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15 Marketing Idioms in English

August 24, 2017

15 Marketing Idioms in EnglishMarketing is an important part of many businesses and is a large part of many conversations during meetings. Are you learning English for the workplace? If so, these 15 marketing idioms in English will be useful.

15 Marketing Idioms in English

Across the board

Definition: Applying to all.

Example: We will be making changes to the company across the board: our mission, our employee structure, and even our logo.

Bank on

Definition: Rely on (confidently).

Example: We are banking on a final investor to help get this project running.

Birds of a feather (flock together)

Definition: People with the same interests will often be found together.

Example: These investors are birds of a feather: they all went to Harvard, work on Wall Street, and golf together.

Bring something to the table

Definition: To provide a useful or helpful addition.

Example: We need each of the employees to bring something to the table during next week’s meeting: everyone needs to have a marketing plan for the next year and three suggested changes to our business model.

Fish where the fish are

Definition: Use resources, such as time, where the highest results will be.

Example: We have to fish where the fish are. I don’t think this marketing campaign is useful because it targets people outside of our age demographic.

15 Marketing Idioms in English

Gain followers/subscribers

Definition: To get more followers on social media.

Example: In order to gain more followers, we’ve identified effective hashtags.

Go viral

Definition: To quickly become popular on the internet.

Example: After her post went viral, she received many advertising opportunities.

In the long run

Definition: Over a long period of time; eventually.

Example: We are putting a lot of time and money into this project, but in the long run it will be worth it.

In the works

Definition: In the planning stages.

Example: We have an exciting new project in the works.

Land (an account)

Definition: To sign a new client.

Example: He landed two new accounts last week.

15 Marketing Idioms in English

Payoff

Definition: The return on an investment or on a bet.

Example: The pay-off for this risk was huge!

Put (something) on the map

Definition: To make a product famous.

Example: This new marketing campaign will help put our product on the map.

Sold on

Definition: Convinced of.

Example: He’s not sold on the idea: I think we should prepare some examples for him of why it will be a good idea.

Selling point

Definition: Something that will convince someone to purchase something or say yes to an idea.

Example: For me, the selling point was the budget you created. It was well-written and showed that you’re financially responsible.

Word-of-mouth marketing

Definition: A type of marketing that relies on advertising through conversation. The company creates the initial “conversation” about the product and attempts to make this conversation spread.

Example: They used word-of-mouth marketing to create some buzz about their product. After that, it went viral!

15 Marketing Idioms in English

CISL San Diego and San Francisco offer Business English and Premier English programs to help students improve their professional English skills in a small classroom setting. With CISL’s Premier English programs, (Executive English in San Diego and Global Success in San Francisco) students are in a class of no more than 4 students and receive individualized training and curriculum based on their professional goals and needs. Contact CISL to learn more.

 

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20 Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

August 15, 2017

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

Writing a resume is difficult: how can you describe yourself, your education, and your accomplishments without sounding cliche, boring, or arrogant? Verbs that concisely explain your job responsibilities will help you when writing a resume. These 20 useful engineering resume vocabulary words will help you when applying for your engineering job or internship.

Note: these terms have been selected for several engineering fields, including biochemical engineering, mechanical, structural, operational, and civic engineering. The form of the word given is the past tense of each verb, and the example is written in the style you might see on a resume. To better understand the format of a U.S. style resume, see our articles “Resume vs. CV: What Is the Difference?.”

20 Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words

Accelerated

Definition: Increase in rate, amount, or extent.

Example: Invented a machine that accelerated production speeds.

Affected

Definition: Have an effect on; make a difference.

Example: Affected change in production by designing a more efficient machine.

Analyzed

Definition: Examine (something) methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain and interpret it.

Example: Analyzed data from surveyors to make informed suggestions regarding city planning.

Applied

Definition: Make something be applicable or relevant.

Example: Applied various structural engineering theories to work in the field and in the office.

Appraised

Definition: Assess the value or quality of.

Example: Appraised local structures to determine their durability.

Briefed

Definition: Instruct or inform (someone) thoroughly, especially in preparation for a task.

Example: Briefed city officials on the status of local bridges and other structures.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

Cataloged

Definition: Make a systematic list of (items of the same type).

Example: Cataloged laboratory data for analysis.

Diagrammed

Definition: Represent (something) in graphic form.

Example: Diagrammed electrical circuits of residential and office buildings.

Diagnosed

Definition: Identify the nature of (an illness or other problem) by examination of the symptoms.

Example: Diagnosed weak areas of older buildings in order to suggest repairs.

Enabled

Definition: Make (a device or system) operational; activate.

Example: Enabled a new form of solar-powered energy.

Engineered

Definition: Skilfully arrange for (something) to occur; design and build (a machine or structure).

Example: Engineered a new form of solar energy collection.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

Facilitated

Definition: Make (an action or process) easy or easier.

