Category Archives: Business

If Kids Return to School Masks Are Must!

“Crayola, Old Navy and Disney are among the brands making colorful masks for children. Child psychologists see this as a positive step toward “normalcy.” D. B. Taylor, The New York Times

Crayola-NBC news

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key

Excerpt: This Year’s Must-Have Back-to-School Item: Masks for Children By Derrick B. Taylor, NYT

“Fall is drawing near, and right on schedule, ads offering discounts on backpacks, notebooks and pencils are beginning to pop up on television and online.

But this year, during a pandemic that has school officials agonizing over how and whether to safely reopen masks are appearing among the glue sticks and glitter as essential back-to-school items.

Crayola Masks – Credit- Crayola NYT

Companies like Crayola, Old Navy and Disney have begun selling colorful masks for children in packs of four and five as part of their back-to-school offerings… Dr. Andrew Adesman, the chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens, said the reality is, you want children to go back to school in the safest way possible…” Having child-friendly face masks in terms of fit and appeal are probably more part of the solution than the problem.”

Credit- Freepik

With the school year quickly approaching, schools across the United States are grappling with how to reopen — and whether they can reopen safely at all… There are concerns that the reopening of schools could spark outbreaks, especially among older children. A large study from South Korea found that children younger than 10 transmit the coronavirus much less often than adults, although the risk is not zero.

Credit- Krayola

Children between 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as efficiently as adults do, the study found…The research does not necessarily prove that children are spreading the virus, but experts said the findings should influence the debate over whether and how to reopen schools…Though scientists and health authorities say that masks reduce the spread of the coronavirus, even adults can’t agree on wearing them.”

~Democratic Presidential Leader Joe Biden~

“2020 Election Live Updates: Democratic convention speakers will include the Clintons and Obamas, along with Sanders and Kasich. The big names will be augmented by testimonials from “from voters of all kinds — delegates, parents, teachers, small-business owners, essential workers, activists and elected leaders,” culled from “1,000 crowdsourced videos,” officials with the convention’s organizing committee announced on Monday.” The New York Times

Democratic Convention Begins:  Monday August 17 — Ends Thursday August 20  Visit  The Democratic National Convention  Schedule Information Here

Congratulations! Kamala Harris Is Biden’s Choice for Vice President!

Biden taps Kamala Harris as his pick for vice president-New York Times

“A former rival for the Democratic nomination, she will be the first woman of color to be nominated for national office by a major political party.” By A. Burns and K. Glueck, The New York Times

Joe Biden with his VP choice Kamala Harris

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

NOTE: Lessons can also be used with native English speakers.

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and improving oral skills. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions: Examine the titles of the post and the actual article.  Examine any photos, then create a list of  words and  ideas  that you  and your group members think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Try to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. You use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Fall is drawing near, and right on schedule.
  2. But this school year there is a pandemic.
  3. School officials are agonizing over how and whether to safely reopen.
  4. Face masks are appearing as essential back-to-school items.
  5. The idea of colorful masks is all very bright if a little dystopian.
  6. Some educators feel child-friendly face masks  will appeal to kids.
  7. There are concerns that the reopening of schools could spark outbreaks.
  8. It had been found that infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults.
  9. Experts said the findings should influence the debate over whether and how to reopen schools.
  10. More than half the states have issued mask requirements in recent weeks.

 

Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error.  Identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Masks was designed to help children adapt to the new normal.
  2. Fall is coming and some schools might open.
  3. This school year is during a pandemic.

II

  1. Schools have two major concerns.
  2. Some companies is making large quantities of masks for children.
  3. In addition, items such as face shields are being made for kids.

 

III

  1. It’s all very bright and colorful for kids.
  2. There  is concerns that the reopening of schools could spark outbreaks.
  3. Some stores want children to pester their parents for masks.

 

Identify The  Speakers

Directions: Read the following quotes from speakers in the article. Then identify the speakers.

