October 2012

ESL Business Teacher Resource Articles: Relationships

Relationships are important in life and especially in business. The more people you know in your ciricle, the more opportunties you are likely to encounter. In this lesson plan, you will discuss with your student about the following points:

  •  5 lessons from Denzel Washington
  • what relationships are
  • what the value of relationships are
  • what is important in a relationship
  • how to build a relationship
  • how people influence a relationship

Please see here for the article: Relationships

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ESL Teaching Resource – Business Power Up: Meeting Phrases

Here are some frequently used meeting phrases by the chairperson used to conduct an effective meeting. Each row reflects different ways to handle the meeting. It takes time and practice to learn but these phrases are essential to making a meeting more effective. There are plenty of other websites out there that cover these and can be more extensive but this a good starter. Let me know if you have any suggestions or corrections. Cheers!

It’s a pleasure to welcome (name of participant) I’d like to introduce (name of participant) I’d like to extend a warm welcome to (name of participant) lease join me in welcoming (name of participant)
We’re here today to … Today’s meeting is to .. Our main aim today is to … I’ve called this meeting in order to …
To begin with I’d like to quickly go through the minutes of our last meeting. First, let’s go over the report from the last meeting, which was held on (date) Here are the minutes from our last meeting, which was on (date). Let’s quickly review last times minute meetings, which was (date)
NAME, can you tell us how the XYZ project is progressing? NAME, how is the XYZ project coming along? NAME, have you completed the ACTION ITEM? NAME, could you give us an update on ACTION ITEM
So, if there is nothing else we need to discuss, let’s move on to today’s agenda.
Shall we get down to business?
Is there Any Other Business? If there are no further developments, I’d like to move on to today’s topic. Are there any other open items to discuss?
Have you all received a copy of the agenda? There are X items on the agenda. First, … second, … third, … lastly, … If you don’t mind, I’d like to go in order today. LEt’s quickly run through the agenda. Today we will go over …
(name of participant) has agreed to take the minutes. (name of participant), would you mind taking the minutes? (name of participant) has kindly agreed to give us a report on … (name of participant), would you mind taking notes today?
We will first hear a short report on each point first, followed by a discussion of … I suggest we go round the table first. Let’s make sure we finish by …There will be five minutes for each item. We’ll have to keep each item to 15 minutes. Otherwise we’ll never get through.
So, let’s start with … I’d suggest we start with… So, the first item on the agenda is NAME, would you like to kick off?
I think that takes care of the first item. Shall we leave that item? Why don’t we move on to… If nobody has anything else to add, lets …
Let’s move onto the next item Now that we’ve discussed X, let’s now … The next item on today’s agenda is… Now we come to the question of.
Before we close today’s meeting, let me just summarize the main points. Let me quickly go over today’s main points. To sum up, …,. In brief, …
Right, it looks as though we’ve covered the main items. If there are no other comments, I’d like to wrap this meeting up. Let’s bring this to a close for today. Is there Any Other Business?
Can we set the date for the next meeting, please? So, the next meeting will be on … (day), the . . . (date) of.. . (month) at … Let’s next meet on … (day), the . . . (date) of.. . (month) at … What about the following Wednesday? How is that? Just a friendly reminder, our next scheduled meeting is on (date).
I’d like to thank NAMES for joining at such an inconvenient hour. Thank you all for attending. Thanks for your participation. Thank you again everyone for your effort and time.
We’re running short of time. Well, that seems to be all the time we have today. Please be brief. I’m afraid we’ve run out of time.
I’m afraid that’s outside the scope of this meeting. Let’s get back on track, why don’t we? Why don’t we return to the main focus of today’s meeting. We’ll have to leave that to another time.
We’re beginning to lose sight of the main point. Keep to the point, please. I think we’d better leave that for another meeting. Are we ready to make a decision?
Sorry, I think you misunderstood what I said. Sorry, that’s not quite right. That’s not quite what I had in mind. That’s not what I meant.
We haven’t heard from you yet, (name of participant). What do you think about this proposal? Would you like to add anything, (name of participant)? Has anyone else got anything to contribute?
Are there any more comments? Any other thoughts? Any other feedback or input? Do you have anything to add, (name)?
I don’t quite follow you. What exactly do you mean? I’m afraid I don’t quite understand what your are getting at. Could you explain to me how that is going to work? I don’t see what you mean. Could we have some more details, please?
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ESL Teaching Resource – Business Articles: Meetings

