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English for the Oil & Gas Industries

Innovation in Education

English for the Oil & Gas Industries with the professional experts


agna Carta College was established in 2001 and is an Independent Business School based in the centre of Oxford, with a second campus at Canary Wharf in London and a network around the world. We offer a range of professional courses which includes Business English, English for the Oil and Gas Industries, Aviation English, Legal English, as well as academic courses for Foundation and Diploma qualifications, ABE and ABP, MSc programmes as well as tailor-made courses.

Overview Success in any business is based on an understanding of the business and making the right strategic decisions for the future. Part of this decision making involves the hiring of the best possible staff and their training in order to achieve the sort of results which will ultimately impact on a company’s profits. The discovery and development of oil and gas and its transportation, processing and marketing remain crucial to the world economy. The success of the oil and gas business is also reliant on building and developing effective strategic alliances. Invariably this involves the use of the English language as a means of achieving successful partnerships, maintaining a positive rapport with clients and suppliers and making sure that all levels of communication are clear and free from misunderstandings which could result in costly mistakes. Our English courses for the Oil and Gas Industries focus on all aspects of communication within the oil and gas industries for every level of operational need whereby both standard and non-standard phraseology can be used as the situation requires. The participants will receive help with industryspecific language and terminology where this is not familiar to them; both written and spoken communication is examined to ensure correct comprehension on the part of the listener through grammatical accuracy and clear pronunciation. Some features of our English for Oil and Gas:  Trainees can start courses as low as level A2 (elementary);  Contents look at topics that reflect the latest developments in oil and gas making the material relevant to the participants;  Language content is clearly defined and functional to instill confidence;  Courses are generally created according to the clients’ needs although there are standard courses also (see sample syllabus);  Course materials can consist of published books, with accompanying CD ROMs but are usually supplemented with specially-created materials with the specific aim of the class in mind (see example lesson). We can also design courses where the focus is towards the language used by a particular area such as the Legal Department but with a bias towards the oil and gas industries. For this reason we utilize trainers who not only understand the oil and gas industries but have a background in law.

Where the aim is to teach highly technical language to drilling and exploration teams, supply chain management and operators whereby they basically need to understand the terminology of exploration and production then this is where we draw upon the experience and expertise of our specialized staff in order to deliver the most cost-effective course. Courses can be held at our Oxford or London campus or we they can be delivered in-house with our staff coming to your offices which may be situated anywhere in the world. Classes will be taught by experienced trainers which Magna Carta College already has as part of its teaching faculty. A brief summary of our English for Oil & Gas faculty follows. Lastly, it is broadly accepted that effective Intercultural communication has become an absolute necessity when it comes to industries working on a global level. Without the right approach, cultural differences greatly reduce effectiveness, especially in the early stages of a business relationship. But active management of the internationalisation process and a conscious effort to acquire new skills will release fresh sources of competitive advantage. Intercultural awareness features prominently in our programmes. Teaching Faculty Members of Magna Carta College’s teaching faculty are all highly experienced both academically and professionally. All our teaching staff have degree qualifications as well as professional teaching qualifications, and a minimum of 5 years’ or more teaching experience; along with this they have also developed their own careers in a number of business areas. Our English language teachers are all native English speakers who have worked at such places as Oxford University, the British Council and major international companies. Support Staff Magna Carta College’s administrative staff are on hand to ensure that trainees are at all times highly satisfied with their course. Many of our staff members are multi-lingual and can offer language support should it be needed. They are also very knowledgeable about accommodation, immigration, travel and health questions for those wishing to study in the UK. Magna Carta College believes that small classes where the students can receive individual attention are one of the college’s best features and for this reason we never have courses larger than 12 participants in a group. Magna Carta College provides the very best in quality education, verified by such reputable organizations as the Association of Business Executives, the Association of Business Practitioners and the European Foundation for Management Development. Accommodation Should participants wish to attend a course at Magna Carta College in Oxford or London we can arrange two types of accommodation: carefully selected host families within easy distance of the college or independent accommodation available in shared housing. Fees The course fee is £950 per person for groups at our Oxford campus although tailor-made proposals can be presented taking into account group sizes, location, duration and any other costs such as travel and accommodation, if necessary.

Magna Carta College’s English for the Oil & Gas Industry’s Teaching Faculty Brenda De Martino has been teaching for over thirty years as a teacher of English and Director of studies, more recently she has worked as a business English teacher in Oxford whose VIP clients work in the Gas and Oil industry in Europe. Brenda has also designed preparation classes for the Cambridge, IELTS and TOEFL examination classes and is particularly experienced in English testing. She has worked with students from all over the world and has wide experience of teaching English for Academic Purposes. She has extensive experience in teaching Business English and has worked with executives from a wide range of industries including gas, oil and solar power.

