Julie Pratten’s Webinar – Engaging Busy People!

Thursday 25 February 2016

by Helen Beesley

Watch this webinar with Julie Pratten, author of Absolute Banking English and Absolute Financial English, from Wednesday 24th February in which she shares ideas on how to engage business English students in a variety of activities; projects, and presentations, quizzes and challenges.

Here, Julie also gives some notes as a follow up to the webinar:
I wanted to reiterate some points that you may wish to follow up on after you attended or have watched my webinar ‘Engaging Busy People!’. As you know, I was battling sound issues. Why is it that the sound always seems to fail when you are saying ‘another important point is ( fade into echo…)! Here are some of the points you may want to research:
  • First of all, Daniel Goleman’s book, ‘Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence is a very thought-provoking read.’  I found his three modes of focus very appropriate for business English students – Inner, Other and Outer.
  • Next up, Brene Brown’s TED talks on empathy are fascinating. The animated RSA short is a winner with my students. I also find students can really relate to the description Brene Brown gives of the difference between ’empathy and ‘sympathy’: ‘Empathy fuels connections; sympathy fuels disconnections’.
  • I gleaned my simple steps to empathetic listening from Julian Treasure. Again, you can check out his TED talks.
  • Fast forward to my top 5 types of activities that really engage business English students; 5 Vocabulary guessing texts. The example I showed with words substituted for foods came from Absolute Banking English. 4 Action ladders – it’s easy to make your own and get your students to create theirs. Ie 5 steps to employee satisfaction; 3 Communication menus – once again, there are several in Absolute Banking English. 2 – Problem solving activities  – such as meetings to reduce spending/ save energy/ improve motivation. Students have a list of suggestions, they discuss and reach consensus. Penny Ur described many possible scenarios in her ancient (but excellent) book ‘ Discussions that work’. Finally, number 1 – the best of all time;  my favourite sure fire activity for 101% engagement. ‘The Marshmallow Challenge’, it’s guaranteed to work every time. Make sure you share the rest of the marshmallows with your students at the end!
Thank you for attending my webinar.  And, by the way, Chipsy the cat sends his regards too!


2 responses to Julie Pratten’s Webinar – Engaging Busy People!

    • I really enjoyed this different take on business English activities. Students are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of soft skills, so it’s a good basis to build meaningful language training upon.

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