25 de maio de 2022

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A hectic schedule – Working overtime to meet deadlines

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?

  1. Frank is not busy at all today. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___
  2. Sheila doesn´t like working under pressure. True ___ False ___ I don´t know _
  3. Sheila has lunch at the company cafeteria every day. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___
  4. 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:

  1. The amount of work that a person has to do: ___________________________
  2. Extra hours that someone works in addition to their usual job hours: __________
  3. The most important person in an organization; the top boss: ________________
  4. Marked by intense activity; very busy: _______________________________
  5. Finish something in time: _______________________________________
  6. Physical or emotional exhaustion as a result of prolonged stress or overwork: ____
  7. Telling me something that is not true as a joke: ________________________
  8. Eat something: ______________________________________________
  9. A new member in a company, especially someone who has recently been hired: __
  10. 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.

  1. 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             

  1. Some convenience stores in big urban centers are open _______________ .
  2. “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.
  3. “Our strategy has always been to focus on our _________________ and outsource our non-core activities.”, said George at the meeting.
  4. I don´t like working with the new regional manager because he´s way too ________ .
  5. “Sorry, I can´t talk to you right now. I´m ____________ with work.”, Dave told a friend over the phone.
  6. “We´ve done enough work for today. Let´s ______________.”, Bill told a coworker.
  7. Mr. Drake Jr. has been _______________ the family ____________ since his father passed away.
  8. What can employers do to reduce _______________ rates in the workplace? 

IV – LISTENING INPUT #2 – LISTEN & WRITE & ANSWER 

  1. _________________________________________________?

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. 

  1. _________________________________________________?

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.

  1. _________________________________________________?

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. 

  1. _________________________________________________?

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?

  1. False     2. True     3. I don´t know     4. False

Focus on words & expressions

  1. 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  

  1. Some convenience stores in big urban centers are open twenty-four seven.
  2. “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.
  3. “Our strategy has always been to focus on our core business and outsource our non-core activities.”, said George at the meeting.
  4. I don´t like working with the new regional manager because he´s way too bossy.
  5. “Sorry, I can´t talk to you right now. I´m swamped with work.”, Dave told a friend over the phone.
  6. “We´ve done enough work for today. Let´s call it a day.”, Bill told a coworker.
  7. Mr. Drake Jr. has been running the family business since his father passed away.
  8. “What can employers do to reduce absenteeism rates in the workplace?

Listen & Write & Answer 1

  1. How long is your commute to work?  c. About twenty minutes.
  2. What´s the deadline for our current project?  b. September, 15th, but don´t worry, we´re ahead of schedule.
  3. Do you get along with all your coworkers?  d. Oh yeah, they´re all very friendly.
  4. 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?
Sheila: Hectic!
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!

Ref. TALKING BUSINESS – Autor: José Roberto A. Igreja/Disal Editora

José Roberto A. Igreja is the author and co-author of several ELT books, including:

600 Phrasal Verbs (with Jonathan T. Hogan)

Inglês de Rua – American Slang (with Robert C. Young) Note: Now also available as an ebook!

How do you say … in English?

Como se diz em inglês? Note: Now also available as an ebook!

American Idioms! (with Joe Bailey Noble III)

Fale Tudo em Inglês AVANÇADO

Fluent Business English (with Robert C. Young)

What to say when …?

False Friends

English for Job Interviews (with Robert C. Young)

Say it all in Brazilian Portuguese!

Quer ter aulas de Business English online ao vivo? Clique aqui!