Subject Index: Business English

Business English

Accountancy // Business English: Accountancy // 6th May 2020

Business chat and idioms // Business English: Office chat // 29th April 2020

Business email writing // Business English // email writing // 8th March 2020

Business icons // Adult Class, Level 3 // 5th November 2019 (Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Pham Nhat Vuong)

Business meetings // Business English: Time management // 29th April 2020

Business English: Role-playing activities part 3

8th May 2020

The final activity sheet is devised for a totally different type of client. This firm uses urban, street lingo (language), trying to attract a young, modern and dynamic workforce. They attempt to stand out from other companies by their use of non-standard vernacular and images.

There are some notes at the end of the blog to help explain some of the vocabulary.

TEACHERS’ NOTE: When I make physical copies, I use an appropriate font, looking like a hand-written flyer, so play around with the style and alignment.

GOTAJOB INNIT

Fun work for fun peeps

Here at Gotajob Innit, we try to sort you out with cool work, so you can get some cash to party and buy some wicked stuff. Work don’t have to bring you down, man 🙂 it can be a laugh …… INNIT !!!

Why do this ?

When you could do this ?

Fun work for fun peeps

Yo – check out these little beauties

1 Junior web designer. Travel company

Young, energetic company seek candidate to join their lively and fast-moving team. Some experience preferable. Basic programming skills essential. Qualifications not necessary, talent and potential more important.

Candidate must be fun, energetic and able to work to a deadline. Candidate will be required to submit an example of own work.

Salary starts at £17K per annum plus bonus.

2 PR – party planner

We love this job – we wanna do it. Young and amazing person needed to promote events and organise parties. Take something boring and make it F U N

Got to be able to work and drink, and organise and drink, and shout at people.

No experience, no qualifications … can you drink ? This could be your perfect job. Salary – lots of fun and drink and also some money.

3 Lotteria shift manager

Join this fun, lively, bright red hangout and get experience in the food and retail industry. We know you ain’t going to stay long, but tell your friends and give them a discount ! You’ll be in charge of a small team so you can be boss, a little, and tell people to clean the floor hahaha ! The money is rubbish, but you can eat all the junk your stomach can digest. Great way to meet other cool cats. You can wear the cool uniform and the uber-cool hat – WOW !

PowerPoint 프레젠테이션

Good luck, peeps !

Notes:

Wicked means very bad or evil in standard English, but in urban talk, it means very good, amazing and fantastic.

Gotajob (got a job ?) is taken from a British TV show from the 1980s, when unemployment was high. One of the characters walks from job site to job site, asking, aggressively, “Gotajob ?”

Innit is urban vernacular for the tag question ‘isn’t it ?’ as in, “Hot today, isn’t it ?” or “Hot today, innit ?”

Peeps is taken from a British TV comedian, and is short for ‘people’, but was later used to mean someone’s close friends, ‘my peeps.’

Rubbish is what the British use for the US English trash or garbage. Also used to express contempt for something that is not good e.g. “The film was rubbish !”

Lotteria is a Japanese fast-food chain popular throughout east Asia. You could substitute it for a similar franchise in your country.

Business English: Role-playing activities part 2

8th May 2020

A second job market or careers fair activity, following on from the previous blog.

The idea is for some students to work for a recruitment agency, while other students search for an appropriate career. The recruiter will interview the candidate then suggest possible jobs.

Students will develop speaking skills in both asking and answering questions, as well as having an opportunity to practise using new vocabulary, phrases and terminology.

This time the focus is on office work, future executives, movers and shakers, and is aimed at business graduates and professionals.

Again, the name of the company is important. They use a London icon, symbol of reliability and stability to attract clients.

Big Ben Consulting

The biggest name in the City since 2009. Specialists in white collar recruitment. 

World-wide reputation for matching the best people to the best jobs.

