As a non-native speaker of English, you might often find yourself in situations like this: You’re sitting in a meeting or a teleconference, and some of the participants are native English speakers. They are speaking with one another very rapidly, and they are using some idiomatic or difficult-to-understand expressions. Someone says something you don’t understand, or perhaps something that is not true or that you disagree strongly with. You should interrupt to ask what they mean, to clarify, to correct – but you just can’t bring yourself to open your mouth. How do you start? How do you interrupt?
That’s the focus of today’s Business English podcast lesson. We’ll be studying useful language and expressions for interrupting and for resisting or stopping interruption.
The listening takes place in an internal meeting at Strand Technologies, a Hong Kong-based OEM of portable electronic devices, mainly MP3 and MP4 players. OEM stands for “original equipment manufacturer.” It refers to companies that manufacture other companies’ products for them. In this internal meeting, all three participants know each other well so the language is more informal and direct. As you listen, pay attention to how they use assertive language to interrupt each other in order to keep the meeting on track and arrive at positive result more quickly.
1) What does Bill mean when he says they’re facing a “bottleneck?” What is the bottleneck?
2) Why can’t Bill just retrain the engineers he has?
3) What is Mei Lin’s suggestion to speed up the recruitment process?