  1. “The reality is, you want children to go back to school in the safest way possible.”
  2.   “The key to getting children to wear masks in school was to make them fun.”
  3. ” The company had designed its masks to help children adapt to the new normal and feel comfortable in school.”
  4. “The company had started making face coverings for families at the outset of the pandemic.”
  5. “Some stores want children to pester their parents for masks, “for kids to say, ‘I want that mask because it’s nicely designed.”

 

III. Post Reading Activities

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion Questions for Comprehension /Writing

Directions: Have students discuss the following questions/statements. Afterwards,  students share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the topics mentioned.

  1. What are the two main concerns school officials have?
  2. Which three major companies are selling masks for children?
  3. In addition to masks what other items are being made for children to wear this fall?
  4. Dr. Andrew feels that face masks for kids should be viewed in what way?
  5. The article states, In most districts where students will be allowed to return to the classroom, they’ll do so with a requirement to wear masks or face coverings, though that directive is not universal.”
  6. In your opinion, should face masks be required for  some kids but not for all? Why or why not?
  7. The article states, Children between 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as efficiently as adults do, the study found.”
  8. Do you think schools should reopen at all this year? Explain why.

 

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: In 5 minutes to write down three new ideasyou’ve learned about the topic from the reading,two thingsthatyou did not understand in the reading, and one thing youwould like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

Main Idea / Debate

Directions: Divide students into two teams for this debate. Both teams can use information from the article and sources from the Webto support their arguments.

Team A will list five reasons that support arguments for children returning to school.

Team B will list  five reasons that support arguments against children returning to school

Each team will have time to state their points of view,and the teacher decides which team made their points.  

For organization, have students use this Pros and Cons Scale organizer from Freeology

Pros and Cons Scale

ANSWER KEY

Your Job Title: What’s in a Name?

“Late last summer, I traveled to San Francisco to give a talk at a conference on corporate communications. There, one speaker identified herself as a corporate storyteller... Next up was a story strategist…Batting third was Robert Scoble, a futurist at a cloud computing company called Rackspace... I don’t mean to judge — my own job is hardly less opaque. I am the vice president for content at Contently…” S. Slaughter New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Photo-makeameme

Excerpt: Your Job Title Is … What? By Sam Slaughter,  The New York Times

“Mr. Scoble showed slides of virtual reality headsets, and a device that looked something like a TV remote control that will provide detailed information about objects around you. You can aim it at a box of Cheerios, or even a dog, he told the audience… I have had meetings with a brand ambassadors (a bit like celebrity endorsers, but with more tattoos).

Credit- A Dilbert Book (Dilbert Collections) Amazon

Credit- A Dilbert Book (Dilbert Collections) Amazon

I have coffee with thought leaders (those with “authority” in a given field) and customer happiness managers. (Your guess is as good as mine, but I assume that it used to be called customer service.)

Credit- A Dilbert Book (Dilbert Collections) Amazon

Credit- A Dilbert Book (Dilbert Collections) Amazon

Job titles as we traditionally know them — vice president for marketing, or East Coast sales manager — emerged in the 1930s as a way to define roles in organizations that were becoming increasingly complex, said Peter Cappelli, the director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. That started to change in the 1990s, when employees began to be concerned with how their job titles might be interpreted.

Photo- Barclays-slideshare

Photo- Barclays-slideshare

As for myself, I will admit that I have drawn my fair share of Venn diagrams on whiteboards and had plenty of meetings about meetings — none of which would have helped my mom understand my job at all. I think the vice president of the content is like something from ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’ she told me a few weeks ago.”

Visit ESL Voices Business Section for great Job Hunting Tips!

AND

Don’t forget ESL Voices Lesson Plans for the Classics

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) and access to news article.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions: Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and  Word Map from  Education Oasis for assistance.Word Map Education Oasis

  1. The job was to humanize narratives.
  2. Both used pictures of cave paintings in their presentations.
  3. The point was to emphasize humankind’s ancient connection to the craft.
  4. Mr. Scoble showed slides of virtual reality headsets.
  5. My own job is hardly less opaque.
  6. We help companies understand the changing media landscape.
  7. I’m personally branding myself according to what I want to do.
  8. My younger brother is a lawyer, with no such issues.
  9. These titles emerged in the 1930s.
  10. In the 1990s  employees were concerned with how their job titles might be interpreted.

