Learn "Business English"




Our courses are tailored:

 Based on articles from Industry Journals, University Publications, the Press...

 Focused on students' fluidity of expression

 Built on core grammar rules


It's time to celebrate the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-Christmas-New-Year Holiday Shopping Season!

At any big-box store, you can find the annual holiday mash-up now on garish display: Halloween costumes are stacked next to the decorative turkey napkins and pre-lit Christmas trees.

This year, most merchants are optimistic, predicting strong sales throughout the peak shopping period. Let's start with Halloween, with its sales of costumes, candy, cards and pumpkins. This year, the National Retail Federation predicts Halloween revenues will hit $7.4 billion, up from last year's $6.9 billion.

Decorations will drive much of that spending, up to $2 billion, the trade group says. A generation ago, Dad might carve a pumpkin into a jack-o'-lantern, and that was…

Article from the: The National Public Radio


Elizabeth Flores/MCT/Landov


Listening, Discussing, Understanding: "The High Cost of Health Care in the USA

Class will discuss the podcast.

 The key points raised in the podcast as well as the key issues.

 What are the key reasons for the high costs?

 In teams, students will role play "the benefits of spending more on healthcare" versus "the benefits of keeping spending on healthcare under control".

Article from the: The National Public Radio


source: https://businessexpansionpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Cant-afford-diagnosis-cartoon.jpg


East African nation emerges from genocidal past with substantial growth, but critics question the numbers and what they say is President Paul Kagame’s authoritarian rule

By Gabriele Steinhauser Nov. 6, 2018 5:30 am ET KIGALI

Rwanda—Seen from the concrete blocks marking the graves of some 250,000 victims of the 1994 genocide, the glistening skyline in the capital of this East African nation is the most obvious sign of the grand experiment taking place here.

A quarter century after the mass slaughter of as much as 15% of its population, Rwanda has been hailed as a homegrown model of African development and its iron-fisted president, Paul Kagame, is a favorite at international business conferences such as the World Economic Forum…

Article from the: The Wall Street Journal


Rwanda The Emerging Economy To Watch - Forbes Africa


Listening, Discussing, Understanding:"Are Americans reaching the end of the trend for longer healthier lives?"

Class will discuss the podcast.

In teams, students will:

 Discuss the key points raised in the article as well as the key issues and the changing habits.

 Discuss and explain how the change impacts health-care and reduces risk of death by heart disease.

Article from the: The National Public Radio


by Andrew Baker


Listening, Discussing, Understanding: "What is behind that huge ER bill?

Class will discuss the podcast.

In teams, students will:

 Discuss the key points raised in the article as well as the key issues.

 Explain how the lack of regulation impacts health-care and reduces visits to the Emergency Room.

Article from the: MarketPlace


Emergency Room


Focus on the part that has to do with "online shopping".

12:36 => 14:34
Brass (economic) tacks
keep shopping
Discretionary spending
the ethics of non-essential shopping
it does not feel appropriate
to break down
to put the warehouse and delivery workers at risk
stores are discounting stuff they might not normally put on sale
the big picture
to have your eye on something
to help a retailer manage its cash flow
to give oneself a break
your mental health


Focus on the part that has to do with the industries that capitalize on people staying at home:

10:27 => 12:35

an economic downside
upsides to making people stay home

Article from the: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace/is-it-ethical-to-shop-online-righ…




Data showing shifts in coverage, drug-price trends is set to fuel more political squabbling


Stephanie Armour

Updated Dec. 5, 2019 5:01 pm ET

More Americans are going without health coverage and the pace of spending on health care nationally is rising in part because of an Affordable Care Act tax on insurers, Trump administration officials said Thursday.

A federal report from actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services documented trends that are likely to further fuel the battle between Republicans and Democrats over how to slow health-care spending growth that has already put the U.S. far ahead of most comparable wealthy countries.

Overall, national health-care spending rose to $3.65 trillion…

Article from the: The Wall Street Journal


Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News


Is it worth it to shut down the economy to save lives?

How do you know when to reopen it?

Should we let people die to save the economy?

Economists say each human life is worth about $10 million dollars. How did they get that number?


Lives vs. The Economy - vocabulary

People argue about something

baked into something is

How could you put a…

Article from the: #991: Lives Vs. The Economy


By Suhcaitlin - Word, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60230850


Listening, Discussing, Understanding: "Unlocking the personal data economy, with privacy by design

Class will discuss the podcast.

In teams, students will:

 Discuss the key points raised in the article as well as the key issues.

 Discuss the benefits of the…

Article from the: Singapore Management University


source: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-illustration-personal-data-concept-blue-background-world-map-social-icons-image48003467


English pronunciation can be hard and tricky in English!

