Presenting information visually and graphically is a great alternative to text-heavy articles, but good business-related infographics are hard to find. I have found one excellent source – the website of graphic artist Jess Bachman – which I share with you here.
For BE teaching purposes there are a small number of usable graphics posted on this site each year. Go to the bottom right hand corner of the site and look under the heading ‘Recently’. Click through to the sites that host each graphic (not actually the wallstats site itself).
Last year three of Jess Bachman’s graphics were about Google, and looking at them all together for homework would be a great preparation for a class discussion. The language level is not too high – an Intermediate student working with a dictionary can manage this.
1 In the last few minutes of a class prepare your students for the homework activity. Say that you will give them three ‘infographics’ to look at for homework, on the web, all related to Google. Write their homework task on the board:
- for each graphic: two key events or pieces of information
- for each graphic: two surprising events or pieces of information
- for each graphic: five words or phrases they would like to learn
Then direct the students to these three sites (all referenced initially on Jess Bachman’s site, but given as the final hosting site below):
(this is about the history of search)
(this is about Google’s acquisitions)
(this takes a historical view to raise the issue of whether Google might suffer from anti-monopoly legislation in the future)
2 Back in class, have a discussion on issues raised by the graphics. The most obvious thing is to go round the group asking students what they wrote down for the first two bullet points above, letting the discussion run where appropriate.
3 When the discussion is over, and you have done any language feedback on the discussion, return to the third bullet point above. Write up all the vocabulary items suggested by the students, clarify where necessary, add some collocations etc.
An obvious topic for a follow-up discussion is:
Google vs Apple and Google vs Microsoft
Typing either of these phrases into a search engine will give plenty of ideas to feed in to a discussion. The former battle is perhaps more topical these days than the latter: note that CEOs Schmidt and Jobs were once friends and allies (against Microsoft and Sun), and that Schmidt was on the board of Apple at one time.