This video lesson is another example from the Business Result video series of DVDs. There’s a surprising lack of material to help learners with this very particular communication skill. It combines the language of meetings, telephoning and a lot of the focus is on the person in charge of the call to make sure everyone feels involved.
Start your lesson by brainstorming the kinds of problems which occur with teleconferencing. For example:
– people speaking at once
– people don’t know who’s speaking
– people don’t know who else is there
– people calling from different timezones
– technical problems with the connection
– people not concentrating because they are not in the room (e.g. answering emails while participating!)
…and more experienced students may have more ideas or stories about teleconference disasters.
Once you’ve listed some of these, play the video at http://youtu.be/L7YA2M2WFJI
Ask the students to identify the following:
– what is the aim of the teleconference?
– which of the problems listed in the brainstorm happen?
– how does the leader try to deal with the problems?
After the first viewing, play the video again and ask students to note down any useful phrases that the leader uses in order to chair the teleconference.
After you’ve watched the video, you’ll want students to practise doing a teleconference. Although there isn’t a lot of material specifically designed for this context, it’s very easy to take a role play or case study designed for meetings and run it as a teleconference rather than face to face. You can either do this by using teleconference equipment and having students in different rooms. Or, if this isn’t possible, sit students back-to-back in groups of three or four and simulate the conditions that way.
For more ideas, there’s a full-length worksheet and video script supplied with the DVDs that now come with the Business Result course book. (Visit www.oup.com/elt)