Up to Speed

Carole Eilertson & Louise Kennedy have just published their lovely EFL coursebook Up to Speed (Cornelsen) for business professionals who want to fine-tune their upper-intermediate English skills. Geared to one-to-one learners (and small groups), their book focusses on day-to-day operations, teamwork, meetings, presentations, networking and project management.

What I like about their approach is a winning combination of teaching emotional intelligence in communication, enough jargon to win you points in international meetings and up-to-the-minute business thinking to keep things interesting. The teaching philosophy is the best part, though. Last year at BESIG, Carole gave a great talk on how we need to challenge our one-to-one students to come out of their shell rather than get too cozy with us. She presented her game to go with it, which lets you practice using idiomatic English in slow motion, giving each other feedback on how “real” and “congruent” you come across. Just download the game here and see for yourself. The book is a nice and trim package with 2 CDs, very helpful practice files by Helen Labies-Volz, plus a Pocket Coach (not a cute little man, sorry, just a booklet).

I was one of the advisors who read through and pretested individual sections on my guinea-pig students. Thanks to Janan Barksdale for having me on board :-). Mike Hogan and I did a series of podcasts for teachers to be used with this book. A totally nice guy to work with. You can visit the book site and listen here if you like.

Lots of success getting the word out, Louise and Carole!

Idioms:

  • To be up to speed (on…) – auf dem neuesten Stand sein (bezüglich…)
  • to bring someone up to speed – jemanden so coachen, dass er/sie volle Leistung bringt
  • to get something up to speed – etwas hochfahren

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

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