Start your countdown to a new career NOW with Big Ben 

Don’t put it off any longer – visit our website www.bbenc.com.uk/vn

email on info@bbenc.com.uk/vn

Don’t put up with the rest – try the best

Big Ben Consulting

Our top three positions

Number One: Trainee Marketing manager. Pharmaceutical company

International company wishing to increase it’s presence in Vietnam requires young person to set out on a career in Marketing. 

No experience required but must be presentable and willing to work hard.

A degree in Marketing or business studies is preferred.

Candidate must be enthusiastic, reliable, honest, trustworthy, able to work as a team as well as on own initiative.

General computer skills required. English essential. Clean police record.

Salary entry band £11K – £12.45K, rising annually.

Number Two: Junior Sales. Import / export

Learn the art of selling with this Singapore-based company. New office in central business district require a young person. No experience required, full training given. Deal with customers by phone, email and face-to-face. Candidate must be highly presentable, highly motivated and want to make a high income. Must own new business suit. Must be confident, sincere, persuasive and articulate. English at IELTS 7.5 or above a must.

Salary basic (to be negotiated at interview) plus commission. 

Number Three: Junior accountant. International logistics company.

Position opened up for accounting junior. Entry level position with guaranteed job after period of probation. Degree preferred but not essential. Work to a routine. Would suit quiet, dependable, hard working, serious-minded person.

Be part of a small team. Benefits include free membership of company chess team and a safe and secure future. 

For more details, contact us online or drop in to one of our shops. 

Business English: Role-playing activities

6th May 2020

Here are some sheets, which can be adapted and printed out, for students to practice job searching. There are three in total, the remainder will be blogged over the next few days.

Students would need to be at intermediate level, motivated and willing to move around the room, be active and creative. Students that just want to sit in their chair and NOT move for three hours (oh, boy, there ARE students like that), will not respond to such a kinetic activity.

Normally, depending on class size, I will have three employment agencies situated around the room. One or two students will pretend to work for one of the agencies, and they will greet prospective employees, and discuss their job prospects, training, experience etc.

Best way is to show an example.

The first company, very British, is called ‘Bacon ‘n’ Eggs’

This refers to a typical British breakfast, so the agency will be concentrating on the hotel and catering industry. Students can invent a character and a work background. Remember, the agency wants to find people for the job, so they will have to be very persuasive and optimistic, to really ‘sell’ the job (even if it isn’t very good).

Bacon ‘n’ eggs 

Employment Agency

The number ONE choice for employers and job-seekers.

Set out on your career here – jobs at ALL levels in the service industry, from hotel management to domestic staff, permanent or temporary.

Pop by today for a chat … and start work tomorrow !

1000s of satisfied customers

1000s of jobs waiting for Y O U

www.baconnegg.com.vn

jobs@baconnegg.com.vn

Bacon ‘n’ eggs

Current vacancies


1...Junior hotel manager (trainee). Age 18 – 23

Qualifications: Degree or current student, preferably in Hotel Management or related course.

Experience: Not necessary but work in service industry or food retail an asset. 

Personality: Out-going and confident, able to speak to staff and guests. Must be flexible and focused.

Skills: English imperative. Japanese or Russian an asset. Spreadsheets and Powerpoint. 

Salary: to be negotiated

2…Sous Chef

Qualifications: Catering certificate. Health certificate. First aid. 

Experience: 3 years in a 3* or above establishment.

Personality: Strong-willed, reliable and determined. Able to cope under pressure.

Skills: Communication skills. English a bonus but not essential.

Salary: £18 – 21 per hour depending on experience.

3…Domestic engineer (hotel cleaner)

Qualifications: Not necessary

Experience: Previous domestic engineering work would be an asset.

Personality: Hard-working, cheerful, dependable, able to work on own initiative.

Skills: Good at cleaning.

Salary: £4.75 rising to £4.99 per hour.

Again, this is an opportunity for the class to be inter-active, to mingle, to try out their English skills, and mostly, to break away form the stolid teacher-student dynamic.

