What makes a great corporate culture?

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Functional language - cleft sentences

cleft sentences

LESSON OVERVIEW

In this lesson, students watch a video and use functional language (cleft sentences) to talk about corporate culture. They also learn some vocabulary related to the topic. 

B2 / Upper Intermediate60 minStandard LessonUnlimited Plan

VIDEO & VOCABULARY

In the warm-up activity, students discuss how important some elements of corporate culture are (e.g. dress code, learning and development, company core values). Before watching the video, they brainstorm possible endings to some statements from the video (e.g. The job of the management isn’t…). While watching, students do a jigsaw listening task. They work in pairs and each student has to take notes on four of the eight lessons presented and commented on in the video. After the viewing, students discuss which of the lessons in the video was the most and which one the least useful. After that, students read six questions and have to replace the highlighted words and phrases with those in the box (e.g. morale, best practices, take a hard left). Then they answer the questions which are all related to corporate culture.

CLEFT SENTENCES & SPEAKING

This part of the lesson starts with students reading six sentences and choosing one they relate to most. Then, they need to create statements about corporate culture using the beginnings from the previous exercise (e.g. What I will never accept…, The thing I hate the most…, The only thing that…). After that, students read short descriptions of four corporate cultures (Clan Culture, Adhocracy Culture, Market Culture and Hierarchy Culture) and have to comment on them using some functional language (cleft sentences) to make their answers more expressive. The sentence beginnings are listed in a box to help them. Finally, students discuss whether any of the corporate cultures would work in their companies. They also brainstorm the types of companies which might want to adopt the cultures. 

WORKSHEETS

 

Comments

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  1. yankee_english

    Amazing! My HR student enjoyed it greatly 🙂

    1. Iulia

      Hi,
      Thank you for the feedback:)
      Yes, it seems that they have much more background and professional experience to share when it comes to such topics.

  2. Valentyna Iazina

    А really cool lesson, especially for an HR student!

  3. Jorge Johnsen

    Great topic and video. I wish that the grammar section about cleft sentences had a few more slides for exercises and comparing cleft sentences with standard sentence syntax. Also, be careful with It-cleft sentences.

    “It isn’t the lack of management that ruins businesses, it is the lack of discipline.”
    -These should be two separate sentences and not joined by a comma.

    “It isn’t the lack of management that ruins businesses. It is the lack of discipline.”

    1. Justa

      Hi Jorge! Thanks for the feedback! We’re happy you find the topic interesting 😊
      Regarding the ‘It’ cleft sentences, we analysed the case again and did some more research. The sources, here and here, point out that these, the so-called inferential clefts, usually consist of two consecutive sentences, so we decided to amend the example in the worksheet accordingly to include a more common option. However, it also doesn’t seem that it’s an error to use such sentences with a comma.

  4. Andrew Gill

    Not sure why ‘equality’ is relevant to corporate culture. Let’s pay the cleaners the same salary as the CEO – great idea!

    Good lesson other than that.

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