Professional English

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Professional English

Locactions (dogs & spiders)

September 4, 2010 · No Comments · teacher notes

LOCACTIONS A (Dogs)

The dog’s standing in the green carrot box.

The dog’s sitting on the green lemon box.

The dog’s eating (a cookie) in front of the green cookie boxes.

The dogs’re drinking (milk) under the green milk boxes.

The dog’s sleeping on the blue apple boxes.

The dog’s wagging its tail under the blue cherry box.

The dogs’re playing in the blue pear box.

The dogs’re dancing on the blue pea box.

The dog’s walking between the red grape boxes.

The dogs’re running between the red vegetable boxes.

The dogs’re barking behind the red orange boxes.

The dogs’re fighting in front of the red banana box.

The dogs’re playing catch in the yellow potato boxes.

The dog’s sneezing in front of yellow pepper box.

The dog’s listening (to music) behind the yellow toy boxes.

The dogs’re crying under the yellow onion box.

LOCATIONS B (Spiders)

a) The spider’s coming out of the wall.

b) The spider’s coming around the corner.

c) The spider’s going through the wall.

d) The spider’s frowning in the corner.

e) The spider’s going around the corner.

f) The spider’s walking far from the wall.

g) The spider’s going into the wall.

h) The spider’s singing on the corner.

OR The spider’s singing at the corner.

i) The spider’s reading (a message from her mother) on the wall.

j) The spider’s hanging (from a branch) above the wall.

k) The spider is hopping near the wall.

l) The spider’s digging below/beneath the wall.

m) The spider’s waving on top of the wall.

n) The spider’s going over the wall.

o) The spider’s painting at the bottom of the wall

p) The spider’s chasing a bug around in the corner.

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Mid-Term test preview

June 10, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Professional English Midterm Exam CONTENT PREVIEW

The midterm exam will cover Opening the Doors 1-5  and Working with English units1-3. It will consist of the following sections:

Part A: Listening (20%)

1)    Five True or False questions based on a listening segment from Working with English.

2)    Five Multiple-choice questions based on another unit of Working with English.

3)    A listening cloze (fill in the blanks) based on an original listening section to test “control language” (5 questions, 2 points each)

Part B: Vocabulary (40%)

Two sets of clozes (20 questions) based on “Opening the Doors” vocabulary

Part C: Control Language (10%)

Five questions (2 points each) testing if you have learned when to use and how to say  these useful phrases. (from text and handout)

Part D: Writing (30%)

Three writing segments based on both texts.

1) about the companies you have studied so far

2) writing addresses in English

3) writing a certain type of letter

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Telephone Appointments – example

March 4, 2010 · No Comments · teacher notes

MAKING AN APPOINTMENT

Trine Mork speaking.
Good morning Ms. Mork. This is Tetsuya Moriya from Morgan International calling.
Good morning Mr. Moriya.  How are you?
I’m very well thank-you.  And you?
I’m just fine.  What can I do for you Mr. Moriya?
I’m manager of the Training Division of Morgan International, and I’m calling to find out if we could meet to talk about an English Intensive course for our sales personnel.
I’d be very happy to talk to you.  When is good for you?
Well, I’d like to meet as soon as possible.  Would this Friday be possible?
Let me check my schedule …. I’m afraid I’m tied up in the morning, but anytime after lunch is fine.
Good.  How about 2:30. Would an hour be enough time?
An hour should be enough. 2:30 is fine.  Where exactly is your office Mr. Moriya?
We’re on the 18th floor of the Arabesque Plaza Building, just outside Exit 7 of Toranomom Station on the Ginza Line.
Great.  So I’ll see you in your office at 2:30 this Friday, the 24th.
Good. I’m looking forward to meeting you, Ms. Mork.
I’m looking forward to meeting you.  Good-bye.
Good-bye.

CHANGING AN APPOINTMENT

Tetsuya Moriya.
Good morning Mr. Moriya.  This is Trine Mork from Sumikin-Intercom speaking.
Hello Ms. Mork.  How are you?
I’m fine.  I’m calling about our appointment on Friday.  I’m very sorry, but something has come up at the last minute, and I have to go to Osaka on Thursday and Friday.  Could we change our appointment to next week?
Certainly.  When is convenient?
Well, I’m free Monday morning.
I’m in meetings all day Monday.  What about Tuesday morning?
Tuesday morning would be fine.  How about 10:30?
That’s fine.
Good.  I’ll be in your office at 10:30 on Tuesday, the 27th.  Again, I apologize for the change.
No problem.  I understand.
Good.  See you next week then.
See you next week.  Good-bye.
Good-bye.

