Eren Keles Eren Keles

Business English: Work and Motivation
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate level


In this lesson Ss will discuss the actions which make them demotivate as well as actions which make them motivate at workplace in the context of X and Y Theories, two opposing theories of work and motivation presented by Douglas Mcgregor.


Abc Reading Text: X and Y Theory
Abc Case Study
Abc Motivating Factors
Abc Statements: X and Y Theory
Abc Busines-related Idioms
Abc CCQ: Video

Main Aims

  • Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. - Michael Jordan

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a Conversation in the context of Motivation at Workplace
  • To provide practice in the context of Business-related Idioms


Warmer/Lead-in (10-15 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Write MOTIVATION and DEMOTIVATION on WB and under the headlines write the following: boredom, lack of recognition, lack of fairness, cancelling projects, lack of empowerment, too much workload, lack of progress, no confidence in company leadership, poor communication, unfriendly coworkers. Ask Ss how they would define those situtations: MOTIVATING or DEMOTIVATING and why they would define them so. Elicit some responses from Ss, then divide Ss into pairs and instruct them to rank those situations, based on their experinces, from the most (1) to the least (10) significant and compare and discuss differences in pairs. Gather Ss for WC FB.

Discussion & Reading (25-30 minutes) • To discuss some statements based on common sense in the context of a text

Distribute the HO (Statements: X and Y Theory) and ask Ss to, with the same pairs, discuss the statements and decide which of them they would consider as generally true. Gather the Ss for WC discussion and focus particularly on the statements 2,4, and 8. Ask Ss if there is someone thinking that statements 2 is true. Ask Ss what they think that would happen if they did not work and sat at home all the day.(Write responses down on WB) Ask the same question for the statement 4 and 8. (Statement 4: If you had too much work overload and are paid lower salary than a friend of you who works less than you. Which one is more important: someone's position at workplace or someone's dedication?) / (Statement 8: What does "right condition" refer to? What are the some factors that affect right condition?) Wrap the conversation up by eliciting responses from students. Write X THEORY and Y THEORY on WB and ask Ss if they are familiar with these terms. Give time Ss to figure out their meanings, if no response comes, inform Ss that they are going to read a text on X and Y Theories. Distribute the HO(Reading Text: X and Y Theory) and let Ss read it. When Ss have finished reading, ask Ss to define what THEORY X and THEORY Y are. (T answer: (Theory X) If you believe that your team members dislike their work and have little motivation, then, according to McGregor, you'll likely use an authoritarian style of management. This style of management assumes that workers: Dislike their work. Avoid responsibility and need constant direction. Have to be controlled, forced and threatened to deliver work. Need to be supervised at every step. Have no incentive to work or ambition, and therefore need to be enticed by rewards to achieve goals./ (Theory Y) If you believe that your people take pride in their work and see it as a challenge , then you'll more likely adopt a participative management style. This style of management assumes that workers are: Happy to work on their own initiative. More involved in decision making. Self-motivated to complete their tasks. Enjoy taking ownership of their work. Seek and accept responsibility, and need little direction. View work as fulfilling and challenging. Solve problems creatively and imaginatively.) Now, ask Ss which theory they consider as the best approach and why. (Additional: Theory Y has become more popular among organizations. This reflects workers' increasing desire for more meaningful careers that provide them with more than just money.) Referring to the previous HO(Statements: X and Y Theory), instruct Ss to classify the statements using the table provided in HO(Reading Text: X and Y Theory). Gather Ss for WC FB.

Video (15-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to analyse a video

Inform Ss that they are going to watch a video on demoralizing and while watching the video they are supposed to complete the HO(CCQ: Video). Before playing the video reflect the Introduction(from Google Drive) and give some more background informtion about the video. Distribute the HO and play the video. [Youtube: The Psychology of Motivation: Build Purpose, Respect Contributions, Give Credit | Dan Ariely,] When the video has finished, give Ss some time to complete their answers, then respond each question respectively. Inform Ss that from now on, the lesson will mostly be on MOTIVATION(Write on WB). Ask Ss if they can come up with some methods management can use to encourage staff. Write the responses on WB. If no answer comes, disribute the HO (Discussion) and ask Ss to classify the factors provived in order of importance. Elicit some responses from Ss.

Case Study: Motivating the Workers (10-15 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to produce output

Inform Ss that for this part of the lesson they will be given some job descriptions (mostly jobs with heavy workload) and they are to come up with some motivating ideas for these people working in these job. Also, inform Ss that there are some suggestions on the HO, ask them to go over those suggestions and decide which ones could be appropriate for descriptions given. Divide Ss into pairs and distribute the HO(Case Study) and let Ss complete the task(Do not forget to reflect the photo for the description 6: A Shepherd.). Elicit some responses from Ss.

Useful Expressions/Idioms (8-10 minutes) • To provide some useful idioms to use in the context of Business

To wrap the lesson up, inform Ss that they will be given a HO which includes some useful business idioms. Instruct Ss to check the meanings of the idioms and match them with the definitions given. While Ss are completing the activity write the idioms on WB. Provide the answers. (T answer: h, c, e, f, b, a, d, g)

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