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Wednesday 8am business English

Here are the topics we'll be discussing this semester:


January to April 2022


1 March - this week we'll meet on a Tuesday for once. I'd like you to read this article in The Guardian from a subeditor about grammar and some common mistakes that journalists make when writing. More interesting than the article are the comments that follow it. They should keep you busy for quite a while.


Previous topics


9 February - this week the article has been chosen by one of the students. The theme of burnout is highly relevant nowadays and the author suggests that burnout isn't just caused by too much work but that there are other complex factors at play. Do you have enough time to relax and unwind? Let's talk about this on Wednesday.


Here is a link to the article.


2 February - let's talk about the supply chain. Read this article about supply chain difficulties, paying attention to all the business vocabulary.


26 January - next week we'll be talking about working in a call centre after reading this article. See if you can spot the sentences in the present perfect (e.g. I have lived) and the present perfect continuous (e.g. I have been living). We can then do a spot of grammar in the lesson.


The link to the article is here.


19 January - over the Christmas and new year period there were many articles in The Guardian about big changes that writers had made in their lives. One of the articles I enjoyed reading the most was this one, written by a journalist who had spent a lot of his life in prison. He talked about why he didn't mind being in prison much of the time and also about the reason that he changed his mind. It's quite an intriguing read with sophisticated vocabulary. Don't worry about understanding every word, I think you should be able to grasp the main ideas.


12 January - let's discuss the topic of money and kids. Read this article from The Guardian and think about your experiences with money as you were growing up.


5 January - Christmas is a time to watch the telly so for the first lesson back after the Christmas break I thought we could discuss The Repair Shop. It's a piece of feel good television that I occasionally watch. In this opinion piece in The Guardian, you can find out more about the programme and you can also watch a trailer for it here on Youtube. You might notice a couple of people saying "I'm liking it" in the trailer. The reason I mention this is that teachers might tell you that 'like' is a state verb and shouldn't be used in the continuous form. When you listen to native speakers though, you realise that many people use language flexibly.


15 December - it's the final week before Christmas so we'll do something simple. Can you read this interview with Rod Stewart. This time it is the fans who are asking the questions rather than a journalist. If you have time, read some of the comments below the article. They will give you an insight into 'authentic' British English. After the holidays, we'll do the article that Valentina found in The Guardian.8 December - last week we talked about using would for past habits. There are a few authentic examples of past habit would in this interview with Paul McCartney in which he talks about meeting Linda Eastman, the photos she took and the things they used to do together.


1 December - this week we'll be talking about grandparents and why they are important. Listen to some of this podcast before the lesson. It's 25 minutes so you don't need to listen to all of it, you'll still be able to discuss the questions.


24 November - Please watch this video about queuing before Wednesday's lesson. We'll be talking about fairness and what action we take if we find something unfair.


17 November - this time it is quite a short article from the Pass Notes series in The Guardian. There is quite a light-hearted tone to these articles, this particular article is about red kites attacking the people of Henley-on-Thames. Pay attention to the use of the word 'may' and the passive - we might talk about these things in class!


10 November - following on from last week's lesson where we were talking about Italian fashion, I'd like you to read this obituary of Wanda Ferragamo. It's an interesting and inspirational story of a woman in business.


3 November - Time for something a bit different! I'd like you to read this article about making your home more beautiful. Some of the author's tips are quite practical, others probably less so but overall I enjoyed reading the article and it has inspired me to buy some more pictures and hang them lower on the walls! I hope you enjoy it too!


27 October - We'll be talking about language choices, specifically whether to use the past simple or present perfect. One way to develop your understanding of the different tenses is to analyse authentic language. Before the lesson, read this article about the founders of BioNTech, paying attention to the tenses used in the first two paragraphs. We'll discuss these choices and talk about the article in general in class.


Do you want to read about some grammar topics? Click here and here for a bit of revision! Which topic shall we discuss next? Click on this link to get some ideas about future topics or send me your own suggestions.


Click here to see the previous topics we've discussed.

Would you like to join the conversation classes? Send an email to adriennehughes.english@gmail.com to arrange a trial lesson