Reading Comprehension

Word -Recognition

Directions: Students are to circle or underline the correct word or phrases from the article. This exercise reinforces students’ attention on words that have been introduced in the reading. Have them skim the article to check  their responses. Students should also find the meanings for all unknown words.

“There was a tin/time, Dr. Cappelli said, when/while employees actually/actual had two sets of busy/business cards: one that identified/identity you within the company, and another for purple/people on the outside.

Employment is ever more fragmented/fragrance, freelance/freehand, entrepreneurial and digitally/digital focused, and there are plenty of jobs that never existed/extinguish before. In many cases, the roles are changing faster than the titles can even revolve/reflect.

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. This days, two business cards would hardly be enough.
  2. My boss was having a hard time figuring out the titles.
  3. They start small, with little to no structure.

II

  1. The company is founded in 2012.
  2. In that kind of environment, a title seems like an afterthought.
  3. Mystifying job titles have spread far beyond the start-up universe.

III

  1. Now, certainly, there is a bit of willful fakery at work.
  2. I have known a intern who worked as the head of marketing.
  3. There is a whole universe of solo practitioners.

III. Post Reading Tasks

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

1. The following  two statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“There was a time,when employees actually had two sets of business cards: one that identified you within the company, and another for people on the outside…These days, two business cards would hardly be enough. Employment is ever more fragmented, freelance, entrepreneurial and digitally focused, and there are plenty of jobs that never existed before.”

“Yet it is also true that changing titles reflect real shifts in how businesses operate and, let’s be honest, a very real need to reimagine traditional roles, especially in jobs that involve managing people or that require creativity…”

2. If you are presently working, what is your job title? Does your  title  accurately  describe your duties?

3. If you could change your title, what would it be?

4. With your group, create a list of job titles for various jobs. The list can be funny or serious.

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about job titles from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Business | Tags:

M.B.A.s Gaining the Most Jobs in 2015!

“With some 13,000 graduate schools of business across the globe, the M.B.A. degree has clearly become a commodity. Even among elite schools, courses and case studies are pretty much water from the same well . So how do you choose? By using the rankings? Which ones? The Economist’s? Businessweek’s? The Financial Times’s? And if you do, how do you tell the difference between a school ranked No. 6 and a school ranked No. 7?”  D. McDonald, New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Credit- Wesley Bedrosian for The New York Times

Credit- Wesley Bedrosian for The New York Times

Excerpt: M.B.A. Programs That Get You Where You Want to Go, By Duff McDonald New York Times

“Don’t ask us. Don’t ask the schools, either. Their slick brochures try to be everything to everybody, and in the process they obscure rather than illuminate.

Conventional wisdom will tell you that Harvard is for Fortune 500 jobs, Wharton for Wall Street, Kellogg for marketing and Instead for multinational entities. There’s truth to some of it, but times change, and so do employers’ recruiting preferences. The smartest move might be to choose your business school by focusing on a very specific outcome and, assuming a good fit personally, going to the one with an impressive record of helping students achieve the same. Period.

To Work at Amazon

Go to Ross School of Business (University of Michigan)

Wesley Bedrosian for The New York Times

Wesley Bedrosian for The New York Times

This might come as a surprise: Amazon regularly hires more M.B.A.s from top-10 business schools than big Wall Street firms. And its demand is surging: In 2014, Amazon hired 40 percent more M.B.A.s than it did in 2013, a large chunk of them from Ross. The e-commerce giant hired 27 M.B.A.s from Michigan last year, displacing Ross’s historical No. 1 recruiter, Deloitte Consulting, and 37 the previous two years.

To Work at Apple

Go to Fuqua School of Business (Duke)

Wesley Bedrosian for The New York Times

Wesley Bedrosian for The New York Times

Silicon Valley hasn’t always welcomed M.B.A.s. After all, you don’t need a graduate degree to hatch a bold idea in your garage. Steve Jobs, Apple’s late chief, didn’t finish college and was known to have disdain for “suits,” whether investment bankers or management consultants. But the company, once the scrappy symbol of the tech counterculture, has undergone an evolution.