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Telephone Messages- gambits

March 4, 2010 · No Comments · teacher notes

Making the Call (CALLER)

Taking the Call (RECEIVER)

Greetings / identifying yourself

Good morning/afternoon/evening.

My name is Yuji Saito.

This is Yuji Saito speaking. I’m with Toyota.

This is Yuji Saito from Toyota speaking.

Greetings

Good morning/afternoon/evening.

Tanaka Trading.  Can I help you?

Chris Tanaka speaking.

What can I do for you?

This is Chris Tanaka of Tanaka Trading.

How may I be of assistance?

Asking for Someone

May I speak to Tom Black, please?

I’d like to speak to/with Tom Black.

Extension 4444 please.

Is Tom Black there, please?

Could I speak to the person responsible for

____, please?

Asking for Identification (if not given)

May/Could I have your name, please?

Who’s speaking/calling, please?

May I ask who’s speaking/calling?

Your name is…(?)

I’m sorry, what company do you represent?

Asking Someone to Wait

Just a moment please. I’ll connect you.

One moment please. I’ll transfer your call.

Please hold while I put you through.

One moment while I check if she’s

available.

Asking when someone will be back

When do you expect him back?

Do you know when he’ll be back in the office?

What time will he be back?

Will she be back soon?

Saying someone is out/ not available

I’m afraid he’s out of the office.

She’s on the other line at the moment.

I’m sorry, Mrs. X is in a meeting right now.

I’m sorry, he’s not in at the moment.

I’m afraid you just missed him.

I’m sorry, he just stepped out.

I’m sorry, he’s not at his desk.

I’m afraid he’s out for lunch.

I’m afraid he’s away on business.

I’m sorry, she’s busy right now.

Leaving a message

Could you ask her to _______.

Could I leave a message, please?

Could you take a message for me, please?

Would you mind giving her a message?

No thank you.  I’ll call back.

Saying when someone will be available

She won’t be available until 5 p.m.

She should be free later.

She’ll be free in an hour.

He’ll be back sometime this afternoon.

Asking for a return call

Does Ms. X have my number?

I wonder if you could have her call me back.

Could you please tell her to call me when

she gets in?

Please tell him that I’ll be waiting for his call.

Taking a message

Can I give him a message for you?

Would you care to leave a message?

May I take a message?

Would you like me to give her a message?

Confirming the receiver has the info.

That’s correct.

Yes, that’s right. I’ll be in all afternoon.

That’s it. I’ll be here till 3 p.m.

No, sorry: It’s M-O-R-(as is ‘rabbit’)-K.

Checking & confirming details

Could I have your name again?

What was your name again, please?

Could you please repeat your name?

Could you spell your (first/last) name please?

…and you name is SWARTZKOFF.

That’s S-W-A-R-T-Z-K-O-F-F, correct?

S-A-I-…(?)

What company did you say you were from?

I’m sorry, could you spell that please?

Let me check/ confirm the message:

You are ___ from ___, and you would like

____. Your phone number is _______.

I’ll give him/her your message.

I’ll make sure she/he gets the message.

Ending the call

Thank you. Goodbye.

Ending the call

Thank you for calling. Goodbye.

Dialing a wrong number

Is this 8730-2358/ Is this Tanaka Trading?

I’m very sorry. I made a mistake.

Receiving a wrong number

I’m afraid you have the wrong number.

No, you’ve dialed the wrong number.

That’s OK.

Leaving Voicemail

Hello. This Tom Black.

I work for Tanaka Trading.

It’s Friday, August 13 about 11 am.

I can’t come to the meeting tomorrow. /

I have to go to Nagoya on business. / etc.

My number is 239-7856.

(Please call me back.) Thank you.

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Telephone Approintments -gambits

March 4, 2010 · No Comments · teacher notes

Answering (Receiver)

Hello. Kitamura Inc.
Good afternoon. Kitamura Inc.

