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THE ARTICLE

American Express, a.k.a. AmEx, is one of the world’s top 20 global brands. The financial services company was established in 1850. It is one of the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average index. The company’s core business is credit cards and traveller’s cheques. American Express credit cards are seen as a premium product. Its membership fee is higher than most and it markets itself to a richer, business-travelling clientele. As a result, the company suffers less credit losses than its competitors. The company likes to keep with tradition. Its slogan “Don’t Leave Home Without It” dates from 1975. AmEx is frequently high on industry lists. ‘Fortune’ magazine listed it as one of the world’s 30 most admired companies and the ‘New York Times’ reported it has a 91% customer satisfaction rate.


 

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WARM UPS



 

1. BRAINSTORM CHAT: Write all the words you can think of about American Express on the board or on a piece of paper. Talk about these words with your partner(s).

2. AMERICAN EXPRESS MORNING: Each student pretends to be an employee of American Express. They walk around the class and talk about the company and their job.

3. RUMOURS: Each student writes down a pretend rumour about American Express. They then walk around the class and talk to other students about their rumour.

4. GOOD AND BAD: Brainstorm good and bad things about American Express and write them on the board. Students talk about these in pairs.

5. TRUE OR FALSE: Students find out several facts about American Express. They write these down and add the same number of things about the company that are false. Students test each other on which of their points are true or false.

6. FACTS: In groups, students write down as many facts as they can about American Express. The winner is the group with the most facts. Teacher may wish to have groups share their facts to make sure they are real.

*  LISTENING / READING GAP FILL

American Express, a.k.a. AmEx, is one of the world’s top 20 global brands. The _____________________ was established in 1850. It is one of the 30 companies that _____________________ Jones Industrial Average index. The company’s _____________________ cards and traveller’s cheques. American Express credit cards are seen as _____________________. Its membership fee is _____________________ it markets itself to a richer, business-travelling clientele. _____________________ company suffers less credit losses than its competitors. The company likes to keep with tradition. Its slogan “Don’t Leave Home Without It” dates from 1975. AmEx is _____________________ industry lists. ‘Fortune’ magazine listed it as one of the world’s 30 _____________________ and the ‘New York Times’ reported it has a 91% customer satisfaction rate.

*  CORRECT THE SPELLING

American Express, a.k.a. AmEx, is one of the world’s top 20 ogabll brands. The inaanilfc services company was established in 1850. It is one of the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average iednx. The company’s core business is credit cards and traveller’s cheques. American Express credit cards are seen as a eumrmip product. Its membership fee is higher than most and it kaerstm itself to a richer, business-travelling netleeicl. As a result, the company sefsurf less credit losses than its competitors. The company likes to keep with ditrintao. Its slogan “Don’t Leave Home Without It” dates from 1975. AmEx is trqlfunyee high on industry lists. ‘Fortune’ magazine listed it as one of the world’s 30 most idmedar companies and the ‘New York Times’ reported it has a 91% customer satisfaction rate.

*  UNJUMBLE THE WORDS

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*  INSERT THE VOWELS

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*  PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

american express aka amex is one of the world’s top 20 global brands the financial services company was established in 1850 it is one of the 30 companies that make up the dow jones industrial average index the company’s core business is credit cards and traveller’s cheques american express credit cards are seen as a premium product its membership fee is higher than most and it markets itself to a richer business-travelling clientele as a result the company suffers less credit losses than its competitors the company likes to keep with tradition its slogan “don’t leave home without it” dates from 1975 amex is frequently high on industry lists ‘fortune’ magazine listed it as one of the world’s 30 most admired companies and the ‘new york times’ reported it has a 91% customer satisfaction rate

*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT TENSE

American Express, a.k.a. AmEx, .......... (be) one of the world’s top 20 global brands. The financial services company .......... (be) established in 1850. It is one of the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average index. The company’s core business .......... (be) credit cards and traveller’s cheques. American Express credit cards .......... (be) .......... (see) as a premium product. Its membership fee is higher than most and it .......... (market) itself to a richer, business-travelling clientele. As a result, the company .......... (suffer) less credit losses than its competitors. The company .......... (like) to keep with tradition. Its slogan “Don’t Leave Home Without It” dates from 1975. AmEx is frequently high on industry lists. ‘Fortune’ magazine listed it as one of the world’s 30 most admired companies and the ‘New York Times’ reported it .......... (have) a 91% customer satisfaction rate.

*  REWRITE WITH SPACES

AmericanExpress,a.k.a.AmEx,isoneoftheworld’stop20globalbrands.Thefinancialservicescompanywas
establishedin1850.Itisoneofthe30companiesthatmakeuptheDowJonesIndustrialAverageindex.The
company’scorebusinessiscreditcardsandtraveller’scheques.AmericanExpresscreditcardsareseenasa
premiumproduct.Itsmembershipfeeishigherthanmostanditmarketsitselftoaricher,business-travellingclientele.Asaresult,thecompanysufferslesscreditlossesthanitscompetitors.Thecompanylikes
tokeepwithtradition.Itsslogan“Don’tLeaveHomeWithoutIt”datesfrom1975.AmExisfrequentlyhighon
industrylists.‘Fortune’magazinelisteditasoneoftheworld’s30mostadmiredcompaniesandthe‘New
YorkTimes’reportedithasa91%customersatisfactionrate.

