Fireside Tales – Chapter Two

It’s time for chapter two of Fireside Tales.

If you missed chapter one, you can catch up here.

Don’t forget, you can also download the transcript with a glossary so you can follow as you listen. After you have watched the video, use the quiz to test your understanding.

In chapter one, we learned the background to the ‘worst journey in the world’. In chapter two, Simon and Penguin begin the story of how the three explorers walked across Antarctica in the winter of 1911.

 

Chapter Two – The Journey Begins


Quiz

How well did you understand the story so far?

Try and answer these questions. You can watch the video again.

1. When do emperor penguins lay their eggs?

  1. Early spring
  2. The middle of winter
  3. Autumn / fall

2. Why did Dr Wilson decide to walk to the penguin colony?

  1. Because sea ice made travel by ship impossible at this time of year
  2. Because there were no aircraft
  3. Because he needed the exercise
  4. Because he didn’t want to frighten the penguins

3. Why did Dr Wilson take two companions on the trip?

  1. To help him pull the sledges
  2. Because he was lonely

4. Which one of these sources of light did they not have during the trip?

  1. Direct sunlight
  2. Starlight and moonlight
  3. Torches
  4. Candles and matches
  5. The Aurora

5. The explorers were optimistic about reaching the penguin colony.

  1. True
  2. False

 


DOWNLOAD  Transcript and glossary (pdf)

DOWNLOAD  Quiz (pdf)


 

 

Answers

1b, 2a, 3a, 4ac, 5b

 


 

Do you want to know how the story continues? Come back next month for chapter three.

 

Strategy and policy – Human Resources vocabulary mind map 2

Here is the second of Louise‘s Human Resources vocabulary mind maps.

The first one focused on people and places. This one is all about the vocabulary of strategy and policy.

You can see the mind map on Popplet or download a pdf.

Once you have studied the mind map, you can test yourself with the activity in the second part of this blog post.


Test yourself

How well do you know the words in the mindmap. Test yourself with this activity. The answers are at the end of this blog post.

Don’t forget you can use a dictionary to help you. The Cambridge English Dictionary has a special business English section.

Activity

Choose the correct word/phrase to complete each sentence.

1.  The ___________ in our company needs improving. It’s really difficult to share information.

knowledge management   /   job evaluation  /  rationalization

2. HR wants to improve ___________ with more team building!

absenteeism  /  staff turnover  /  staff retention

3. The ___________ have gone up because of the success in Europe.

headcount  /  natural wastage  /  workforce levels

4. Our latest ___________ campaign involves creating support networks for women because they are under-represented in managerial roles.

restructuring   /  succession planning  /  equal opportunities

5. Due to the merger, some roles are duplicated so there will have to be ___________ .

outsourcing  /  redeployments   /   subcontracting

6. When people are made redundant, good employers provide ___________ services which help people find new jobs.

redundancy   /   severance  /  outplacement

7. The company wants to offer a more flexible career path so it is advertising  ___________ to encourage movement between countries.

transfers  /  an expatriate programme /  promotions

8. Some companies use ___________ to find new solutions to problems.

suggestion schemes   /   outsourcing  /  affirmative action

9. “Have you heard? The managing director has decided to take ___________.” “Really? He’s only in his fifties!”

voluntary redundancy  /  early retirement  /  compulsory redundancy

10. “What’s the ___________?” “It’s the invisible barrier to women getting senior management positions.”

quota   /  golden hello  /   glass ceiling

 

 

 


Answers

1. The knowledge management in our company needs improving. It’s really difficult to share information.

2. HR wants to improve staff retention with more team building!

3. The workforce levels have gone up because of the success in Europe.

4. Our latest equal opportunities campaign involves creating support networks for women because they are under-represented in managerial roles.

5. Due to the merger, some roles are duplicated so there will have to be redeployments.

6. When people are made redundant, good employers provide outplacement services which help people find new jobs.

7. The company wants to offer a more flexible career path so it is advertising transfers to encourage movement between countries.

8. Some companies use suggestion schemes to find new solutions to problems.

9. “Have you heard? The managing director has decided to take early retirement.” “Really? He’s only in his fifties!”

10. “What’s the glass ceiling?” “It’s the invisible barrier to women getting senior management positions.”

 


 

Did you find this useful? Download a pdf of the mind map.

There are lots more HR vocabulary mind maps to come. We will add a new one soon

If you can’t wait until then, check the website again soon for extra activities using the words from this mind map.

 

There are lots more mind maps on the Stratford Teachers blog.