Education and School - Happy Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty ...

Business English: Accountancy

6th May 2020

Jan Sanders van Hemessen (Hemessen c. 1504-1556 Antwerp) | Double ...
Jan sanders van Hemessen 1504 – 1556, Antwerp
1950s Office | Office with typewriters, adding machines, vertical ...
A 1950s office with adding machines, filing cabinets and typewriters
How to Become an Accountant: Skills, Degrees | All Business Schools
Property Management Accounting & Reporting Software - AppFolio

Cách giữ chân nhân tài của Big 4 - unitrain.edu.vn

New vocabulary

Look up any words you don’t know.

loophole

firm

audit

involvement

stock

None of the Big Four firms is a single firm; rather, they are professional services networks. The Big Four are the four largest professional services networks in the world, offering audittaxation, corporate finance and legal services. They handle the vast majority of audits for publicly traded companies as well as many private companies. They used to be the Big Five until the fall of Arthur Andersen in 2002, following its involvement in the Enron scandal.

Enron used loopholes and poor financial accounting to hide billions of dollars of debt. The company’s stock which rose to over $90 a share in mid 2000, fell to less than $1 by November 2001.

Enron - The Biggest Fraud in History - YouTube

Accountancy words / expressions

annual accounts // I am working on our annual accounts

asset // Make a list of all our assets

budget // We need to increase our budget

business expenses // We must reduce our business expenses

cash flow // Keep an eye on the cash flow

New idioms / collocations

Change of plan = to stop what you are doing and start something new

to handle something = to take care of something

to get hold of someone to speak to or meet someone

Hell breaks loose = will be a lot of trouble

to be into something = to like something very much

more or less = not 100% but almost.

I beg to differ = polite way to disagree

Dialogue Practice:

Two friends are chatting about their work day:

Two asian businesswomen talking during coffee break in modern ...

KIM: Hello, how’s your day been ?

Tina: Oh, so-so. And you ? Did you finish off the reports ?

KIM: Yes, more or less. 

Tina: You better make sure they’re finished. You know what the Director’s like.

KIM: I know. If things aren’t done, all hell breaks loose !

Tina: Better keep on his good side. What else do you need to do ?

KIM: File some invoices, send off some emails and I need to get hold of Anna in HR.

Tina: I think she’s off sick today. 

KIM: That’s a pity. Did you finish the wages ?

Tina: Yes, piece of cake ! Now I’m going through all the bank statements for the last quarter.

KIM: Not cooking the books I hope. Are we still going out tonight ?

Tina: Oh, sorry, I can’t know. Something’s come up.

KIM: What ? I thought you wanted to see the film. Johnny Depp’s in it.

Tina: I know, but I have to work late. Why don’t you ask the Director ? He’s really into cinema.

KIM: I don’t think so !

Tina: Why not ? He’s such a charming man.

KIM: Well, I beg to differ. He’s an old windbag and he drinks like a fish !

Portrait beautiful indian business woman smiling happy ...

New expressions:

off sick = not at work because of illness

old windbag = someone who speaks and speaks and speaks !

drinks like a fish = drinks a LOT of alcohol

cooking the books = making false entries in the accounting

Business English: What’s on the agenda ?

5th May 2020

Job interviews, and vocabulary for business meetings

AirAsia India Career For Freshers In 2020 [Apply Now Online]

Writing exercise

A candidate is writing to inquire about a vacancy at your factory:

Dear Owner,

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nguyen Trung Hieu and I am 22 with a business degree from TDT University in HCM City.

I wish to start my business career and your company has a very good reputation.

Do you have a position for me within your organisation ?

I have worked as bookkeeper for my uncle’s business in Nha Trang Province and also I worked at Coffee House when I was a student in order to make some extra money.

Please write back if you can help me

Yours respectfully

Nguyen Trang Hieu

How would you reply to this request ?

