Corporate speak

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Vocabulary - corporate jargon

corporate jargon

This is a standalone lesson but it can also be used as part of the set titled:

LESSON OVERVIEW

This ESL lesson on corporate jargon includes a video, a lot of discussion and practice of some popular phrases

C1 / Advanced60 minStandard LessonPremium Plan

WARM-UP & VOCABULARY

The lesson starts with a short discussion of corporate jargon and students’ experiences with it. Then, students move to a vocabulary activity. They read sentences that include some popular expressions from corporate language (e.g. synergy, move the needle, circle back, not have the bandwidth, etc). Students try to explain the words and phrases and have another short discussion. They share whether they use these phrases and if they think such corporate language makes communication more effective. 

PRACTISING CORPORATE JARGON

The lesson on corporate jargon continues with a few video activities. At first, students read sentences and guess missing words and phrases. Then, they watch the first part of the video and check their answers. After that, students talk more about corporate jargon and discuss acronyms, their colleagues and jargon overuse. Then, students watch another part of the video and answer the questions. Finally, students watch the third part of the video and choose one statement that is not mentioned in the video. After that, students also discuss whether they agree or disagree with the statements. While watching the video, students also learn some metaphors (trim the fat, boil the ocean, low-hanging fruit). To wrap up the lesson and practise the vocabulary, students do two more exercises. First, they complete sentences with their ideas using corporate jargon. At the end of the worksheet, students choose one of the sentences they completed and have a role play

HOMEWORK/REVISION

This ESL lesson on corporate jargon includes an additional task that you can use as homework or revision. It’s available in the teacher’s version of the worksheet. You can print it, cut it up and hand it out to your students. It’s also included in the e-lesson plan.

WORKSHEETS

Comments

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  1. Jasmine Green

    These business lessons are total life savers. I want to thank you deeply for all the business content!!!!

    1. Inna

      Thank you so much, Jasmine! We’re happy that our lessons come in handy for you 🙂

  2. Hana

    Hi, I am currently working on this lesson plan with one of my business English students and she told me for some of the phrases here that they are extremely old-fashioned and that you would be considered a dinosaur if you mentioned ‘synergy’ or ‘bandwidth’.
    She said instead what is used is: holistic, sync or resonance and for bandwidth she offered overloaded.
    I thought maybe it was a good piece of information to know.
    Thank you for all the materials, I think the LP is very useful!

    1. Stan

      The thing with jargon is that it changes often and it varies from company to company. Some expressions stick for longer and are more universal, while others go out of fashion being replaced by some other fancy words, which unfortunately are usually verbose and obstruct communication. It’s hard to keep up if you’re not an ‘insider’. Thanks for sharing what’s actually on top somewhere out there 🙂

    2. PatsyJaeger

      I don’t agree. “Extremely old-fashioned” is pushing it. Google “corporate jargon 2023” and my first 5 hits included ‘synergy’ or ‘bandwidth’ e.g. https://emeritus.org/blog/career-corporate-jargon/.

      1. Andrew Gill

        Yeah, I disagree as well.

    3. PatsyJaeger

      And https://www.theforage.com/blog/basics/corporate-jargon

    4. Andrew Gill

      holistic doesn’t mean the same thing as synergy though

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