July 2011

ESL Business Email Meeting Request Lesson Plans

Emails are a tough business for ESL students. I constantly get requests on how can I improve or can you go over this mail I wrote with me. Since most textbooks I have gone through don’t have any case scenarios, I decided to include some lessons revolving around this subject.

In all honesty though, it would be better if you can get your student to bring in some emails they have written so you can hash it out together as these are real live mails and are really catered to their needs. If you can’t here are some lessons.

Note to the client the difference between internal and external mails. Be careful of language choice.

Lesson Plans:

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Do You Know Your Client?

When you meet your client, know their background and why they are taking lessons. Yes, this should be obvious but my point here is to then take this information and embed it into the lesson.

If your client is a manager in finance and has a team of 20 people who report to him, your lessons should be adjusted to meet his needs such as going over interviewing, holding yearly reviews, dealing with critical escalations, and so on. The contents of the lessons should then be adjusted to finance related words or corporate structures if possible and team related situations rather than from a new hire without any heavy hitting title.

I have provided the lesson plans in word document so you can download and manipulate the content removing, adding, tweaking, or anything else you see fit so your lesson is better enhanced.

I suggest you also keep a track sheet of who is who. Your brain is probably pretty good to remember some things you talked about in the past but when your client base grows, it gets harder to jog back some memories. If you can quickly revert to this track sheet and pull back previously discussed points, it will also enhance your lessons.

If you don’t customize your lesson to your client’s needs, he or she may not return because they are not getting the results they desire to meet their goals.

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How to Take Better Notes

If you aren’t already familiar, note taking is an important process in Japanese life. They jot down everything and if you don’t have a notepad, people will frown upon you wondering if you are really getting down the message that is being said. Japanese are trained to take notes from the day they enter school and it is instilled for the rest of their life.

Though many students want to take notes, practicing speaking English and taking notes at the same time is quite the juggling act for them so it is important and helpful then that you do the note taking rather than the student. So you  should always bring a piece of paper to your session and scribble down anything from words to sentences for the students so they can focus on the lesson.Don’t forget to give this to them at the end of the session. It also makes them feel they really learned something.

When it comes to wiriting, make the effort to write as clearly as possible. Remember it isn’t you who will be reading these later.

Maybe this site will give you some tips: 7 Tips for Improving your Handwriting

I also suggest that when you write, use a multi-colored pen (3-4 colors). Using multiple colors has a positive effect on the brain allowing for one to retain information longer. I recommend checking out Tony Buzan’s concept of Mind Mapping. This is some enlightening information even for yourself.

Regarding color usuage, I suggest to be consistent with you choices. For example I do the following:

  • Blue – Sentences
  • Black – Quotes,Proverbs, other unusual situations.
  • Green – Vocabulary (If a new word in a sentence, the sentence will be in blue while the new word in green.)
  • Red – Corrections (Crossing out or adding a word to a sentence written in blue.)

These aren’t my notes but its just an idea. Using pictures, colors, single words, full sentences can really brighten up the learning rather than a dull single color ink with just words written line after line. Enhance your lesson to make it more fun with good note taking! All the best! Cheers!

Colorful Note Taking for ESL Business Lessons

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ESL Business Post-Interview Discussion Lesson Plans

These are lessons based around managers talking about how’d the interview went and coming to a decision whther the candidate is a go or not.

Lesson Plans:

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ESL Business Org Chart Lesson Plans

When someone new joins the company, one the first things a manager wants covered is the organization chart of the department or section. Making sure the new employee is familiar with the names and titles is important, especially if the org chart is a global one.

Lesson Plans:

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ESL Business Office Directions Lesson Plans

The following lesson plans are based around giving directions in an office. The dialog is between a hiring manager and a new employee coming to the office for the first time. Please feel free to manipulate the lesson to enhance. Also let me know if you have any feedback. Cheers!

Notes:

  • There is no Advanced lesson avaiable.

Lesson Plans:

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Lesson Rundown on How to Teach These Plans

Here is a sample lesson rundown of how I anticipate the lesson to go. Of course, you can adjust in anyway that pleases you as I have provided in word doc format.

  1. Open the lesson with the pre-task questions to warm-up the student on the topic.
  2. Utilize the photo by doing any of the following
    1. Having the student describe the photo.
    2. Asking the student indicate what each person is saying.
    3. Do a warm-up role-play.
    4. There are some questions provided to make it easier too.
  3. Read through the dialog as one of the characters. Reverse roles if you want to consume more time.
    1. Ask questions about vocabulary or phrases to ensure understanding.
    2. Questions provided for a comprehension check.
  4. Go through the practice drills to reinforce the learning of the dialog and topic.
    1. Make sure to adjust the lesson around the student.
  5. Perform a role-play. Reverse roles or try a different role-play if time allows.
  6. Homework provided if you want to hook your client to return.
  7. Additional material provided if relative to the lesson.
Feedback always welcomed for another material to be added or revised. I am looking for different speaking drills as currently I think the ones I have are not very adequate. Cheers!
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ESL Business Interviewing Lesson Plans

The following entry contains interviewing lesson plans for teachers. Please note these are live documents as I have trying to improve on these since they are my initial lessons. Let me know if you have any feedback.

The reason for the topic choice is that interviewing is where you start to initiate in a company.

Notes:
Lesson Plans:
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What My Intentions Are

To kick off, thank you for taking the time to come here. The purpose and intentions of my blog is to create a resource for English teachers who give private lessons regarding business to students ranging from 40 minutes to 1 hour lessons. What I found when I tried to teach lessons was that there really wasn’t any material or plans out there that really relate to the real corporate world experience. I thought perhaps then I should create my own material based on my own experiences and share it with others.

These lesson plans are based on my own teaching experience from various ESL jobs in Japan and my previous experience working at an investment bank in the IT sector climbing to a management position for a number of years. Hopefully I have created content that is relative to the level of the student you are teaching. Do also note that for beginner students I expect some fundamental knowledge in English so make sure your students are prepared or look for another resource in the meantime until ready.

I have broken lessons into the following three categories, beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Any feedback would be appreciated such as corrections, add-ons, ideas, revisions, and so on that better lessons plans can be constructed.

Thank you very much and I hope this will help you greatly!

Cheers,

John

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