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Date: Nov 18, 2005
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:43 - 201.7 KB - 16kbps)
 
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THE ARTICLE

International financial firms are on a course to increase by five times the number of jobs they move overseas. This is according to a new report from the accounting company Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. This shift to outsourcing, or offshoring, will help cut staffing costs. Some companies will see up to seven percent of their global staff working in offshore bases. Two million financial services jobs in IT, HR and call centers will be based offshore by 2010. The good news for investors is the tripling of savings from $5 billion to $16 billion. Outsourcing has the true potential for huge cost savings.

Deloitte said outsourcing is mistakenly being used as a short-term strategy because many companies experience a sharp fall in cost savings after several years. The report stressed that: “Offshoring is not a straightforward cost savings tactic. Many organizations …experience ‘offshore fatigue’”. The advice from Deloitte director Chris Gentle was to think long term and not to “dabble”. He said: “Financial institutions that make a half-hearted attempt at offshoring are exposed to all of the risk, while enjoying only some of the benefits. The message is clear…Stay home if you’re not committed”.

WARM-UPS

1. RELOCATION: You are the human resources manager for a big finance company. Your boss has asked you to move your department to a country where staff costs are cheaper. Which country will you choose? Talk to the other “HR managers” in the classroom about where they want to go and why. Discuss your feelings on being moved overseas.

2. OFFSHORING: As IT makes the world smaller, it becomes easier to use workers in different countries. What do you think of this? What do you think of the following jobs in your country being moved to cheaper countries?

  • Customer service call centers
  • Computer software design
  • Radio and TV shows
  • An outsourced president
  • Online English lessons
  • Banking and financial services
  • Clothing
  • Express pizza, curry, sushi delivery

3. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Financial firms / overseas jobs / accounting company / staffing costs / offshore / IT / HR / investors / strategies / fatigue / risks / benefits / staying at home

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

4. SAVINGS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “savings”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

5. OUTSOURCING…: With your partner(s), complete the following sentence starters. After you have finished, change partners and discuss what you wrote.

Outsourcing is __________________________________________________________.

Outsourcing can never ___________________________________________________.

The biggest problem with outsourcing is _____________________________________.

Outsourcing is wonderful _________________________________________________.

Outsourcing means the world ______________________________________________.

Outsourcing is dangerous if _______________________________________________.

Outsourcing is important __________________________________________________.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

There will be a six-fold increase in outsourcing used by financial firms.

T / F

b.

Some companies will see 70 percent or their global staff outsourced.

T / F

c.

Two million jobs will be created worldwide.

T / F

d.

Outsourcing could quadruple savings in staffing costs.

T / F

e.

Outsourcing is mistakenly being seen as a short-term strategy.

T / F

f.

Many companies are experiencing “offshore fatigue”.

T / F

g.

An accounting executive advised business managers not to dribble.

T / F

h.

The executive advised firms to stay at home if they’re not committed.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

a.

course

plan

b.

move

centers

c.

overseas

play around

d.

bases

three-fold increase

e.

tripling

shift

f.

strategy

dramatic

g.

sharp

path

h.

straightforward

open

i.

dabble

simple

j.

exposed

abroad

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

increase by five times the number

if you’re not committed

b.

outsourcing, or offshoring,

is the tripling of savings

c.

up to seven percent of their global

used as a short-term strategy

d.

The good news for investors

will help cut staffing costs

e.

Outsourcing has the true potential

of jobs they move overseas

f.

mistakenly being

fall in cost savings

g.

companies experience a sharp

cost savings tactic

h.

Offshoring is not a straightforward

for huge cost savings

i.

Many organizations experience

‘offshore fatigue’

j.

Stay home

staff working in offshore bases

WHILE READING / LISTENING

WORD ORDER: Put the underlined words back into the correct order.

Outsourcing on the increase

International financial firms are on increase by a to course five times the number of jobs they move overseas. This is a new according to report from the accounting company Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. This shift to outsourcing, or offshoring, will cut staffing costs help. Some companies will see up to seven percent of their global staff working in offshore bases. Two million financial services jobs in IT, HR and call centers by based will be offshore 2010. The
investors news is good for the tripling of savings from $5 billion to $16 billion. Outsourcing has the true potential for huge cost savings.

Deloitte said outsourcing is mistakenly short-term as used being a strategy because many companies experience a fall in sharp cost savings after several years. The report stressed that: “Offshoring is not a straightforward cost savings tactic. Many organizations …experience ‘offshore fatigue’”. The advice from Deloitte director Chris Gentle think was long to term and not to “dabble”. He said: “Financial that make institutions a half-hearted attempt at offshoring are exposed to all of the risk, while enjoying only some of the benefits. The message is clear…Stay if you’re not home committed”.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Outsourcing on the increase

International financial firms are on a ________ to increase by five times the number of jobs they move overseas. This is according to a new report from the accounting company Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. This ________ to outsourcing, or offshoring, will help cut ________ costs. Some companies will see up to seven percent of their global staff working in offshore ________. Two million financial services jobs in IT, HR and call centers will be based offshore by 2010. The good news for investors is the ________ of savings from $5 billion to $16 billion. Outsourcing has the true ________ for huge cost savings.