Identifying Self (Caller)

This is Kevin Burke of/from Southwest Corporation.

Asking for Someone (Caller)

May I speak to Susan Parker, please?
I’d like to speak to Susan Parker, please.
Could I speak to Susan Parker, please?

Identifying Self (Receiver)

This is Susan Parker speaking.

This is Susan Parker.

Speaking.

Greeting (Caller & Receiver)

Hello, Susan. How are you?
I’m just fine, thank you. Yourself?
I’m fine.
What can I do for you?

Reason for Calling (Caller)

The reason I’m calling is to ask/check/find out …
The reason I’m calling is that I’ d like to meet with you to discuss….
I’d like to arrange a meeting about….
I’d like to make an appointment to show you….
Could we meet to talk about…?
I’m calling to make an appointment/ see if/ ask if/ find out …
I’m calling about …

Deciding When and Where (Caller & Receiver)

When is a good time for you?
What day/ time is good/ convenient for you?
When did you have in mind?
Do have time early next week?
How about Tuesday afternoon?
Half past three? Would that be convenient?
Are you free on Friday the 23rd around 2PM?
How about Wednesday, the 22nd, at 2:30?
Would Thursday at 10:00 be OK?
Let me check my schedule.
That sounds fine.

Deciding When and Where (Caller & Receiver) -CONTINUED

I’m sorry, I’m busy then. How about Friday at 11:00 instead?
I’m afraid I will be out of town/have another appointment then.
I’m tied up all day Wednesday. How does Thursday look for you?
I’m tied up until 3, but after that is fine. Are you free….?
Sorry, I have another appointment at that time, but what about …
I’m afraid I can’t get away at that time. How about…
Would Thursday morning be OK?
How about…?
Can I come to your office?
Can you come to my office?

Confirming the Appointment (Caller & Receiver)

Good. I’ll see you Wednesday at 2:30, then.
Fine. That’s Thursday at 10:00.
I’ll meet you Tuesday afternoon in your office, then.
Fine. See you then.

Ending (Caller & Receiver)

Is there anything else I can help you with? (RECEIVER)
That’s everything. Thank you for your help. (CALLER)
It’s/ It was my pleasure. (RECEIVER)
Thank you very much. (CALLER)
You’re welcome. (RECEIVER)
I’m looking forward to seeing you. (CALLER & RECEIVER)
I look forward to our meeting next week. (CALLER & RECEIVER)
Good-bye. (CALLER & RECEIVER)

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Answering the Telephone in English

March 4, 2010 · No Comments · notes in Japanese, teacher notes

Telephone conversations are often harder than face-to-face ones. For this reason, non-native speakers often get quite nervous about taking telephone calls in English.

What is the etiquette for answering the phone in English? Assuming we are in a formal, business setting, it is normal to identify your company; “Good morning, Tama University” or “Tama University, how can I help you?” would be a reasonable way to start.

If the call is for someone else, “Just a moment – I’ll put you through” is fine. You can then put the caller on hold. It is very common in Western companies to ask who is calling. You could say, “Who’s calling, please?” or “May I tell him (or her) who’s calling?”

Of course, it’s important to listen carefully to the response! If you are in any doubt as to how to spell the name, you may need to ask “How do you spell that, please?” If you don’t hear clearly, you may wish to ask, “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”

Of course, if the person they want to speak to is not available, you should offer to take a message. Useful phrases include “I’m sorry, but Ms. Mork is not at her desk right now”, “I’m afraid she’s in a meeting”, “Can I take a message?” or “Would you like to leave a message?”

The caller could give a number of different answers. You should listen out for the following: “It’s OK, I’ll call back later” or “Please ask her to call me back.” The first answer only needs something like “OK, thank you for calling.” The second means you should confirm that your colleague knows the caller’s phone number by asking, “Does she have your number?”

