Tag Archives: Business

© Josh Hallett from Winter Haven, FL, USA / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-2.0

Forget Office Cubicles, Try ‘Co-working’

B2 – Upper Intermediate

When you think of a workspace, the cubicles in a traditional office are probably the first thing that comes to mind. Following Uber and Airbnb, the sharing economy has brought a new kind of work environment to the United States and the world in recent years.

It’s not a bar, nor a coffee shop. And it’s not your bedroom. It’s a so-called co-working space, where an increasing number of Americans work. WeWork is one of the providers of such environments.

Forget Office Cubicles, Try ‘Co-working’

Discuss:

1. What does Carl Pierre think the advantages of such a workspace are?
2. What do you think about the concept of co-working spaces?
3. What does your workspace look like?
4. Do you prefer working outdoors or in an office? Why?
5. Do you think that, in the future, all business will be conducted from a co-working space? Why or why not?
6. Do you think that, in the future, offices will become obsolete because of the Internet? Why or why not?

The Firm that Starts Work at 9.06am

© via BBC

B2 – Upper intermediate

Most employees consider having flexible work hours a perk. At Pivotal Software, they require their employees to clock in at exactly 9:06 in the morning.

Curious to know why? Click on the link below to read more about this unusual work rule.

The firm that starts work at 9.06am

Discuss:

1. Why are employees at Pivotal Software required to report to work at exactly 9:06 AM?
2. What do you think of this idea?
3. Would you like such rule to be implemented in your company? Why or why not?
4. Describe your work hours and your typical work day.
5. What are the things that you do to increase your productivity at work?

In the Wine World, Does Bottle Size Matter?

C1 – Advanced

Wine has been around for as long as we can remember. And most of the time we’re after the taste. Watch the video below of a discussion about wine bottles and the issue of changing them.

Discuss:

1. According to the video, why are wine bottles changing?
2. Describe the wine the presenter and guest tasted.
3. The presenter mentioned the word “hipster”. What do you think it means?
4. What did the guest say about retailers and wine bottles?
5. What are your preferences when it comes to wine and other alcoholic beverages?

Supermarkets are not Cheating Customers

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C1 – Advanced

Consumers are always on the look out for promotions and discounts on almost every products. But are all promotional products worth your cash?

Read the article below and express your thoughts about it.

Supermarkets ‘not conning customers’

Discuss:

1. What is multi buy?
2. Do you think multi-buy packages are a good deal or is it a way to entice customers to buy more than what they really want?
3. How could supermarkets handle this situation better without causing annoyance to their customers?

The Pros and Cons of Advertising

B1 – Intermediate

Advertising is very important. It is a good way for consumers to know a product very well. Advertising also influences people’s mood and emotions. It makes people buy things they don’t need and makes them feel depressed for not being able to buy items that are in fashion.

Read the article below to know more about the good and bad in advertising.

History of Advertising – The Pros and Cons of Advertising

Discuss:

1. Why is it necessary to advertise?
2. Is there truth in advertising?
3. What kind of advertisements attract your attention?
4. Do you find advertising persuasive? Why do you buy one product over another?
5. Should alcohol or tobacco companies be allowed to advertise? Why or why not?
6. What is the most advertised product in your country?
7. What are the harmful and the beneficial effects of advertising?

Africa’s Coffee Renaissance

B2 – Upper intermediate

Nigeria’s young entrepreneurs are thinking creatively and boldly. Watch the video and read the article about two Nigerian brothers who profited on coffee.

2 brothers have tapped into Africa’s coffee renaissance

Discuss:

1. Describe the coffee business of Ngozi aynd Chijioke Dozie. What makes their coffee bar different?
2. What do the brothers hope for in the future for their business?
3. How are coffee bars fairing in your city/country?
4. Are there many start-up businesses in your city/country? Are they being supported by the local government?

Starbucks To Open First Store in Italy

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B1 – Intermediate

Starbucks is one of the most popular American coffee shop chains known around the world. Presently, it has more than 20,000 stores in 67 countries. Starbucks has achieved worldwide recognition and success. Can it also be successful in Italy, a country that is known to have long cultural ties with coffee?

Let’s find out more about it.

Starbucks To Open First Store in Italy

Discuss:

1. According to the article, when will Starbucks open its first store in Italy?
2. Have you tried Italian espresso? How about Starbucks coffee?
3. Why do Italians have mixed reactions/feelings about the opening of Starbucks in their country?
4. What was the article pertaining to when it mentioned  the “watery undrinkable” coffee?
5. Can Starbucks succeed in Italy?
6. Are there Starbucks stores in your country? What’s the most popular coffee shop chain in your country/Europe?

How Food Trucks Took Over City Streets

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C1 – Advanced

Food trucks. Their evolution has been a good one. Sprouting up like mushroom, people seem to enjoy every bit of it.

Read the article below and be ready to increase your vocabulary by going through the different terms and expressions. Feel free to read the article section per section with your teacher.

How Food Trucks Took Over City Streets

Discuss:

1. Describe the change of food trucks since it began.
2. Why are food trucks so appealing to the young? The culinary graduates?
3. Explain why having a food truck business is not as easy as some think. What are the challenges business owners face?
4. On the other hand, what are the advantages of having a food truck as a business?
5. Are food trucks a trend in your city as well? What is your general opinion of them?

Breakfast: The Power Hour for Success

coffee shop scence with London red bud behind in window. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.

C1 – Advanced

It is a well-known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But to some business people, breakfast time is not just for meals. It’s also for meetings.

Read the article below to find out the benefits of having morning meetings and the right time to have after-hours meetings.

Breakfast is the real power hour for success

Discuss:

1. According to the article, what are the benefits of having meetings early in the morning?
2. Do you agree with the points mentioned in the article?
3. How often do you have meetings at work? What time do you usually have them?
4. What is the most productive time for you at work? Are you a morning person or an evening person?

Have Bonus, Will Botox

B1 – Intermediate

The desire to look young as we become older is nothing new. Cosmetic brands have been releasing anti-aging creams for women and for men.

In London, the need to look youthful goes beyond the physical. Read the article below then express your thoughts.

Have Bonus, Will Botox

Discuss: (from article)

1. What are your feelings about cosmetic surgery?
2. What are your feelings about a job that would force you to consider cosmetic surgery?
3. Would you ever choose to have cosmetic surgery (or have you)? Why/not?
4. Do you know anyone who has ever had cosmetic surgery? What was your opinion?
5. Why do you think more people are so concerned with cosmetic surgery in general?