Tuesday, September 30, 2014

English Grammar, Say and Tell

Say and Tell are two words that are very similar.

 Say, - "said" is the past tense.  This is used in writing.
He said," Please tell me how to use Facebook!"
She said," How much time do you have?"
He said, "As long as it takes for me to learn."

Tell - "told" is the past tense  This is used to give information to others.
Please tell me the answer now!
He told me the answer, but I don't like it!

Read this webpage and then do the exercises.

Write the correct word in the blank:  You might need to change the tense of the word.  Sometimes either word will work in the sentence!
Word bank: say    tell
1. What do you want to ______________ me now?
2. David ______________," Please change the 20 Euro bill for me."
3. You ____________me yesterday how much the new lazer printed will cost.
4. I forgot to ____________________ you that the Jones' are coming for dinner tonight.
5. What? Please ______________ me!
6. She ______________ to me why I had to go to the school for a meeting.
7. "Please wake me up at 6:00am." I __________ __.
8. ________________ Tom to go quietly.
9.  "I cannot ______________ a lie. ___________ George Washington.
10. James ___________ me that he was hungry.

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English teacher 

Monday, September 29, 2014

How to sign up with a DSL Satellite company - Business English

There are many places in the world where running an Internet Cable network is unfeasible.  In these places, you can either go on the Internet with your phone, or you can get a Satellite Network.

Go to this website, look around and then come back here and do this role play.

You are the customer, and your teacher is the ISP provider.  Ask your teacher these questions and then make your decision whether to sign up or not
Which countries are eligible to order service from this company?
How much is the monthly contract?
What is the minimum amount of time that I have to sign up for?
How fast is the service?
Does it matter how much I use the service?
How long does it take to install the system?
If I order the system today, when can I start to use it?
What if I don't like the system, can I get my money back?
How difficult is it to use the system?
What does "No Fair Use Policy" mean?
What if I don't want the TV option, can I get a discount?
What is the total set up cost that I have to pay right now?
Who do I call if the system goes down because of a hardware problem?
Who do I call if the system goes down because of a software problem?
How long does it take to get service for hardware problems?  Software problems?
What are the requirements to become an "Online Partner?"
What are the rates for Business customers?
What are the services offered for business customers?
How does Spot Beam technology improve service?
Where should I put the satellite receiver so I can get the best reception?
How big is the receiver?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

How to handle a meeting with your IT team in English IT English

For many IT professionals leading a meeting in English is very important.  The technical terms are well known for them,but it is the actual meeting that might be difficult. There are many variables that need to be taken care of so that everything runs smoothly.  

Read this post and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher, or you can even write out the answers to the questions. 


Key Terms
communicate in common
cover all your topics
take minutes
recapping all the topics

How often do you need to call a meeting of your IT team?
What topics do you cover?  
How long does your typical meeting take? 
What challenges do you face when you call a meeting?
What percentage of people arrive on time? 
What happens when someone comes late? 
What language do you use during the meeting? 
Do you write an agenda?
Does someone take minutes? 
How do you do followup? 
Who is in charge of implementation of decisions that were taken during the meeting? 
What do you do if the meeting runs late? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Spice Turmeric could help the brain repair itself Medical English lesson

This is not the first time that I have heard that the spice Turmeric is beneficial to people. Maybe it is not a causal effect, but it is said that in India there is a lower incidence of cancer because people eat more Turmeric and Curry.  So just to be on the safe side, I try to add these spices to my food at least once a week. 

Read this article and get the latest scoop.  Either write the answers to the questions, or discuss them  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2770380/Eating-curry-help-beat-dementia-Ingredient-turmeric-hold-key-repairing-brains-people-condition.html#ixzz3EOEi1A00

Key Terms

aromatic turmerone
brain stem cells
endogenous neutral stem cells (NSCs) 
subventricular zone (SVZ)  
bio-active compounds
to intervene.


According to the article, what is the main effect of aromatic turmerone?
How did the researchers test the compound?
How can this help people with Alzheimer's?
What are NSCs?  What do they do? 
Why is this important? 
Could this help other people as well?

