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THE ARTICLE

International Business Machines (IBM) is a multinational computer and information technology corporation. It’s the fourth largest tech company in the world and has the second most valuable brand. IBM has its origins in the nineteenth century. It was founded in 1896 as the Tabulating Machine Company by Herman Hollerith. It was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation and became International Business Machines in 1917. Today its business is computer systems, software and hardware, semi-conductors, and IT consulting services. The company employs 400,000 people worldwide. Its staff have won five Nobel Prizes among numerous other international awards. According to its website, these IBMers share the corporate value of “innovation that matters.”


 

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WARM UPS



 

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

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

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

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

5. TRUE OR FALSE: Students find out several facts about IBM. 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 IBM. 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

International Business Machines (IBM) is a multinational computer and information technology corporation. It’s ____________________ company in the world and has the ____________________ brand. IBM has its origins in the nineteenth century. It was founded in 1896 as the Tabulating Machine Company by Herman Hollerith. ____________________ New York Stock Exchange in 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation and became International Business Machines in 1917. Today ____________________ systems, software and hardware, semi-conductors, and ____________________. The company employs 400,000 people worldwide. ____________________ five Nobel Prizes among numerous other international awards. According to its website, these IBMers share the corporate value of “____________________.”

*  CORRECT THE SPELLING

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*  UNJUMBLE THE WORDS

International Business Machines (IBM) is a multinational information computer technology and corporation. It’s the the fourth tech in world largest company and has the second most valuable brand. IBM has its origins in the nineteenth century. was founded in 1896 as the It Tabulating Machine Company by Herman Hollerith. It was Exchange the in New 1911 York listed Stock on as the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation and became International Business Machines in 1917. Today its systems computer is business software , and hardware, semi-conductors, and IT consulting services. The worldwide 400,000 company people employs. Its staff have won five other numerous among Prizes Nobel international awards. According to its website, these IBMers share the corporate value of “innovation that matters.”

*  INSERT THE VOWELS

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*  PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

international business machines (ibm) is a multinational computer and information technology corporation it’s the fourth largest tech company in the world and has the second most valuable brand ibm has its origins in the nineteenth century it was founded in 1896 as the tabulating machine company by herman hollerith it was listed on the new york stock exchange in 1911 as the computing tabulating recording corporation and became international business machines in 1917 today its business is computer systems software and hardware semi-conductors and it consulting services the company employs 400000 people worldwide its staff have won five nobel prizes among numerous other international awards according to its website these ibmers share the corporate value of “innovation that matters”

*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT TENSE

International Business Machines (IBM) .......... (be) a multinational computer and information technology corporation. It’s the fourth largest tech company in the world and .......... (have) the second most valuable brand. IBM .......... (have) its origins in the nineteenth century. It was .......... (found) in 1896 as the Tabulating Machine Company by Herman Hollerith. It was .......... (list) on the New York Stock Exchange in 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation and .......... (become) International Business Machines in 1917. Today its business .......... (be) computer systems, software and hardware, semi-conductors, and IT consulting services. The company .......... (employ) 400,000 people worldwide. Its staff have won five Nobel Prizes among numerous other international awards. According to its website, these IBMers .......... (share) the corporate value of “innovation that matters.”

*  REWRITE WITH SPACES

InternationalBusinessMachines(IBM)isamultinationalcomputerandinformation
technologycorporation.It’sthefourthlargesttechcompanyintheworldandhasthe
secondmostvaluablebrand.IBMhasitsoriginsinthenineteenthcentury.Itwasfounded
in1896astheTabulatingMachineCompanybyHermanHollerith.ItwaslistedontheNew
YorkStockExchangein1911astheComputingTabulatingRecordingCorporationand
becameInternationalBusinessMachinesin1917.Todayitsbusinessiscomputer
systems,softwareandhardware,semi-conductors,andITconsultingservices.Thecompanyemploys400,000peopleworldwide.Its
staffhavewonfiveNobelPrizesamongnumerousotherinternationalawards.Accordingto
itswebsite,theseIBMerssharethecorporatevalueof“innovationthatmatters.”

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*  CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

International Business Machines (IBM) is a ____________ computer and information technology corporation. It’s the fourth largest ____________ company in the world and has the second most ____________ brand. IBM has its origins in the nineteenth century. It was founded in 1896 as the Tabulating Machine Company by Herman Hollerith. It was ____________ on the New York Stock Exchange in 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation and ____________ International Business Machines in 1917. Today its business is computer systems, software and ____________, semi-conductors, and IT consulting services. The company ____________ 400,000 people worldwide. Its staff have won five Nobel Prizes among ____________ other international awards. According to its website, these IBMers ____________ the corporate value of “innovation that ____________.”

 

 

share
employs
valuable
multinational
matters
hardware
listed
tech
numerous
became

*  PROJECT IBM

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

Main products

 

 

 

How to improve them

 

 

 

A brand new ‘killer’ product

 

How IBM 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.

*  IBM – ROLE PLAY 1

Role  A – IBM 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 – IBM 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 – IBM customer

You are a customer of IBM. 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 IBM. 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.

*  IBM – ROLE PLAY 2

Role  A – IBM New Products Director

You have created a new product for IBM. 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 IBM.

Role  B – IBM 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 – IBM 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 – IBM Shareholder

You know a lot about IBM’s 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.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

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

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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*  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.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

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4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

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*  IBM SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about IBM 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 IBM 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 IBM. 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 IBM. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about IBM. 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. IBM POSTER Make a poster about IBM. 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 IBM LESSON: Make your own English lesson on IBM. 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 IBM. 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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