Two of Apple’s top 10 executives hail from Fuqua: the chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, and the senior vice president of operations, Jeff Williams. And they are, apparently, loyal. Apple has hired 32 Fuqua graduates over the past five years, while also providing 42 internships for Duke students.

To Work at Procter & Gamble

Go to Kelley School of Business (Indiana University)

Credit- Wesley Bedrosian

Credit- Wesley Bedrosian

While M.B.A.s don’t dream of working at giant consumer products companies the way they did a few decades ago — today, it’s consulting, start-ups, tech giants or private equity — one of America’s legendary corporate success stories still draws them in hordes: the 177-year-old Procter & Gamble.

To Start Your Own Company

Go to Harvard Business School

Credit: Wesley Bedrosian

Credit: Wesley Bedrosian

No, the world has not been turned upside down. The substantial resources Harvard has devoted to its entrepreneurial offerings in recent years are starting to show real results. By many accounts, Harvard has as strong a claim to being top start-up destination as Stanford does.

Anchored by its Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, the school offers 33 graduate-level entrepreneurship courses, with the second-largest number of dedicated faculty after finance.”

Visit ESL Voices Business Section

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about the MBA programs at various business schools.  Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

KWL Chart from Creately,com

KWL Chart from Creately,com

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. Conventional wisdom will tell you that Harvard is for Fortune 500 jobs.
  2. But times change, and so do employers’ recruiting preferences.
  3. Choose your business school by focusing on a very specific outcome.
  4. The best schools have impressive records of helping students.
  5. Ross Graduates have traits common to most M.B.A.s.
  6. Desirable soft skills are humility, listening and a hearty work ethic.
  7. Presidio has placed sustainability directors at companies from Salesforce.com to Facebook.
  8. The school’s emphasis on persona is historic.
  9. Private equity has the most lucrative jobs for M.B.A.s, but also the fewest.
  10. East Coast schools seem an obvious choice given their proximity to Wall Street.
ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

ELLteaching 2.0 vocabualry chart

Reading Comprehension

Fill-ins

Directions: Place students in groups and after they have read the entire article, have them complete the following paragraph from the article. They can use the words and terms from the list below, or provide their own terms. Students can find the meanings of any new vocabulary.

For an M.B.A.,___a job at McKinsey is a bit like ___to get into a ___business school all over again. Except the field is much ___ made up of only those who managed to pass the first___. But graduates of___perform quite well the second time around. The school’s M.B.A.s are in___ at ___consulting firms, which hired 35 percent of its ___last year, a higher ___than at Harvard (23 percent) and Stanford (16 percent). The top four___at Kellogg in 2014 were McKinsey, Deloitte, Bain and the Boston Consulting Group. McKinsey alone has hired 215 Kellogg ___over the last five years.

Word List:
recruiters, competitive, demand, graduates, trying, hurdle, percentage, graduates,
landing, stronger, Kellogg, elite

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. This might come as a surprise: Amazon regularly hire more M.B.A.s.
  2. The e-commerce giant hired 27 M.B.A.s from Michigan last year.
  3. The most senior Ross graduate at Amazon is Peter Faricy.

II

  1. Last year, Amazon was home to three teams.
  2. A few desirable soft skills is humility and listening.
  3. Silicon Valley hasn’t always welcomed M.B.A.s.

 

III

  1. Two of Apple’s top 10 executives hail from Fuqua.
  2. Kelley is looking  on talented hard workers with the ability to grow.
  3. Harvard grads consistently start more companies.

III. Post Reading Tasks

KWL Chart

Directions:  Have students  fill in the last column of the KWL chart if they used one in the pre-reading segment of this lesson.

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

The following  three statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each statement in your own words, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

1. “Silicon Valley hasn’t always welcomed M.B.A.s. After all, you don’t need a graduate degree to hatch a bold idea in your garage. Steve Jobs, Apple’s late chief, didn’t finish college and was known to have disdain for “suits,” whether investment bankers or management consultants. But the company, once the scrappy symbol of the tech counterculture, has undergone an evolution.”

