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Showing posts from July, 2014

Supermarkets could show you where to walk in the store - English lesson

When I go to the store, I always have my list: milk, bread, apples, eggs you know, the basics.  But supermarkets are always hoping that the customer will spend more and more every time they go to the store.  In the United States supermarkets are using more personalized tools, like sending coupons to smartphones and Rfid tags, to tap into the consumer mindset. 

Read this article  and be ready to discuss it with your teacher: http://www.forb
es.com/sites/tomvanriper/2014/07/08/supermarkets-could-soon-control-where-you-walk/

Key terms: 
manipulate
what the heck
routine
host of other items
perimeter
the ultimate impulse buy
like rats through a maze
the basic staples
pays heed
RFID tags
nitty-gritty details
idiosyncratic 
coupons
off the beaten path
differentiating from
Increase that basket size

Questions 
What is the problem that supermarkets want to solve?
What is the customers' usual behavior when they go to a supermarket? 
Where are the basic staples located in the local supermarket?
Where are the promoti…

Napping is not only for Children and the Elderly English Lesson

I remember when Ronald Reagan was President of the United States.  He was famous for falling asleep during important meetings.  John F. Kennedy was another Presidential napper.  Other famous people also nap.  Up to now napping during the day has been looked now upon. 

This article may change your attitude toward napping!   http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jul/20/should-i-take-regular-naps
Key Terms
nodded off - to doze
adolescent - children ages 13-19
randomly - not in any order
factual statements- statements of the truth
slow-wave sleep - a type of brainwave
enhances - helps
slope off - go off 
postprandial nap- occurring after a meal
circadian - daily
 restorative powers - give back energy
external stimuli - outside influences
stigma - negative connotations


Questions 

What is the traditional view of people who nap during the day? 
Who are famous people who have been known to  take naps? 
How does napping help people? 
According to the article, when is the best time for most people to nap? 

There's Nothing Wrong with Being a Banker . . for a little while! Business English Lesson

There's Nothing Wrong with Being a Banker . . for a little while! Business English Lesson

There are many professions that get a bad rap.  One of them is to be a banker.  It has the reputation of being very dry, working with numbers all the time,  being very straight-laced, and never cracking a smile.
But some people find banking to be a very nice, well paid career and stay with it for a few years, others get the bug and stay forever.  Which are you?


Read this article and then answer these questions with your English Teacher.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/upshot/theres-nothing-wrong-with-being-a-banker.html?_r=3

Key Terms
dull
recruit
 entry-level
miserable
risk-conscious
deleterious effect
analytical skills
communication skills
replicated 
internal approvers
qualitative
quantitative
concise
subsequent
zoning and density
fodder
 tangible results
fostered bubbles
 risk-averse
soul-sucking


Questions
Why does the author go into banking in the first place?
Do you think he did it for the right reasons?

Reduction of Insects can have huge implications for people- English lesson

Reduction of Insects can have huge implications for people- English lesson

Scientists are worried about the disappearance of bugs, spiders, slugs and worms.  Should you be worried too?  The scientists say that the world as a whole should be concerned because these types of life forms help prepare the soil for planting, they help to pollinate our food supply and they help support the larger animals such as birds.

Read this article for more information:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/10989198/Creepy-crawlies-decline-as-human-population-soars.html

Key terms:
an explosion in pests. - insects that damage food crops
invertebrate - animals that don't have bones, such as slugs and snails
ecosystem - a system of animals, plants and insects that live together in a certain place. 
pollinating crops - bringing pollen from one plant to another
decomposition - dead vegetable and animal matter that turns back into dirt and soilwater filtration - making water clean again
massive reduction …

On-line Privacy and Law Enforcement- Business English

On-line Privacy and Law Enforcement- Business English Lesson

What you do on-line can often be seen by many people, even those who you would rather not see your posts. They can comment, and twist your words. This article deals with Microsoft's case , about e-mails, that have been stored in   data centers in Ireland.   http://www.economist.com/news/business/21608644-why-microsoft-resisting-official-demand-hand-over-data-unwarranted?fsrc=rss|bus


Key Terms

due to face each other in a court 
a warrant 
 premises
drug-trafficking
 objections
sought 
 seize evidence
beyond the long arm of the law
 a subpoena
hybrid
drew up the law
 nitpicking
 supporting briefs 
spooks’ activities
the Stored Communications Act (SCA)
 the internet’s borderless realm