Glossary – 言葉の意味

  • face-to-face 面と向かって
  • etiquette エチケット
  • to assume 仮定する
  • to put someone through 人の電話をつなぐ
  • to put someone on hold 人の電話を保留する
  • in doubt 疑問で
  • to call back later 後で(電話を)かけ直す
  • to confirm 確認する
  • to call someone back 人に折り返し電話する
  • to handle something 対処する

英語の電話を受ける

電話の会話は直接会って話をするより難しいことが多い。そのためノンネイティブはびくびくしながら英語の電話を受けることになる。

英語の電話に答えるときのエチケットとは何だろう? 仕事上の改まった会話だと、まず自分の会社名を名乗るのがふつうである。”Good morning, Tama University.”(おはようございます、多摩大学です)あるいは ” Tama University, how can I help you?”( 多摩大学 です。ご用件をどうぞ)などが順当な口火の切り方だろう。

もし誰か他の人間にかかってきた電話なら “Just a moment – I’ll put you through.” (少々お待ちください。ただいまおつなぎします)でじゅうぶんだ。そう言って電話を保留にする。欧米企業では当たり前のように相手の名前を聞く。”Who’s calling, please?”(失礼ですがどちら様でしょうか?)あるいは “May I tell him (or her) who’s calling?”(お名前をお伝えしてもよろしいでしょうか?) のように言えばよいだろう。

相手の答えを注意深く聞くことももちろん大切だ! 名前のつづりがわからなかったら “How do you spell that, please?”(つづりをお聞きしてもよろしいでしょうか?)と聞く必要がある。はっきり聞こえなかったら “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”(すみませんが、もう1度お願いします)のように聞き返せばよい。

相手が話したがっている人間が電話に出られなかったら、伝言を残したいかどうか確かめなければならない。こうした場合に役立つフレーズは “I’m sorry, but Ms. Mork is not at his desk right now.”(もうしわけありませんが、望久さんはただいま席をはずしております)、”I’m afraid she’s in a meeting.”(もうしわけありませんが、ただいま会議中です)、”Can I take a message?”(ご伝言をお受けしましょうか?)、”Would you like to leave a message?”(何かご伝言がおありでしょうか?)などだ。

相手はさまざまな答え方をする場合がある。”It’s OK, I’ll call back later.”(大丈夫です。またかけ直します)と “Please ask her to call me back.”(彼女に折り返し電話をくれるよう伝えてください)では大違いだから、注意して聞き分けなければならない。最初の答えだったら “OK, thank you for calling.”(かしこまりました。お電話ありがとうございます)程度で済む。だが後の答えだったら、”Does she have your number?”(彼女はお電話番号を存じておりますでしょうか?)とたずねて、同僚が相手の電話番号を知っていることを確認しなければならない。

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Small Talk (chit chat)

March 4, 2010 · No Comments · teacher notes

What is small talk?

Small talk is pleasant conversation about common interests. The ability to make ‘small talk’ is highly valued. Small talk gets friendships started and ‘breaks the ice’ before important business meetings and other events.

Why is small talk difficult for some English learners?

First of all, making small talk is not difficult only for English learners, but also for many native speakers of English. However, small talk can be especially difficult for some learners because making small talk means talking about almost anything – and that means having a wide vocabulary that can cover most topics.

How to Improve Small Talk Skills

Making effective small talk means lots of practice, but keeping these tips in mind should improve overall conversational skills.

1) Do some research.

Spend time on the Internet, reading magazines, or watching TV specials about the type of people you are going to meet. For example: If you are taking a class with students from other countries, take time after the first few days of class to do some research. They will appreciate your interest and your conversations will be much more interesting.

2) Stay away from religion/strong political beliefs.

While you may believe in something very strongly, beginning conversations and making small talk about your own personal convictions may abruptly end the conversation. Keep it light, don’t try to convince the other person that you have the ‘correct’ information about a higher being, political system or other belief system.

3) Use the Internet to gain specific vocabulary.

If you have a business meeting, or are meeting people who share a common interest (a basketball team, a tour group interested in art, etc.), take advantage of the Internet to learn specific vocabulary. Almost all businesses and interest groups have glossaries on the Internet explaining the most important jargon related to their business or activity.

4) Ask yourself about your culture.

Take time to make a list of common interests that are discussed when making small talk in your own culture. You can do this in your own language, but check to make sure that you have the English vocabulary to make small talk about those subjects.

5) Find common interests.

Once you have a subject that interests both of you, keep to it! You can do this in a number of ways: talking about travel, talking about the school or friend you have in common, talking about the differences between your culture and the new culture (just be careful to make comparisons and not judgments, i.e., The food in our country is better than the food here in England”).

