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English Detective #11, Talking about Business Management: April 23,2013
April 22, 2013

English Detective #11, Talking about Business Management: April 23,2013

Introducing this issue:

This issue and the next look at business and finance vocabulary along with BBC talks on the ideas of several “business gurus.” I found the BBC talks very interesting. Each has a summary version, the “highlights” or main ideas of the talk, with some vocabulary help for English learners. The talk itself is available in audio version and as a pdf, so you can read along as you listen.

There is also a crossword using the business and finance words for both newsletters and a practice page with paragraphs on some basic business activities and blanks to fill in using AWL vocabulary. I hope you find these helpful!

Your First Clue: Vocabulary we’ll Emphasize in this Issue

adaptation, administration, annual, commission, credit, economic, estate, fluctuations, funds, highlighted, income, interpretation, lecture, legislation, parallel, policy, sector, shift, stability, summary, theme, visible.

Most of these words, as well as much of the vocabulary from newsletter 12, will be in the Business Terminology Crossword. Here are a few quick explanations of those that won’t:

An estate is a large piece of property, often in the country. It can also be all the property a person leaves to his/her heirs after his or her death. {In the U.S. there are often legal disputes about how to distribute an estate when a person dies without a will or when the will they leave is ambiguous and hard to interpret.)

To highlight is to emphasize or call attention to something. Students often use yellow highlighting pens to mark sections of text they want to study and remember.

To Interpret is to explain the meaning of something in a way that makes it clear. Sometimes it involves translation into the language of the listener. People may seek interpretation of dreams and technical language as well as foreign languages. “Interpretive dance” expresses ideas and feelings through dance movements.

A lecture is an oral presentation of information. (The word comes from ‘reading,’ but in English it no longer means a reading, although a lecturer may read his notes.) University professors give lectures to their students. Sometimes we call oral correction a lecture: “My parents lectured me on getting home before midnight.”

Legislation is the set of laws that legislators write. The verb is ‘to legislate,’ as used in the political slogan “You can’t legislate morality,” (meaning that laws can’t make people want to do what’s right.)

Parallel lines are lines that run in the same direction at a fixed distance from each other, so that they never meet (like railroad tracks). Parallel thoughts or statements thus have similar form but different content.

A summary is a short statement that gives the main points of a longer text or lecture.

The theme is the subject of a person’s art or communication. The nature of reality and illusion are major themes of Cervante’s great novelDon Quixote. The theme of a symphony is a musical pattern that occurs repeatedly in the symphony with different variations.

Something visible can be seen. Invisible things cannot be seen.


This issue’s first reading is quite brief: just the highlights of the introductory talk on business gurus here.

Right-click here to download the Business Terminology crossword. The answers are here.(If you would rather print the online version, just left-click instead.)

Remember that crosswords are just one way to help you review vocabulary. The meanings here are memory aids- not careful dictionary definitions. Also, many of the words given here have other meanings in addition to the one (or two) given.

Here are the highlights for the BBC talk on Peter Drucker.From the highlights page you can access the audio recording and pdf of the full text.

A good way to practice reading fluency is with a “reading sprint.” Read for five minutes, and note the place you have reached at the end of that period. Re-read the same pages, but try to do it in four minutes, then in three, then in two minutes.

Now begin at the beginning and read at an easy pace for five minutes and count how many pages you have read. You will probably find you have read much farther in the second five minutes, not only because much of the material is now familiar, but also because your pace of reading has naturally increased, even when you are not pushing.
Click here for Business Vocabulary Practice.

Coming in the next issue: Cross-cultural Business & Micro-finance.

In case you missed these: Earlier issues of English Detective have articles on a number of topics, plus practice with over 200 words from the Academic Word List. You can check them out with the link to the back issues page below (or find what words were practiced each issue here.

P.S. If you’re not already getting English Detective, you can subscribe by completing the form here. (It's free!)

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