Wednesday, July 30, 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

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

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 promotional items?
What do shoppers do when they have a coupon? 
According to the article, how much more money did shoppers spend if they got a coupon on their phone that was near to the path they usually walked?  
How much money did they spend if they walked further? 
How do you shop? 
Do you shop using coupons? 
Does your store send coupons to your cellphone? 
Do you look more for bargains, or quality? 
When you go shopping how do you choose between different brands of the same product?

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!

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


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? 
Is this practical for most people? 
What is Google's policy toward napping? 
On average, what percent of people nap at least once a week? 

What is the attitude in your country about adults taking naps?
Do you like to nap? When is the best time for you to nap? 
Does your company let people take a long break in the afternoon? 
How do you manage if you get tired during the day at work? 
What other things can you do to take the place of napping?
What is your attitude now, after reading this article about napping, do you think that you will change your habits? 

By Rachael Orbach
One of the teachers at:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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.

Key Terms
deleterious effect
analytical skills
communication skills
internal approvers
zoning and density
 tangible results
fostered bubbles

Why does the author go into banking in the first place?
Do you think he did it for the right reasons?
What did banking teach him?
How did he use those skills in his later jobs?
Why does he feel that his work added to society?

How did you find your current job?
Did you plan your career?
What are your plans for the future?
Will you stay in the same field, or change to a different career?
Are you earning enough money?  What would you do if you are bored with the job?

Have you ever had a problem with a bank?
Have you ever lost a lot of money in a bank?
Have you ever applied for a mortgage?

What do you feel about dealing with bankers?

Case Study
You are now a college graduate, and undecided about which industry to work in. What skills do you have? What skills do you want to have?  How can you get those skills?  List the pros and cons of your industry.  Play the role play with your English teacher.

Good luck!

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

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:

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 - less in number 
pest control - killing unwanted bugs
nutrients - beneficial food substance 
amphibian - animal that can live in the water and on the land
algae- microscopic animals that live in still water 
compromise food production  - stop food production 
disease transmission - the transfer of disease 
defaunation - loss of plants

What do the scientists  feel is the problem with less insects?
What is the effect on the soil of less insects?
What is the function of worms?  
What is the function of  bees?
How can this trend be reversed? 
What can you do personally to help this situation? 
How can natural predators help to reverse this trend? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

Monday, July 28, 2014

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.|bus

Key Terms

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


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 that your data is safe? 
Who has access to your data? 

Case Study
You are in charge of the data security in your company.  What safeguards do you do to keep the data safe? The government has  asked you to turn over certain data, how would your company handle that?  Would you go to court?  Play the scene with your colleague or English teacher. 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

Monday, July 21, 2014

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.

Key Terms:

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


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 your job success?
How do you define  your job satisfaction? 
Does the amount of salary contribute to your job satisfaction. 
What would you do if the salary was not high enough ,but you liked the job?


You are in a job interview, and the recruiter points out that you have changed jobs on average about every two years.  How do you explain this to the recruiter?  What other qualities do you emphasize?  How do you get the salary that you want in the new job? 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

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

Key Terms: 

conflict resolution
internal politics  
a lack of trust
the common good
putting their own interests
to inherit
 potentially disastrous
mutual gain
impartial criteria
How does Moshe view the conflict between the two Tribes of Reuven, Gad and the Half tribe of Manashe? 

What could have been the result, before the negotiation? 

What was the danger that Moshe was trying to avert? 

How did Moshe run the negotiations?  What was his final objective?  

Case Study 
Think of a time that you had to do Conflict Resolution in your life.  What was the conflict about? What was difficult about it?  Did it end in a satisfactorily for everyone? 
Have you ever employed Moshes' conflict resolution strategy?  

Monday, July 14, 2014

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.

Key Terms 
in a bid to tackle 
soaring economy
Clean Coaltackle clog 
strict controls
stability obsessed leaders

"rein in their craze"
an array of laws and rules
weak monitoring and punishment 
unveiled plans 
 higher-quality raw materials
meet tougher pollution targets

1. How important is air pollution to you? What are they doing in China to combat air pollution? Is it working?
2. Is there air pollution in your city?
3. What is the main cause of air pollution in your country?
4. What is your country doing to combat air pollution?
5. What do you do personally to lessen air pollution?

Case Study 
You are a city council member of your municipality. Define what are the major pollutants in your city.
Come up with a plan to lessen the air pollution. What industries contribute to air pollution in your city?
What laws should be passed?  Who should pay for the enforcement of these laws?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

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.

Key Terms

ethnic background
ahead of the curve
Transparency and fairness
job candidates
cross purposes
cultural wealth
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 for 5 job positions. What criteria do you use to choose the CV's of the candidates that you want to hire for the open jobs?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

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. 

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. 

This is a very strong modal verb. 
Necessity To get into this University, you must pass the SAT test. 
Certainty This must be the correct website!
Strong recommendation  You must study hard if you want to pass that English exam!

Possibility  You might find that movie interesting, I did. 
Conditional.  If I had time, I might go with you. 
Suggestion You might go to the National Museum today, the new exhibit opens this week. 
Request:  Might I borrow your phone to make a quick call? 

Exercise:  Word bank:  Can,Should, Must, Might 

Put the correct word in the gap.  Use the word bank, you need to use each word a number of times. Some sentences may have more than one correct answer. Check your answers with your English teacher. 

1. _________________ you go to the store and get milk and bread? 

2. To get in shape you ___________ exercise every day. 

3. You _____________________ really take some Vitamin C for that cold. 

4. I______________________ go outside if the weather clears up. 

5. _______________________ you stop shouting into the phone?  I_______________ hear you fine! 

6. ___________________you drive so fast?  I see a police car behind us. 

7._______________________ I suggest that we go out for pizza  and a movie this evening?

8. Chris ____________________ speak five languages now. . 

9. She_________________________ have worn a longer skirt, its getting cold at night. 

10. He _____________________________ go with you if he finishes his report on time. 


A Video A Day Helps You Learn English - Bucket List

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