EG wasn’t too pleased today. No, not because of the class, but there was something taking up more of his time than necessary; I think my business English learners find my classes therapeutic! Well, that’s one of the roles we have to perform, right?

The problem was bureaucracy, bureaucracy within the company. Some years back, it was taken over by an Italian company, but his department is fairly new, dealing with renewable energy, and his superiors are mainly Italian. A simple task like getting a password for their intranet for a new employee involves going up a ladder of approval beyond logic.

As usual, there were lots of emergent language material, from the conversation we had, to be tapped into, some new, some old.


  • bureaucracy – bureaucratic
  • authorise – authorisation – authority
  • on behalf of
  • ambition – ambitious
  • average
  • request (collocations: see mindmap)
  • phrasal verb: proceed from

Mindmap by SpiderScribe.net

Errors he made:

  • other person (instead of another)
  • for this (reason) [instead of because of this]
  • the Italian people (instead of simply the Italians)
  • same that before (instead of same as before)
  • arrive to (instead of arrive at, in or on)
  • simple past errors: think-thought, buy-bought, bring-brought)
  • this company has 3 years old (instead of is)
  • expressing negatives such as ‘I haven’t problems’ instead of ‘I haven’t got/don’t have any problems’
  • using ‘more’ for all comparatives: more quick, more old
One of the most persistent errors he makes is using ‘for to’ to express purpose, for example:
      These companies merged for to create Starlight Company.
      I help my new boss for to move up the rungs in the company.
      I need freedom for to be able to work well.
I directed him to the explanation + activity in A CLIL to Climb for more practice.

Pronunciation mistakes:

  • future /ˈfjuːtʃə/
  • director /dɪˈrektə/
  • island /ˈaɪlənd/
  • colleague /ˈkɒliːɡ/
  • mind /maɪnd/
  • experience /ɪkˈspɪərɪəns/

Next week, because of company policy, he will have to take an exam, so the following lesson will probably be dedicated to a little revision. Does that mean I'm going to have to plug in for a bit?