Business English / Деловой английский язык
Going on a training course
In this lesson Carlos Vila, the new Divisional Software Engineering Manager at Industrias Montresor, is being sent to Osaka, Japan, on a company training course. We look at how to make travel arrangements, and at meeting people in formal and informal situations.
|Akiko Ito||is a Software Course Organiser at the Sima Electronics Training Centre, Osaka, Japan. She is Japanese.|
|Bret Holman||is Head of Research and Development at Tahoe Data Systems in the USA. He is American.|
|Vocabulary||Training courses; air travel; computers.|
|Skills||Writing a telex; making travel arrangements; writing a letter; meeting people.|
|Structures||Possessive's; formal and informal language; flight numbers and times.|
|Documents||A telex; a letter of acceptance; a letter of confirmation; a speculative letter; an advertising leaflet; an airline schedule.|
5.1 Document study
Carlos Vila has now been with Industrias Montresor as Divisional Software Engineering Manager for three months. This telex arrives at the Zaragoza office about a training course for some new machinery that Industrias Montresor is buying from a Japanese company.
5.2 Reading for key words
Find the words or phrases in the telex in 5.1 that tell you the following:
|1||(four letters meaning) attention.|
|2||(four letters meaning) as soon as possible.|
|3||an empty place on a course.|
|4||say 'yes' to an offer.|
|5||give information about something (two answers).|
|6||until and including (a certain date).|
|7||'We ask you politely' (two answers).|
5.3 Listen and read
Joe Andrews telephones Pilar Soto, Carlos's manager, about the training course. Listen to what they say. Joe then asks his secretary, Maria, to make the travel arrangements for Carlos's flight to Japan. Listen to what he says. Notice that this is a long instruction, and so he does not include any unnecessary words.
|JOE||Now, I take itthat you want to send Carlos to Japan? You did say that it would be the new man's first assignment!|
|PILAR||That's right, and he's been with us for three months now. Never mind. At least he's had a chance to settle in and get to know the place.
|JOE||Maria, would you please get on tothe travel agents to make a flight reservation. Tell them we've got someone flying to Osaka in Japan, business class, arriving on 21 July, not later than 1700 hours local time , departing Osaka on the morning of the twenty-ninth. The reservation is in the name of Dr Carlos Vila. Any queries, just contact me.|
5.4 Find the word
This is another extract from Joe's telephone call to Pilar. Read the text, and fill the gaps with words from the box.
At last, Sima have contacted us to say there's a (a) on one of their (b) courses. I think we'll have to take it up, though the dates aren't very convenient: 22 (c) 28 July. Yes, July! All (d) have to arrive in Osaka on the afternoon of the twenty-first. Now, you want my department to make all the (e) arrangements, I suppose. I'll inform you in due courseof Vila's (f) times and numbers.
5.5 Document study
A letter is faxed to Japan the same day, and a reply is received a few days later. The tone of both of these letters is rather formal, and most of the sentences contain standard business phrases. Which phrases might be useful in other business letters?
5.6 Reading for key words
Find the words or phrases in Akiko Ito's letter in 5.5 that tell you the following:
|1||the people who work with me in my company.|
|2||someone who takes part in something.|
|3||a car belonging to a company.|
|4||a timetable of activities for a course.|
|5||a short statement of the most important points.|
5.7 Writing practice: telexes and letters
1 Rewrite Joe Andrews's letter to Mr Yamashita as a telex. It will be a little shorter, but not much.
2 Then rewrite Mr Yamashita's telex in 5.1 to Joe Andrews as a letter, laying it out correctly (see 3.16)
5.8 Listen and read
Carlos arrives at Osaka airport, and is greeted by Akiko Ito. Listen to how Carlos and Akiko greet each other formally, and then relax a little.
|AKIKO||Hello! Dr Vila!|
|CARLOS||Good afternoon. Miss - Ito? Do you say 'Ito'?|
|AKIKO||That's quite right. I'm your Course Organiser. I hope you had a good flight?|
|CARLOS||Yes, thanks. It was a bit long, but quite comfortable. I hope I won't suffer too much from jet lag.|
|AKIKO||Oh, you mustn't have jet lag, because we have a party tonight and a very busy day for you tomorrow!|
|CARLOS||Oh! I see. Well, I'll have to forget my jet lag until I get back to Spain, won't I?|
5.9 Listening for meaning
Listen again carefully to the conversation in 5.8. There are many meanings carried by the intonation of the speakers, by the way their voices rise and fall.