What were the positive and negative attributes of this letter ?

Now … your turn. You want to apply for the job with Air Asia in India (don’t forget, flight attendants can be both men and women, although the advert doesn’t emphasis this fact).

How would you write the letter ?

What facts are important ? What skills do you think you need ? What type of personality is best suited to this service-orientated job ?

How to Write an Amazing Common App Essay (2020-2021) - Examples ...

Meeting language

Small Business Strategies that Make a BIG Difference | Santander ...

Here is a transcript of a short business meeting. Look at all the non-standard English, the phrasal verbs, idioms and expressions that make up so much of natural English.

Read the text and role play, focusing on intonation and stress.

Right … I think we should start now. Thanks. 

  1. OK, so, is everybody here? Who are we waiting for? Hmmm … well, I think we’ll have to make a start without them. We’ve got a lot to get through this afternoon. 
  2. Right, well, as you know, the purpose of today’s meeting is to see where we are with the marketing plan, and to work out what we still need to do before the launch, which is now just six weeks away. 
  3. By the end of the meeting, we need to have a list of firm action points for the next month. Hopefully we’ll then need only one more meeting next month to tie up any remaining loose ends.
  4. Did everyone get a copy of the agenda I sent round? OK, good. 
  5. As I say, we’ve got a lot to get through, so please let’s stick to the agenda. I’ve set aside two hours for this meeting, and we really can’t afford to run over. Ideally, we can cover everything in an hour and a half. Does that sound reasonable? 
  6. Ah, Helena, come and take a seat. We started without you. 
  7. So perhaps we can get the ball rolling by going through the list of action points from the last meeting. 
  8. Bill, you were going to look into the costs of the various options that came up last time. Could you tell us what you found out?

Now match the nine steps in the meeting introduction (1–9) to the descriptions.

  1. Stating the desired outcome. 
  2. Introducing the first point on the agenda. 
  3. Getting people’s attention, interrupting small talk 
  4. Handing over to the first speaker. 
  5. Dealing with non-attendees. 
  6. Dealing with a late arrival. 
  7. Explaining time limits and procedures. 
  8. Stating the purpose 
  9. Checking people have seen the agenda. 

Answers at end of blog

African Companies Crucial to Change Africa's Economy | Umaizi
A successful conclusion to a meeting

Answers:

Right … I think we should start now. Thanks.  = 3) Getting people’s attention

  1. = 5) Dealing with non-attendees
  2. = 8) Stating the purpose
  3. = 1) Stating desired outcome
  4. = 9) Checking agenda
  5. = 7) Time limits
  6. = 6) Late arrival
  7. = 2) First point
  8. = 4) Handing over to first speaker

Business English: Office chat

29th April 2020

How would you describe the activity in these photos ?

Picture of young angry woman blaming her friend in the business ...
25 Interesting Facts About The Wolf of Wall Street | KickassFacts.com
How tough is an investment banker's life? - BBC News

Use expressions of opinion – 

In my opinion// I believe // I feel // (It) seems to me // I assume 

They look like // In my view // (He / it) appears to me // I imagine 

Business Talk

General questions 

Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work? Yes, But it Depends…

How is it going ? // How are you ? // how are you doing ?

How is it going with the new software ? // How is the new software ? // Any problems with the updates ?

Are you busy ? // Can you give me a hand ? = Can you help me ?

Can you take over from Jill ? = Can you do what Jill is doing now ?

Have you made any progress // Have you made any headway ? // Are you working well on a big task ?

How did your interview go? = How was the interview ?

How did the meeting go?

Get back to me by 5 ? = Contact me by 5 o’ clock

Did you hear back from IT ? = Did IT contact you ?

What are you up to ? = What are you doing

What are you working on ? Can mean at the moment OR in general

Idioms

Learning the ropes = learning what the job involves

snowed under = very busy

Let’s call it a day = We can finish work now

Can you run that by me again ? = Please repeat.

