Unit 1. BUSINESS COMMUNICATION: FACE TO FACE
1.1. Listening Development
Assignment 1. Listen to the recording to Unit 1. Camela and business English expert David Evans are looking at business socialising. How does David describe business socialising? What situations are given as examples? Who are involved in these conversations? Where do they happen?
Listen again and say whether these statements are true or false:
Assignment 2. Listen to the recording to Unit 1 again. Jot down the words and expressions, which the speakers define and exemplify after their dialogue. Find the Russian equivalents.
1.2. Vocabulary Enrichment
Assignment 1. Which of these expressions are used for the purposes specified in the table below? Complete the table with these expressions. Then add other expressions you know. You can find them in the Active Vocabulary section at the end on Unit 1.
to introduce a person to another person:
to respond to an introduction:
to greet a person:
to ask how a person is doing:
to finish up a conversation:
to say goodbye to a person:
Assignment 2. Put the following conversations in the right order. Write numbers in the boxes.
Assignment 3. Look through the following phrases and try to think of the situations in which you can use them.
May I introduce you to ... ?
... this is ...
Assignment 4. Read the small talk below and find the 10 mistakes.
We could ask for a better day, could we?
I know. There isn't a cloud in the sky. I love this time of year.
Me too. The cherry blossoms are beautiful, you think?
They sure are. But I heard he is calling for rain all weekend.
Really? Oh well. I have to work all weekend anyway. I'm a doctor.
Wow. I'm sure you make good money with that diamond watch you have on.
Ah, this bus seems to be running late. How long of a wait is it already?
I've been here for at least fifteen minutes now.
Where are you heading today?
Actually, I'm going to the City Hall to cast my vote for mayor.
Oh, what a coincidence. So am I! Who are you voting for?
Um, well...I'm still thinking about it.
Here comes a bus now.
Oh, good. Wait, that's not the bus we want. That bus goes downtown.
Well, it looks like we'll be waiting a little longer. I guess, I'll use this time to catch up on my reading.
I love reading. Right now I'm reading a Stephen King book. Do you like Stephen King?
Oh, here's our bus.
Oh great. I thought it would never come. Well, have a nice day.
Say, did you catch the news today?
Assignment 5. Complete each of the sentences below with an appropriate active vocabulary word or its derivative (consult the Active Vocabulary section).
Assignment 6. Translate the following sentences into English.
1.3. Reading Improvement
Assignment 1. Look at the article’s headline – “How to Make Small Talk” – and write out 10 words used in the article the meaning of which you can guess from the context.
How to Make Small Talk
Making small talk with people you don't know well, such as your boss or a blind date, can be nerve-wracking especially if you want to make a good impression.
Making small talk doesn't have to be painful, even if it's with a boss you want to impress or blind date you want to see a lot more of! Believe it or not, making small talk can be fun – even for quiet personality types. Making small talk is also an art that can be learned.
"So…how about this weather?" doesn't often lead to stimulating dialogue (but don't hesitate to use it if you're desperate). If you must make small talk about the weather, be specific. Say, "It's freezing cold outside – have you ever heard that saying, 'colder than … ? Where did that come from, anyway?" might work better, depending on who you're talking to.
Making small talk can be difficult even if you're an extrovert, but it's especially difficult for introverts. Here's how to enjoy making small talk.
Keep up with current events. Make small talk about the news, sports, your community, or politics (unless politics is too controversial. On second thought, that can generate some pretty fiery dialogues!).
Comment on a piece of clothing or accessory. Ask where it came from, what the significance is, how much it cost (just kidding). Making small talk is about being observant about people you don't know well.
Pay attention to what they're saying. When you're making small talk, follow up on phrases; for instance, if they say they're "excellent", ask why – ask where you can get some. If they mention that they're exhausted, follow up on it. When you're making small talk, remember that great conversations and good connections can be just around the corner.
Share an anecdote about your day. Did you lose your keys or find $10? Maybe you ate at a new restaurant recently, or found a great new CD. Making small talk is about sharing the little things.
Ask what movies or books they've seen or read recently. Someone once asked me that at a party. Admittedly, at first it felt contrived, but then we had a fantastic conversation about the book I was reading! Making small talk is about trying new conversations.
Talk about TV. Share your favourite TV shows – whether it's Oprah's revelation of The Secret or your favourite sitcom. If you're Canadian, Little Mosque on the Prairie might be interesting to discuss! Making small talk about pop culture is easy and fun.
Recall your past conversations with the same person. Ask if their son is still ill or how the Mexican holiday went. Making small talk is easier when your memory is good.
Ask open-ended questions that require an explanation. For instance, "How are you?" isn't as effective as "Whatever happened with 'XXX' you were dealing with?" ('XXX' could be a business deal, family problem, or financial investment) Remember that anything is a potential topic of conversation. You can even talk about how uncomfortable you are making small talk – and ask them how they do it.
Relax. Enjoy yourself. People are interesting! If you combine these tips for making small talk with sincere interest, you'll embark on a fascinating conversational ride.
Let it go. If the conversation feels like dragging a piano uphill then it may be time to move on or let silence take over. You can't connect with everyone, and some conversations simply refuse to take life! Making small talk involves knowing when it's time to move on.
(after Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen)
Assignment 2. Mark whether these sentences are true or false.
1.4. Writing Enhancement
Assignment. Read the profile of Derek Stirling and then write another profile about yourself (you may need to invent information about yourself as a member of your virtual company). Use the topics below to help you:
My name is Derek Stirling and I'm Scottish. I live in Hadlow, a lovely English village near London, and I work for The Swire Group, Britain's largest private company. The Group's activities are divided into five business areas: shipping, aviation, property, industries, and trading. Our best-known company is Cathay (Pacific Airways).
I work at our London head office; I'm head of Corporate Finance, and I'm responsible for developing the business of the Group.
I'm always very busy and I don't have much free time, but when I do, I like fishing and I grow my own vegetables, just for fun.
1.5. Speaking Reinforcement
Assignment 1. Read the conversations aloud completing them with appropriate phrases. Then get ready to produce similar conversations in class with one of your groupmates.
______! What are you doing?
There's a lot of weird people outside at night... I just feel better with you safe and sound inside, Mom.
You have no idea how much tired I’m and...
Well, then why don't you go upstairs and get into bed, and I can bring you some hot tea?
That's sweet! (suspiciously) What'd you do?
Can't a daughter just be concerned about her mother?
(seeing Angel) Hi.
Oh! Okay... Um... Angel, uh, ______. Mom, this is Angel. Uh, we ______ ____ each other on the way home.
Delighted… What do you do, Angel?
He's my business associate. Uh, Angel's been helping me with my new project, you know I've been toiling there.
It's a little late for working. I'm gonna go to bed, and, uh, Buffy?
I'll say _____ _____and do the same!
(to Angel) ______. (goes up the stairs)
(pretending) Good night! We'll hook up soon and do that project thing!
Sorry I'm so late. The flight was a horror.
(amused): Oh… so sorry.
Yeah. That's enough small talk, don't you think?
Assignment 2. This role play is to meet your groupmates after the holiday and to discuss how their holidays were, whether or not they are ready to start up a new academic year, what their impressions of the first year are; which expectations they have; what problems they have (eg, where to live, etc.). Try to develop your ideas. Be ready to perform the role-play in class.