Questions

What is Microsoft's position in this case?
What is the Government's position? Why does the USA want the data?
Why doesn't Microsoft want to give the data?
What are the long term effects of this case?
How do you store your data?
Do you think th…

Staying at the same company longer than 2 years get paid 50% less lifetime total

The common knowledge in resume management is that you need to stay at a company for a long time to show that you have "staying power."  This is to show that you know how to deal with people and to grow a company.  In the Internet age, however even this rule of thumb is being questioned.  Read this article from Forbes and find out the newest research about staying in one company.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/cameronkeng/2014/06/22/employees-that-stay-in-companies-longer-than-2-years-get-paid-50-less/


Key Terms:

conservative number 
under-performing employee
inflation rate 
sobering 
individual circumstances
 jump ship
loyal employees 
Recessions 
market trends
norm
tout technology replacing labor
higher title
underpaid
changing jobs too often
unmarketable
 outweighs
rapid development
exceptions to the rule

Questions

How often have you changed job?
Why would you think about changing to another job?
Have you ever been fired?
How do you discuss the salary during the job interview? 
How do you define yo…

Business English - Conflict Resolution - from Parshat Mattot

By Rachael Alice Orbach
Conflicts come in all shapes and sizes in our lives, from small disputes involving children and parents to large one concerning nations.  In this last Weekly Parsha, Mattot, we have a situation regarding a big conflict between Moshe and the two and half tribes or Reuven, Gad and the half tribe of Manashe.


Read this article written by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
http://www.ou.org/torah/parsha/rabbi-sacks-on-parsha/conflict-resolution/
Key Terms: 
conflict resolutionvitalleadershiplong-termcohesivenessdivisivenessrancorback-bitingresentmentinternal politics  a lack of trustthe common goodsituateddestinationpermissionpossessionputting their own interestsabandoningto inheritd

Air Pollution - English Lesson

Air pollution is a problem that we all should be concerned about.  I remember living in Los Angeles, and coming into the city by plane is very eye-watering.  As the plane comes down for a landing, you see a layer of brown.  That is the air that in 5 minutes or so you are going to be breathing.  The same is happening in other places in the world.  Even in China.  But this time China is doing something about it. 

Read this article and then answer the questions with your Conversation English teacher. 

http://www.voanews.com/content/beijing-to-enforce-use-of-clean-coal-in-anti-pollution-drive/1956179.html

Key Terms 
in a bid to tackle soaring economyClean Coaltackleclogstrict controlsstability obsessed leaders
"rein in their craze"an array of laws and rulesweak monitoring and punishment unveiled plans  higher-quality raw materialsmeet tougher pollution targets
Questions 
1. How important is air pollution to you? What are they doing in China to combat air pollution? Is it working?
2. I…

Anonymous CV World it work for You? Business English

There has been a lot of talk about discrimination in the workplace lately, but few have had good ideas about how to make job hiring discrimination free.

One of the ideas has been drafted into law in France is the anonymous CV where information about the age, ethnic background and address have been eliminated.  This law, although on the books, has not really been enforced.  Read this article and then do the following lesson with your English teacher.

http://www.thelocal.fr/20140627/whatever-happened-to-frances-anonymous-cv

Key Terms

Anonymous
CV
Resume
ethnic background
ahead of the curve
Transparency and fairness
job candidates
implement
cross purposes
cultural wealth
bilingual
strike the law off the statute books

Questions about the article

Why do you think that the law has not been enforced?

Would this type of CV help you?

Do you think that this type of CV should be the norm?

Would you send in an anonymous CV?


Case Study

You are a personnel manager in a big company. You have 50 CV's to look through…

Modals: Can, Should, Must and Might exercise

By Rachael Alice Orbach
This post is concerned only about the Modals Can, Should, Must and Might.  
We use Modals are auxiliary verbs This means that they are always used in conjunction with other verbs, they show a variety of different meanings, permission, ability, giving advice, necessity etc.

Modals never take the word "to", Semi-Modals always have to word "to"  
Can has a few meanings:  Asking for permission  Can I borrow the car this evening?  Showing ability  Tom can play the piano.  Opportunity When you are at the museum you can go into the special exhibit.  Request  Can you pass the ketchup?  Possibility You can learn English if you practice everyday. 

Should  Giving advice  In the summer you should drink eight glasses of water.  Obligation I should stop looking at Facebook every five minutes!  Expectation: Their plane should have landed an hour ago. 
Must  This is a very strong modal verb.  Necessity To get into this University, you must pass the SAT tes…