Do you take research like this seriously? 
What precautions do you do to protect your health? 
Would you change your diet based on this research?

How often do you go to the doctor? 
Do you go to a dietician? 
If so, do you go by the recommendations that you are given?

What do you feel about testing medicines on animals?
Which animals should be used for medical testing?
What about testing soaps and shampoos on animals?
Do you make a point a of buying soap and shampoos that are not testing on animals?  

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English teacher

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Panic buying causing food shortages in Venezuela English lesson

The supermarkets are empty in  Venezuela, so when people see something that they know they will need now and in the future, they buy a lot of it.  Something similar happens in Israel as well, because we know how difficult for stores to reorder, it often takes time to get stock from other countries if the items are imported.

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher. 

Key Terms
fingerprint scanners 
initiative to
food shortages
biometric identification
communist rationing.
smuggling of goods

Why did the government propose fingerprinting people when they buy goods at the supermarket?
What happened to the system that was in place at government owned shops?
What does the opposition party compare it to?  Why or why not?
What is Venezuela doing now to combat smuggling?
Is this working? 
How do customers feel about the fingerprinting?
How do other countries feel about it? 
Is this a good way to solve the food shortage problem?
What might be a better way to solve the problem?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

English Expression: The Brain Drain - English lesson

Where a person decides to live an work is a very personal question.  Many people are born in one country and then move to another one as an adult.  I was born in Upstate New York, then moved with my family to Los Angeles California.  I was happy there for a time, but then because of many different reasons, I moved to Israel.  So, I am an example of the "Brain Drain." 

Read this post and either write the answers to show to your English teacher or discuss it with your English teacher. 

Key Terms
Brain Drain
competitive edge 
higher standard of living
adopted country
specialized field

Are there many people who move away from your native country to live overseas?
According to the article, Brain Drain also is applied to people who are educated in one field and move to another.  Why do they do that? 
Where were you born? 
Where do you live now? 
Do you plan to move to another country?  If yes, which country would you want to move to? For what reason?
Can you get a good education in your native country?  If not, are you, or did you consider going abroad to further your education? 
Is your government concerned about the exodus of well-educated people going to live abroad?  Is this a trend in your country?
Are there enough jobs in your country for well-educated people? 
Which fields are most desirable in your country?  
Which field do you work in? 
Would you want to change to another field? Why or why not? 
Which country do you think that you could do the most for yourself, your family and the community?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Scotland says no to Independence. English lesson

It is a refreshing change that Scotland has voted to stay with the UK in their latest referendum.  Last Thursday saw a very high turnout of over 84% of the voters going to the polls.  That Scotland wants to stay with England shows that the voters feel that they will have a better life as part of a bigger country rather than trying to go it alone.

Read this article from Scotland and either write the answers to the questions or discuss them with your English teacher. 

Key Terms:
clear margin
polling stations
conceded defeat 
 handful of results
comfortable majority
well-fought campaign
power being hoarded

What percentage of registered voters went to vote?
What was the winning percentage? 
Why is this important?
Why is the Deputy First Minister disappointed in the result?
Which districts voted Yes for independence? 
How does Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg feel about the results?
What is the next step for the UK and for Scotland?
What are  Lottery winners Chris and Colin Weir going to do now that Scotland is going to stay part of the UK?

What are the implications for other independence campaigns around the world?
Should the other separatists movements back down or not?
Are bigger countries more successful than small ones?
Should a country only have one ethnic group?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Noisy Neighbors a Problem? You are not alone! - English lesson

Noise can be a problem. Especially when the walls of your apartment building are very thin.  I remember the second apartment that we lived in here in Jerusalem.  The next door neighbor was a professional opera singer.  He was very good in fact, but I was not in the mood to hear tenor opera singing at 6:00am in the morning!  So it turns out that I'm not the only one! 

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher. 

