Tag Archives: listening

Video Comprehension #3

Talking about yourself and your career is essential in a business environment. You must know the correct tenses and structures to talk about your position, your background and responsibilities. Let us listen to Johnnie Boden talking about his career and why he chose this career path.

Before we start, here is a list of vocabulary and structures he uses:

founder: a person who founds or establishes a company, organization, etc.

mail-order (clothing) company: a company that sells goods through the mail.

career path (not in the video): a planned sequence or plan of jobs or professions during your working life that allow you to progress. A typical career path is: office boy > office assistant > office manager > department manager…

City of London: a business area mostly comprising banking institutions, similar to Wall Street.

to be supportive: to support or agree with the idea of another person. Support can be financial or emotional.

to enjoy the challenge: to enjoy facing and overcoming obstacles and problems of your profession or job (in this context).


1. What is his job title and in what industry does he work?

2. Why did he start working in the clothing industry?

3. Did he like working in the City of London? Why? Why not?

4. What did he do after working in the City of London? Did he enjoy it? Why did he stop?

5. How did his family react when he decided to enter the clothing industry?

What about your career path? What jobs and professions have to had? Why did you change/continue? Do you think you will change your career or profession? Why? Why not?

Video Comprehension Activity #2

Continuing from the previous subject, Guerrilla Resumes, let´s watch the video on Guerrilla Cover letters.

Before you start, let´s see some vocabulary and phrases used in the video.

To drop a name: to say or write the name of a person, to mention a name.

Position: a place that is occupied. In this context, a job position inside a company.

To outpull: to attract attention more than anything else. Example: blue ink outpulls black ink in a letter. This means that blue ink attracts more attention than/outpulls black ink.

P.S.: post script, a paragraph or phase at the end of the letter, after the letter has been signed.

1. How should you start the first paragraph of your cover letter?

2. How did the writer of the letter get the name, Mary Jones? Who is she?

3. Why should you sign your cover letter using blue ink?

4. Why is it important to add a p.s.?

5. What was the result of this cover letter? Did she get the job?

What did you think of this advice? Would a Guerrilla cover letter be accepted in Brazil?

Video Comprehension Activity #1

Here goes the first video comprehension activity. For instructions on how to do these activities, see this post.

Do not panic if you do not understand everything the speakers are saying. You will improve understanding as you watch more videos. Just study the keywords and try to get an overall idea of what is being said.

Before you start, let´s take a look at some of the vocabulary and phrases used in the video.

Guerrilla (marketing, tactics): an unconventional system of marketing or selling something. Guerrilla Marketing is usually low-budget (cheap). Click here to see some examples of guerrilla tactics/marketing.

Tactic: a plan or procedure for promoting a desired result. Example: a sales tactic, a marketing tactic.

Awards: Prize due to merit. A prize or payment you receive for something you have done that is considered exceptional.

Merit: something that you have done that is considered exceptional. Something that deserves an award.

Company logo: the image or symbol that represents a company, such as an apple representing Apple.

Concise: explained in few words, brief, succinct.

One-page: containing only one page.

Black text on white resume: A resume written on white paper and black text.

Unsolicited: not requested by the receiver.

To grab (someone´s) attention: to attract someone´s attention.

Left-side margin: the margin on the left of the page. A margin is the free space on both sides of a page.

Coveted accounts: desired accounts, account that a company wants to attract.

Now answer the questions:

1. Why should you put company logos and awards in your resume?

2. Why is one page a good length for a resume?

3. Why is a “black text on white resume” not effective?

4. What do they suggest you should do to “grab the reader´s attention”?

5. What other images or logos could you put on the left-side margin of your resume?

What did you think of the advice? Will you adopt this Guerrilla tactic?

New Listening Comprehension Activities for students

At e-Advance we are always emphasizing the importance of listening. Not listening to those boring videos made “especially” for students, but listening to people speaking in English in real situations, such as lectures, commercials, interviews etc. Our online video activity website has weekly videos for our students but we are now offering free corrections and feedback for all students of English interested in improving their listening skills. Here´s what you have to do:

1. Subscribe to our email (click on Email Subscription on the left top margin of the blog).

2. When a video is posted, you will get an email notifying you of the update. You may get other updates, but don´t worry, we never post more than 2 articles a week.

3. Watch the video as many times as necessary. Check the keywords.

4. Answer the 5 questions as thoroughly as possible.You may add your own comments on the video.

5. Post the answers as comments or, if you have our e-mail addresses, send us an e-mail with your answers.

6. In up to 48 hours we will send you corrections and full feedback. In some cases, we will also send you activities based on your answers to help you improve your writing skills.

Watch and enjoy!

Alain de Botton – Pleasure and Sorrows of Work

A short video comprehension activity for Advanced students. I chose this video because the speaker´s use of language is perfect and easy to understand although he speaks very quickly.


Do you agree that the people in charge of the workplace are human needs?

Do you think people need a pause while they work? What do you think happens when these needs are not respected?

Is your workplace hostile?

Do you think Career Counselling should be the most important profession in the world?

What do you think will be the workplace of the future?

For feedback, answer these questions in the Comments.

Improving Listening Comprehension Skills

If you feel you have recurring grammar problems or need help with listening comprehension, try using the amazing free resources available on the web.
There are thousands of great websites out there with free podcasts, lectures and audiobooks in clear English for all levels and ages. Students often overlook the importance of listening to improve their English. Remember, children learn to speak by listening first, then talking. Listening is therefore the first step to learning any language.

Simple choose a subject you are interested in, download the audio, and listen while you drive or sit in the bus. You will seen notice both improvements in grammar and understanding.

Check out the following links for online video and audio streaming or download. I have listed them according to type and site name.


iTunes podcasts and Top iTunes Podcasts (both require iTunes) – This service offers a massive variety of podcasts, which you can only access through iTunes. There is everything from fables to lectures, all free.

Webcasts Berkley (all subjects)

Audio Books

Learn Out Loud – If you can´t be bothered to look through podcast directories, this website gives you access to others according to the subject you choose.

Books Should Be Free


Flora TV (lectures)

Academic Earth (lectures)

MIT video/audio courses

World Public Library

Ted – Ideas worth spreading

Free Video Lectures

Free University Lectures

Video Lectures

For Beginners Only

Learn English Online – Free Audio Course

OM Audio – English Dialogues

Learning English Audio (Berkeley)

For Kids


Directory (E-books)

Digital Libraries (directory)