Nick Swerdlow has a Master’s in Law along with the Certificate in Teaching English; he has also run his own successful academic proof-reading service for international students. More recently Nick has worked as an English teacher at British Studies Centre in Oxford preparing students for CAE, TOEIC and TOEFL exams, he joined Magna Carta as an English Teacher helping students prepare for Legal English, business qualifications and degree programmes.

Gerry Takamura, BA Hons, RSA TEFL Dip, has worked over the past twenty years in a variety of teaching, training and academic management positions, most recently at the British Council and the University of East Anglia. She is also a qualified moderator for the Open College Network and since January 2013 has been the Academic Manager and Language Programme Director at Magna Carta College. Her main areas of interest are English for Specific Purposes (ESP) particularly Oil and Gas, Aviation and Social Enterprises. Gerry is an approved ELPAC examiner, rater and administrator.

Bob Ratto has been in TEFL for 30 years as a trainer of Business English. He recently returned from Italy where for 22 years ran his own Business English language school specializing in English for the Oil & Gas Industry, Legal English, Aviation English, English for Banking and Finance, and corporate language testing. He worked closely with API Petroli, AGIP Petroli and Q8. He also helped with the recruitment and training of flight personnel of Alitalia and Air One. He wrote tests commissioned by Telecom Italia and helped select office staff for the organizing of G8 meetings during Italy’s term. Bob also worked for many years as a teacher-trainer. He is an administrator of the TOEFL examination and is an approved ELPAC examiner, rater and administrator.



close collaboration and one of trust with the client are the foundations on which we have built our methodology. By understanding the overall aims of the company we can determine our programmes accordingly.

The starting point of the courses themselves consists, firstly, of an interview with the student in order to define their personal needs and establish goals to be achieved. We then carry out a thorough language level test through the use of the Oxford Placement Test, developed by Dave Allan, a proven system of evaluating grammatical, vocabulary and listening levels, completed by a detailed oral test to look at other crucial communication aspects such as pronunciation, intonation and stress patterns. On the basis of the information obtained we draw a specific plan of study indicating the duration, intensity and type of programme the student should follow. For groups we ensure a homogeneous level for each class. Classes can be individual, group or a combination of the two. We also run Executive Programmes which may contain diverse elements which are highly personalized and modifiable throughout the course itself. We work to engage students with highly interactive methodology, which provides a constant recourse to practical exercises, role playing, and other stimulating materials. A typical lesson will consist of three phases:  presentation of new material  controlled practice  free production of the new material in an authentic context This approach enables the learner to actively participate in the lesson and obtain immediate feedback as to the language input and, consequently, to see the actual result for learning purposes. The presence of a highly experienced and expert trainer also ensures that special attention is paid to pronunciation, register, intonation and fluency. The lessons are designed to introduce correct and relevant expressions, to encourage precision so as to build confidence and to improve language comprehension especially in difficult situations encountered during a telephone conversation or conference call, for example. Special emphasis is placed on the application of English in real-life work situations through the use of simulations, case studies and role plays. Regular tests throughout the programme ensure that students are making the correct progress according to the prescribed syllabus. The participant will be asked to complete an end of course feedback questionnaire and receives a detailed course report (see facsimile attached). In order to consolidate the level achieved the College provides a post-course study package to guide and encourage the participant to further study.






Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.

C2 Mastery or Proficiency

C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or Advanced

B2 Vantage or Upper Intermediate

B1 Threshold or Intermediate


A2 Waystage or Elementary

A1 Breakthrough or Beginner

Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations. Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices. Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options. Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need. Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Sample Syllabus: Level B1







Presenting Yourself

Review: Present Simple/Continuous Past Simple Present Perfect/Continuous

Vocabulary related to topic

Speaking: Employment history, objectives.

Writing: research and prepare a short presentation about a company that inspires you Speaking: Presentation of company. Prepare an update of the project you are working on, outlining your successes and challenges up to the current benchmark. Predict future challenges related to your project and how you would attempt to manage these risks.


Work Skills Recycle grammar from Company Histories talking about your company lesson 1 profile

Vocabulary related to topic


Energy Supply Chains

The Passive

Vocabulary to describe Speaking: description of energy chains energy supply chains


Energy companies

Recycle vocabulary Comparison of Adjectives from and Adverbs lesson 1


Work Skills Describing Functions and Processes

Order of adjectives


Energy Exploration and Production

Prepositions of place and Vocabulary related to movement. topic


Tenses used to describe change.