6) Listen

This is very important. Don’t get so worried about being able to communicate that you don’t listen. Listening carefully will help you understand and encourage those speaking to you. You might be nervous, but letting others state their opinions will improve the quality of the discussion – and give you time to think of an answer!

Slightly adapted from http://esl.about.com/od/speakingenglish/a/smalltalk.htm

Small Talk Topics

Here is a list of common small talk subjects. If you have difficulties speaking about any of these topics, try to improve your vocabulary by using the resources available to you (Internet, magazines, teachers at school, etc.)

  • Sports – current matches or games, favorite teams, etc.
  • Hobbies
  • Weather – boring, but can get the ball rolling!
  • Family – general questions, not questions about private matters
  • Media – films, books, magazines, etc.
  • Holidays – where, when, etc. but NOT how much!
  • Home town – where do you come from, how is it different/similar to this town
  • Job – once again, general questions not too specific
  • Latest fashion and trends
  • Celebrities – any gossip you may have!

Here is a list of topics that probably are NOT very good for small talk. Of course, if you are meeting a close friend these topics may be excellent. Just remember that ‘small talk’ is generally discussion with people you don’t know very well.

  • Salary – how much do you make? – That’s none of your business!
  • Politics – wait to you get to know the person better
  • Intimate relationships, marital status – only for you and your partner – or maybe your best friend
  • Religion – tolerance is the key!
  • Death – we need to face it, but not the first time we meet someone new
  • Financial – related to salary above, most people prefer to keep financial information to themselves
  • Sales – Don’t try to sell something to someone you have just met.
  • Age – you should wait until you know people better

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Job Titles

March 4, 2010 · No Comments · teacher notes

Job Title

Japanese equivalent

Definition

CEO

(Chief Executive Officer)

代表取り締まり役

(だいひょうとりしまりやく)

the person who is of highest rank in a large company

CFO

(Chief Financial Officer)

最高財務責任者

さいこうざいむせきにんしゃ)

the person who is responsible for an entire company’s money matters

President OR

The Managing Director

常務取締役

(じょうむとりしまりやく)

someone who heads a company and is responsible for its running

Executive Secretary

事務局長(じむきょくちょう)

事務総長(じむそうちょう)

someone who does secretarial work for top management

Sales & Marketing Manager

営業/販売部長

販売責任者

(はんばいせきにんしゃ)

someone who heads the department that advertises and sells the product

Sales Representative

営業担当者

(えいぎょうたんとうしゃ)

someone who is responsible for selling a product or services to customers

Sales

Executive

営業部長

(えいぎょうぶちょう)

someone of a high rank who is responsible for selling a product or services

Production Manager

製造/生産部長

(せいぞう/せいさんぶちょう)

someone who heads the department responsible for manufacturing the product

Personnel Manager

人事部長

(じんじぶちょう)

someone who heads the department responsible for staff matters, such as hiring

R&D Manager

研究開発部長

(けんきゅう

かいはつぶちょう

someone who heads the department responsible for research & development

Finance Director

金融担当重役

(きんゆうたんとう

じゅうやく)

somebody responsible for running the company’s financial affairs

Accountant

会計士(かいけいし) someone who keeps the accounts in the financial department

Receptionist

受付係 (うけつけがかり)

フロント

someone who sits in the lobby, answers the phone, and greets visitors

Secretary

秘書

(ひしょ)

someone who helps with administrative duties, such as photocopying, phoning, filing, etc.

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Formal Introductions -gambits

March 4, 2010 · No Comments · teacher notes

Informal

  • This is my boss, Mr. Stratford.
  • Jared, this is my secretary, Barbara.
  • Good to meet you.
  • Nice to meet you too.
  • I’d like you to meet my co-worker, Collin Beck.
  • Collin, this is Susan Palmer.
  • Nice to meet you.

Formal

  • I’d like to introduce you to my dear friend, Mrs. Pleasant.
  • Allow me to introduce myself/my colleague, Ms. Winters.
  • Let me introduce you to my colleague, Dean Richards.
  • Mr. Richards, this is David Porter from Aerospace Inc.
  • How do you do?
  • It’s a pleasure meeting you.

Listen at:

http://www.eslgold.com/images/bz_bus_intro.mp3

Greeting People

  • Hello. / Hi.
  • Good morning.
  • Good afternoon.
  • Good evening.

