Short and Simple English

I'm Jo Szoke, a practicing English teacher (holding a DELTA degree and an MA in English Theoretical Linguistics) and avid language learner (Rus, Bel, Kor) from Hungary. I've created this site for my personal use but also for everybody who's looking for teaching materials that can be used for online as well as for "live" teaching.


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In case you need some Business Buzzwords 

Integration Training created this funny video where they intended to collect all the annoying (but let’s face it, still useful and commonly used) phrases, expressions, idioms and buzzwords managers use in the business world. Although these expressions don’t mean a lot, and their sole purpose is to make you sound more professional by making everything you say incomprehensible, knowing them and using one or two now and then can be a good idea to achieve some respect and appreciation in the business world as a non-native speaker of English. Try some of these out at your next conference or in your next meeting!

SYNERGIZE - to cooperate with others, other companies 

FYI - for your information

TO A POINT - to an extent

AT THE END OF THE DAY - finally, in the end (check out our English Cliche post on this expression!)

LET’S KEEP EVERYONE IN THE LOOP - let’s keep them in the flow of information

GET THEM UP TO SPEED - let’s get them to the same level

MINDSHARE - how well consumers know a particular product 

GET ALL OUR DUCKS IN A ROW - (American informal) to organize things well

to LEVERAGE - any technique to multiply gains and losses. Most often this involves buying more of an asset by using borrowed funds

GLOBAL MILESTONES ON THE ROADMAP

to SURFACE - to bring to the surface

CUTTING-EDGE - the leading part of the trend

LEADING EDGE - the leading position in any field

SILO MENTALITY - When several departments or groups don’t want to share information with other individuals in the same company.

WIN-WIN SITUATION -  when both parties win

DIARIZE - note (an appointment) in a diary 

KPI - Key Performance Indicator

ROI - Return On Investment

BLT - just a joke here; bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich

GET EVERYONE ON BOARD - let’s involve everybody and work together

BENCHMARK - A standard by which something can be measured or judged

SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS - (British and Australian) there are as many advantages as disadvantages in a situation

BOTTOM LINE - the main point

TOP-DOWN & BOTTOM-UP - different approaches to deal with the same problem

BUY-IN - 1) to buy shares of something 2) to agree with something, to accept an idea

PUSH THE ENVELOPE - to move beyond the limit of what has usually been done or was the accepted standard

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX - to think creatively 

BE PROACTIVE - act in advance, expecting or anticipating difficulties

SEE THE BIG PICTURE - don’t focus on the details

RIGHTSIZE - to make a company smaller and more efficient by reducing the number of workers

LET’S ACTION IT - “let’s do it”

OPERATIONALIZE - to put it into operation or use

RUN THE NUMBERS - do the calculations

RT DATA - real-time data

ARE WE ON THE SAME PAGE? - “do we agree on this?”

ARE YOU A TEAM PLAYER? - “can you work in a team?”

UTILIZE - to make practical use of something

ENVISION - to imagine

MULTIPLE PLATFORM SOLUTIONS - solutions that fit many different needs

MAXIMIZE - make as large or great as possible

SHAREHOLDER VALUE - 

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE - 

ZERO RETURN ON VERBAL INVESTMENT - got the joke? :)

BLUE SKY THINKING - open-minded thinking

THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS - basically; the bottom line is

LET’S GET EVERYONE OUT OF THE BOX, INTO THE FIRE, OUT OF THE LOOP -  

CRAFT A SCALABLE RESPONSE - create an appropriate response

DYNAMIC - moving

and

WHAT WOULD STEVE JOBS DO?

What If You Stopped Sleeping? by ASAPscience

VIDEO

Level: Upper-Intermediate or Advanced

Video length: 3 mins

It can be used with:

Download the Worksheet!

Download the Transcript!

Merry Christmas everybody from Short and Simple English!

Enjoy this little holiday quiz in downloadable PDF format. Just follow the link below.


https://app.box.com/s/lr1b4ydlvm4omz8xrxnl

Basic Christmas Vocabulary

I just drew this on my tablet :)

P.s. another name for baubles is simply “ornaments”
You can also put “garlands” and other “decorations” on your tree

Collection of Christmas themed tasks

You can find all the necessary resources for 5 Christmas tasks for various levels, pairs and groups. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

You can download the PDF from this link.

Apart from ‘big names’ like Jeremy Harmer, Adrian Underhill and Martin Parrott, I was also drawn to this conference because it was held in London and also because it was the final event of 2013 which celebrated the 60th anniversary of International House World Organization. It was a great experience to listen to the speakers share some not strictly professional but rather anecdotal bits and pieces from their careers shared with IH schools and with the founders, John and Brita Haycraft. As I was listening to the final talk, given by Brita, I felt grateful for being part of this worldwide organization. And actually for me this began when I was a seventh grader in elementary school. That was my first time at IH Budapest, as a student of English. Then I went on to two exam preparation courses and passed two Euro exams one after the other. After that I applied for the CELTA course, and this summer I completed DELTA modules 1&2 and I am currently teaching at IH Budapest. This school has played a huge role in my life and I am very happy that I got my teaching qualifications from this organization. And to hear that the methodology of the Teacher Training Center hasn’t changed a bit since the beginning shows how innovative and groundbreaking it was for the very first time.image

International House London at Stukeley St.