Key Terms:


According to the text which age group is least likely to get help for the problem of noisy neighbors? Why don't they get help?
Which government agency can they turn to? 
How was the survey carried out?
Is this a good way to get information, or is there another way that is more effective?
What annoyances topped the list? 
What is the best way to deal with noisy neighbors? 
Have you had a noisy neighbor in the past? 
What did you do? 
Was it effective? 
Did you ever try to "get back" at the noisy neighbor?  
Did what you did help or hurt the situation? 
Are there "quiet hours" in your neighborhood? 
When you talk to your neighbors about the noise, do they listen to you? 
Would you call the police if a neighbor had a noisy party too late at night?

Lesson plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

Friday, September 19, 2014

Walking or cycling to work improves well being English lesson

More and more people are opting to leave the car at home and go to work by bicycle or the bus.   I took a third option and I go by electric bicycle.  But what does the research say about getting to work this way?

Read this article and be prepared to talk about it with your English teacher.

Key Terms:
under less strain
positive psychological effects
active commute
neighborliness  neighbourliness  Two ways to spell this word

According to the article traditionally what is the least favorite way to get the work?
How long did the study follow these people?
How many people did the researchers study?
Where did this study take place?
Are the results transferable to other places?
Which mode of transport was the most used? The least used? 
Did this change over time? 
What will be the trend in the future? 
What are the health benefits of bicycling to work? 
What are the psychological benefits?
What are the benefits of taking the bus or the train? 
Does it matter how crowded the bus or the train is? 
In which publication did this study appear? 
Would you want to do more research about this study?
What is your least favorite way to get to work?
Do you want to change how you get to work? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English teacher

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Cambridge Proficiency Use of English Test explained - - English Exams

Do you need to take an English exam for work or immigration?  There are so many different types of English tests that are available to take.  This post explains the Cambridge Proficiency Use of English test, which has been in use for over 100 years, so it widely used.  In 2013, it was revised,  

Read this post and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher

Key Terms:
in light of 
short synopsis

Which part of the test do you think will be easy for you? 
Which part of the test will be the most difficult? 
What can you do in order to best study for the test? 
When you were in school, did you like to write? In your native language? In English? 
Did you like to read in English?  
How can you improve your reading comprehension in English? 
English speakers like to vary their vocabulary, and use different words that often have a similar meaning.  Does this occur in your native language as well?
How do you practice to improve your English speaking? 
How to you practice to improve your English writing? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tele-commuting is it as good for the worker as for the employer? Business English Lesson

Like it or not, Tele-commuting is here to stay.  Employers need to reduce costs, and workers need more flexibility.  It seems like a match made in Heaven! But is it? 

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher 

Key terms:
contract out work
net profit
lower overhead
an upside
pension plan 
has been touted
barring that

According to the article, what are the advantages and disadvantages of tele-commuting. 
Which is better for the employer? 
Which is better for the employee? 
Which do you like better, working as a telecommuter or in an office? 
In which type of environment do you work best?
Do you like to have personal face to face contact with your fellow workers? Why or why not? 
Can you set your own hours if you work from home? 
Could you turn one of your hobbies into a job? 
Have you ever worked from home? If yes, what did you like about it? 
How much time did you really put into the at home job? 
Which type of job can you make more money? 
What are the expenses if you work from home? 
Would you recommend this type of work to others? Why or why not?

Lesson plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English teacher 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lessons for Success - They don't teach in School - English lesson

Ever wonder why the school day is almost the same length as a typical work day?  Why do children go to school, learn to sit still, follow directions?  This was the model for the typical worker in the late 19th century.  Is this the best way to prepare this generations' children for success? 

