the card and speak as the person on the card until they’ve used all the words/expressions.

You are the CEO of a company that exports strawberries. Use the following words/expressions:

  • To execute
  • Stressed out
  • Dark ages
 You are an IT specialist at a marketing agency. Use the following words/expressions:

  • Up-to-date
  • Extensive training
  • I’ve been working at my job for ____ years.
You are a management consultant with more than 10 years of experience. Use the following words/expressions.

  • Input
  • Just a number
  • Well received
You are a nuclear engineer. Use the following words/expressions.

  • Routine tasks
  • Daily basis
  • Ill receieved
You are an executive assistant. Use the following words/expressions

  • Well received
  • Daily basis
  • Extensive training
You are a farmer. Use the following words/expressions.

  • Extensive training
  • I’ve been working at my job for ____ years.
  • Modern
You own a car dealership. Use the following words/expressions.

  • Input
  • Stressed out
  • Routine tasks
You are a human resources manager for a large company (like G.E.). Use the following words/expressions.

  • Ill received
  • Well received
  • Input
 You are an ___________________ at a ___________________. Use the following words/expressions:
You are an ___________________ at a ___________________. Use the following words/expressions:
You are an ___________________ at a ___________________. Use the following words/expressions:

May 5, 2011 Posted by | Studying Strategies, Teaching Strategies | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learn English–British Council

Website Review: Learn English—British Council

http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/

In Short: The best site on the internet for learning English. It’s multilevel. It’s really big. It’s really helpful.

First: Low-level, intermediate-level, and high-level students will all find great stuff.

Second: The site is really big. You can watch and listen. You can read and write. You can practice grammar. You can play games. You can make friends.

Third: The activities are helpful, interesting, and modern. The site is easy to use and looks great.

For Students: Here are three things you might really like on the site. For listening, Big City, Small World is great. Studying for the IELTS? Check out this section. Or, you might join the virtual community Second Life so you can speak and listen to real people in English all the time.

For Teachers: Send your students to the site and have them write their own reviews. Ask them to answer three questions: (1) What can you listen to on this site? Describe it. (2) Is this a good site? Why/Why not? (3) Would you recommend it to a friend? Why/Why not?

May 1, 2011 Posted by | Website Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teaching English British Council

Website Review: Teaching English www.teachingenglish.org.uk/

In short: The best site for English teachers on the internet. If you only have time to visit one site a day, this should be it. What do you need? Activities for you classroom? They got ‘em.  Training to make you a better teacher? Oh heck yeah. A worldwide community to bounce ideas off of, get help from, and have fun with. Si. Da. Nae. Hai. Tak. Yes. Yes. Yes.

For students: This site is mainly for teachers, but if your teacher isn’t using it, you might tell them about it. Also, check out their sister site for students: http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en

For teachers: If you can’t find what you’re looking for, they also have links to tons of other sites. Oh, and make sure to like them on Facebook…

http://www.facebook.com/TeachingEnglish.BritishCouncil

April 21, 2011 Posted by | Website Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Busy People

A post written for Business English students, but the advice is good for everyone.

Five ways to for busy executives to practice their English

OK. So you’re a really busy person, but it’s important to improve your English. Don’t worry. You can do it. Here’s how.

Ten Sentences Really busy? Just write 10 sentences in English every day. It’s more helpful than studying vocabulary or grammar because you’re working creatively with the language.

Listening on the go Driving? Walking? Eating lunch? You can listen to Business English Pod lessons. Go to www.businessenglishpod.com to download lessons. There are hundreds to choose from on many different topics. Each lesson is about 20 minutes. They start with a short conversation (about 5 minutes) and then slowly review the conversation (about 15 minutes).

bbclearningenglish.com also has a great Business English series (amongst many great series you might enjoy).

TED.com TED has videos on hundreds of fascinating topics. You can always watch with subtitles in English and often with subtitles in your language. You can also read a transcript in English or your language. The videos are just 3-20 minutes long. Watching the same video once a day for a week will really help you a lot.

What I wish I would have said… What do you do when you’re writing an email in English and don’t know how to say something exactly? You usually don’t have the time to make it perfect, so you send it and hope it’s good enough. Use those moments to get better. Create a file on your computer where you save your bad sentences. When you have free time later, go back and make them better or ask someone to help you.