2. “This might come as a surprise: Amazon regularly hires more M.B.A.s from top-10 business schools than big Wall Street firms. And its demand is surging: In 2014, Amazon hired 40 percent more M.B.A.s than it did in 2013, a large chunk of them from Ross. The e-commerce giant hired 27 M.B.A.s from Michigan last year, displacing Ross’s historical No. 1 recruiter, Deloitte Consulting, and 37 the previous two years.”

3. “Edward A. Snyder is reinventing Yale’s business school. Soon after his arrival as dean in 2011, the school created the Global Network for Advanced Management. The network has since assembled an impressive membership of 27 schools from five continents, including well-known names (Insead, London School of Economics). Since its establishment in 1976, the Yale School of Management has insisted that business, government and nonprofit leaders need to better understand one another, giving the school a distinct public/private flavor. Dr. Snyder makes clear: We’re not abandoning the school’s longstanding mission. Environmental sustainability, for example, is not going to get solved by the government, the market or the nonprofit sector alone. We’re continuing within the frame, but with a more modern — and more global — view.”

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about MBA programs from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

Category: Business | Tags:

2015: Tips That Guarantee You’ll Get the Job

If you’ll be searching for a job in 2015, don’t just apply the same old tired job search advice about expanding your network, improving your social media presence and cleaning up your résumé. Those things matter, of course, but they’re hardly revolutionary. Instead, here are some New Year’s resolutions to truly kick off your search from a position of strength.” A. Green, US News

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Keyjob 5

Excerpt: 6 Resolutions That Will Land You a Job in 2015 By A. Green-USNews

1. Go for quality over quantity in your job applications.

“You might be tempted to apply to as many jobs as possible, figuring that doing so will increase your odds of being called for an interview. But in practice, this usually means that you’ll end up “résumé-blasting” – sending out tons of applications without customizing your résumé and cover letter to the particular openings you’re applying for. Employers can tell when you’re submitting the same generic application you’ve submitted to dozens of other places, and you have a far lower chance of catching their eyes.”

Choose quality over quantity. Photo- Smashcave

Choose quality over quantity. Photo- Smashcave

2. Write better cover letters.

“If you’re like most job seekers, your cover letter is, well, bland and pretty boring… Your cover letter should add new information to your candidacy, such as personal traits, work habits and why you’re genuinely interested in the job.”  For Help Visit ESL Voices Business Section

3. Learn from past mistakes.

 “Effectively job searching isn’t just about getting a job offer; it’s about identifying jobs where you’ll excel and be happy and avoiding the ones where you won’t.”

Learn from past mistakes. Photo- SFU

Learn from past mistakes. Photo- SFU

4. Stop agonizing about when or whether you’ll hear back from an employer.

“One of the worst parts of job hunting is sitting around and wondering when you’ll hear back from an employer after you interview or submit an application, and trying to read into every tiny sign from an employer.”Don't agonise.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article.

Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Have students  examine the titles of the post and of the actual article. After they examine the photos, ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article. 

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. You might be tempted to apply to as many jobs as possible.
  2. You need to customize your résumé.
  3. Employers can tell when you’re submitting the same generic application.
  4. Write cover letters that ensure that your résumé highlights the qualifications being sought.
  5. If you’re like most job seekers, your cover letter is bland.
  6. Your cover letter should add new information to your candidacy.
  7. Avoid making mistakes in the future by reflecting on what red flags you ignored in the past.
  8. Vow to heed warning signs this time around.
  9. Stop agonizing about when or whether you’ll hear back from an employer.
  10. This approach won’t hurt your chances.
Word Map Education Oasis.

Word Map Education Oasis.

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. When sending out job applications the rule is quantity over quality.
  2. It’s better to send out a large number of applications.
  3. You should write cover letters that are specific to each job.
  4. Your cover letter should summarize the experiences that’s already listed on your résumé.
  5. Your cover letter should add new information to your candidacy.
  6. Identify apply for those jobs where you’ll excel and be happy.
  7. Don’t spend time reflecting on red flags that you ignored in the past.
  8. An unpleasant interviewer is an example of a red flag.
  9. Your résumé should be detailed.
  10. Don’t sit around waiting to hear back from an employer after you interview.