REMEMBER – saying ‘what ?’ can be quite rude in English; better to say:

Sorry ? Excuse me ? Pardon ?

Asking about current projects: 

  1. What are you working on at the moment ? 
  2. How is it going with your new assistant? 
  3. Have you made any progress with your big project?

a) She is a little slow because she is still learning the ropes

b) We are preparing wages

c) It’s a big job but we’re making headway

Asking about recent events: 

  1. How did your presentation go last week ? 
  2. How was your business trip? When did you get back ? 

a) It was great, thanks. I got back Monday evening.

b) Really well. Powerpoint is so useful !

Asking about news: 

  1. What’s new? 
  2. Did you hear back from that potential big customer yet? 
  3. What have you been up to in your department? 

a) Not yet, I’ll have to chase him up

b) In my job ? Nothing is new, same old thing, day in, day out !

c) We have been doing our year-ends.

Asking about plans and predictions 

  1. When do you think they will finally sign the contract? 
  2. Did you go to the conference this weekend? 

a) No, I couldn’t make it, I was snowed under.

b) We should get their signature by Friday. 

Glitch– a computer term meaning any small, unexplained problem with IT – now used to mean any small problem in life.

To "Learn the ropes" means to learn the... - Eurocentres ...

Business English: Time management

29th April 2020

These Business English blogs are aimed at upper-intermediate level students, and will include everyday phrases, expressions and idioms relating to various aspects of conducting business and workplace conversations.

Note down any phrasal verbs or expressions that you don’t know. A great way to improve your English is to add such language elements to your everyday speech, rather than just using text-book, standard English.

Business meetings

Checklist for an Effective Sales Meeting | SCORE

One view about how to plan a meeting:

Are all meetings cost-effective ? As the seconds tick away, you’ll start to appreciate what a terrible waste of time – and money– most meetings are. 

So what can you do? 

Firstly, make sure everyone arrives on time. No excuses. If five people at a meeting are sitting around waiting for a sixth person to turn up, just think how much money you are throwing away.

Secondly, get most of the work done before the meeting: send round detailed agendas, telling them what they need to do to prepare for the meeting. That means the meeting itself can focus on problem-solving and decision-making rather than wasting time explaining.

Thirdly, stick to the agenda. Don’t let anyone hijack the meeting by chatting about something irrelevant. Don’t let them take over yours. 

Fourthly, set a time limit and stick to it. There’s nothing worse than a meeting that goes round and round in circles with no decisions ever being finalised. A time limit can be a great way to focus everyone’s minds on the purpose of the meeting and the need to achieve something concrete … and then to go back to work and start implementing the decisions. 

Of course small talk has its place, but that place is not a meeting. 

This is one point of view – do you agree with it ? 

To what extent does small talk have a place in meetings ? 

Talk about your experiences. Does it vary from person to person and culture to culture ?

Boardroom Meeting Successful Asian Chinese Business People - Stock ...

This is a contrary (opposite) opinion; how do you evaluate this viewpoint ?

If you’re serious about making your meetings more effective, you need to give the participants plenty of time to ask questions, take the conversation in new directions, say things which may or may not be relevant, and above all, get to know each other. Of course, you need to make sure things don’t get out of control, but that means finding a sensible balance between small talk and getting down to business. 

A company which does not tolerate small talk may get things done more quickly, but that doesn’t mean it’ll do things the best way, making full use of the skills and ideas of its employees … and it may well find that it loses its best employees and its customers just as quickly. 

Which view do you agree with, and can you explain your reasons. Alternately, you may wish to select elements from both examples and make your own plan.

Asking about current projects: 

Complete using present continuous (verb + ing)

  1. What ___ you ___ ( work) on at the moment ?  // What are you working on at the moment ?
  2. How ___ it ___ (go) with your new assistant ? 
  3. ___ you ___ (make) any progress with your big project ? 

