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My generation of dummies

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Talk at BESIG 2021 for Cornelsen

Managing your hybrid course with Cornelsen’s Basis for Business Summary This 30-minute talk aimed to give Business English trainers an overview of lessons learned in

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I’m an early Generation Xer, born 1961. Like Obama. Neil Howe compares us very unfavorably to the Millennials (those born in the 1980s and 1990s). He calls us “The Dumbest Generation: The Kids are Alright. But Their Parents….” According to Howe, we

“have performed the worst on standardized exams, acquired the fewest educational degrees and been the least attracted to professional careers. (…) prefer sound bites over seminars, video clips over articles, street smarts over lofty diplomas.

Early Xers … arrived too late to enter the most lucrative professions, by now glutted with boomer yuppies. Their only alternative was to pioneer the pragmatic, free-agent, low-credential lifestyle for which Generation X has since become famous…

Angling for promotions in the early 1990s, they got busy with self-help guides (yes, those “For Dummies” books) to learn all the subjects they were never taught the first time around…

Early Xers have certain strengths that many more learned people lack: They’re practical and resilient, they handle risk well, and they know how to improvise when even the experts don’t know the answer. As the global economy craters, they won’t keep leafing through a textbook. They may be a little rough around the edges, but their style usually gets the job done.”

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