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher 

Key Terms
talent shortage
more options
 true calling
mindset and skills
by the book
keeps people relevant
tread water 
advisory board
 to synthesize
personal filters
driverless car
hanging out
final judge and jury

According to the text, what is the traditional way of learning? 
What is the new way? 
Tell me about a time that you learned by the book. 
Did you succeed? Were you happy with the results? 
Tell me a time when you succeeded at a task, thinking outside the box?
What task was it? What process did you go through in order to get a good result?  Was it more or less successful than when you followed the rules? 
What innovation do you bring to your job or your family? 
Where did you learn most of your job skills?
Have you done any other kind of on-line learning? 
Do you like interactive on-line learning or static on-line learning?
How often do you have to "think on your feet" in your job? 
What kinds of problems do you have to solve in this manner? 
Do you trust this type of thinking? 
How do you feel about speaking out in front of a group? 
Are you afraid of making mistakes?  in public?  in private?
Who do you learn best from, a friend, a teacher, a parent? 

Lesson plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English teacher

Monday, September 15, 2014

Save France from Fast Food? A logo does it!Business English lesson

Fast food and French food don't go together. That is what this new logo is supposed to combat. If the food was pre-made and brought into the restaurant already prepared, or frozen, the logo can't apply and the restaurant has to take it off the menu.

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher

Key Terms:  \
culinary traditions
consumer affairs
concrete tools
integral part
rigorous and precise
to resort to

What does Carole Delga say about the new logo on the menu? 
How can this help the consumer?
What are the advantages of this logo?
What are the disadvantages?
Why would a fancy restaurant use frozen food?
 What are the advantages of using frozen prepared food to serve in a restaurant?
How much time does it take to cook a meal from start to finish in a restaurant?
What are the loopholes in the law?
Do you agree with the statement about potatoes? Why or why not?
What would be the affect of this logo on the profitability of fancy restaurants?
How can French restaurants use this logo in their marketing?
In your opinion does it add or subtract credibility?
How many times do you go out to eat?
Which type of restaurant do you go to?
How do you make sure that the food is fresh?
Is there some logo or sign in your country that tells you that the food is made in the restaurant's kitchen?
Does this make a difference to you?
What kinds of food do you order when you go out?
How much money do you spend on a dinner, lunch, breakfast?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

Connectors to use in English Contrast - English Grammar

Connectors add to your English speaking by signaling that you are going to add information, make a comparison, or negate a certain supposition.

Contrasting connectors can be used to caution the reader, show a different side to this issue.

Key Terms 
even though
in spite of
on one hand . . . on the other hand
in contrast to
contrary to


She wanted to play the clarinet in spite of the fact that she had a broken thumb.
On one hand, the newspaper said it was unbiased, on the other hand the journalists were all against the government.
The school hasn't opened up a drama class, yet in the neighborhood live a number of TV actors.
He is a very successful man, even though he just went bankrupt.
The author's second book was not successful in contrast to his first novel.
One sister was working in IT, unlike the other who went into fashion design.
I like to eat chocolate, despite the fact that I am allergic to it.
The girl convinced her friends that she was in Japan, while in truth she never left the country.
However you look at it, eating ice cream late at night is not a good weight loss regimen.
He needs to study history whereas his brother needs to study computer programming.

Write your own sentences using these connectors.  Only use each one once
1. ___________________________________________

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English teacher 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apple reveals its new Apple Watch! What is it and what does it do? IT English lesson

Apple Company has revealed its new product, called Apple Watch, even though the company had already trademarked the name iWatch.

Read this text and be ready to discuss it with your English Teacher http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29128083

Or you can choose this link: https://medium.com/@stevenlevy/apple-gets-intimate-12dd88343b60

Key terms
average Joe
killer app 
"growing" the smartwatch market
woo people over
 lower price bracket 
 so-called phablets
 faster compute performance
NFC (near field communication) 
 contactless payments
digital crown

proclaimed the day
triptych of
big bets backed
walk-off home run
christenedgroundbreaking new product
corporate Leviathan.private impulsesartisanal
intimate nature
fused virtually to
collared forto reduce friction
culmination of
hunkered downhorologiststhe watch dial - it’s called “the crown
click wheelsiting four sensors
sub rosa
instant contact
heartbeat feature
Dunbar-limited covens
apotheosisCardio patients
malfeasant nerd

