Surviving the First Week at Canadian WorkplaceLesson 1: Getting In (All About Me)

Prepare for this Lesson
To help your instructor prepare for the lesson, complete a five seconds poll HERE or respond to the email you have received from this website.
To prepare for Lesson 1, skim through the lesson below and read Task 1 & Task 2. What are the functions and forms you may use in the class? Post your answers here at least two hours before the class.

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Lesson 1: Task 1 (Listening and Speaking)

Pre-Task: In groups of four, describe to each other your first day of work in your country of origin. If you never had a job, describe what you know usually happens on the first day of job in your country.

In the same group, talk about a possible job you are going to start in the near future. Discuss what you may have to do on the first day at a Canadian workplace. What might be the challenges?
Your instructor will play the following video ( Individually, listen to Gilda talk about introducing yourself and answer the following questions

  1. What are three reasons why introductions are not usually effective?
  2. What are three tips that Gilda gives for improving self-intros?

Compare your answers with a partner.
Share your answers with the class.

Task: Work with a partner and complete the following task.

This is the first day of job in your own field of specialization in Canada. On the first day itself, you have been invited to the company’s monthly staff meeting. During the meeting, your manager has invited you to introduce yourself. In pairs role-play (talk to your partner) as if you are introducing yourself to your colleagues at the meeting. Swap your role and do the role-play again. (10 minutes).

Post Task Analysis: As a class watch the following video on elevator pitch and fill in the handout below.

( Time: segment 1:35 to 3:50 seconds)
Don’ts when introducing yourself
Dos when introducing yourself
Language used

Post-Task Practice: Work with another partner and do the role-play again. This time focus on the use of discourse organizers and appropriate content. Use the information you have got from other presentations and the feedback from your instructor.

Optional Speaking Task Practice (outside class follow up): Download Skype HERE

Step 1: Add / invite your classmates to your friends circle on Skype.
Step 2: Send messages to schedule a Skype call with one of your classmates.
Step 3: Based on the feedback you received from your friends and your instructor, review today’s speaking task.
Step 4: Make Skype call to practice today’s speaking task

Lesson 1: Task 2 (Reading and Writing)

Pre-Task 1: Work with a partner and answer the following questions.
  1. Have you ever introduced yourself in writing? Where and why?
  2. What is a bio? Where and when do you need a bio?
Share your ideas with the class.

Pre-Task 2: Read the following online article and complete the enabling tasks that follow.

How to Write a Bio for a Work Website
By Irene A. Blake, Demand Media
The biography you write for a company or personal work-related website acts as a form of advertising that can help colleagues, a current or potential employer or clients to quickly determine if you’re the right person for a job. As a result, it must describe you, your background, work ethic and personality in a clear and succinct fashion. Although you may have many professional or personal details to include in a work website bio, writing it shouldn’t take a long time. You simply need to prepare the details beforehand and then insert them into a basic work-bio format. Post your bio on / discussion board

Prepare Details

Step 1:Review bios on your company’s website to get an idea of what the company expects. If you’re writing a bio for a personal, but work-related, website, review bios on websites you frequently visit that relate to your career field or position.
Step 2:Make a short list of your greatest professional achievements and awards. For example, if you’re a sales professional, you might add to the list a high-sales award you won or the total amount of sales you made for your company in a month, quarter or the year.
Step 3:Write down some of your qualifications, skills and education including degrees and certifications. If you received professional or career-related academic honors, note those as well.
Step 4:Create a short list of additional professional and personal information that you feel relates to your career and personality, such as professional memberships, volunteer work, current projects and hobbies.
Step 5:Decide on a length for your biography. A short biography is typically 5 to 8 sentences, approximately 150 to 200 words or less, in length. A long biography depends on the website requirements and is usually two to three short paragraphs in length

Write Biography

Step 1:Write the first sentence outlining who you are, the name of the company or organization you currently work for, or your business name, and your area or areas of expertise.
Step 2:Make the next sentence about your past within the same career field if applicable.
Step 3:Use the lists you prepared to outline, in a new paragraph, your achievements, education, certifications, professional memberships, current work-related projects and volunteer work. If you’re writing a long bio, add hobbies or a fun fact at the end.
Step 4:Ask several people -- colleagues, supervisors, family members and friends -- to review your bio and provide feedback. After you receive the feedback, edit your biography as needed.
Tips* Imagine you’re describing someone else to a colleague or client in a face-to-face conversation when writing your biography. Write your biography using third person "he" or "she" pronouns.
  • If you want contact information -- phone number, email address or both -- to appear in your biography, place the information at the end.
Warnings* Always use your full name in the first sentence unless informal speech is acceptable for your work situation.
  • Always use the same version of your name after the first sentence for consistency. For example, if you use your last name, continue using it throughout the bio instead of switching between your last name, first name and full name.
(Source adapted from: )

Enabling Task 1: Answer the following questions.
  1. What is the advantage of having an effective bio?
  2. What are the two stages involved in creating an effective bio?
  3. How long is a typical bio?
  4. What do you include in the second paragraph of your bio?
  5. Can you use first-person in your bio?

Enabling Task 2: Locate all the compound words in the passage and list them in the space provided below. Then in pairs read aloud the words and listen to stress patterns. Which syllable in which word is stressed?
Now listen to your instructor read aloud the compound words. Did you have the same stress patterns? If not, try again.

Enabling Task 3: Complete the following sentences using the words below.
Succinct Expertize Face-to-face Consistency Potential
  1. Too many people give up andsettleforjustafractionofwhattheycanbe,failingtorealizetheir ………………
  2. Theinscriptionthatinspiredmewas………….….andtothepoint.
  3. Addenoughmeltedbuttertomakemixtureoftheright…………toshape.
  4. Theyinvitemetoappearatconferencestosharemy………………...
  5. Unlike……..……..bargainingoveradodgymotor,dealsarenegotiatedthroughanintermediary.

Follow up activity / optional: Practice the new vocabulary HERE. vocabulary.png
Task Cycle: This is your first day of job at a Canadian workplace. Use the information from the reading (pre-task above) and write your own bio for your company website. Use the information from your own resume to complete the task
Note to the instructor: Students should be reminded in advance to bring their own resumes they prepared in the previous thematic unit “Looking for a Job”.

Task Reporting: Instructor invites 3-4 learners to present their in-class writing to the class. Learners put their writing on document sharing camera ( ELMO), the class read the work silently and then the presenter shares his/her reflections.

Task Analysis: Read the following bio. Could present / past perfect tense be used in other sentences too?
Some of you may have already met Jenny Han who has joined our Multimedia Group in Calgary branch as Assistant Manager. She is trained to perform highly in different fields such as journalism, broadcasting, filmmaking, and event organization. Her dedication is what sets her apart from anybody else.
Jenny Han comes from an ICT background with a BSc in Computer Science from JKUAT. Her most recent positon was with Dual-Media Centre as a media system developer. Jenny is also passionate about filmmaking and has directed, produced, and even performed in her free time during the summer. She is well-rounded individual who lives with passion, dedication, and grace.
Please join me in welcoming Jenny to Multimedia Group Inc.
Source adapted from:

Practice 1: Using the words in parentheses, complete the text below with the appropriate tenses (past simple, present perfect or past perfect).

Source: (Check answers online / complete other exercise)

Practice 2: Did you use present /past perfect in your bio today? Was it possible? Write two sentences that you used or you could include in your bio today.
  1. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
  2. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Homework: Based on the feedback you have received today, rewrite your bio. Post your bio on the discussion board below . Respond to a couple of posts from your classmates.
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End of Lesson 1 >> Go to Lesson 2