Business English News 15 – Facebook IPO

The value of ‘likes’ and ‘tags’ grew exponentially when Facebook filed its S-1 papers last month. Facebook will launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in May, paving the way for 27-year old founder Mark Zuckerberg, his staff, and even a graffiti artist to become exceptionally wealthy.

This month’s Business English News lesson features lots of great vocabulary for talking about company valuations, growth and social networks. Use the links below to access the free transcript and quizzes for this lesson.

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Business English News 12 – Steve Jobs Tribute

Business English News is a new show on Business English Pod about current events, especially things happening in the business news.

As a company built and run on Mac computers, and with an audience that mainly uses Apple products to listen to our podcasts, it’s only fitting that we (re)launch this show with a tribute to Steve Jobs, who passed away on Wednesday 5th October.

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BEP 184 – Discussing Training Plans (Part 2)

This is the second part of our Business English Pod series on English training and development vocabulary and collocations.

Good training is crucial for any company, big or small. How can we expect people to do a good job if they don’t have the right knowledge, skills, and tools? Providing employees with these tools is a key function of training.

And training is what we’ll be talking about today. We’ll be looking at some important vocabulary and collocations related to training. Remember, collocations are natural combinations of words that native speakers commonly use. There are no clear rules to collocation, only patterns. When you learn a new word, you should try to learn what other words are used with it. For example, you might think that “crime” is a useful word to know, but it will be difficult to use it if you don’t know that we usually use the verb “commit” before it, as in: “commit a crime.”

In the last episode, you heard many useful training collocations. We listened to Jeff, who works in HR at an engineering firm, talk with David, who has just given a presentation on new approaches to training. We heard Jeff explain how his company wants to improve their learning and development program. Today, David will explain more about learner-centered training.

Listening Questions

1. What is a traditional approach to training?
2. What does David say another company has recently started?
3. What is David’s biggest piece of advice for Jeff?

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BEP 183 – Discussing Training Plans (Part 1)

In this Business English vocabulary lesson, we’ll take a look at some common collocations related to some of the different approaches to training and training programs.

Training is one of the most important investments a company will make. Poor training can lead to poor performance, inefficiency, employee dissatisfaction, and a range of other problems. Good training, on the other hand, can make a company run smoothly, efficiently, and profitably. Training programs take many different shapes and forms, ranging from highly developed online systems to informal on-the-job training. Regardless of what form the training takes, it’s essential to think about the desired outcomes and plan accordingly.

Before we listen, let’s talk a little about collocations. A collocation is a group of words that native speakers often use together. A correct collocation sounds natural, while an incorrect collocation sounds unnatural. For example, in English we say “go online” to talk about using the Internet. But we can’t say “proceed online” or “travel online,” even though “proceed” and “travel” mean “go”. Those simply aren’t natural expressions.

You’ll hear many useful collocations in today’s dialog. As you listen, try to pick out these natural combinations of words. Then we’ll explain what they mean and how to use them in the debrief. We’re going to hear a conversation between two people about training and development. Jeff works in HR for a firm of engineering consultants. He’s talking to David, who has just given a presentation about new approaches to training.

Listening Questions

1. Why does Jeff think his company needs to find a new approach to training?
2. What type of training does Jeff’s company currently do?

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