|1||At the airport, Akiko says 'Dr Vila' and Carlos says 'Miss Ito'. One of them is a question. Which one? And which of them is worried in case he/she has made a mistake? How do we know this?|
|2||'I hope you had a good flight.' Akiko's words are in the form of a statement. How does she make it into a question?|
|3||Akiko says 'That's quite right.' Carlos says 'It was a bit long, but quite comfortable.' What does the word 'quite' mean in these two statements?|
5.10 Listen and read
In a lecture theatre at the Sima Electronics Training Centre, Akiko Ito welcomes the members of Course 37. Listen to what she says. Notice that she is quite formal.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Course 37:
Software Familiarisation on our company's 9909 series machines. We have a full programme for you during the next seven days and the course is very intensive . This course has been developed especially for Industrias Montresor, and it's essential for all their Systems Engineers to have plenty of hands-on experience - that's why we can only take ten participants on each course.
On the table in front of you, you will each find a copy of the course manual. Please treat this as a confidential document. It contains detailed information about your company's computer installations - and I'm sure that your competitors would find it most interesting!
5.11 Listen and read
Later, in the training centre canteen, Carlos is having a cup of coffee when a stranger comes and sits at his table. Listen to what they say. Notice how they start speaking to each other, without actually introducing themselves.
|AMERICAN||Hi there! Mind if I join you?|
|CARLOS||Of course, please do. Are you studying here?|
|AMERICAN||I'm on Course 35, Electronic Engineering. There's only six of us.|
|CARLOS||On my course we have ten. Software Familiarisation. Today is our first day.|
|AMERICAN||That's quite a book they've given you. May I see?|
|CARLOS||Er - I'm sorry - we're not supposed to ...|
|AMERICAN||Oh, I understand. It's confidential, right? So, tell me about yourself. Who do you work for? Or is that confidential too?|
|CARLOS||No. It's a large manufacturing corporation - in Spain. We make machines for the chemical industry.|
5.12 Listen and read
Carlos is sitting talking to the American, Bret Holman, when he hears the bell that means he must return to his seminar. Read the dialogue and listen to how the two men now introduce themselves.
I'm sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. My name's Bret Holman. Here's my card.
Bret Holman. Head of Research and Development. Tahoe Data Systems. How do you do, Mr Holman. I'm Carlos Vila.
Good to meet you, Carlos. As it happens, Tahoe Data is very interested in Spain just now...
Oh, I'm sorry, that's for my group. Please excuse me.
Of course. Don't let me keep you.
I am sorry, Mr Holman, I forgot to give you my card! Goodbye.
Gee, thanks. Ah! Industrias Montresor, Divisional Software Engineering Manager. Interesting!
5.13 Structure practice: possessive 's
Read again the dialogues and documents in this unit. Look for examples of 's. We usually use 's as a possessive form with nouns that refer to people or animals:
the new man's first assignment
Joe's telephone call
It is not normally used with nouns that refer to objects or things. For example, we don't say 'at the meeting's start' or 'a company's car'; we do say 'at the start of the meeting', 'a company car'.
But when the noun can be used to mean the group of people connected with something, then the 's form can be used:
our company's 9909 series machines
your company's computer installation
Read through the dialogue below, and decide whether each 's is right or wrong. The answer key shows you what a British speaker would probably say.
Hello! How was your conference?
Terrible! My company's car broke down, and I missed the conference's start.
Oh dear! That's not good for your company's image.
No. And it got worse! At lunch's end I got up to leave and my chair's leg broke!
5.14 Reading for key words: formal and informal language
Read and listen to 5.10 again. Find the more formal words and phrases in Akiko Ito’s speech which mean the same as these informal ones:
you're going to have to study extremely hard.
to use computers a lot.
don't let other people read your manual.
Now listen to, and read, 5.11 and 5.12 again. Find the informal words in Bret Holman's comments which mean the same as these formal ones:
Good morning. May I sit here, please?