Example: Facilitated meetings between business owners and local residents regarding structural damage to local buildings.

 

Installed

Definition: Place or fix (equipment or machinery) in position ready for use.

Example: Installed new circuits for energy-efficient electricity throughout the building.

Mapped

Definition: Record in detail the spatial distribution of (something).

Example: Mapped data regarding energy consumption throughout the city.

Measured

Definition: Ascertain the size, amount, or degree of (something) by using an instrument or device marked in standard units.

Example: Measured the levels of pollution in local waters.

Modeled

Definition: Use (a system, procedure, etc.) as an example to follow or imitate.

Example: Modeled new software on components of previous versions.

Modified

Definition: Altered or changed.

Example: Modified older machines to increase production.

Operated

Definition: Manage; (of a person) control the functioning of (a machine, process, or system).

Example: Operated and examined machinery for maintenance and review.

Optimized

Definition: Make the best or most effective use of (a situation or resource).

Example: Optimized production of machinery.

Revised

Definition: Reconsider and alter (something) in light of further evidence.

Example: Revised reports from biologists; included data and suggestions regarding actions to be taken.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

CISL San Diego provides an intensive English for Engineering course for students who are working in (or interested in working in) the field of engineering. This course provides the vocabulary and language skills necessary for the student’s particular field: lessons can be catered to the student’s interests and professional needs. CISL’s English for Engineering course can be taken alongside the Career English program, which places students in an American company in order to use their English skills in the workplace. Contact CISL for more information.

 

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American Business Traditions + Common English Business Idioms

July 15, 2017

Business English is more than just learning the language, phrasal verbs, and vocabulary that you need to be confident in a professional setting: it also includes learning the American business traditions that you need to know in order to conduct business in the U.S.! Do you know these American business traditions? See how they differ from the business traditions in your country.

American Business Traditions + Common English Business Idioms

 

American Business Traditions

The handshake: an important first impression

The handshake is your first impression in business and it is considered VERY important. Make sure that during a handshake you:

  • Hold the person’s hand firmly
  • Look the person in the eye
  • Smile
  • Saying something such as “nice to meet you” or “it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Formal names and titles

Before meeting with the person, make sure that you know their full name . . . but always use “Mr” and “Ms” when you first meet them. If the person has a title, such as “President” or “Doctor” or “Professor,” use this title + the person’s last name. Here are some examples:

  • It’s a pleasure to meet you, Professor Smith.
  • Nice to meet you, Doctor Jones.
  • Pleased to meet you, Vice President Roberts.

If the person prefers for you to use his or her first name, they will tell you. Usually, please say “Please, call me [first name].”

Dress to impress

It is true that Silicon Valley has a reputation of companies that accept very casual attire (think about Mark Zuckerberg, for example: he always wears a grey shirt!). However, in traditional business settings, it is important to dress professionally. For men, this often means a tie and a long-sleeved dress shirt; for women, this can mean nice slacks or a skirt and a dress shirt.

American Business Traditions + Common English Business Idioms

Forget gifts; remember hand-written notes

In the U.S., gifts can be seen as bribes (gifts you give someone to persuade them to make a decision). Instead, try to be thoughtful: send a hand-written note after the meeting and thank the person for his or her time, and suggest an opportunity to meet again.

American Business Traditions + Common English Business Idioms

Business cards before or after

Business card culture in the U.S. is very casual. Once you meet the person and get settled (sit down, take out your meeting notes) you can present your card; sometimes, this is something people do at the end of the meeting. The only thing that is important is giving your card when the other person does. If you’re unsure, wait to see when the other person gives you his or her card, then do the same.

If the card has an interesting design or logo, it is appropriate for you to give the person a compliment.

Smiles, eye contact

Body language is very important during a meeting. Be sure to smile, look at the person when they are speaking, and make eye contact. Avoid using your phone, and take notes if you can. Make sure that your phone is turned on silent so that it does not ring or buzz during your meeting.

Lunch meetings are productive

Lunch can be lunch . . . or, it can be an opportunity to discuss business. In American culture, it’s very common for people to have a productive lunch meeting where they eat together and talk about business plans.

American Business Traditions + Common English Business Idioms

Avoid smoking

Of course, there are some people in the U.S. who smoke, but many do not. It is considered rude to smoke without asking the people around you if it bothers them: to be safe, leave your cigarettes in your bag and wait until after the meeting.American Business Traditions + Common English Business Idioms

Common Business Idioms

Do you know these common business idioms?

To talk about similarities

To be in the same boat

Definition: to be in a similar situation.

To be on the same page

Definition: to understand someone; to agree with someone.

To talk about strategies

To cut corners

Definition: to not do things thoroughly; to not follow the normal steps for a process or project.

Game plan

Definition: a plan of action for a project.

To meet someone halfway

Definition: to compromise.

To think outside of the box

Definition: to think creatively.