For example:

How do you pronounce "tomato" in English?

 Should it be: "toh-mah-toh"?

 Or should it be: "toe-maï-toe"?

Ella F. and Louis A. debated famously.  In the world of jazz, Ella and Louis wisely: "...called the whole thing off!".

But in the real life, you better be clear to avoid having to deal with a lawyer!

Article from the: Ella Firtzgerald and Louis Armstrong


Pronouncing English


Article from the: Money Talking


the almighty dollar


Transcript from the podcast:

a 23000 milestone.
the anniversary of one of the bleakest days on the market
30 years ago one-day percentage drop ever
dropping 4600 points losing about 1/4th of its value
October 19th 1987
a shattering experience
what always happens: Congress held hearings
a blue ribbon task force was convened to answer the question: "what have we learned"
"We must act to prevent the reoccurrence of the events that led to the crash"
"We are looking down the barrel and the gun is still loaded"  
the futures market…

Article from the: WNYC News


Source: FactSet



Should You Fear the Yield Curve?

Bond investors don’t know more than the Fed, but listen to them anyway

source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/should-you-fear-the-yield-curve-11547044201

 By Greg Ip

Article from the: Why Investors Are Obsessed With the Inverted Yield Curve


source: https://xplaind.com/128027/yield-curve


Grocers Brace for Another Blow From Amazon

E-commerce giant already has pushed grocers to focus on delivery and pricing. Now it takes aim at stores’ profitable beauty aisle

Write to Heather Haddon at heather.haddon@wsj.com and Esther Fung at esther.fung@wsj.com Appeared in the March 4, 2019, print edition as 'Grocers Face a New Amazon Blow.' Amazon.com Inc. has challenged grocers by pushing them to lower prices and expand their delivery options. Now the company’s latest plans threaten to steal sales of some of the industry’s more profitable products.

The e-commerce giant plans to launch urban grocery stores that could offer a spectrum of goods that includes beauty products alongside food. Beauty products represent a small…

Article from the: The Wall Street Journal


amazon pick-up


Article from the:




Listening, Discussing, Understanding: "Public & Private Health Spending - Which is better?

Listen to the podcast and try to reproduce the arguments presented by Associate Professor of Economics Tomoki Fujii.

 Identify the arguments presented in Professor Tomoki Fujii.

 Be ready to present those arguments in a power point slide on October 31st.

Article from the: The Singapore Management University


health spending


When shopping malls are becoming ghost towns


start: 0:12

With host Charlie Herman


0:39 ⇉ 1:06

Article from the: Money Talking: When Shopping Malls Become Ghost Towns




Rates Are Low Again. Where Should You Put Your Cash?

High-yield savings accounts retain some allure, and there are options for those with strong stomachs

By Lisa Beilfuss, March 27, 2019 8:57 a.m. ET


The hunt for yield is on again.

Last week, the Federal Reserve signaled it didn’t expect further interest-rate increases this year amid slowing U.S. economic growth. While that pleased stock markets, it is a setback for savers.

After enduring years of rock-bottom rates in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, yield-seeking investors finally had something to cheer about in 2018 as a series of Fed rate increases caused short-term rates to rise. Long-term rates followed suit: The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S…

Article from the: The Wall Street Journal


choosing a road


Pop-Up Stores and Dive Bars: How a Property Developer Aims to Cure NYC’s Empty Storefronts

Brookfield plans to fill vacant spaces in West Village neighborhood with new entrepreneurs on short-term deals

Customers shop on Bleecker Street at Fleurotica, a floral design boutique that is shared with health shop Bonberi. Photo: Agaton Strom for The Wall Street Journal

By: Keiko Morris


A global real-estate firm thinks it may have found a way to slow the rise of vacant storefronts that have marred New York City neighborhoods and other metro areas.

Brookfield Properties this spring acquired seven empty retail spaces on Bleecker Street. The downtown block, which cuts through Manhattan’s…

Article from the: The Wall Street Journal


Photo: Agaton Strom for The Wall Street Journal


Social Sensing & Analytics
Assistant Professor Shim Kyong Jin
School of Information Systems
Expert in Social Analytics

Article from the: The Singapore Management University


robot emoticons.  Source: https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/understanding-sentiment-analysis/



This is a quiz based on the "The Economic Indicator" section, found within the first 7 minutes of the MARKETPLACE podcast hosted by Kai Ryssdal.

Article from the: MarketPlace


marketplace logo


Listening, Discussing, Understanding: "The retail sector in 2020

Class will discuss the video:

 The key points raised as well as the key issues.