People and places – Human resouces vocabualary 1

Telephone vocabulary

Lose your job

Internet vocabulary

Trade vocabulary


If you have any questions about the mind map, leave a comment below.

Do you need to develop your business English vocabulary? Send us a message.

 

 

Fireside Tales – Chapter One

Welcome to our new series of videos: Fireside Tales.

It’s the middle of winter here in Europe. The days are dark and cold so it’s a perfect time to sit around the fire and tell stories.

Here, on the Stratford Teachers blog, you can watch the videos and test your listening comprehension.  You can also download the transcript with a glossary so you can follow as you listen.

There are six videos in this series. We will release a new one every few weeks. If you want to know when each new video is ready to watch, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Here is Chapter One of Fireside Tales. Simon tells the story of the events of another winter far away and a long time ago.

Chapter One – The Mission


Quiz

How well did you understand the story so far?

Try and answer these questions. You can watch the video again.

1. Where do Emperor Penguins live?

  1. Britain
  2. Russia
  3. Antarctica
  4. The South Atlantic

2. Who was the leader of the 1902 expedition?

  1. Edward Wilson
  2. Emperor Penguin
  3. Robert Scott
  4. A Russian explorer

3. How heavy is an Emperor Penguin?

  1. Up to 130 pounds
  2. Up to 60 kilos
  3. At least 45 kilos
  4. No more than 45 kilos

4. In which year did “the worst journey in the world” happen?

  1. The year 2000
  2. 1911
  3. 1902
  4. 1840

5. Why did Dr Wilson want Emperor Penguin eggs?

  1. To find out how birds evolved from dinosaurs
  2. To complete his egg collection
  3. So that the expedition could have eggs for breakfast
  4. Because he liked penguins

 


DOWNLOAD  Transcript and glossary (pdf)

DOWNLOAD  Quiz (pdf)


 

 

Answers

1c, 2c, 3d, 4b, 5a

 

People and places – Human Resources vocabulary mind map – extra activity

When we published our first Human Resources mind map, we also promised an extra activity to help you test yourself and learn the words.

Click on the image below to open the interactive exercise. See if you can classify the words correctly.

You can read the first blog about the People and Places mind map here.

Don’t forget, we have lots more HR mind maps to share with you. So, keep visiting the blog

 


If you have any questions about the mind map or this learning activity, leave a comment below.

Do you need to develop your business English vocabulary? Send us a message.

 

People and places – Human Resources vocabulary mind map 1

Every area of business has its own jargon. Jargon is that specialist vocabulary that people who work in a particular field use to talk to each other.

Human Resources has a lot of jargon. However, we all need to know this HR jargon. It describes our position in the company, how and what we get paid, whether we will keep our job if things change in the company and all the processes we have to go through to get a new job.

Louise has created a set of mind maps covering all the areas of Human Resources vocabulary. People and places is the first.

You can see the mind map on Popplet or download a pdf.

Once you have studied the mind map, you can test yourself with the activity in the second part of this blog post.


Test yourself

How well do you know the words in the mindmap. Test yourself with this activity. The answers are at the end of this blog post.

Don’t forget you can use a dictionary to help you. The Cambridge English Dictionary has a special business English section.

Activity

Choose the correct word to complete each sentence.

1. “Who’s Juan Valera?” “Oh, he does the same job as me in our Spanish subsidiary. He’s my ___________ .”

colleague / counterpart / subordinate

2. Now we’re expanding, we need another ___________ to manage the workers on the new production line.

supervisor / technician / director

3. They’ve hired a new ___________ . She’s responsible for implementing the financial strategy.

CFO  /  COO  /  CEO

4. There’s an emergency meeting of the ___________ because a senior manager has been accused of financial misconduct.

board of directors  /  management board  /  supervisory board

5. A ___________ ‘s role is to provide independent oversight to issues in the company.

chairman  /  vice president / non-executive director

6. How many ___________ work in the company?

workforce  /  employees  /  personnel

7. Someone who works for the state is a ___________ .

civil servant   /  foreman  /  superior

8. People who work in offices are called ___________ workers.

manual  /  skilled  /  white collar

9. The ___________ always opens the AGM with a review of the last year.

foreman   /   superior  /  chairman

10. “Why’s the  ___________ being relocated?” “Because the rent in London is way too high now.”

head office  /  operations  /  management

 

 


Answers

1. “Who’s Juan Valera?” “Oh, he does the same job as me in our Spanish subsidiary. He’s my counterpart.”

2. Now we’re expanding, we need another supervisor to manage the workers on the new production line.

3. They’ve hired a new CFO. She’s responsible for implementing the financial strategy.

4. There’s an emergency meeting of the supervisory board because a senior manager has been accused of financial misconduct.

