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.
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?
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.
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?
Website Review: toeflcafe.blogspot.com
In short: This blog isn’t active, but it has great stuff that will help you on the TOEFL. You’ll find videos on all the different sections of the TOEFL, articles on how to prepare for the test, and thoughts from students.
For students: The speaking practice application is great. You can practice taking the speaking test. Use software on your computer to record yourself.
Also check out http://toeflnow.com. They have products that will help students prepare, some free practice tests, and prep videos.
For teachers: Ask your students to each watch a different video and present it to the class. They’ll learn their section very well and the presentations will help with their speaking skills.
22 Private/Small Group Lesson Ideas…all you need is a laptop and a dream. And you don’t really need the laptop.
- Look at pictures of places and discuss.
- Read “The Road Not Taken” and discuss.
- Read “The Lottery” and discuss.
- Discuss trips you’ve taken. Start by thinking of all the adjectives you can.
- Think of a business situation and role play it (interviews, etc.).
- Summarize a movie.
- Summarize a book
- Summarize a trip.
- Summarize a past project.
- Summarize a future project.
- Visit the Centers for Disease Control website and discuss.
- Read an article from The Economist and discuss.
- TED.com videos (watch, discuss, comment).
- Learn speaking techniques at rachelsenglish.com.
- BusinessEnglishPod has 20 minute listenings you can expand into lessons.
- Pretend you’re making a hotel reservation online.
- Go shopping online and buy presents for the people you love.
- Or, buy stuff for yourselves online.
- Go to craigslist.com and try and sell something online.
- Order a pizza for a charity. Practice, then make a real phone call.
- Comment on YouTube videos. Like this one.
- Comment on Blogs. Like these.
In short: As of today, they have 52 different grammar points and 52 different vocabulary topics. They explain everything very clearly. Almost all of the topics have some game that you can play to help you practice what you’ve learned.
That might sound simple and boring, but the site is actually incredible. The site design makes it special. You’ll never have any trouble finding something on this site. The games will work quickly and they’ll be helpful. After two minutes, you’ll feel like you understand everything they do. Sound easy? It’s really hard to design a site like that.
For students: Just as an example, do you have problems using the word “get”? All the uses can give you a headache, but this section will help.
For teachers: The spelling games are particularly innovative. Students will see the words flashed at them and then they’ll need to spell them correctly. Your students who have spelling problems might enjoy these unique games. (Click here and scroll down to “Spelling Games”)
Website Review: Learn English—British Council
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?
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…
Website Review: englishonline.net
In short: For $39-$129, you can access lot of good writing advice and have a teacher look at your stuff. You’ll definitely improve.
This site is half pay stuff, half free stuff. You can pay for writing courses. They look like they’re best for really advanced students, so some students might like a book that’s a little simpler. Still, the content seems strong. The Business Writing course looked especially good. You can also take these courses: “Essentials of Writing”, “Technical Writing”, “Research Essay Writing”, and “Resume Lab”. (The “Essentials of Writing” course would be best for lower level students.)
For free, you can listen to cool conversations with nice supporting materials. You can also check out daily vocabulary, idioms, and grammar points for free.
For students: Once you sign up for a writing course, you can access forums. If lots of people put stuff there, they’ll be great.
For teachers: Why not recommend this site to your students? Paying for a course, could be just the motivation they need to take their skills to the next level.