despicableHackingunlikely scenarioabsent soulmate


What will the Apple Watch? 
Which functions would you use the most? 
What is the advantage of wearing a "watch" over a cellphone? 
The watch has to be used in conjunction with an iPhone, would that make it more useful for you? 
Would you be more likely to get the Apple Watch, or a competing brand? 
Is $349 a good price for this type of technology?  Why or why not? 
Do you like to use a big screen or a little screen? What are the advantages of each? 
Why doesn't Apple sell a cheaper phone model? 
Looking at the table on the site, which operating system is the most common across the board?
Apple Pay is likely to be the best money maker.  Why is that?  
Would you want to buy an Apple product in order to use this feature? 
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Apple Pay?
Which functions would you use the most?
Would you buy an iphone 5 or 6 to be able to use the Apple Watch?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Speaking English - 5 rules to go by - English lessons

There is a lot of controversy about learning a new language.  Most Elementary schools teach a lot of grammar at the beginning. This is because conceptually, learning grammar is the basics of a language, and the theory goes that if you know grammar you can speak.  This works for some languages, that have a straightforward system of verbs, like Hebrew, where there are only a few exceptions. But as English has many exceptions in all sorts of ways, learning grammar can be less useful.  

Read this article and be ready to discuss it with your English teacher 

Key Terms:
small fraction
communicate effectively
causative verb
 listening portion

What is your native language?
Do you know the grammar of your native language? 
Did you study grammar of your native language at school?
How well do you write in your native language?
When did you start learning English? 
What was the focus of your English classes? 
What differences are there between your native language and English. 
After reading this text, how do you feel about learning English grammar?
Which of these "rules" did you know about before? 
Which of them will you start to apply right now? 
Who do you speak English most of the time? 
Does it help you to speak English with non-native speakers? 
How many times a week do you need to speak English? 
Which subjects do you like to talk about in English?  
Are these different subjects than what you talk about in your mother tongue? 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Connectors in English, Addition and Example words English Grammar

When you are taking a writing test, you have to vary your connectors.  If you use the same one over and over, you will get a lower score.  You can use moreover only once, then the next time you want to add more information to a point, use furthermore, and then in addition to.  These all have the same basic meaning to add to an existing point.


The Internet is getting so incredibly big, moreover, you can access it with a tablet and your smartphone.  In addition to this, Apple is now developing a new device to access the Internet from where ever you are.

You can use the negative not only, but also


In Jerusalem, you can find not only  many modern museums, but also many ancient sites to visit.

If you want to illustrate an idea, you use for example, for instance, such as


There are several places to go to the Carnival, for example, I went last time to Trinidad.
There are many good places to go to the Carnival such as Rio.

Write your own sentences using these connectors:






Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What does Stay Ahead of the Curve mean? Business English

Staying ahead of the curve means more than just driving.  It means to be on top of your business and anticipating the market. How can this be done?  Pay attention to other companies in your niche, find customers before they do. 

Read this article (for advanced English speakers) and discuss it with your English teacher 


Key Terms
remaining adept
market “swing
 route to growth
trundling along
first casualties 
 hostage to fortune
monitors successes
monitors successes
incidental discomfort
growing pains
testing experience
 the hurdles of growth
What does "Ahead of the Curve" mean to you? 
What type of research would you have to do to find out customer trends?
What service do your customers want the most? 
How can you design your customer service to give it to them? 
Which forward looking solutions can you find for your service?
Which is better for you, new services, new customers, new products? 
What does growth mean for your business?
How fast do you want the growth to be?
How many new customers can your company handle? 
How often do you review your business and see where you are? 
How often do you review  and revise your business plan? 

Case Study
You have advertised a new service for your company, and frankly it flopped.  Explain to your bank why you need to take out a new loan to finance a new project. Tell your banker the pros and cons.  What your new project is going to be, the customer base, and marketing options. 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach Professional English Teacher

A Video A Day Helps You Learn English - Bucket List

What is a bucket list?  Well, you have to watch the video to find out, Don't worry, it will only take a MINUTE!  Well, three minutes be...