- Do you ever get nervous speaking English with your co-workers?
- Are you often unsure about the “right” word or expression to use at work?
- Do you want to speak to co-workers with ease and confidence?
Get serious about improving your business English. This two-part course helps you learn commonly used words and phrases that you need to succeed in English at work. In each lesson, you’ll learn common and useful vocabulary for everyday situations found in an office.
The course includes two sets of five detailed lessons (10 lessons total in the two-part course) that describe each part of a typical workday. Learn vocabulary related to arriving at work, checking mail and email, attending office meetings, going to business lunches, handling computer problems, scheduling a meeting, meeting with your boss, and socializing with coworkers.
After listening to Using English at Work, you will be better able to speak and write business English. Get it right with this complete course in daily English for businesspeople like you!
Course Length (Part 2) -- 2.25 hours (1.75 hours video + text)
(Note: Be sure to get Part 1 before starting on Part 2)
Lesson 1 – Having Computer Problems
Almost no one works without a computer anymore, and almost everyone has computer problems! Learn the most common ones and how to describe them in this lesson. Included in this lesson:
- Common computer vocabulary, such as “mouse” and “keyboard”
- Several different problems you might have with your computer
- Idioms including “make headway,” “acting up,” and “a mile a minute”
- What happens when you call the “computer tech” to help fix things
Lesson 2 – Scheduling a Meeting
If you're not in a meeting every day, you're probably planning one. Learn how to talk about scheduling a meeting with a co-worker, customer, or client in this lesson. Included in this lesson:
- Different ways a person might schedule, or “set up,” a meeting
- The meaning and origin of the phrase “playing phone tag”
- Common idioms such as “the earlier the better” and “free and clear”
- The difference between being “tied up” and “free”
Lesson 3 – Meeting with the Boss
Will your boss say good things to you at your next one-to-one meeting or bad things? Find out how to tell the difference in English in this lesson. Included in this lesson:
- Useful workplace terms such as “update,” “progress,” and “raise”
- The difference between a “heads up” and “to keep your head down”
- The common American custom of “shaking hands”
- Idioms including “to get a pat on the back” and “to jump the gun”
Lesson 4 – Leaving Work
It's quitting time! But don't relax until you've learned some commons phrases and terms for getting ready to leave your desk and go back home. Included in this lesson:
- The meaning of the popular term “quitting time”
- An explanation of the idiom “to burn the midnight oil”
- Vocabulary related to leaving the office for the weekend
- The phrase “here I come” – and the song it comes from
Lesson 5 – Socializing with Coworkers
Okay, so you're not going home right away. You want to go out and enjoy life with your fellow employees. This lesson takes you to your local bar or restaurant for some after-work drinks. Included in this lesson:
- An explanation of the American custom known as “happy hour”
- The types of happy hour food served at many restaurants
- Advice on when it might be smart “to change the subject”
- The difference between “to kick back” and “to kick off”
Be sure to get Part 1 of this course as well!
Dr. Jeff McQuillan is a recognized expert and leading researcher in English language learning and teaching. He received his Ph.D. in applied linguistics and education from the University of Southern California, and was a university professor for many years. He's published dozens of articles and books related to linguistics, literacy, and English language learning. His work has appeared in the media both nationally and internationally, including CNN, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Deutschlandfunk Radio, El Pais, China Post, MacWorld, Diario Financiero, Universia, The Times (London) and many others.