Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Business English:Customer Service

Customer service is the lifeblood of every company and service provider in today's business.
How the customer perceives you and your business is very important.  First impressions count.

Key Terms


service agreement
advance payment
factors beyond your control
competitive wages

Define for your company what is good customer service.
Does your company have a training program for customer service employees?
What happens in your company when you receive a customer's complaint?
How do you boost employee moral? Do you hold staff meetings with your customer service personnel? Why or why not?
How do you motivate your customer service personnel to do a good job?

Case Study
You are setting up a new customer service department in your company.
List the steps that you will take to insure good customer service.
How do you follow up with the customers? How do you find out if they are happy with the service?
What can you do to change if the customers are not happy with the service?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Business Ethics in English

How to talk about Business Ethics in English
By Rachael Alice Orbach

Business Ethics means doing the right thing at the right time. It means not only applying the law but going beyond the letter of the law to do the right thing.  If other companies apply the law differently, it does not mean that your company has to do the same.

Key Terms

taking the right course
ethical behavior
corporate social responsibility
environmental concerns
company literature 

Add more terms concerning business ethics. 


What is your company's position on ethical business practices? 
What would you do if one of your employees was caught doing something that was not against the law, but was unethical?
How does your company view environmental issues?
Does your company recycle old materials?  In what way?
Does your company use renewable energy?  How is this important in your business? 

Case Study

Your company is rewriting the mission statement that will be advertised in all company literature, as well as on the Company Internet site.  Write the section about business ethics. 


Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Red Balloon Lesson Plan suitable for children learning to read.

I am going to use this lesson plan later today.  I found this on an English teaching site from India. The names add a bit of multiculturalism to my lessons.  If you want more from the site,  click here; 

I added the graphics so that the children will be more involved.

Steps to teach the poem.

1. Read the poem out loud.

2. cut out the balloon, shirt, socks and box.

3. Have the students color the drawings, how they want.

4. Read the poem again, now having the children act out the poem.

5. Read the poem again, changing which child has the balloon, the shirt, etc.

Good luck!
Rachael Alice

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Business English- Monopolies and Cartels

In many countries monopolies are frowned upon if a private company has too much market share.  However, if a government has a monopoly then it is accepted.
In this lesson we are going to discuss this situation.

Key Terms
Breaking up a monopoly
Market Share
Price fixing
 natural resources

Add more to this list!

Why are government monopolies accepted and private ones are not?
Why as OPEC been accepted as a cartel, but not other commodities?
Does breaking up a monopoly help the industry or hurt the industry?
What are the short-term effects?
What are the long-term effects?
Can a country do what it likes with its natural resources?

Case Study:
You are being brought in to your government to give testimony about price fixing in your market. You have to prove that your company is to blame or not.
Play the scene with your Business English teacher or a colleague.

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Business English " Small talk"

In Business not all the time are we talking about finances, and how the business is going.  There are situations that you need to speak with colleagues "small talk."  This could be when you are in an elevator with a colleague, or right before a meeting begins.  You need to be open to these opportunities because they can help you build a business relationship that can come in handy when you meet with that person in a business context.

Key Terms - these can be subjects that you can talk about with colleagues
The weather
Political news
Health news
News that affects your business
The next big holiday coming up
The holiday that just past
Your last vacation
Your next vacation
Your kids' event, i.e. first day at school, graduation
The upcoming meeting
Your hobbies
The traffic

Add more subjects to this list!

When was the last time you had to speak with a colleague while waiting for a meeting to begin?
What do you usually speak about?
How well do you know that person?
How long do you usually speak in this context?

Case Study
You are in the elevator with a colleague whom you don't know well.  You are on a business news site on your smartphone.  Play the scene with your teacher or a colleague.  You can relate to the news that you read on your smartphone, the weather or something that is going to happen at work.

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Talking about Politics in English

Business and Politics often go together.  Businesses need to have the right political climate in order to function.  In this lesson, we are going learn about how to talk about politics in English.
Define the Key Terms, then answer the questions and play the Case Study with your teacher or a fellow business associate.

Key Terms 
Political Party
grass roots

In what way is your industry affected by the political climate?
Do you see yourself as Right, Left or Center?
Which type of government is better for your business, Right, Left or Center?
Would you lobby your government for legislation that would be favorable for your business?
How does the elections affect your business?

Case Study
Your company is having a hard time paying the taxes.
You are meeting with your representative in the government.
State your case to reduce taxes.  Show how this will improve not only your business, but the political climate and the economy as a whole.

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Business English, Making a Business Call

Making a business call is very important.  You have to be very clear and to the point.

Before making your call take 5 minutes and write down what you need to accomplish during your call. 

1. Who do you need to speak to? 

2. What information do you need? 

3. If the person is not there, what message do you want to leave? 

4. Call to action, what do you need the other person to do? 

5. End the call in a positive manner. 

Practice this call with a friend until you feel comfortable with the dialog. Switch parts so that you can practice both sides of the call. 

Sample business call: 

 Rachael Smith: Hi I'm Rachael Smith from Smith Associates. I need to speak with Mr. Jones please. 

Receptionist: Let me check his line. No, he is not at his desk right now.  Can I take a message? 

R.S. No, may I please have his cell phone number? 

Receptionist: No, I cannot give out his personal phone number. May I take a message? 

R.S.  I need to speak with him urgently about today's meeting. 

Receptionist: I will give him the message as soon as I can. 

R.S. Thank you very much, Goodbye. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Job Interview - Part 2 Asking and Answering questions

In Job Interviews, you need to answer and ask questions.

To use questions use words that start with Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

Who refers to a person.
What refers to a thing.
When refers to time
Where refers to place
Why refers to a reason
How refers to the way a thing is done.

Here are some sample questions that can be used in a Job Interview. you should practice the answers out loud.

Who influenced you the most in your last job?
What is your greatest achievement?
When did you decide to change career direction?
Where do you plan to be in the next few years?
Why would you take a job that pays less money?
How did you fit in with the company culture?

Write more possible Job Interview questions.

1. Who

2. What

3. What

4. Why

5. Why

6. Where

7. Where

8. When

9. How

10. How

Good luck on your upcoming Job Interview! If you would like personalized help, go to  Choose Rachael as your teacher!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Job Interview in English Part 1

Job Interview in English, Part 1
Useful parts of speech 
Gerunds act like nouns, they are used for actions that you want to describe what you have done in your last job and education. 
Analyzing, posting, answering, managing, networking

Please add more gerunds to this list. 
Nouns. We use nouns to describe your job. 
Secretary, CEO, CFO, Social Networking Manager, - please add more nouns to this
Say a sentence using a Gerund: Example 
In my last job I was analyzing financial data. 
​Say a sentence using nouns Example
​ I was the CFO of a national branch of a Telecom company. 

​Practice these typical Job Interview Questions, Be sure to practice these out loud, and use proper English grammar!

​1. Tell me about yourself, (here give a short 3 minute review of your education and job experience 

​2. Why did you leave your last job? (Say in a positive way)
​3. What can you bring to this company (Say what qualities you have that will spark the interviewer's interest in you) 

4. Why did you choose this profession? (Say why you chose this field in a positive
5. What are you strengths and weaknesses? (Say the truth, but don't say something too bad for the weaknesses.  Maybe say that you are very detail orientated.)

This is just a taste of a Job Interview, if you would like personalized help then contact me at, asking for Rachael as your teacher! 

The Dort Automobile Company in Michigan

I came across this website while just browsing the web and I thought it added a facet of history to the Car industry.   https://til...