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Jeremy Harmer

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Adrian Underhill singing the International House Blues

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Martin Parrott sharing 5 lessons learned from John Haycraft

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and Brita Haycraft, the co-founder of IH Cordoba

Check out these articles if you’re looking for something interesting to read after going through the worksheets and interview questions. When I have time, I will make a small worksheet for each but for now, just enjoy reading! :)

35 Surefire Ways to Stand Out During Your Job Search

6 Job Interview Questions and Answers to Avoid

Top Job Search Mistakes Millenials Make and How to Fix Them

Job Interview Attire: Fashion Horror Stories

How to Make Freelancing Work for You

How to Answer the Top 35 Asked Interview Questions

And a video: The Worst Job Interview Ever

Resume Writing Guide

Part of Short and Simple English’s “Job Interview Course.”

Download the PDF from this link!

Don’t confuse them!
1. TO - infinitival (remember where to use and where not to use it:
I must do this
I should do this
I can do this
I will do this
I may/might do this
I’m going to do this
I need to do this
I have to do this
TWO - 2TOO - as well
2. LOSE - leave something somewhere and forget about itLOOSE - not tight
I lost my loose pants, so I’m left with the tight pair.
3. THEY’RE - they areTHERE - not hereTHEIR - It is their house
I - my
You - your
He - his
She - her
It - its
We - our
You - your
They - their
(source)
4. FIGURATIVELY - the point here is that the word “literally” tends to be overused nowadays to emphasize what you want to say causing funny situations
(source)
5. LESS vs. FEWER - “less” is used with uncountable nouns (milk, water, air, love…) while “fewer” is used with countable nouns (people, animals, eggs, tables…)
6. EFFECT vs. AFFECT - effect is a noun while affect is a verb
(source)

Don’t confuse them!

1. TO - infinitival (remember where to use and where not to use it:

  • I must do this
  • I should do this
  • I can do this
  • I will do this
  • I may/might do this
  • I’m going to do this
  • I need to do this
  • I have to do this

TWO - 2
TOO - as well

2. LOSE - leave something somewhere and forget about it
LOOSE - not tight

  • I lost my loose pants, so I’m left with the tight pair.

3. THEY’RE - they are
THERE - not here
THEIR - It is their house

  • I - my
  • You - your
  • He - his
  • She - her
  • It - its
  • We - our
  • You - your
  • They - their


(source)

4. FIGURATIVELY - the point here is that the word “literally” tends to be overused nowadays to emphasize what you want to say causing funny situations


(source)

5. LESS vs. FEWER - “less” is used with uncountable nouns (milk, water, air, love…) while “fewer” is used with countable nouns (people, animals, eggs, tables…)

6. EFFECT vs. AFFECT - effect is a noun while affect is a verb


(source)

Results

Based on Questions 1-3)

If you have mostly a)s: You value relationships and the importance of having someone to share your happy moments with but you’re not currently thinking of steering it into a more serious direction. You love harmony and having things in order. You tend to avoid fights with your partner. You prefer sitting on the couch in your cozy home on Valentine’s day.

If you have mostly b)s: You are very family-centered and you like children (or animals) very much. You probably have a pet. You think that helping and supporting your partner is an important part of your relationship. You prefer being invited on a romantic dinner on Valentine’s day.

If you have mostly c)s: You’re a rather practical person who enjoys having a girlfriend/boyfirend but your carreer is on the top of your priority list. You prefer getting a box of chocolate for Valentine’s day.

Glossary

Steer - guide or control the movement of something, for example by turning a wheel
Couch - sofa
Cozy - giving a feeling of comfort, warmth and relaxation

Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!

Do you want to learn something about your current or future relationship? Do this quiz which tells you what kind of person you are in relationships based on the houses and rooms you like. :)

Download the PDF from this link: https://www.box.com/s/n3dolfkp37y3c45e184u

The results will be posted soon ;)

Word order in questions and statements

Level: Elementary

Word order is not difficult in English, you just have to understand where you should switch and where you should insert DO/DOES.

Download the PDF worksheet from this link!

Hungarian Christmas and New Year’s Meals and Desserts

halászlé fish soup

  • ponty carp
  • keszeg bream

töltött káposzta stuffed cabbage

  • darálthús minced pork
  • tejföl sour cream

bejgli pastry rolls with walnut or poppy seed stuffing

  • tészta dough

sült hal fried fish

  • lazac salmon

mézeskalács gingerbread

  • máz icing
  • forma (cookie) cutter

szaloncukor parlor candy

forralt bor mulled wine

  • fahéj cinnamon
  • szerecsendió nutmeg
  • citromhéj lemon zest

holdkifli moon cake

  • porcukor powdered sugar

kuglóf marble cake

kalács milk loaf

  • aszalt gyümölcs dried fruit

puncs punch

  • barack peach
  • ananász pineapple

kolbász sausage

  • mustár mustard

lencse lentils