 Students will each write a short essay of 200 words +/- 10%, answering the following question:

 In your store how do you curate experience, service and specialism for your customers?

In other words : 


Article from the: OpenLearn


Amazon and the future of retail, Image by <a href="https://www.chappatte.com/en/images/amazon-future-retail/">Chappatte</a>


Listening, Discussing, Understanding: "The Phoebus Cartel & The Invention of Segmentation and Targeting

Class will discuss the two stories.

 Half of the class will present The Phoebus Cartel

 The other half of the class will present The Invention of Segmentation and Targeting.


Vocabulary for "The Invention of…

Article from the: The National Public Radio




Why Hasn't The Gig Economy Killed Traditional Work?

March 26, 20199:14 AM ET, by Greg Rosalsky

In recent months, a slew of studies has debunked predictions that we're witnessing the dawn of a new "gig economy." The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that there was actually a decline in the categories of jobs associated with the gig economy between 2005 and 2017. Larry Katz and the late Alan Krueger then revised their influential study that had originally found gig work was exploding. Instead, they found it had only grown modestly. Other economists ended up finding the same — and now writers are declaring the gig economy is "a big nothingburger."
The Gig Revolution's True Believer

Arun Sundararajan, a professor at the NYU Stern…

Article from the: The National Public Radio


UBER work wanted


Bank Accounts Designed for Low-Income Customers Find Broader Audience

Online banking functions appeal to young people who don’t use checks and cost-conscious customers who want to avoid incurring overdraft fees

By: Yuka Hayashi
Jan. 3, 2019 11:38 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—No-frills bank accounts developed for low-income customers are gaining popularity among a broader swath of customers.

The accounts, known as checkless bank accounts or safe-transaction accounts, include ATM access, debit cards and mobile banking for small fees and minimum deposit requirements. They don’t include paper checks or overdraft protection, two features that aren’t as popular amid a customer shift to digital banking.

Article from the: The Wall Street Journal


Citigroup’s checkless product has accounted for more than 20% of newly opened accounts since 2017. Photo: Mark Lennihan/Associated Press


Author:Jeff Parker


Listen to the video and then do the following exercises.


Exercise 1: Short essay - 200 words.

Choose one of the two topics:

  1. What are the benefits of home health-care
  2. What are the benefits of hospital health-care


Exercise 2: Oral presentation - 5 minutes.

Present your case in 5 minutes to the class. All team members must speak.



Expressions based on the…

Article from the: Ted Talks


Healthcare costs by Jeff Parker



Listen to the podcast and try to reproduce the arguments presented by Professor Rhema Vaithianathan.

Post a write up of 200 words

And be ready to present to the class.

Article from the: The Singapore Management University


health economics


This is a quiz based on the podcast "Vital Yet Vulnerable: The mental & emotional health of South Asian Migrant Workers in Singapore", by Assistant Professor Nicholas Harrigan at the Singapore Management University.


Article from the: The Singapore Management University


health economics


Excerpt from: Michael J. Mauhoussin,

Surge in the Urge to Merge: M&A Trends and Analysis,


Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Volume 22, Number 2, Spring 2010


Image by: Brian Fairington


M&A activity tends to rise and fall along with the stock market, and almost every company is either involved in a deal, or affected by one, at some point. For instance, research suggests that roughly 2-3 percent of public companies are acquired in any given year. Often, a move by one competitor triggers cascading moves by its competitors hoping to sustain their competitive position. Mergers and…

Article from the: Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Volume 22, Number 2, Spring 2010


Brian Fairington


Listening, Discussing, Understanding: "Making Sound Decisions Through Data Analytics

Class will discuss the podcast.

 The key points raised in the podcast as well as the key issues.

 Students will each write a short essay of 200 words +/- 10%, answering the following question:

 Based on the findings listed in the podcast explain what kind of skill-set you as students are expected to learn?

Article from the: The Singapore Management University


Data Analytics illustration by ThinkstockPhotos



Using the teachings of the podcasts, write a 200 word essay in which you:

  1. identify a service you use and you are unhappy with;
  2. explain how you would use data analytics to improve the efficiency of the service




Article from the: The Singapore Management University


Taxi Congestion in Singapore


April 1, 2019 6:04 p.m. ET


YES: History Tells Us the Answer, and It Isn’t Encouraging

By Carl Benedikt Frey, Oxford Martin Citi Fellow at the Oxford Martin School, Oxford University.  Dr. Frey is Oxford Martin Citi Fellow at the Oxford Martin School, Oxford University. He is the author of “The Technology Trap: Capital, Labor and Power in the Age of Automation.”

