Episode 01

Philip is the CEO of WebWare, an IT company. He needs to hire a new sales director as soon as possible.

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. You can also read the transcript.



Philip: You what? What do you mean? You've lost the DollarMart contract? Oh, Brian, tell me you're joking! That's our biggest contract and you've lost it! OK ... OK ... yes, I know you've had some personal problems recently. Yes, sure ... yes, I know our competitors have improved their offer, but really, Brian, these are just excuses. Oh, Brian, come on – you failed to meet agreed targets for the entire last quarter. We talked about this in your last performance review and I told you then it had to improve, and to be quite honest – it hasn't. Losing the DollarMart contract is the last straw. No, I'm sorry, Brian, that's it. That's your last chance. I'm going to have to let you go. Let you go. Yes, that's what it means, Brian. You're fired.

Hi, Jess. Can you put me through to Marcia in HR, please? Thank you.

Hi, Marcia. It's Philip here. Listen, I've had to let Brian go. He lost us the DollarMart account. Yeah, but it had been going on for a while, and he just wasn't pulling his weight any more. He'd been warned. His last performance review was really bad. He knew it was coming. So, we'll be looking for someone new and we'll need to decide on who that is. 

Who are we looking for? Good question. I was hoping you might be able to help me with that! Here's what I'm thinking and let me know if you agree. Well, obviously, they'll need to have a first degree. Doesn't matter what subject. And then a master's or an MBA, I'd say. 

Experience? At least five years' relevant experience in an international company. I want somebody with a proven track record. Oh, they have to be a team player – Brian never was – so strong interpersonal skills. Oh, and I want someone with vision ... yes, 'vision'! Well, I know it’s difficult to define. What I mean is, someone who knows we're in a rapidly changing market, and they can use it to our advantage.

Experience with online sales, perhaps but ... yes, I'd be interested in that. Oh, language skills. I can't emphasise that enough. Not necessarily a native speaker, but they must be very good at English. And another language as well – Spanish, or Mandarin is best.

Does that sound OK to you? Great. OK, can you get an ad out on the website as soon as possible? Oh, and the trade press as well. OK, great. Thanks, Marcia. I want a new sales director by the end of the month. Bye!

Task 1

Task 2


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Profile picture for user Abdelkerimkhalid

Submitted by Abdelkerimkhalid on Sun, 14/01/2018 - 19:30

Good evening! I understand almost all the English conversations I listen to, however when speaking I face so many problems with speaking confidently and I get confused. I forget the words, the words orders in the phrase, at the end I usually try only to find a way to get rid of the conversation. How could I deal with this situation? What advices you suggest me to develop my vocabulary? Thank you in advance.

Hello Abdelkerimkhalid,

It sounds to me as if spending regular time listening to spoken English might be useful for you. Even if you can only afford to spend 15 minutes two or three days per week, you can still learn a lot from this.

Try to eliminate distractions and make notes on phrases, sentences or expressions that you think are useful or that you want to incorporate into your speaking. Then spend a minute or two repeating them to yourself until they become easier to say. As you go about your day, whenever you find yourself in a situation in which the expressions you've studied could be useful, use them. Even if you're not speaking with someone in English, say the words in English to yourself.

If you listened to some of our audio or video resources, you could print out the transcripts and simply underline the phrases or expressions that you want to work on (instead of writing them down). Take small steps -- even if you only remember one new phrase per session, over time you will improve your vocabulary greatly, which will help you in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

I hope this helps you.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by RezAref on Sun, 14/01/2018 - 10:18

Hello LearnEnglish team, Sometimes I face with some sentences which are a little bit confusing and strange to me. For example in this video Philip says: 'I’m going to have to let you go'. Why he doesn't simply say: 'I'm going to let you go' or 'I have to let you go' ?

Hello RezAref,

By saying 'have to', Philip suggests that he has no choice -- the situation requires him to let Brian go. By saying 'going to' he is a bit more indirect, which is a common way of being more polite in English. For example, we can say 'Can you help me?', but 'Could you help me?' ('could' being a past or conditional form of 'can') is more polite.

Brian doesn't quite believe it and so Philip has to say it directly in the end.

I hope this helps.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by CINZIA VALENTI on Sun, 07/01/2018 - 17:20

Hi, why is used "a masters" ? Isn't it correct to say "a master"? Thank you. Regards

Hello Cinzia,

This is short for 'master's degree'. It is extremely commonly used. Saying 'master' means something else (something like an 'expert') and wouldn't be correct here.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Anwr on Thu, 04/01/2018 - 18:15

hi, can we use, I told you should to improve instead of I told you then it had to improve
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 05/01/2018 - 06:26

In reply to by Anwr


Hi Anwr,

The sentence should not have 'should to':

I told you to improve.


I told you that you should improve.


This would mean that the person has to get better - in other words, they have to improve themselves (their performance, their work etc).

If you want the person to make something better then you would have an object:

I told you to improve it.

I think this is probably the sentence you are looking for, but it is hard to be sure without knowing exactly what you are trying to say and in what context.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Khaled v on Wed, 03/01/2018 - 08:59

Thanks ..it was useful informations