Introducing People

  • What’s your name?
  • My name is …
  • I’m …
  • Haven’t we met (before)?
  • Yes, I think we have.
  • No, I don’t think we have.
  • I think we’ve already met.
  • I don’t think we’ve met (before).
  • This is …
  • Meet …
  • Have you met …?
  • Yes, I have.
  • No, I haven’t.
  • Yes, I think I have.
  • No, I don’t think I have.
  • Hello, … (name)
  • Nice to meet you. (informal) How do you do? (formal)
  • Pleased to meet you.
  • Nice to see you.
  • Nice to see you again.

Say Goodbye

  • (It was) nice meeting you.
  • Good bye.
  • Bye. / See you.
  • See you later.
  • See you soon.
  • See you tomorrow.
  • See you next week.
  • Good night.

Health

  • How are you?
  • How are you today?
  • Fine, thank you/thanks.
  • Not too bad.
  • Very well.
  • I’m okay / all right.
  • Not too well, actually.
  • What’s wrong with you?
  • What’s the matter with you?
  • Are you all right?
  • I’m tired.
  • I’m exhausted.
  • I’ve got a cold.

Making introductions in a business setting

SAM: Hello, I don’t think we’ve met. Sam Eriks.

VICTOR: Victor Tang. Pleased to meet you.

SAM: And what company are you from, Mr Tang?

VICTOR: OceanWide. I’m the sales representative for this region.

SAM: Ah yes. I know your company. Your business is expanding very rapidly at the moment.

VICTOR: Yes, we’re doing quite well. And yourself? Who do you work for?

SAM: Actually, I work for myself. I’m the C.E.O. of a small export and packaging company. We specialise in seafood.

VICTOR: It’s a growing market.

SAM: Yes, but a very competitive one, Mr Tang.

VICTOR: Please call me Victor.

SAM: Sam. Victor, let me introduce you to someone. Lin – this is Victor Tang – he’s the regional rep. for OceanWide. This is Lin Chan, my sales manager.

LIN: How do you do, Mr Tang?

VICTOR: I’m very well, thank you. Nice to meet you, Ms Chan.

LIN: And you.

VICTOR: Can I get you another drink?

LIN: Thank you.

SAM: So, Victor – How do you spend your free time?

VICTOR: Well, I …

The unmodified version of this dialogue can be found on this site:

http://australianetwork.com/businessenglish/stories/ep01.htm

Check out the VIDEO to go with it!

Let’s look at introductions. First – how did Sam introduce himself to Victor – who he didn’t know?

Hello, I don’t think we’ve met.

Sam Eriks.

Victor Tang.

Pleased to meet you.

Sam said hello. We can say hello in most situations. He also said I don’t think we’ve met. This is a good phrase to use if you want to meet someone new. Victor replied by saying his name and pleased to meet you. Pleased to meet you is a good formal greeting for most situations. After Sam introduces himself, he says ‘pleased to meet you’. The Western tradition is to shake hands when you meet someone. Usually, when we first meet someone in a business situation, we want to find out what they do – what their job, or position is. Let’s see how Victor and Sam do this.

And what company are you from, Mr Tang?

OceanWide. I’m the sales representative for this region.

Ah yes. I know your company. Your business is expanding very rapidly at the moment.

Yes, we’re doing quite well.  And yourself? Who do you work for?

Actually, I work for myself. I’m the C.E.O. of a small export and packaging company. We specialise in seafood.

Sam asks and what company are you from? There are a few different ways you could ask this question, and you can be more specific by asking about someone’s job:

  • What company are you from?          Which company do you represent?
  • What’s your line of business?            What company are you with?
  • And what’s your position there?        And what do you do there?

Position means the same as job, but it’s a more formal term. Listen to how both Sam and Victor describe their positions:

I’m the sales representative for this region.

I’m the C.E.O. of a small export and packaging company.

We describe our job by saying I am or I’m and then naming the position. Notice that Sam says he is the C.E.O. or Chief Executive Officer of his company. When someone asks who you work for, it can be useful to also tell them what your job is. When meeting someone, it helps them if you offer information before they ask. This makes the conversation more relaxed.