Asking about recent events: (use past tense)

  1. How ___ your presentation ___ (go) last week? 
  2. How ___ (be) your business trip ? When ___ you ___ (get) back? 

Asking about news: (uses past perfect)

  1. ___ you ___ (hear) back from that potential big customer yet? 
  2. What ___ you ___ (be) up to in your department? 

Asking about plans and predictions : future tense

  1. When do you think they ___ finally ___ (sign) the contract? 
  2. ___ you ___ (go) to the conference this weekend? 

Now match the questions with some answers from below. Try to practise with a friend or colleague

a) A little, but it’s very slow. We’re still tied up with the financing side of things, so it doesn’t feel like we’re getting anywhere. 

b) Absolutely! I’m giving a presentation! I’m really nervous about it, actually.

c) Ah, nothing, really. Nothing ever changes! Busy as usual. 

d) It was useful, but really exhausting. I just got back on Tuesday, so I’m still trying to get back on top of my inbox. But I’m glad I went. I made a few potentially useful contacts. 

e) Next week, hopefully, but they’re still not happy with our service charges, so it might still all fall through. 

f) Not bad, actually. He’s on a steep learning curve, but he’s trying hard, and he’s got a lot of potential. 

g) Really well. We had a good turn-out, and some people said nice things about it. Whether anyone actually buys the product as a result is another question!

h) We’re about to start working on the new marketing plan. It’s not due to be launched for another two months, but it takes a really long time to get ready.

i) We’ve been really busy preparing for next week’s quality inspection. We’re nearly ready, but there are still a few big jobs to finish. 

j) Yes, they emailed us this morning with an order for 500 units, so it looks like it’s all going ahead. Very exciting. 

Lastly, the final point on our agenda – what do you think of this list ?

It indicates what British people say and what they REALLY mean.

British business language translation - Tom McCallum - Medium

IELTS Speaking Practice: Manufacturing in Vietnam.

30th July 2019

Tonight is a special speaking lesson, a preparation for the real test which this class will take at the beginning of September. Incidentally, last night I adjudicated a speaking test and was somewhat distressed by the lack of:

adjectives (even when the task was to describe something)

adverbs

low-frequency vocabulary

complex sentences

stress and intonation

WARM UP

So, to warm up, I will put the class into small groups and give them various words on strips of paper, words we have covered in the classes: adjectives, adverbs, discourse markers, compound nouns.

a major challenge / ubiquitous / punctual / binge shopping / significantly / bizarre /

remarkably / one the other hand / consequently / therefore / in my opinion / all’s well that ends well.

how do I say that in English ? / sky-high / traditional / developing /

The students have a set time to speak on a basic subject (shopping, music, internet etc) employing as many words as possible.

RELATIVE PRONOUNS

who For people: This is the man who sold me the fake Rolex ! 

which For things: We tried fish and chips which is delicious.

where For places: Let’s go to the shop where we saw the great bargains.

Whose Possessive: That’s the singer whose record we heard last night.

The car, whose driver was young, won the race.

Exercises

We arrived at a nice beach ______ we could swim and lie in the sun.

A man ______ mobile phone was ringing did not know what to do.

The patient, ______ had a serious disease, was taken to hospital immediately.

Smithsfield is a small village ______ people live a quiet life.

A boy ____ sister is in my class, was in the bank at that time.

I know a person ____ can speak seven languages.

We visited the church _____ is in the middle of the square.

It is a protected area of land _____ you can see a lot of interesting wildlife.

This dress is made of silk _____ is a very expensive and delicate material.

A police officer, _____ car was parked at the next corner, stopped and arrested them.

MANUFACTURING AND ECONMICS

Tonight’s discussion focuses on manufacturing, so first I have to pre-teach some new vocabulary, as well as encouraging the students to think in long, complex sentences employing relative pronouns and discourse markers where appropriate.