 Grammar Focus

Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. You might be tempted to apply to the many jobs as possible.
  2. Employers can tell when you’re submitting the same generic application.
  3. You have a far lower chance of catching their eyes.

II

  1. Send out fewer applications, and spend time customizing each.
  2. Write cover letters that is specific to each job.
  3. Ensure that your résumé highlights speak directly to the qualifications being sought.

III

  1. Your cover letter are probably bland and pretty boring.
  2. It likely doesn’t do much more than summarize the experience that’s already listed on your résumé.
  3. Effectively job searching isn’t just about getting a job offer.

III. Post Reading Tasks

WH-How Questions

Directions: Have students use the  WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.

Who or What is the article about?

Where does the action/event take place?

When does the action/event take place?

Why did the action/event occur?

How did the action/event occur?

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

1. The following  four statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each one, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“You might be tempted to apply to as many jobs as possible, figuring that doing so will increase your odds of being called for an interview… Employers can tell when you’re submitting the same generic application you’ve submitted to dozens of other places, and you have a far lower chance of catching their eyes.”

“Send out fewer applications, and spend time customizing each. Write cover letters that are specific to each job you’re applying for, and ensure that your résumé highlights speak directly to the qualifications being sought. If your application package is identical every time you send it out, that’s a sign that you need to be more targeted in your approach.”

“Avoid making similar mistakes in the future by reflecting on what red flags you ignored in the past – such as an unpleasant interviewer or a culture that didn’t feel like a fit – and vowing to heed warning signs this time around.”

“Do yourself a favor, and vow to move on mentally after applying or interviewing. Tell yourself you didn’t get the job so that you’re not sitting around agonizing about why you haven’t heard anything, and let it be a pleasant surprise if they do contact you. This approach won’t hurt your chances, and it will make you a whole lot happier in the meantime.”

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about job hunting from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class.

ANSWER KEY

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Big Money: Boot Camp for Coders

“A new educational institution, the coding boot camp, is quietly emerging as the vocational school for the digital age, devoted to creating software developers.These boot camps reflect the start-up ethic: small for-profit enterprises that are fast (classes are two to four months), nimble (revising curriculum to meet industry needs) and unconcerned with SAT scores or diplomas. Most are expensive, but some accept a share of the graduates’ first-year earnings or a finder’s fee from employers as payment.”  T. Lewin, NYT

If you plan to go to coding bootcamp, get prepared to eat, sleep, and breathe code. Photo credit Skilledup.

If you plan to go to coding bootcamp, get prepared to eat, sleep, and breathe code. Photo credit Skilledup.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post  with Answer Key.

Excerpt: Web-Era Trade Schools, Feeding a Need for Code By Tamar Lewin, The NewYork Times

“Most important, at a time when so many young people are underemployed, most graduates, especially those from highly selective boot camps, quickly find well-paying jobs. In a recent survey of 48 boot camps, Course Report, an online boot camp directory, found that three-quarters of graduates were employed, with raises averaging 44 percent from their pre-boot camp pay and an average salary of $76,000.

Enrolling 20 to 40 students at a time, many boot camps have venture capital backing; in May, Dev Bootcamp, which started here and expanded to New York and Chicago, was bought by Kaplan, the educational services company…On one recent evening at Dev Bootcamp, where class officially ended at 6 p.m. and faculty members were long gone, a sixth-floor classroom was still humming at 9, filled with students sitting in pairs, working on their projects…Most boot camps charge $1,000 a week or more, and attract a mix of career changers — lawyers, consultants, artists — and students who left college to learn to code, looking for a fast track to a well-paying career…

Students at Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco, one of the dozens of schools that have sprung up nationwide to teach computer code. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Students at Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco, one of the dozens of schools that have sprung up nationwide to teach computer code. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

The schools’ revenue models differ substantially. App Academy, in San Francisco and New York, charges no tuition, but takes 18 percent of graduates’ first-year salaries, with a $5,000 discount for those who take a job with a partner employer. At the Flatiron School, in New York, tuition is $12,000, with a $4,000 refund for students who take a job with a partner employer. (Employers are also asked to pay the school 15 percent of the students’ first-year salaries.) Many schools offer discounts for women and minorities. Some accept fewer than 10 percent of applicants, culled through Skype interviews and coding exercises. The most selective boot camps claim job-placement rates of nearly 100 percent and average salaries of $85,000 to $100,000 (lower in New York than in San Francisco).”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing,  and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours. 

