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.

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!

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Discussion

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Worksheet90.3 KB

Submitted by Anaitat on Sun, 12/05/2019 - 20:17

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I am my team. And to have a proven track record I am pulling my weight every day.

Submitted by srgarcia on Wed, 01/05/2019 - 14:32

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I appreciate your method and good site! Thank you for help me to learn more English! It will be very important to me in this moment. Best regards.

Submitted by Anna S. on Sun, 03/03/2019 - 20:02

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Hi, can someone please explain me what is 'track record' ? i just don't get it. According to the dictionary it's "all the past achievements or failures of a person". how can the company proof the track record of someone? many thanks in advance! Anna

Submitted by Peter M. on Mon, 04/03/2019 - 07:09

In reply to by Anna S.

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Hi Anna,

When we say someone has a proven track record it means that they have done things in the past which prove their talent or ability. In the context of recruitment, this would mean the person's experience and achievements in their previous positions.

A person without experience does not have a proven track record, for example, so it is harder to judge how good or bad they will be in a particular role.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Vuqar on Wed, 20/02/2019 - 12:49

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Hi, Could you add the transcript with subtitle please?

Submitted by Peter M. on Thu, 21/02/2019 - 08:07

In reply to by Vuqar

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Hi Vuqar,

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll pass it on to the technical team to consider next time the pages are edited.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kaunghtoo on Wed, 20/02/2019 - 05:01

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In this transcript, "pull one’s weight" means have to do his duty?

Hello kaunghtoo

That's the idea. More precisely I would say it means to do your part, i.e. to do your job at the same level as the rest of the team. You can see another example sentence in the Cambridge Dictionary (near the bottom of this page).

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SHIV TRIPATHI on Wed, 13/02/2019 - 00:59

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Thanks, British Council for such Organised English lessons:)

Submitted by lenuska1703 on Mon, 11/02/2019 - 05:01

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thank very informative

Submitted by Samand Ibrahimi on Wed, 23/01/2019 - 10:04

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Dear Sir/ Madam This is Samand Ibrahimi new member of this course. I have a question about (Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the transcript at any time.) 1: the preparation part is empty 2: I can not find the video and 3rd one I can not make changes in the activity section. what should I do?

Hello Samand Ibrahimi

Welcome to LearnEnglish! I've just checked the page and it's working properly for me. I'm sorry for the inconvience, but if it's still not working for you, I would suggest you try using a different device and/or a different web browser to view it. If you still can't see the tasks or video, please let us know what browser version you are using and we'll see if we can discover what's wrong.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Luis Tomas on Sun, 02/12/2018 - 21:16

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Thank you Team. The lesson was great!

Submitted by hermann.mathow on Wed, 19/09/2018 - 17:55

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Well guys, about the third question from Task 1 I would like to comment the following: Phil asks explicitly for a “five years' relevant experience, in an international company”, not necessarily an international experience. I´ve worked for a multinational for a while and yet, I haven´t been expatriated. Therefore, I´ve worked for an international company but I did not have an international experience! Could answer B be the right one? “a higher degree and five years ‘experience?” Many thanks

Hi hermann.mathow,

You have clearly understood the conversation, so I would say that yes, your answer is correct. 'five years' international experience' isn't the best wording -- I'll change it to 'five years' experience in an international company' to clarify what is meant here.

Thanks very much for taking the time to ask about this.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Abfalter Cristian on Sun, 09/09/2018 - 16:28

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Great lesson and the tasks too, thank you britishcouncil !

Submitted by Omba on Fri, 31/08/2018 - 11:34

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Very good for listening. I will need to improve my speaking also

Submitted by Aylin Bekem on Thu, 09/08/2018 - 17:54

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Done with no mistakes ! good job for me :)

Submitted by missnadya on Tue, 26/06/2018 - 10:43

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Thank you very very much for these useful exercises, videos and explanation British Council!! Great job!

Submitted by julio arnaud on Thu, 17/05/2018 - 03:47

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I can easily understand every phrase, it's crystal clear.

Submitted by Roseline Nwaoha on Wed, 18/04/2018 - 13:21

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I followed almost every part of the conversation and had no difficulty answering any of the questions. I learnt a new word though, 'trade press', haven't heard that before!

Submitted by Emir_Acevedo on Tue, 03/04/2018 - 06:01

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I'm surprising! I got all the answers right!

Submitted by berrynguyen on Mon, 26/03/2018 - 16:33

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I do nỏ know where i can look up the new word. Or i need a distionary.

Submitted by DianaLe on Thu, 18/01/2018 - 02:02

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Good morning! I'm Diana from Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam. 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, structure of sentences, pronunciations, ets... How could I deal with this situation? How could remember structure of sentences? What advices you suggest me to develop my vocabulary? Thank you in advance. Have a good day!

Hello Diana,

It can be difficult to put our thoughts into words sometimes, even in our own native language. I would give you two general pieces of advice here.

FIrst, try not to become too stressed about speaking as this will only increase the difficulty you have. It is quite natural to forget things and to get mixed up. Speaking, even in our own language, is chaotic and usually unplanned. Don't expect perfection and don't get frustrated when you have problems. Concentrate on making yourself understood, even if the language is imperfect.

Second, remember that fluidity is not the same as fluency. Fluidity is the ability to speak quickly and smoothly, making the sounds without dificulty. Fluency also includes the ability to express particular ideas. You can develop fluidity with recorded texts. Try using the transcript that we provide with our recordings and reading aloud with the recording. This will get you used to producing sounds at speed and also get you used to the rhythm of natural speech. When I learn a language I speak to my pet dog all the time. He is very patient and understanding and he never corrects me, and I can develop confidence and speed so that when I speak to other people I can do so much more fluently.

I hope those suggestions are helpful. For more advice, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page, which has tips on various aspects of English, including speaking.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Can we make friend to learn english Iam Nguyen , live in hcm city
Hi Diana If you understand what you listen .. The a great job and very good step. Second problem is because you make you brain structure and remember the words. it is very hard to do this task (High Processing). You have to do mainly two things 1- the test yourself with expression and widely used words. 2- Speak a lot even if you make mistake and it will be very good if you record your speak.

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

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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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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

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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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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

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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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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

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hi, can we use, I told you should to improve instead of I told you then it had to improve

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

In reply to by Anwr

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Hi Anwr,

The sentence should not have 'should to':

I told you to improve.

or

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,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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

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Thanks ..it was useful informations

Submitted by Khaled v on Tue, 02/01/2018 - 09:13

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Hi I have a question.. according to my informations that we cannot use( it ) for people we can say it is a desk so why Philip said when he called Marcia : Hi Marcia .It,s Philip here Why he didn,t say : Hi Marcia. I am Philip. Regards

Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 03/01/2018 - 07:45

In reply to by Khaled v

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Hi Khaled v,

Generally you are correct that we do not use 'it' to refer to people. However, there are some exceptions to this rule and introducing yourself on the telephone is one of these. You can read more about this on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Tomoaki Hachiya on Thu, 28/12/2017 - 08:04

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In Japan, it is impossible even for CEO to fire anybody only because he made a mistake. In Japan, once he/she is hired, he/she is able to work for the company until retired age, usually 60 years old. The only reason for a company to fire an employee is when he/she committed a crime.

Submitted by Khaled v on Wed, 27/12/2017 - 19:05

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Oh my god ..I am sad for the poor Brian and I wish that his Manager gave him a last choice to support the company and to correct his mistake . I watched the Video just only for one time . It didnt work again!