Like in past technological revolutions, the coming revolution in artificial intelligence is likely to destroy more jobs than it creates in the short run.
Throughout history, the long-term benefits of new technologies to average people have been immense and indisputable. But new technologies tend to put people out of work in the short run, and what economists regard as the…

Article from the: The Wall Street Journal


automation source huffpost


Behind an Effort to Fact-Check Live News With Speed and Accuracy


 By Laine Higgins
Nov. 23, 2018 11:00 a.m. ET

Fact-checking live news has one major downside: It’s slow. By the time a fact-checker can verify a claim, any misleading information has already spread and been consumed.

Enter Sparks Grove, the digital innovation and experience design wing of Atlanta-based consultancy North Highland. After interviewing scores of print and broadcast journalists from the U.S., U.K. and Ireland about the challenges of combating misinformation in the news, developers at Sparks Grove created Voyc, voice-scanning tool powered by artificial intelligence that can identify a questionable statement as little as two seconds after it’s uttered.


Article from the: The Wall Street Journal


 Behind an Effort to Fact-Check Live News With Speed and Accuracy Illustration: Tamara Shopsin


Banks Monitor Older Customers for Cognitive Decline

Financial institutions are watching older customers for any early signs that cognitive impairment could put them at risk of financial exploitation.

By Lisa Ward
Updated Nov. 20, 2018 11:55 a.m. ET

Banks, brokerage firms and other financial institutions are starting to monitor older customers for mental capacity and susceptibility to fraud.

But then the question is this: Once a financial institution suspects that a customer is becoming cognitively impaired or increasingly at risk of fraud, what does it do with this information?

Financial exploitation of seniors is an underreported problem. The Securities and Exchange Commission released a report in June which said as much as 6.6% of…

Article from the: The Wall Street Journal


More banks are making an effort to discover when older customers are at increased risk of financial exploitation. Photo: Getty Images


After a Strong 2018 for Retail Sales, Caution Flags Pop Up

Photo: Jake Danna Stevens/Associated Press


By Sarah Chaney and Sarah Nassauer - Adapted to fit the needs of the exercise.
Jan. 16, 2019 7:14 a.m. ET


After retail sales wrapped up 2018 strongly, U.S. consumers face headwinds to maintaining last year’s robust level of spending.

The Commerce Department, normally scheduled to publish retail-sales data Wednesday morning, won’t release the figures due to the government shutdown. Still, some private-sector analysts who track the retail sector estimate that Americans stepped up their spending in November and December, crucial months that include Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday…

Article from the: The Wall Street Journal


Black Friday shoppers at the Viewmont Mall in Scranton, Pa., in November


Listening, Discussing, Understanding: "Monetary policy as a weapon of world dominance

Class will discuss whether:

 A currency should bring cohesion to a geographical area.

 Or serve as a weapon in trade wars.


Article from the: The International Monetary Fund


money controls your life.  Source: https://drcspowerofideas.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/money-controls-your-life.jpg


Listening, Discussing, Understanding: "The Chicken Tax

Class will discuss the various trade sanctions and their results:

 Students will in teams present an example to the rest of the class.



  • To dominate the space
  • there is a reason for that
  • the answer is
  • truck = lorry (ies)
  • pick-up truck = utility vehicle
  • manufacturer = a company that produces
  • to lay out something for…

    Article from the: The National Public Radio


Trade war


This article in meant for in class discussion as well as helping students with English pronunciation. Clicking on each highlighted element in a word, will generate a pop-up window with details as to how-to pronounce the word.

Beveridge fight…

Article from the: Journal of Social Policy, 2011, Vol. 40, No. 3


the first principles of the 1942 Beveridge report


The I.M.F. speaks with Amadou Sy about Fintech in the sub-Saharan area.



Mobile technology has made sub-Saharan Africa the global leader in mobile money transfer services and is helping break down some long standing development barriers, despite the lack of infrastructure and lack of connectivity.

Factors which enabled the development of mobile money services:

 Privatization of the telecom companies, which enabled mass adoption of mobile phone;

 The technology is simple to use;

 The low cost of ownership of mobile phone.


Article from the: The International Monetary Fund


Fintech Africa


Listening, Discussing, Understanding: "Smart loan for people with no credit history

Class will discuss the key elements in this video:

 Students will in teams present:

 What made it possible for Shivani Siroya to grant loans to people with no credit history.

 How the technology used by Shivani Siroya can be considered an innovation.


Article from the: Ted Talks


Shivani Siroya at TED talks


Institutions using our services

  • La Sorbonne Paris 1, since 2007
  • Université de Paris Est Créteil, since 2015
  • IAE Paris, since 2018

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