Now, let’s look at names. Should we use formal titles, such as Mr, Mrs or Ms, or should we use informal, more familiar names? Let’s see how Victor solves this problem:

It’s a growing market.

Yes, but a very competitive one, Mr Tang.

Please call me Victor.

Sam.

Sam uses Victor’s formal title – Mr Tang. However, Victor says Please call me Victor. Now that they have met, it’s more comfortable for them to use each other’s first names – at least in this less formal situation.

Sam introduces Victor to someone else. Let’s watch how he does this.

Victor, let me introduce you to someone.

Lin – this is Victor Tang – he’s the regional rep. for OceanWide.

This is Lin Chan, my sales manager.

How do you do, Mr Tang?

I’m very well, thank you.

Nice to meet you, Ms Chan.

Sam says let me introduce you to someone. This is a very useful phrase. When Sam introduces Lin, he has four pieces of information. Listen carefully to what they are:

This is Victor Tang – he’s the regional rep. for OceanWide.

This is Lin Chan, my sales manager.

Did you hear the four parts of Sam’s introduction? First, he told Lin Victor’s full name. Second, he told her what Victor’s position was and his company name. Third, he introduced Lin using her full name, and finally he told Victor what Lin’s job was. This way both Victor and Lin know enough about each other to start a conversation. When introducing people at a function, it’s important to try to make them feel comfortable. Finally, listen again to how Lin and Victor greet each other:

How do you do, Mr Tang?

I’m very well, thank you.

Nice to meet you, Ms Chan.

And you?

How do you do is another formal phrase for introductions. Victor replies with a formal phrase too I’m very well, thank you.  If someone says How do you do? or How are you? we usually say I’m very well, thank you. We could also ask them how they are, by saying How do you do? or How are you?

Remember, when meeting people, tell them something about yourself before being asked. When you ask people questions about themselves in English, use a falling tone – it sounds friendlier. Instead of Who do you work for? (upward inflection) use Who do you work for? (downward inflection).

When introducing a colleague, or someone you’ve met, use the full names of both people, and their positions.

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Getting Aquainted – gambits

March 4, 2010 · No Comments · teacher notes

WAITER: Another drink sir?

WALTER: No, thank you.

SUE: Excuse me – is anyone sitting here?

WALTER: No – please have a seat.

SUE: That’s better – my feet are killing me!

WALTER: Have you been here long?

SUE: No, but I just flew in this morning, and I haven’t had a chance to sit down since then.

WALTER: Oh, where have you come from?

SUE: From Manila.

WALTER: Is this your first visit to Australia?

SUE: No, I have been once before, but it was a long time ago.

WALTER: And have you been to Sydney before?

SUE: No, it’s an amazing city.

WALTER: Yes, it has its points. But you’re lucky to live in Manila. It’s a fascinating city.

SUE: What about yourself? Do you live in Sydney?

WALTER: No, I live in Melbourne. I’m just here for the conference.

SUE: I’m going to Melbourne later. What’s the weather like there?

WALTER: Not too good in winter, but at the moment it should be okay.

So, how’s your hotel?

SUE: It’s good. Very convenient – just near the harbour.

WALTER: Have you seen the Opera House yet?

SUE: Yes, we flew right over it!

WALTER: Excuse me – there’s someone I must talk to. (stands) It’s been very nice to meet you. I’m Walter by the way.

SUE: You too. I’m Sue. Perhaps we’ll meet later.

WALTER: I hope so.

Check out the video at:
http://australianetwork.com/businessenglish/stories/ep03.htm

Today we’re looking at a typical conversation you might have with someone you’ve only just met – at a conference for example. What sort of thing can you talk about – and what topics should be avoided? Let’s look at how Walter and Sue get acquainted.

Sue breaks the ice – or starts the conversation.

Excuse me – is anyone sitting here?

No – please have a seat.

That’s better – my feet are killing me!

We can tell from how Sue speaks to Walter, that they haven’t met before. She is very polite, and so is he. But then she says something more personal, and this is the ‘icebreaker’.

That’s better. My feet are killing me.

Sue is letting Walter know two things – firstly – that she is tired, and secondly that she is willing to have a friendly conversation with him. By making a more personal, or casual remark, she is inviting him to respond.

Have you been here long?

No, but I just flew in this morning, and I haven’t had a chance to sit down since then.

