Basis for Business wins a bronze medal at the Best European Learning Materials Awards

Basis for Business wins bronze in secondary school /adult education materials at the Best BeBELMA 2014
Basis for Business wins bronze in secondary school materials at the Best European Learning Materials Awards (BELMA) 2014

Today at the Frankfurt Book Fair the Basis for Business series was awarded a bronze medal in the annual Best European Learning Materials Award (BELMA) competition.
We’re delighted the series has received this international recognition and would like to take the opportunity to thank you all once again for your excellent contributions to this highly successful coursebook series. We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at BESIG in Bonn this November.
Best wishes from Berlin,
Sinéad Butler
Programm- und Marketingmanager Englisch in der Erwachsenenbildung”

The evaluation criteria make my heart sing.

Mike Hogan started this series so well, and then he and Carole Eilertson teamed up for B1 and B2. I did much of the writing for C1, and then there were all the great advisors and Janan Barksdale, the wonderful editor who held things together from B1 on. Overall, Cornelsen and the team did a great job. It’s a privilege to be part of this winning team.


Thank you

Thank you for help with Cornelsen Basis for Business C1:

  • Helmut Burger for being my first sounding board
  • Janan Barksdale for being so patient and thorough and making something that seemed impossible work
  • Carole Eilertson and the advisors Mindy Ehrhart Krull, Andreas Grundtvig, Gabi Hirthe, Marion Karg, Karen Richardson and Miriam Zeh-Glöckler for being constructive, though faced with an emergent book
  • Anna Batrla and the Cornelsen team for doing it
  • Claire Hart for presenting the book at ETAS in September.
  • The secret role models for Azra, Ben, Jörg, Carla, Doris and the all the other characters
  • A Nivea PR brochure provided the team for 1A+B
  • Thank you, Jens Kröger and Endress + Hauser for 1C
  • Amazon Marketplace provided the model for 2A
  • Thank you, Tobias (+ Beate) Ziegler for input on 2B
  • Jens (and Rose) Galdiks, thanks for 2C
  • Thanks Christian Koch, for introducing me to Scrum and explaining how proposals work
  • Thanks, Dad, for all of the proposals you wrote when I was little. 3A + B
  • Thank you, Gabriele Vollmar, for 3C
  • Thanks, Khushi Pasquale, for telling me about Eisenhüttenstadt for 4A, and for the story about the deer
  • Thanks, Thomas, for sharing difficult emails for 4B
  • Thanks, Gill Woodman and Andreas Grundtvig, for 4C
  • RWE and Fuhrländer, I mined your online publications for 5A
  • Siemens Financial Services is the model for the services pitched in 5B
  • Jan Jaehrling, Ingrid Pradel, Andrea Schwarz, Alexandra Goller and of course Simon Moroney of Morphosys, thank you for sharing for 5C
  • Thank you to the advisors for 6A, which seemed to get everyone on board.
  • Thanks, Helmut Burger, for help with 6B
  • Thank you, Franz-Josef Nuss, for 6C
  • Udo + Claudia Böhm-Awiszus, thank you for 7A
  • Thanks to Mindy Ehrhardt, Ash (Lucy Mellersh’s husband, why do we do this last name business, anyway?) + Jürgen Strauss for very helpful input for 7B
  • Thanks, Carsten Baumgarth re marketing and kudos to Sara Rosso for World Nutella Day, 7C
  • Respect to Raveena Aulakh and the other investigative reporters in the wake of the Bangladesh factory fire. Compliance hotlines at BASF + CISCO, and a press conference by NZ Fontera also inspired 8A
  • Patagonia is the true Alpia in 8B
  • Thanks, Christian Hodgson, for inspiration for 8B+C
  • Thank you, Eamonn Fitzgerald, formerly Spotlight Online, for letting me practice three paragraph essays

The ones that got away:

  • Zoe Carruthers for inspiration re sales – even if that didn’t make the book
  • Dietmar Müller of Adflow – I’m sorry we didn’t feature your company
  • Niclas Gondorf and Herr Finke of Dyson – very sorry we couldn’t feature your company
  • Uli Botzenhardt, Alexander Nast, Claudia Engelhardt, Dung Huong, Bill Chaney … : Many thanks for your support, contacts and advice

Meg Rutherford: The Beautiful Island

My favorite book, Meg Rutherford’s The Beautiful Island (1969), has been filmed as a video. Can you sight-read it as the text pops up?