5. A non-executive director‘s role is to provide independent oversight to issues in the company.

6. How many employees work in the company?

7. Someone who works for the state is a civil servant.

8. People who work in offices are called white collar workers.

9. The chairman always opens the AGM with a review of the last year.

10. “Why’s the head office being relocated?” “Because the rent in London is way too high now.”


 

Did you find that useful? Download a pdf of the mind map.

There are lots more HR vocabulary mind maps to come. We will add a new one each month.

If you can’t wait until then, check the website again soon for extra activities using the words from this mind map.

 

There are lots more mind maps on the Stratford Teachers blog.

Telephone vocabulary

Lose your job

Internet vocabulary

Trade vocabulary


If you have any questions about the mind map, leave a comment below.

Do you need to develop your business English vocabulary? Send us a message.

 

Food idioms

Do you know your onions (or which side your bread is buttered)?

Inspired by the shopping bags from a national supermarket, Joy decided to write a short exercise on English food idioms.

(This exercise first appeared in our Autumn 2018 newsletter. We publish our newsletter four times a years. Click here to subscribe.)

Exercise

In English, we have lots of idioms related to food. Are you familiar with these? Try the exercise. The answers are at the bottom.

[Learning tip: You can find the meaning of all the idioms in this exercise in the Macmillan English Dictionary.]

 

First, read the examples. Can you identify the idiom?

‘If you’re not sure, just ask David – he really knows his onions when it comes to the new regulations.’

‘By the time we got home, I was exhausted, but the kids were full of beans.’

‘I don’t really like the design of that new office building – it’s just not my cup of tea.’

‘Emma’s ideas are often a bit crazy, but this latest one really takes the biscuit!’

‘Since he was made unemployed, I think Alan’s finding it hard to accept that it’s his wife who’s bringing home the bacon these days, not him.’

‘He spent much more time working on the Chairman’s latest project than ours – he knows which side his bread’s buttered!’

 

Now, match each idiom on the left with the correct meaning on the right.

1. know your onions a) to earn money to support the family
2. (be) full of beans b) to be the most silly or annoying thing in a series of things
3. not (be) someone’s cup of tea c) to know who to be nice to or what to do in order to gain advantages for yourself
4. take the biscuit d) not to like or consider interesting
5. bring home the bacon e) to have a very good knowledge of a specific subject
6. know which side your bread’s buttered f) to have lots of energy

How many do you think you got right? Check the answers below.

 

Answers

1e; 2f; 3d; 4b; 5a; 6c.

 

Did you find this useful? We have lots of other articles about English idioms. Click here to see a list.

If you have any questions or comments, leave a reply below.

Do you want to learn English idioms? Send us a message.

 

Telephone words – vocabulary mind map

Time for a new mind map. This one focuses on the vocabulary of phones and phoning.

The mind map has four sections. Three sections contain the nouns used to talk about and describe phones and phone numbers. The fourth section has a collection of verb collocations for talking about phone calls.

You can view the mind map on Popplet or click the button below to download the image file.

DOWNLOAD

After you have done that, test your knowledge with this short quiz. The answers are at the end of the blog post.

Quiz

Questions 1 – Verb collocations

Which of these verbs form collocations with the words ‘a call’?

    1. make
    2. miss
    3. do
    4. get
    5. take
    6. put
    7. hang up
    8. give

Question 2 – Common mistakes

Each of these sentences contains a common mistake. Identify and correct each mistake.

  1. I have to call to my colleagues in Italy.
  2. I’ll put you through my boss.
  3. Your client called earlier. Can you call back him?
  4. In my job, I do a lot of calls with customers.

Question 3 – part of a phone

Match these words to the parts of the phone.

  1. earpiece
  2. screen
  3. keypad
  4. handset
  5. call button

 

 

Now check the answers to see if you were right.

Answers

Question 1

make a call

miss a call

get a call

take a call

give someone a call

Question 2

  1. I have to call my colleagues in Italy.
  2. I’ll put you through to my boss.
  3. Can you call him back?
  4. In my job, I make a lot of calls to customers.

Question 3

  1. earpiece (b)
  2. screen (c)
  3. keypad (d)
  4. handset (a)
  5. call button (e)

 

Other telephone language

Here is some other blogs posts focusing on English for making phone calls.

Checking and clarifying on the phone – 1

Checking and clarifying on the phone – 2

Spellng words with the International Radio Alphabet


 

If you have any questions about the mind map, leave a comment below.

Do you need to practise speaking English on the telephone? Send us a message.