Deloitte said outsourcing is mistakenly being used as a short-term ________ because many companies experience a sharp fall in cost savings after ________ years. The report stressed that: “Offshoring is not a straightforward cost savings ________. Many organizations …experience ‘offshore ________’”. The advice from Deloitte director Chris Gentle was to think long term and not to “dabble”. He said: “Financial institutions that make a half-hearted ________ at offshoring are exposed to all of the risk, while enjoying only some of the benefits. The message is clear…Stay ________ if you’re not committed”.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘cost’ and ‘center’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. WORD ORDER: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers.

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT “OUTSOURCING” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about outsourcing and the winners and losers.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • course
  • shift
  • seven percent
  • 2010
  • tripling
  • huge
  • mistakenly
  • straightforward
  • fatigue
  • advice
  • exposed
  • home

DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. What do you think of outsourcing?
  3. Which word do you like better, ‘outsourcing’ or ‘offshoring’?
  4. Do you find it difficult to understand a lot of business jargon?
  5. Who are the winners and losers when a company chooses outsourcing?
  6. Do you think quality is cut when staffing costs are cut?
  7. How would you feel if you lost your job because of outsourcing?
  8. Do you think now would be a good time to buy shares in financial firms?
  9. What do you think are the reasons and symptoms of “offshore fatigue”?
  10. Do you like staying at home?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. What do you think outsourcing does for the global economy?
  4. What does a CEO have to consider before he/she outsources?
  5. Three top outsourcing bases in the English-speaking world are India, Singapore and South Africa. Which would you choose?
  6. Do you think outsourcing damages some people’s lives?
  7. Would you like jobs to stay in your country and pay a little extra for the goods and services?
  8. Do you make half-hearted attempts at things or do you go full-steam ahead?
  9. Have you ever dabbled in the stock market or other investments?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

OUTSOURCE BASE: You are the CEO of a major international financial company. You know you can save millions of dollars in staff costs by outsourcing. You must choose one of the countries below as your outsourcing base. With your partner(s), discuss the advantages, disadvantages and potential client reaction of these countries:
 

COUNTRY

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

CLIENT REACTION
 

India

 

 

 

Singapore

 

 

 

Zimbabwe

 

 

 

Iraq

 

 

 

Bulgaria

 

 

 

Tahiti

 

 

 

  • Choose which of the countries is best based on what you discussed.
  • Change partners and show each other what you previously discussed and decided. Provide feedback on each other’s ideas and choices.
  • In groups, decide on just one country.
  • Make presentations to other groups about your choice of country.
  • Alternatively, take a different country each and argue why that country would be best as an outsourcing base.

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: Search the Internet and find more information on the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu report. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

3. OUTSOURCING: Make a poster outlining the pros and cons of outsourcing. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all think of similar things?

4. REDUNDANT: The CEO of you company is deciding on whether or not to outsource your job and all of those in your department. Write a letter to him/her explaining your feelings on your current situation. Show what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

course

path

b.

move

shift

c.

overseas

abroad

d.

bases

centers

e.

tripling

three-fold increase

f.

strategy

plan

g.

sharp

dramatic

h.

straightforward

simple

i.

dabble

play around

j.

exposed

open

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

increase by five times the number

of jobs they move overseas

b.

outsourcing, or offshoring,

will help cut staffing costs

c.

up to seven percent of their global

staff working in offshore bases

d.

The good news for investors

is the tripling of savings

e.

Outsourcing has the true potential

for huge cost savings

f.

mistakenly being

used as a short-term strategy

g.

companies experience a sharp

fall in cost savings

h.

Offshoring is not a straightforward

cost savings tactic

i.

Many organizations experience

‘offshore fatigue’

j.

Stay home

if you’re not committed

WORD ORDER:

Outsourcing on the increase

International financial firms are on a course to increase by five times the number of jobs they move overseas. This is according to a new report from the accounting company Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. This shift to outsourcing, or offshoring, will help cut staffing costs. Some companies will see up to seven percent of their global staff working in offshore bases. Two million financial services jobs in IT, HR and call centers will be based offshore by 2010. The good news for investors is the tripling of savings from $5 billion to $16 billion. Outsourcing has the true potential for huge cost savings.

Deloitte said outsourcing is mistakenly being used as a short-term strategy because many companies experience a sharp fall in cost savings after several years. The report stressed that: “Offshoring is not a straightforward cost savings tactic. Many organizations …experience ‘offshore fatigue’”. The advice from Deloitte director Chris Gentle was to think long term and not to “dabble”. He said: “Financial institutions that make a half-hearted attempt at offshoring are exposed to all of the risk, while enjoying only some of the benefits. The message is clear…Stay home if you’re not committed”.

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