Thursday, July 12, 2007

English for Work

Well, it’s my job to think about you, and so I was thinking about you lately. The specific issue was English for the learner at work. A quick swoop through the Literacy Network library turned up a few books that may be helpful for job English. Job Survival Skills by Margaret Brewner, Wm. McMahon and Michael Roche might be a good start. It has dialogues, helpful vocabulary about what to wear, how to interact with coworkers who may be annoying you, and how to deal with phone calls. Many of these skills are taught with dialogs, which can be repeated many, many times. Repetition is good, as I always say. Repetition is gooood.

Day By Day by Steven Molinsky and Bill Bliss is similar to the familiar textbook Side By Side by the same authors. It teaches vocabulary and grammar using pictures and cloze exercises. Beginners might particularly like this book, since it helps them to deal with the first issues one deals with at work. It focuses more on skills for the specific area of work, but tutors could use it as a primary textbook for everyday grammar and vocabulary if they wanted to. This book is also available in the South Central Public Library system, which you can find by visiting

Work-Wise by Contemporary Books publishers is subtitled “Tactics for Job Success.” It includes more information about getting a job, e.g. creating a resume, preparing for an interview, networking and filling out paperwork for taxes. It appeals a bit more to the advanced learner. Finally, tutors might enjoy Job Survival Skills by Brewner, McMahon and Roche. It’s a relatively basic level, matter-of-fact text with chapter titles like, ”Attendance (Sorry, Boss),” “Personal Grooming,” “The Telephone” and “Cooperation with Co-Workers.”

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