The United Kingdom had a great empire in the nineteenth century undoubtably due to the fact that the UK was the first industrial nation.

Factory workers in the UK during the industrial heyday

This had a profound, significant effect on the country as its economy turned from agricultural to industry. The UK could import raw materials from its overseas colonies and, by the use of new machinery, produce consumer goods incomparably quicker and cheaper than by old traditional methods.

However, despite the wealth generated by this revolution, it caused many social evils:

Industrial pollution, which is still a global problem today, especially in developing countries, was prevalent and ubiquitous. The poet William Blake referred to the “dark satanic mills,” which blighted the lush English countryside. Social reformers and political philosophers commented on the disparity between the wealthy factory owners and the appalling working conditions of the operators, which often included young children, as well as a dreadful number of accidents and deaths due to the lack of safety laws. Furthermore, some people say that commercialism is a bad thing, such as seeing things simply in terms of making money, for example, selling toys based on ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Avengers’ films, or turning areas of natural beauty into golf courses, hotels and resorts, not to mention replacing old family shops by the massive super and mega-marts run by giant corporations.

de Loutherbourg, Philip James; Coalbrookdale by Night; Science Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/coalbrookdale-by-night-179866

Gradually, workers conditions improved in developing countries, but at a cost. Rising labour (labor in US English) prices made the giant multi-national companies look abroad for cheaper workers, overheads and tax fees. Today, many companies have factories in south east Asia and China.

These have been criticised as being sweatshops, where workers are forced to do 12-hour shifts, often without adequate breaks, in addition to being paid a pittance in comparison to western workers. Many consumer goods are manufactured in south east Asia, including some high-end items such as designer clothing, furthermore, it is estimated that half the world’s iPhones are made in China.

https://www.businessinsider.com/china-iphone-city-residents-foxconn-apple-effect-2018-5

As an outsider, but with an interest in the culture and history of Vietnam, I am aware of the sensitivity regarding Viet-Sino (Chinese) relations. In terms of size and population, China dwarfs Vietnam, yet despite the massive workforce in the larger country, some developed countries are investing heavily in Vietnam. Here’s a good news link from a USA business news station (with English subtitles).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giJbzFUQSPQ

This should be adequate to give the students a grasp of the vocabulary and some collocations needed to speak confidently about basic manufacturing although we have yet to delve deeper into Vietnam’s own economy and manufacturing traditions. The following is from WIKIPEDIA:

Although the industrial sector contributed 40.1% of GDP in 2004, it employed only 12.9% of the workforce. In 2000, 22.4% of industrial production was attributable to non-state activities. From 1994 to 2004, the industrial sector grew at an average annual rate of 10.3%. Manufacturing contributed 20.3% of GDP in 2004, while employing 10.2% of the workforce. From 1994 to 2004, manufacturing GDP grew at an average annual rate of 11.2%. The top manufacturing sectors — electronics, food processing, cigarettes and tobacco, textiles, chemicals, and footwear goods — experienced rapid growth. Benefits from its proximity to China with lower labor cost, Vietnam is becoming a new manufacturing hub in Asia, especially for Korean and Japanese firms. For instance, Samsung produces about 40% of its phones in Vietnam.

And now the students can take over. What can they tell me about traditional manufacturing ? How do they contribute to the local and national economy ? For example, on holiday in Phan Thiet (a seaside town a few hours train ride from Sai Gon), the only Vietnamese I saw were in the service industry (hotel staff, cleaners, restaurant workers, shop staff, tour operators etc). How do Vietnamese feel about this ? The cost of a hotel room may be more than they earn in a week or even a month. On the other hand, the tourism creates jobs and enable locals to make a living.

Obviously, this is an English class, though we have touched on economics, social philosophy, international relations and even poetry. The objective is to prepare the students for a future test where they may well have to speak about their country’s economy. I hope this will provide them with a basic grounding in vocabulary and some critical thinking, and mostly, being able to express their ideas.