23 de junho de 2024

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Innovation – Thinking out of the box

INNOVATION – THINKING OUT OF THE BOX, this is a thought-provoking listening activity you can do with your B2/C1 level students. This dialogue and the follow-up activity come from TALKING BUSINESS,  a book that portrays the corporate lingo you are likely to hear in companies across the U.S.A.  The vocabulary here includes BRAINSTORMING (noun), COME UP WITH (phrasal verb), HIGHLIGHTS (noun), FIT IN (phrasal verb), BOLD (adjective) and NARROW-MINDED (adjective). Just click the link below. Hope you like it!


Dialogue comprehension – True, False or I don´t know?  

  1. Dave plans to run some more brainstorming sessions in the future. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___
  2. Ryan´s and Dave´s company has branch offices all over the U.S.A. True ___ False ___ I don´t know _
  3. Michael got transferred to Baltimore because the company needed someone with his background there. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___
  4. Ryan thinks the previous marketing director was very creative and proactive. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___

Find words or expressions in the dialogue that mean the same as:

  1. The most significant or interesting parts of something: _______________________
  2. Has a big influence on; is very important: ______________________________
  3. A problem-solving technique in which members of a group spontaneously contribute ideas and suggestions: __________________________
  4. Intelligent: _______________________________
  5. Think freely, in an innovative way, using new ideas instead of traditional ones: _____
  6. Courageous; brave; fearless and daring: ____________________________
  7. A group of products marketed by a company: ___________________________
  8. I´m expecting it with pleasure; I´m excited about it: ________________________

Business vocabulary & expressions – Match the words and expressions below to the definitions.



a. Expensive. _______
b. The practice of meeting other people involved in the same kind of work to exchange information. _______
c. Supplies used in offices, such as paper clips, staples and A4 paper. _______
d. Drain all your money. _______
e. A company that controls other companies through stock ownership. _______
f. Everything is OK up to this point. _______
g. Have free time from work; take a break or vacation. _______
h. Light, informal conversation about things that are not important. _______

Gap filling  

  OFFICE SUPPLIES           SUCK YOU DRY         PRICY        SO FAR SO GOOD               

  HOLDING COMPANY       NETWORKING      SMALL TALK        TAKE TIME OFF                        

1. “I really need to _____________ and relax. I´ve been feeling stressed out lately.”, said Hank to a coworker.

2.”The upcoming trade show in Vegas will be a good opportunity to do some ________

_________.”, said Dave to a coworker.

3. “We´re running low on some _______________. Can you buy some A4 paper and staples next time you go to the stationery store?”, Gordon asked Nick.

4.”I can´t afford to go to __________ restaurants right now.”, said Jeff to a friend.

5. “Do you enjoy making _____________ with strangers at parties?”, Phillip asked Norman.

6. “If I were you I´d go easy on the slot machines. They can ____________ you know.” , Charlie advised Greg.

7. “A _______________ doesn´t really engage in any operations itself. It basically owns stocks of the companies it controls.” explained Donald at the meeting.

8. Barry: “So Mike, how´s your new job?”

Mike: “___________________ , I´ve only been there for a week now, but I´m really enjoying it.”

Listen & Write & Answer – Write the questions you listen to and then choose the right answer.

  1. _________________________________________________?

a. Sure, the game was really exciting.
b. I don´t have a clue, but I think we´ll find out soon enough. The marketing director has called a meeting to talk about it.
c. I wish I could go to the playoff game, but tickets are sold out.
d. I´m not sure who´s in charge of that project.

  1. _________________________________________________?

a. Sounds like it´s a great program!
b. I don´t know. Maybe it´s time to jump ship, you know what I mean, don´t you?
c. I might do that. I´ll let you know later.
d. They do. I actually met one of their interns a couple of weeks ago. 

  1. _________________________________________________?

a. Sure sir, hold on a second, I´ll transfer your call.
b. I haven´t met his secretary yet. What does she look like?
c. Sorry, I meant Mr. Harper, not Hopper!
d. I could certainly do that.

  1. _________________________________________________?

a. Sure, next Friday is fine. I´ll see you then.
b. Gee, I forgot to water the plants in my office this morning.
c. No, unfortunately not. I think the factory guys would love to dress casually at least once a week, but they have to wear a uniform every day.
d. I ran into him at the conference hall. I had no idea he´d be there.

Dialogue Script: Innovation – Thinking out of the box

Ryan: How was the brainstorming session?
Dave: Interesting. I didn´t expect we would come up with so many innovative ideas.
Ryan: Sounds good! So you plan on doing this again?
Dave: Definitely! We gotta hear what our people have to say. We have a bright team here and they can certainly contribute with their views and suggestions. I´ll e-mail everyone with the highlights of the session later.
Ryan: Great! I´m curious. So, I heard Michael got transferred to our branch office in Baltimore.
Dave: That´s right! He was having trouble fitting in with the sales team here. I´m sure he´ll be doing okay there.
Ryan: I agree. What do you make of the new marketing director?
Dave: Well, I haven´t talked to him much, but he seems to be bold and creative. He said he´ll call a meeting soon so we can exchange some ideas about how to market our new product line.
Ryan: That´s good news. I´m looking forward to it. You know, I think the problem with our previous director is that he never thought out of the box at all. He always had this narrow-minded view of everything.
Dave: I guess you´re right. Innovation plays a key role in our industry, and real progress can only be made when you leave your comfort zone!

Referência: Talking Business – Autor: José Roberto A. Igreja,  Disal Editora

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

LET´S TALK ABOUT IT! – The Ultimate ELT Conversation Book  / Available on UICLAP as well


Let's Talk About It!: The Ultimate ELT Conversation Book (English Edition) por [Jose Roberto A. Igreja]

600 Phrasal Verbs (with Jonathan T. Hogan)

How do you say … in English?

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!

American Idioms! (with Joe Bailey Noble III)

<a href=”https://www.flaticon.com/free-icons/think-outside-the-box” title=”think outside the box icons”>Think outside the box icons created by Good Ware – Flaticon</a>