Help Google Go to translate.google.com and type sentences in your language. Check how well Google translates them into English. They’ll be close, but you’ll see mistakes. Can you make them better? Click on the “Contribute a Better Translation” button.

October 2, 2010 Posted by | Studying Strategies | , , , , | Leave a comment

bbclearningenglish.com

Website Review: bbclearningenglish.com

In short: Wow, what a great site. Some of the best things are:

  • 6 minute English—Real people being interviewed on a topic and explanations of the natural English. The vocabulary explanations that you can listen to and read are super helpful. Plus, there are two years of weekly episodes to listen to.
  • Get that job” has lots of useful quizzes that’ll help you get ready to apply for a job in English.
  • Short lessons on Business English and traveling in London with quizzes.
  • And much more. The “Grammar, Vocabulary, and Pronunciation” category has 11 sections (This pronunciation tool is especially cool.)

For students:The Flatmates” are fantastic short episodes about a group of young Londoners. Listen every morning. It’ll only take a few minutes. It’s a great way to start your day.

For teachers: Be sure to click on the for teachers tab to find tons of great stuff (like lesson plans) that practically turns the site into a full-on curriculum.

September 27, 2010 Posted by | Website Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

iteslj.org

Website Review: iteslj.org

In short: One of the five best ESL sites on the internet. They have everything. They’ve been putting out great material for 15 years and let’s hope they never stop. Their own menu bar says it all: Articles, Lessons, Techniques, Questions, Games, Jokes, Things for Teachers, Links, and Activities for Students.

The site is organized perfectly. There’s no distracting advertising. If you have a slow connection, this site will still load quickly. What more could you want?

For students: The “Activities for Students” button will take you to this site a4esl.org, There, you’ll find many fun things you can do to improve your English.

For teachers: You can learn from the articles and use the lessons, techniques, etc. Why not contribute as well? See if you can get an article published. You’ll learn a lot while preparing it and give a little back to the community of teachers and students around the world.

August 30, 2010 Posted by | Website Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

englishonline.org.cn

Website Review: englishonline.org.cn

In short: A great site. An amazing site. This is a really wonderful site.

Let’s start by saying that it’s difficult to describe this site “in short”. You’ll need about three hours to just look at everything. But the fine British Council folks in China have made a site that’s easy to understand and use. Grab a cup of tea and start enjoying all the great resources.

First off, you can read and listen to stories and articles on many different subjects and themes. Easy to use glossaries are there to help students with difficult words.

Then you might check out some idioms or other shorter bits of language on the site. They come with wonderful audio tracks, videos, or cartoons.

Maybe the best things on the site are the video and audio series. “Big City Small Word” is an audio soap opera that would be great for students studying alone or for a class to listen to together. If you’re looking for Business English resources, you’ll find an essential series that takes you from an employee getting fired through interviews and to a new person starting.

And everything is very interactive. You really feel like you’re part of a global English community.

For students: In addition to reading, listening, and following a series, you can also play lots of useful games. This site makes it easy to learn English. Have fun!

For teachers: Click on the “Go To English Online Teachers” tab to find a bunch of resources just for you. You’ll find downloadable workshops and other great tools to help you become a better teacher. There are even lesson plans that accompany some of the material on the main site.

June 14, 2010 Posted by | Website Reviews | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business English Pod

Website Review: businessenglishpod.com

In short: This is one of the best ESL websites on the internet. The listening activities are excellent and cover a wide range of relevant business topics. In the listenings, new material is presented in natural conversations, and then everything is reviewed slowly. Finally, students can practice using the new words in audio fill-in-the-blank exercises.

There are also interesting games and vocab lessons. The companion website, videovocab.tv, is more of the same, but with images to go along with the listening.

Finally, the website is easy to use, professional, and everything loads quickly and plays smoothly. The main stuff is free, but there are attractive extras (like transcripts) at reasonable prices.

For students: Listen to these every day and your English will certainly improve. Stop and replay difficult sections. Write your own dialogues to solidify the material.

For teachers: These podcasts make excellent, easy-to-use, homework. The three main questions that go with each one also make for an easy quiz at the beginning of the next lesson. You can quickly check to see if students did the work without it being an essential part of your lesson.

June 8, 2010 Posted by | Website Reviews | , , , , , , | Leave a comment