Walter asks ‘Have you been here long?’

To start a conversation like this, it’s fairly safe to talk about what people have just done.

For this, we use the present perfect –‘have’. Practice with Walter some typical questions like this you could ask.

  • Have you been here long?
  • Have you been to Sydney before?
  • Have you seen the Opera House?
  • Have you tried any restaurants?

Questions that start with ‘have you’ are yes/no questions, so they have a rising tone:
Have you been here long?

When answering these questions in a situation like this it is helpful to add some information, not just say yes or no.

If you just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, people may think you don’t really want to talk.

Have you been here long?

No.

Oh.

Instead – notice how Sue helps the conversation along by giving some extra information.
Have you been here long?

No, but I just flew in this morning, and I haven’t had a chance to sit down since then.

Oh, where have you come from?
Sue has said that she flew in this morning. So this gives Walter an obvious next question.

‘Where have you come from.’

This is a different type of question – it’s asking for information.

Questions beginning with ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘who’ are all questions asking for information. Notice the difference between ‘Where have you come from?’ – meaning where did you fly from, and ‘Where are you from?’ – meaning what is your nationality.

Notice also the falling tone with these questions: ‘Where have you come from?’

This makes the question sound friendly. But be careful not to ask too many questions like this all together – the other person may think you’re being too nosy.

Where are you from?

Manila.

What do you do?

I’m an accountant.

Why are you here?

I’m on business.

Who are you with?

My boss. Excuse me.

Where are you going?

Of course – some questions like this are alright – but try not to sound too inquisitive – and offer some information or ideas yourself.

Is this your first visit to Australia?

No, I have been once before, but it was a long time ago.

And have you been to Sydney before?

No, it’s an amazing city.

Yes, it has its points. But you’re lucky to live in Manila. It’s a fascinating city.

Sue doesn’t just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – she adds some extra information. And Walter finds the opportunity to give his opinion, and to compliment the place Sue comes from. Now it’s Sue’s turn to ask a question.

What about yourself? Do you live in Sydney?

No, I live in Melbourne. I’m just here for the conference.

Sue wants to ask Walter about himself – this is showing interest. So she says ‘What about yourself?’

And what about yourself?

Practise some useful phrases to introduce a question.

  • And how about you?

These phrases should be followed by a question. Practise again, with the question to follow.

  • And what about yourself? Do you live in Sydney?
  • And how about you? Have you been here before?

When meeting someone new on business, but in a social setting – there are a few safe topics – we can talk about travel and accommodation, basic questions about the other person, about the city you are in, interesting sights to see, and of course, the weather.
I’m going to Melbourne later.

What’s the weather like there?

Not too good in winter, but at the moment it should be okay.

Finally, let’s look at how Walter ends the conversation. He needs to make sure the other person doesn’t think he is bored.

Excuse me – there’s someone I must talk to. It’s been very nice to meet you.

You too. Perhaps we’ll meet later.

I hope so.

He gives a reason why he must go, then says ‘It’s been very nice to meet you.’ Practise some useful phrases for ending a conversation, with Walter and Sue.

  • Well, it’s been very nice to meet you.
  • Nice to meet you too.
  • It’s been good to meet you.
  • You too.
  • I have enjoyed talking to you.
  • So have I.
  • I hope we can meet again.
  • So do I.
  • Perhaps we’ll meet again.
  • I hope so.

In conversation, when asking questions remember to use a rising tone for yes/no questions – such as those starting with ‘do you’ or ‘are you.’

Questions starting with ‘Do you’ ask about regular actions, and about likes and dislikes, or opinions:

  • ‘Do you travel often?’
  • ‘Do you like the weather here?’
  • ‘Do you think this session will be interesting?’

Questions starting with ‘Are you’ are asking for personal information:

  • ‘Are you from Manila?’
  • or intentions:
  • ‘Are you going to the dinner?’
  • Questions starting with where, when, what, why or who are asking for information, and they often have a falling tone:
  • ‘Where do you come from?’
  • ‘When are you going back?’

People from different cultures have different ideas about what are reasonable topics for conversation between strangers – so at first, it is safest to stick to general topics – such as travel, the weather, places, and of course the business you are in.

And remember, to keep the conversation going – offer information, don’t just ask questions.

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