Level: Upper-intermediate – Advanced
Answer the questions below:
- Do you think change is an important part of business life? Why / why not?
- Is the business you are in constantly changing? If so, what does this mean to you personally?
- Comment on the quote: “People are very open-minded about new things, as long as they are exactly like the old ones.” – Charles F.Kettering, an American inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents.
2. New vocabulary:
Exercise 1. Match the words / expressions with their definitions:
|Word / expression||Definition|
|1. To amend||A. to discontinue or withdraw gradually|
|2. To fluctuate||B. toward a higher place / point / level|
|3. To phase out||C. making a company / organization smaller by eliminating staff positions|
|4. To streamline||D. to make minor changes (to a text, piece of legislation, etc.) in order to make it fairer or more accurate, or to reflect changing circumstances|
|5. Deterioration||E. the process of becoming worse|
|6. Expansion||F. making a rule / policy / system stricter|
|7. Upward||G. the action of becoming larger|
|8. Downsizing||H. to make an organization / process more efficient by removing unnecessary parts of it|
|9. Tightening up||I. to rise and fall irregularly in number or amount|
Exercise 2. Complete the second sentence in each pair with a word or expression from the box so that its meaning is similar to the first sentence. You do not need to change the form of any of the words / expressions:
amended deterioration downsizing expansion fluctuated phased out streamline tightening up upward
- Because our company is bigger now than it was years ago, we need to recruit more employees. Because of company ______ over the last two years, we need more workers.
- It is now much harder to import goods into the country than it was a few years ago. There has been a ______ of border controls for imports.
- Over the next few years, some management positions in the company will be gradually removed. Some management positions will be _____ over the next few years.
- Public services (e.g. health care, transport) are less reliable now than they were a few years ago. There has been a ______ in public services reliability over the last five years.
- Compared with five years ago, more people are shopping at out-of-town retail parks (shopping developments situated outside a town or city, typically containing a number of large chain stores) than in town center shops. There has been an _____ trend in the number of people shopping in out-of-town retail parks.
- We are trying to make the accounting system simpler and more efficient. We are trying to _____ the accounting system.
- Making the company smaller by making a lot of staff members redundant has made it much more profitable than it was before. _____ the company has made it much more profitable than it was before.
- Property prices have gone up, then gone down, then gone up again twice this year. Property prices have _____ twice this year.
- We have made small changes to the rules for applying for instant credit. We have _____ the rules for applying for instant credit.
- Have there been any great legislative amendments in your country recently? If so, how do you feel about the amendments?
- How is your country’s currency fluctuating these days? Is the currency strong or weak?
- What are advantages and disadvantages of downsizing a company?
- Are you streamlining anything at the moment?
- Has there been an upward trend in the number of your company’s clients recently?
- Are public services in your country deteriorating or improving? Give at least 1 example.
- Think of your company. Have any positions been phased out recently? If so, why?
- Should any rules of your company be tightened up for higher efficiency and productivity?
- Has your company’s business expanded recently? Is business expansion always a good thing?
Do you agree with the statements? To what extent? Give your reasons:
- “There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse!” – Washington Irving, an American writer and diplomat
- “Our ability to adapt is amazing. Our ability to change isn’t quite as spectacular.” – Liza Lutz, an American writer
- “All great changes are preceded by chaos.” – Deepak Chorpa, an American writer and public speaker
Exercise 1: 1d, 2i, 3a, 4h, 5e, 6g, 7b, 8c, 9f
Exercise 2: 1. expansion 2. tightening up 3. phased out 4. deterioration 5. upward 6. streamline 7. downsizing 8. fluctuated 9. amended