Language points:

  • isle – island
  • memorials – memory – memorable, memorize / remember
  • towers, cathedrals, palaces, church
  • lone – lonely – alone
  • crippled – cripple – crippling
  • enchantment – enchanting – enchantingly / chant
  • courage – courageous – courageously
  • contentment – content – contentedly
  • excitement – excited – excitedly
  • windswept gorges – the wind swept across the gorges
  • sun-beaten deserts – the sun beat down on the desert
  • the sun-weary = those who are weary of the sun
  • passives:
    to mislay, to be mislaid
    to strew, to become strewn
  • to linger and rest
  • alliteration:
    drifted down
    wind whipped the waves
    cool caverns
    the sea became strewn
  • alas! (literary exclamation)
    at last (more literary than ‘finally’)
  • some crossed by tunnel and some crossed by balloon (ellipsis)
  • rhythmic meter = anapaest: till they came one by one
  • Beautiful Island (capitalization of proper nouns)
  • word partnership: bowers for lovers – lovers’ bower
  • shade vs. shadow


I’ve started a book project, which forces me to conceptualize something from the big picture down to the last detail. After poking around for about a month exploring the areas I have found important in my business English classes over the past years, thinking through individual features and refreshing my contact to clients who might help me make the case studies more realistic and concrete, I came up with a general concept that was unfortunately too big to handle. Last Saturday we had the big kickoff meeting with the advisers. Their ideas were really helpful in enabling a new rough book map. There is still a lot of blank space and some repetition, but all the advisers have said what they want in the book, and that will clearly make the book appeal to a larger audience in the end. But I’m temporarily stuck: Some of my favorite ideas don’t seem to fit in anymore. The ideas have different origins now, so it’s more difficult to make them match seamlessly. I’ve just only noticed that one of my favorite chapters, the one on Sales, is suddenly missing. Oh, no! I’ll probably have to let it go. Painful.

OK, bedtime. It feels freezing in my flat, and I’m really tired. Tomorrow is another day.

S is for Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991) is pronounced “Zeus” in English, like the Greek god. And he is a, if not the, godhead in the pantheon of English literacy. In a hilarious reading of Green Eggs and Ham, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called him a “latter-day saint”. He was a third-generation German-American who grew up speaking both languages, with German being spoken at home. Words fascinated him from an early age. His zany drawings and poems are unmatched.

In his first book, The Cat in the Hat, Dick and Sally are latchkey children alone at home with their fish. The Cat in the Hat comes, causing chaos with his two sidekicks, Thing One and Thing Two. In the end, the kids get the Cat in the Hat and (the) Things under control, and the Cat in The Hat tidies everything up… just in time, before Dick and Sally’s parents come home!

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do. And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss

“…adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.” – Dr. Seuss (quoted in his obituary in Time Magazine)

Dr. Seuss (Image: Wikipedia)
Dr. Seuss

To read them is to learn them by heart. Ten quotes:

Hop on pop: “We like to hop. We like to hop on top of pop. / Stop! You must not hop on pop.”

One fish two fish red fish blue fish

Fox in Socks: “New socks. Two socks. Whose socks? Sue’s socks.”

The Cat in the Hat: “I will pick up the hook. / You will see something new. / Two things. And I call them Thing One and Thing Two.”

Horton Hears a Who: “A person’s a person no matter how small.”

Horton Hatches the Egg: “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant./ An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.”

Green Eggs and Ham: “I will not eat them, Sam I Am!”
Video: The Reverend Jesse Jackson reads Green Eggs and Ham

Put me in the Zoo: “They should not put you in the zoo. / The circus is the place for you!”

Oh, the places you will go! “You have brains in your head. / You have feet in your shoes. / You can steer yourself / any direction you choose.”

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: “The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! / Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.”