Monthly Archives: February 2015

Video: Does Playful Equal Productive?

C1 – Advanced

Rat race. Dog-eat-dog. Just two idioms that have been used to describe today’s corporate world. One design company, however, has decided to follow a growing trend among high-performing companies, that of fostering creativity through a less stressful office environment.

But can work and play truly co-exist? The employees at Pearfisher seem to think so. Watch the video, then come back to weigh in with your thoughts.

This office has a giant ball pit for its employees

Discuss:

1. What do the terms “rat race” and “dog-eat-dog” mean? Do these describe your workplace?
2. What big-name companies mentioned in the video have taken a different tack by designing creative spaces for their employees?
3. Based on the video, explain the “power of play.”
4. Would you prefer working in a “non-goal-orientated environment”?
5. What are the benefits that can be derived from working in a low-pressure environment? What are the drawbacks?
6. Are creative spaces suitable for all kinds of companies?

Qualities Shared by Superstar Employees

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C1 – Advanced

Are you a superstar employee?  Is your boss happy about your performance? Let’s check some valuable characteristics an indispensable worker must possess.

Read the article below to know the 11 traits you can embody as an employee. Feel free to watch the video included.

11 Qualities Shared by Superstar Employees

Discuss:

1. What do you think about the qualities mentioned?
2. Do you have some, if not all, of these characteristics?
3. Which one do you think is the easiest to do? Which one do you think is the hardest?
4. How can you become indispensable in your company?

Eating Habits for Better Thinking

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C1 – Advanced

Have you fed your brain yet? There are some eating habits that can help you boost your brainpower.  Optimize your thinking ability by making a slight diet or lifestyle change.

Click the title below to know more about the four kinds of food that are good for the brain.

4 eating habits that could boost your critical thinking

Discuss:

1. Do you agree with what the article is saying?
2. Aside from those mentioned, do you know of other brain food that we can eat for better critical thinking?
3. How do you stay focused at work?

How to Live a Positive Life

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C1 – Advanced

In our modern world, it can sometimes be impossible to stay positive. There are a lot of things that can cause us stress, either personally or professionally.

Read the article below and know more about steps we can take to help us look at the bright side.

10 Rules to Live By for Those Who Want to Live a Positive Life

Discuss:

1. How important is it to be positive?
2. Do you agree with the steps mentioned in the article? Would you add more to it?
3. What are some of the activities you do or habits you have to keep yourself from being pessimistic?

A Cat-Populated Workplace

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C1 – Advanced

Cat cafes are on the rise but so are offices where pets are allowed. It has been discovered that pets help in de-stressing people, especially after a long day at work.

Read the article below to find out about a Japanese company that helped their employees be more productive in a “furry” way.

Japanese Company Fills Offices with Cats to Help Employees Unwind and Improve Productivity

Discuss:

1. How did a Japanese company come up with this idea?
2. Do you think having cats in the office can lower stress levels? Why?
3. Do you think this idea will increase productivity?

Annoying Types of Airline Passengers

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C1 – Advanced

We’ve all had some bad experiences during a flight. But have we ever thought that maybe we’ve caused some form of inconvenience as well?

Click the title below to view Expedia’s survey on irritating passengers and their habits.

The most annoying type of airline passenger is …

Discuss:

1. How often do you travel by air? Do you love it or hate it?
2. Would you agree with the results the survey revealed?
3. Which ones have you experienced in the past?

Video: The Dangers of Sunburn

C1 – Advanced

Watch the short clip below and learn about sunburn from Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

How dangerous is that sunburn?

Discuss:

1. What is a sunburn and what does it do to our skin?
2. According to the video, how can you protect yourself from sunburn?
3. What is an indication that you will likely develop a serious form of skin damage?
4. Do you make sure that your skin is protected when you do outdoor activities?
5. What are some of the summer or outdoor activities that you enjoy doing?

Unhealthy Vices

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B2 – Upper intermediate

All of us have habits, be it good or bad. We do these habits as some sort of coping mechanism when we’re stressed. Sometimes it’s done to get pleasure or even to avoid pain.

This article from 2012 proves that you can kick that bad habit any time or any year.

8 Unhealthy Vices to Extinguish Now

Discuss:

1. Do you have any vices or bad habits you’d like to overcome?
2. What do you think are the negative effects of vices?
3. Do you know of any other habits that were not mentioned in the article?

Video: Body Language and Success

Job Interview – C1 – Advanced

Little do we know that the way we move our body gives out much impression. In one of the videos presented from TED talks the speaker explains power dynamics of non-verbal expressions.

Your Body Language Determines Your Success

Click the title for the transcript:  Your body language shapes who you are

Discuss:

1. Do you think the speaker’s notion of the body language makes sense?
2. Are you aware of the body language power to mold a notable person in you?

 

20 English Words to Not Say When Travelling

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C1 – Advanced

If you are a frequent traveler or you are involved in the e-commerce industry and have an international clientele, better know these English words to avoid unintended double entendre.

Avoid These 20 English Words When in Other Countries

Discuss:

1. Aside from the ones mentioned in the article, do you know of other English terms that should be avoided when travelling?
2. When you travel to a foreign country do you use English or do you use the language of the country?
3. Are there some Spanish words that foreign people often misuse?