You've been given a large and impressive book.
Please don't apologise.
It's a pleasure to meet you.
The sentences that follow show a number of different ways of saying more or less the same thing. Mark them as F(ormal), I(nformal) or N(eutral).
I must inform you that this document is confidential.
Unfortunately, this is a confidential document.
You're joking! Do you want to get me into trouble?
May I, with great respect, point out that it is confidential.
Sorry, I'm afraid it's supposed to be confidential.
Which of these sentences would be most suitable for Carlos to use in 5.11?
Making an offer
5.15 Document study
Carlos is now back in Spain, and he receives this letter from Bret Holman. It is an informal, personal letter. Bret is trying to find out if Carlos would like to leave Industrias Montresor and take a job with Tahoe Data Systems. He makes this sound attractive, but does he actually make any offers?
On the envelope 'Private and confidential'
5.16 Reading for key words
Read the letter from Bret Holman again (5.15). Find the words or phrases that show you the following:
|1||Bret Holman does not want Carlos's employer or his colleagues to know about the contents of the letter.
|2||He wants to make it clear to Carlos that he is not actually offering him a job at this time.
|3||He thinks Tahoe Data might be able to offer Carlos an interesting job.
5.17 Document study
This is an extract from one of the leaflets Bret sent to Carlos. The language is very different from the language of a business letter, though there is one sentence in Bret's letter (5.15) that could have come from a leaflet or perhaps from an advertisement. Which one?
How many words can you find in the leaflet here that make a manager's work sound very difficult?
5.18 Reading for key words
Find the words or phrases in the leaflet (5.17) that show you the following:
|1||three 'major challenges' in engineering.
|2||it may be difficult to afford expensive computer systems.
|3||two reasons why money spent on Tahoe Data products will enable you to get more value out of your computers.
5.19 Speaking practice: flight numbers and times
While he was in Osaka, Carlos decided to take a few days' holiday. He telephoned a travel agent to ask about changing the date of his flight from Osaka to Madrid. Read the dialogue, but don't listen to it yet! Part of the airline schedule is shown below. You must decide what flight numbers and times the agent gives Carlos. Listen to their conversation, and then listen again and speak the part of the travel agent.
|CARLOS||I have to be in Madrid early in the morning on 31 July, that's a Friday.|
|AGENT||Well, there's no direct flight.The best route is via Tokyo, or via Tokyo and London, which is a little quicker.|
|CARLOS||What time do I have to leave Tokyo to get to Madrid before 0800 hours?|
|AGENT||There's a Japan Airlines flight, JL890,departing Tokyo Narita on Thursday at 2100 hours, arriving Madrid on Friday at 0635.|
|CARLOS||Suppose I take that, what time do I leave Osaka?|
|AGENT||There's a Japan Airlines flight, JL052, departing Osaka on Thursday at (a) hours, arriving Tokyo Narita at (b) .|
|CARLOS||Oh! That's rather a long stop-over in Tokyo- four and a half hours!|
|AGENT||Well, you could go via London. There's a Japan Airlines flight, JL (c) , departing Tokyo Narita on Thursday at 1230 hours, arriving London Heathrow at 1610.|
|CARLOS||How long do I have in London?|
|AGENT||There's a British Airways flight, BA462, departing London Heathrow at (d) hours, arriving Madrid at 2205.|
|CARLOS||Hm. That means I have to leave Osaka early Thursday morning and change planes twice and I get to Madrid late on Thursday night.|
|AGENT||Well, you could go via Frankfurt. There's a Lufthansa flight, LH743, departing Osaka on Thursday at 1900 hours, arriving Frankfurt on Friday at 0605.|
|CARLOS||But that's even later than if I go Tokyo-Madrid! What time would I get to Madrid?|
|AGENT||There's a Lufthansa flight, (e) , departing Frankfurt on Friday at (f) hours, arriving Madrid at (g) .|
|CARLOS||My boss will kill me! On the other hand, it would give me a whole extra day in Osaka. Yes! That'll do fine, I'll take that one, if you can get my reservation transferred.|
5.20 Writing practice
Write a memo for Carlos to send to Joe Andrews, telling him about the change in his return flight. Don't apologise to Andrews for returning late; just inform him politely.