In this article, as the teacher, you will engage your student on the topic of the value of meetings. Your student will disucss about the following points:

  • Are meetings value-add?
  • What types of people take away from the meeting
  • What can you do improve the meeting
  • The impact of meetings on the business

Please see here for the article: Meetings

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ESL Teaching Resource – Business Article: Innovation

In this article you will discuss about the word innovation in business. The client will give their opinions and talk about the following points in the article lesson:

  • What is innovation?
  • How is the word innovation used today?
  • The impact of innovation in business?
  • What kind of environment allows innovation?

Please see here for the article discussion: Innovation

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ESL Business Tips: Do You Know Your Client? Part 3

Knowing what your client wants to accomplish when he takes a lesson with you is essential. Just grabbing or writing up a random lesson plan that seems to provide value isn’t really great because it could be way off target. As a result, you may never see them again and you will wonder what went wrong when you feel like you delivered an awesome lesson. Get it straight from the get go and take a note somewhere about what this person wants to get out of your lessons.

Aside from an overall goal, it would help to have areas of focus. Here are some that I use:

  • Grammar: Does this person care about every little detail? Do they want to have perfect structures? Do they care about prepositions and articles and so on? Will you need to explain to them rules in detail? If so, you should be prepared to explain. Bring that grammar handbook.
  • Vocabulary: Does this person want to build up a super huge word bank? Is it to be more technical? Is it to use industry terminology? Is it to write emails? Find out why it is important and cater to that. Check if they want written examples too rather than just a single word.
  • Natural Phrases: Perhaps this person wants lots of idioms and other ways to express something. It is more than just giving a word.
  • Role-Plays: Does this person enjoy doing role-plays? Or do they just want to create environments for situations they may encounter? I find some students just want to do role-plays based around a certain situation but in various ways just so they are prepared for any randomness.
  • Debate/Discussions: I have had students who despised role-plays and preferred to only have heated discussions so they can practice giving opinions and ideas while being able to defend or expand on their point.
  • Presentations/Interviews: Is this person preparing for a presentation or interview in English? They may need your support. You can read through their materials to not only rephrase but challenge them with Q&A based on that content. I find a lot of students appreciate the Q&A greatly because sometimes my questions ACTUALLY do get asked!
  • Emails: This is a tricky one as it is hard to prepare for but I find a lot of students like to go over email situations. How to reply back or even handle cultural interpretation situations with global contacts. Having students prepare sample emails at home to bring in for discussion can greatly help. Give situations for them  to write about, which you can go over.
  • Listening: Perhaps this person just wants to practice for an English exam and needs more listening practice. Perhaps they just want a relaxing lesson. Maybe they just want to hear about your life’s experience or culture. Be careful here though because sometimes students may request this but they don’t really mean it.

My suggestion is to rank these in an order of most to least important. Review this every time you have a lesson. Review every so many lessons to see if this is still their goal. You can them incorporate these requests into your teaching. If you have any other points, feel free to point them out!

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ESL Business Tips: Do You Know Your Client? Part 2

I mentioned previously that it would be good to write down some information about your client rather than to keep it all up in your head. I find a lot of people just seem to only have the person’s name and phone number in their cell phone and that is about it. Perhaps they added them to facebook or some other social network. Really? That’s it?

If you meet lots of people all the time, I really can’t believe you will be able to retain all those little details you gathered overtime. Can you even remember what you ate for dinner last night? Seriously.

If you knew their birthday was coming, wouldn’t it be great to surprise them with warm wishes rather than finding out by them telling you? Take it a step further, if you knew what business they were in and the role they played at work, wouldn’t you then be able to develop your lessons plans around that line of business and cater to their goals more specifically?

If you know your clients and their needs, you will be able to better customize the lesson. We are living in a very competitive world. Showing that you care and understanding your client is critical.

I have prepared a VIP profile to help you get started. Make one every time you meet a new client. Show them you really care.

I orignally got this document from Darren Hardy. Check it out.

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