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) and access to news article.  

Objective: Students will read and discuss the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing. 

I. Pre-Reading Activities

KWL Chart

The K-W-L chart is used to activate students’ background knowledge of a

topic in order to enhance their comprehension skills.

Directions: Have students use the KWL chart to list the information they already know about coding classes. Later in the Post- Reading segment of the lesson, students can fill in what they’ve learned about the topic.

KWL  chart from Michigan State University.

KWL chart from Michigan State University.

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance. 

  1. In a recent survey of 48 boot camps, it was found that three-quarters of graduates were employed.
  2. Many boot camps have venture capital backing.
  3. The rise of boot camps over the past two years is challenging assumptions about higher education.
  4. Many smart and highly motivated people enter boot camps.
  5. In the old industrial economy such training took place on the job.
  6. The schools’ revenue models differ substantially.
  7. At the Flatiron School, in New York, tuition is $12,000.
  8. At some point, the market will be saturated for skilled programmers .
  9. Dev Bootcamp’s students must spend nine weeks mastering fundamentals.
  10. Some skeptics say a few weeks at boot camp is not enough to produce a functioning developer.
Word Map Education Oasis.

Word Map Education Oasis.

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading.  If  a statement is true they mark it T.  If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answer. 

  1. The boot camps  are creating software for computers.
  2. Most graduates find it hard to find  well-paying jobs.
  3. Many boot camps are enrolling 200 to 400 students at a time.
  4. Many camps have venture capital backing.
  5. Dev Bootcamp  was bought by  the educational services company  KNEWTON.
  6. The article describes for-profit colleges as expensive dropout factories.
  7. Working 10 hours a day, boot camp students cover a semester’s worth of material in seven days.
  8. The most selective boot camps claim job-placement rates of nearly 100 percent.
  9. There is a low demand for  skilled programmers now.
  10. Many schools offer discounts for women and minorities.

 Grammar Focus

Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

Selective boot camps, quickly find well-paying jobs.

Many boot camp have venture capital backing.

Most coding boot camps attract people interested in making a career change.

II

It’s so exciting to be able to build your own app.

Most boot camp charge $1,000 a week or more.

The schools’ revenue models differ substantially.

III

It’s a more engaging way to learn.

Some boot camps students have already taken college computer classes.

It’s a talent war for people with a few years of experience.

 Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

 KWL Chart

Directions:  Have students  fill in the last column of the KWL chart if they used one in the pre-reading segment of this lesson.

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics. Review Review ESL Voices Modes of Writing 

1. The following three statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each one, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group. 

“With trade schools out of fashion, for-profit colleges often dismissed as expensive dropout factories, and community college students failing to graduate a majority of their students, the rise of boot camps over the past two years is challenging assumptions about higher education, at least for some smart, highly motivated people.”

“The schools’ revenue models differ substantially. App Academy, in San Francisco and New York, charges no tuition, but takes 18 percent of graduates’ first-year salaries, with a $5,000 discount for those who take a job with a partner employer. Many schools offer discounts for women and minorities. Some accept fewer than 10 percent of applicants, culled through Skype interviews and coding exercises.”

“While skeptics say a few weeks at boot camp is not enough to produce a functioning developer, some employers disagree. Indiegogo, a San Francisco-based crowdfunding site, has hired six people straight from boot camps.”

2. Would you consider going to a computer boot camp? Explain why or why not.

3-2-1-Writing

Directions: Allow students 5 minutes to write down three new ideas they’ve learned about computer boot camps from the reading,  two things they did not understand in the reading, and one thing they would like to know that the article did not mention. Review the responses as a class. 

 ANSWER KEY

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