Trade-off

Definition: to sacrifice something in order to gain something else; to compromise.

To talk about struggles/difficulties

A long shot

Definition: something that has very little chance of success.

To be between a rock and a hard place

Definition: to have the choice between two difficult decisions, both with outcomes that are not ideal.

To go out of one’s way (to do something)

Definition: to give extra effort, resources, etc. to help someone.

To have one’s head underwater

Definition: to feel overwhelmed, unprepared.

Converse International School of Languages in San Diego and San Francisco provides Business English classes with no more than 8 students per class (an average of 7 students) to help you improve your English skills for the workplace. If you need more intensive practice, CISL’s Premier English Executive Programs for professionals offer intensive instruction with 4-student classes focused on your career’s required English skills. Watch our testimonials below to hear about the success CISL students experience in our small classrooms and intensive curriculum. 

Contact CISL to learn more about our San Diego Executive English Program and our San Francisco Global Success Program and to begin the next phase of your career: conducting business confidently in English! 

 

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Language of Negotiation for English Learners

June 28, 2017

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” -U.S. President John F. Kennedy

In business, it is important to negotiate so that both sides are happy with their agreement. This can be difficult to do in your native language, so it is of course also difficult in English. Use this language of negotiation for English learners and you will be comfortable negotiating deals in your profession.

Language of Negotiation for English Learners

Language of Negotiation for English Learners

Language of agreement

I completely/totally/wholeheartedly agree.

That’s a fair point/suggestion.

You have a good point.

I think we can both agree that . . .

I see no problem with . . .

I see where you are coming from.

Language of Negotiation for English Learners

 

Language of disagreement

I’m not sure if I completely agree with you.

I understand where you’re coming from. However,…

I’m prepared to compromise, but…

The way I look at it…

The way I see things…

If you look at it from my point of view…

That’s not exactly how I look at it.

From my perspective…

I’d have to disagree with you there.

I’m afraid that doesn’t work for me.

Language of Negotiation for English Learners

Language of persuasion

Why don’t you meet me halfway.

I’m confident we can come to an understanding.

Surely there is a solution that we will both be happy with.

I’m convinced this is the best option for both of us/both parties.

Converse International School of Languages provides Business English classes of no more than 8 students and Premier Classes of no more than 4 students for business professionals. Contact CISL to learn more about our Premier Classes, including our Executive English in San Diego and Global Success in San Francisco

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5 Business Meeting Ice Breakers for ESL Learners

April 14, 2017

How do you start a business meeting? This is a difficult question for executives and professionals to answer. What about starting a business meeting in English when it’s not your native language? This is even more difficult! We have some ideas for meeting ice breakers that will start your meeting off well. Before using these ice breakers, however, make sure that your English skills are as high as possible: with CISL’s Executive English courses, students are in a classroom of no more than 4 students and have the opportunity to perfect their communication skills regarding their profession.

Business Meeting Ice Breakers for ESL Learners

One topic; one word

Present an idea or a topic to the meeting attendants. The topic should be related to the meeting’s agenda somehow; for example, if you’re meeting to discuss hiring a new employee, the topic can be the question, “What describes a good resume?” Every person in the meeting must think of one word to answer. Then, the person can discuss his or her answer after giving the one word.

Useful language: Each person must explain in detail why he or she chose the one word. For this reason, everyone will need to use conjunctions (words like “because” and “therefore”). Check out our article on conjunctions for ways to use these connecting words.

Career Highlight

Ask everyone in the room to share a moment when they felt very proud of their work. This is a great way to hear about each person’s interests and passions with their job!

Useful language: Both the Simple Past and Past Continuous are useful when speaking about career highlights.

The Lunch Question

Ask everyone this famous question: “If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?”

Useful language: Unreal Conditionals are useful for answering this question. For this answer, use the following construction:

If + subject + modal could + base verb, subject + modal would + base verb

If I could have lunch with anyone, I would choose . . .

Check out our articles on conditionals for more information on the Zero Conditional, First Conditional, Second Conditional, and Third Conditional.

Who would you have lunch with if you could have lunch with anyone?

Book Recommendation

Ask everyone to share a book they are currently reading, or a book that they recommend, and share why they think this book is important.

Useful language: Modals for recommendations are useful in this situation. Check out our article on Modals for Giving Advice for more info!

Need some book recommendations? Check out our article on great books for English learners!

A Career Goal

Ask everyone to share something they would like to accomplish in the next year (and why). This is an excellent way to learn about each person’s aspirations!

Useful language: When speaking about the future, we can use many tenses. The most common are WILL and BE GOING TO of the Simple Future, but because we are talking about a specific point in time in the future, we can also use the Future Perfect Tense.

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CISL Executive English graduate. Another CISL student success story (from an already successful person)!

CISL’s Premier English Programs include San Diego’s Executive English and San Francisco’s Global Success. For more information on these intensive programs for the business professional, contact CISL