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*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

American Express, a.k.a. AmEx, is one of the world’s top 20 ____________ brands. The financial services company was ____________ in 1850. It is one of the 30 companies that ____________ up the Dow Jones Industrial Average index. The company’s ____________ business is credit cards and traveller’s cheques. American Express credit cards are seen as a ____________ product. Its membership fee is higher than most and it markets itself to a richer, business-travelling ____________. As a result, the company suffers less credit losses than its competitors. The company ____________ to keep with tradition. Its slogan “Don’t Leave Home Without It” dates from 1975. AmEx is ____________ high on industry lists. ‘Fortune’ magazine listed it as one of the world’s 30 most ____________ companies and the ‘New York Times’ reported it has a 91% customer satisfaction ____________.

 

 

likes
established

admired
global
core
clientele
make
frequently
premium

*  PROJECT AMERICAN EXPRESS

Part 1. Your mission is to increase the profits and sales of American Express. Complete this  table with your project partner(s):

Main products

 

 

 

How to improve them

 

 

 

A brand new ‘killer’ product

 

How American Express is better than the competition

 

How to beat the competition

 

Part 2. Change partners and look at their project. Suggest improvements. Ask for advice on your project:

Part 3. Make a presentation on your project. Give it to the class. Vote the best projects.

*  AMERICAN EXPRESS – ROLE PLAY 1

Role  A – American Express CEO

You believe your company is the best in the world. It pays its workers very well and working conditions are great. Your company is very green – it cares about the environment. You think your levels of customer service are great. Disagree with person B, C and D.

Role  B – American Express worker

You think it’s a bad company to work for. You’re very unhappy with pay, raises and bonuses. You are very unhappy with the working environment. You don’t like the company’s policy on the environment. You keep hearing profits are more important than customers. Disagree with A and C. Tell D the truth.

Role  C – American Express customer

You are a customer of American Express. You used to think it was great, but not now. Its workers are always very rude. No one ever answers the phone. You are shocked about its policy on the environment. You think all staff should get less pay. You disagree with person A and B. Tell D the truth.

Role  D – A journalist

You keep hearing bad things about American Express. You want to tell the world in your newspaper. You heard the CEO gets a huge bonus every year. You found a company memo saying profits are more important than the environment. You want to know why so many staff are ill. Find the truth.

*  AMERICAN EXPRESS – ROLE PLAY 2

Role  A – American Express New Products Director

You have created a new product for American Express. You believe the new product will be the company’s best ever. It will be a bestseller. There are people who do not agree with you. You need B, C and D on your side. Tell them why this is a product that will bring great things to American Express.

Role  B – American Express Marketing Director

You think the company’s new product is a really bad idea. It will give your company a really bad name. You think the New Products Director is trying to destroy the company. Try to get him/her to understand there’s no way the new product will sell. Try to get person C and D on your side.

Role  C – American Express Market Researcher

You have interviewed thousands of people about the new product. They don’t like it or hate it. You think it will be successful if they make many changes. Tell the New Products Director he/she needs to change the product. You neither like nor trust person B. Disagree will him/her.

Role  D – American Express Shareholder

You know a lot about American Express’ new product. You are worried it will not sell and share prices will go down. You think A is crazy and must find a new job. You agree with everything B says. You don’t agree with C. The new product should not go on the market.

*  JOB INTERVIEW ROLE PLAY

INTERVIEWER  (Write the questions you want to ask the candidate.)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

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6.

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INTERVIEWEE  (Write questions you want to ask the interviewer.)

1.

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2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

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6.

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*  DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

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2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

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6.

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STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

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2.

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3.

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4.

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5.

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6.

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*  AMERICAN EXPRESS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about American Express in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

*  WRITING 1 – SPEED WRITING

Write anything about American Express for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

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*  WRITING 2 – LETTER OF COMPLAINT

Write a letter to American Express. Complain about one of its products. Ask for a refund. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

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*  WRITING 3 – LETTER OF APOLOGY

Write a letter of apology to the customer. Explain why you cannot give a refund. Show your partner your letter. Correct each other’s work.

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*  HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET INFO: Search the Internet and find more information about American Express. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about American Express. What have they done recently? What are their plans? Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. AMERICAN EXPRESS POSTER Make a poster about American Express. Make sure you sell the company to the public.  Show it to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your posters.

5. MY AMERICAN EXPRESS LESSON: Make your own English lesson on American Express. Make sure there is a good mix of things to do. Find some good online activities. Teach the class / another group when you have finished.

6. ONLINE SHARING: Use your blog, wiki, Facebook page, MySpace page, Twitter stream, Del-icio-us / StumbleUpon account, or any other social media tool to get opinions on American Express. Share your findings with the class.

ANSWERS

You can check your answers to these activities by looking at the article at the top of this page.

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