I guess we all have a hectic schedule sometimes, don´t we? Here´s a BUSINESS ENGLISH LESSON PLAN (meant for B2 level students) about this topic. VOCABULARY: HECTIC – OVERTIME – MEET THE DEADLINE – HEAD HONCHO – BURNOUT – RECRUITS – WORKLOAD – TOUGH IT OUT – PULLING MY LEG – GRAB A BITE
I – LISTENING INPUT #1 – A HECTIC SCHEDULE – WORKING OVERTIME TO MEET DEADLINES (followed by Dialogue Comprehension)
Dialogue comprehension – True, False or I don´t know?
- Frank is not busy at all today. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___
- Sheila doesn´t like working under pressure. True ___ False ___ I don´t know _
- Sheila has lunch at the company cafeteria every day. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___
- Frank and Sheila´s boss is suffering from burnout. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___
II – FOCUS ON WORDS & EXPRESSIONS – Find words or expressions in the dialogue that mean the same as:
- The amount of work that a person has to do: ___________________________
- Extra hours that someone works in addition to their usual job hours: __________
- The most important person in an organization; the top boss: ________________
- Marked by intense activity; very busy: _______________________________
- Finish something in time: _______________________________________
- Physical or emotional exhaustion as a result of prolonged stress or overwork: ____
- Telling me something that is not true as a joke: ________________________
- Eat something: ______________________________________________
- A new member in a company, especially someone who has recently been hired: __
- Go on with something in spite of difficulties; stand a situation: _____________
III – BUSINESS VOCABULARY & EXPRESSIONS + GAP FILLING EXERCISE
Match the words and expressions below to the definitions.
- RUN A BUSINESS 2. TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN 3. ABSENTEEISM 4. CALL IT A DAY 5. CORE BUSINESS 6. BEHIND SCHEDULE 7. BOSSY 8. SWAMPED (WITH WORK)
a. A company´s main activity. _______
b. Declare an end to the day´s activities; end a day´s work. _______
c. Overburdened with work. _______
d. The state of being absent from work. _______
e. Manage a business; be in charge of a company. _______
f. Running late. _______
g. Tending to give orders to others; authoritarian. _______
h. Twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week; all the time. _______
GAP FILLING EXERCISE – Use the business vocabulary and expressions to fill in the gaps in the sentences below
CALL IT A DAY SWAMPED (WITH WORK) BOSSY BEHIND SCHEDULE
TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN ABSENTEEISM RUN A BUSINESS CORE BUSINESS
- Some convenience stores in big urban centers are open _______________ .
- “As you know we are _______________ with our current project. I think we´ll have to put in some extra work over the next few days.” said the general manager to his team.
- “Our strategy has always been to focus on our _________________ and outsource our non-core activities.”, said George at the meeting.
- I don´t like working with the new regional manager because he´s way too ________ .
- “Sorry, I can´t talk to you right now. I´m ____________ with work.”, Dave told a friend over the phone.
- “We´ve done enough work for today. Let´s ______________.”, Bill told a coworker.
- Mr. Drake Jr. has been _______________ the family ____________ since his father passed away.
- What can employers do to reduce _______________ rates in the workplace?
IV – LISTENING INPUT #2 – LISTEN & WRITE & ANSWER
a. I do. I often go by car.
b. About three times a week.
c. About twenty minutes.
d. I enjoy my subway commute because it gives me time to read the news online.
a. I know, I hate deadlines too.
b. September, 15th, but don´t worry, we´re ahead of schedule.
c. Uh, I wouldn´t talk to him right now if I were you. He´s in a bad mood.
d. We haven´t hit any snags so far, so things are running smoothly.
a. The manager needs those reports on his desk ASAP.
b. They´re getting along fine.
c. No, I haven´t been introduced to the new manager yet.
d. Oh yeah, they´re all very friendly.
a. It´s in Houston.
b. We have branch offices all over the country.
c. It´s a great place to set up shop.
d. There are about fifteen sales reps working here.
V – ANSWER KEY
Dialogue comprehension – True, False or I don´t know?
- False 2. True 3. I don´t know 4. False
Focus on words & expressions
- workload 2. overtime 3. head honcho 4. hectic 5. meet the deadline 6. burnout 7. pulling my leg 8. grab a bite 9. recruit 10. tough it out
Business vocabulary & expressions
a. Core business b. Call it a day c. Swamped (with work) d. Absenteeism e. Run a business f. Behind schedule g. Bossy h. Twenty-four seven
Gap filling 1
- Some convenience stores in big urban centers are open twenty-four seven.
- “As you know we are behind schedule with our current project. I think we´ll have to put in some extra work over the next few days.” said the general manager to his team.
- “Our strategy has always been to focus on our core business and outsource our non-core activities.”, said George at the meeting.
- I don´t like working with the new regional manager because he´s way too bossy.
- “Sorry, I can´t talk to you right now. I´m swamped with work.”, Dave told a friend over the phone.
- “We´ve done enough work for today. Let´s call it a day.”, Bill told a coworker.
- Mr. Drake Jr. has been running the family business since his father passed away.
- “What can employers do to reduce absenteeism rates in the workplace?
Listen & Write & Answer 1
- How long is your commute to work? c. About twenty minutes.
- What´s the deadline for our current project? b. September, 15th, but don´t worry, we´re ahead of schedule.
- Do you get along with all your coworkers? d. Oh yeah, they´re all very friendly.
- Where´s your company´s headquarters? a. It´s in Houston.
VI – DIALOGUE SCRIPT – A hectic schedule – Working overtime to meet deadlines
Frank: What´s your schedule like today?
Frank: That makes two of us. I’ll barely have time to grab a bite at the cafeteria.
Sheila: I know. I hate to work under pressure too. Seems like we´ve all been working overtime lately.
Frank: Gosh, I’ve been putting in so many extra hours so we can meet the deadline for our current project that I´m now beginning to feel stressed out.
Sheila: You´re not the only one, but don´t worry, help is on the way.
Frank: Help is on the way? What do you mean by that?
Sheila: I heard the company will be hiring some new people soon.
Frank: Seriously? You´re not pulling my leg, are you?
Sheila: No, I´m serious. The head honcho is worried that some of us might suffer from burnout, you know.
Frank: Gee Sheila, this is the best news I´ve heard in a long time.
Sheila: Sure! I feel the same. Anyway, it might take a while before the new recruits are ready to help us with the workload. Do you think you can tough it out a little longer?
Frank: I think so. I´m actually feeling much better after what you told me.
Sheila: Great Frank. I have to go back to my workstation now. Talk to you later!
Frank: Sure Sheila. It was nice talking to you! Bye!
José Roberto A. Igreja is the author and co-author of several ELT books, including:
600 Phrasal Verbs (with Jonathan T. Hogan)
American Idioms! (with Joe Bailey Noble III)
Fluent Business English (with Robert C. Young)
English for Job Interviews (with Robert C. Young)