Monthly Archives: September 2012

Advanced Business English Video Lesson Plan – Start-ups

This is a little lesson idea I came up with when working with a student who is thinking about starting his own business. It uses part of a Dragons Den episode, a reality television show from the UK where start-ups present their businesses to a panel of ‘Dragons’ in a bid to have them invest. It provides an excellent opportunity to talk about whether a company or product is worth investing in, making predictions about a market and looking at the use of the present perfect when talking about a company’s performance.

Time: 1:30-2 hours

1. Brainstorm

What factors do investors take into account when looking to invest in companies?

2. Pre-teach ‘Nuisance phone call’
3. Watch the pitch and stop video before the questions (Begins at 44:09)

4. Have the student talk you through how the product works (watch again if necessary)

5. Rate product according to factors thought about in brainstorm

6. Think about some questions that you’d like to ask the inventor about the product and the business

7. Watch the questions, see if you came up with any that were similar to the Dragons’

8. Watch the final part again, focus on where the inventor gives updates on what he has sold so far. Evaluate his responses and look at why he uses the present perfect

9. Think about some other potential answers to the questions which might not have had such a positive response

This model could easily be followed using many different Dragons Den’ pitches, depending on the industry and specialization of the student. It could also be followed up with different tasks including a student’s presentation of their future company and a Q&A session.