Speaking: describing processes Adverbs and Adjectives Listening: Temperature changes used to describe Reading: describing the oil refining process: cracking, reforming, change alteration, treating and blending

Grammar from lessons 1- 7

Expressions to structure a presentation Expressions to describe visual aids



Work Skills Presentation Skills

Listening: description of energy company Speaking: comparison of current supply chain models v future models

Speaking: describe an object or a process specific to work. Describe Recycle grammar from how your work process could be improved to meet deliverables more lesson 3 and 4 efficiently. Compare how your actual workflow differs from the one set Adjectives related to out in the process engineering phases. topic Writing: description of an invention that inspires you. Speaking: problems and risks in energy production Reading: newspaper articles and press releases

Speaking: Qualities of a bad presenter and presentation Listening: Comparing presentation styles. Prepare a presentation based on information found on your company site in either the environmental or sustainability reports Video: Advice on PowerPoint presentations Speaking: A team presentation using your company press releases. Talk about trends and progress tracking

Sample Syllabus: Level B1


Renewable Energy

Expressing Purpose

Vocabulary related to topic

Listening: Discussion of 4 alternative technologies Speaking: Advantages and disadvantages of 4 renewable energy sources.



First and Second Conditional

Vocabulary related to topic

Speaking: Describing possible hazards while on an oil rig. Listening: Listening to a conversation to hear what went wrong. Writing: Writing a safety report following an accident

Making Decisions

Recycle grammar from lessons 9 and 10

Expressions used in meetings. Expressions related to decision-making

Listening: Extract from a documentary Listening: Extracts from a meeting

Work Skills Meeting Skills

Fixed expressions and Recycle grammar vocabulary for from meetings. lessons 9, 10 and 11. Agreeing/Disagreeing Interrupting.




Laying a pipeline


Work Skills Emailing



Speaking: Students hold a decision-making meeting; possibly filmed or audio recorded for playback and critiquing. Break-off groups could critique themselves and then come together for a debriefing, as they do at the end of their project phases so as to mimic their natural work flow. Speaking: Describing processes using technical vocabulary Reading: Newspaper article discussing the future impact of pipelines in the environment. Discussion: What alternatives might there be in the future?

Future Forms

Vocabulary related to the process of laying pipelines

Future Forms

Reading: Redundancy in emails Writing: An email to confirm a meeting Email Expressions write and speak about intentions. Expressing lessons learned and Formal and Informal how processes in the future would be changed based on Language information gained. at this point they could also learn to start talking about regret, preparing them to move onto the next level.

Worksheet – B2/7 (S)


Big Oil Has Big Problems Article by Matthew Philips taken from Bloomberg Business Week January 31, 2014


LEVEL: B2. Intermediate +

PART A: Read the following paragraph and fill in the empty spaces with the correct versions of the words below Some of the world’s largest oil companies are reporting ____________ earnings. Profits at Exxon Mobil, the biggest U.S. oil company, are _______ 27 percent off its _________ fourthquarter earnings in four years. Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s biggest oil major, saw its profits ___________ 48 percent. Chevron reports on Friday, but given some of the issues it has faced maintaining production levels, there’s not a lot of ___________ out there. ConocoPhillips reported a 74 percent ___________ in fourth-quarter net income, mostly from all the “non-core” assets it has ____________ recently. Production from continued operations is ______________ where it was a year ago. In a way, the world’s major oil companies all suffer from some version of the same problem: They’re ____________ more money to produce __________ oil. The world’s cheap, easy-to-find reserves are basically gone; the low-hanging fruit was picked decades ago. Not only is the new stuff __________ to find, but the older stuff is ______________ faster and faster. run out








pretty ugly


well below


PART B: Read the following text and answer the questions true or false (T/F). Just to maintain production rates, oil companies have to race to find new reserves faster than the old ones dry up. That essentially puts them on a treadmill at which they must run faster just to keep pace—a horrible problem in any business. As a result, oil majors are throwing massive amounts of cash at super-expensive mega-projects such as Shell’s LNG-producing “Monster ship” the Prelude, estimated to cost upwards of $12 billion. It takes years, if not a decade, for these kinds of projects to start producing, which leaves billions of dollars of invested capital not producing a return. The alternative is not investing at all and having the pipeline dry up—along with current production. Part of the problem for the biggest oil companies is that they came late to America’s shale revolution. Many have bought in, but the timing hasn’t been great for a lot of those deals, as when Exxon bought natural gas producer XTO Energy for $41 billion in 2010, just before gas prices crashed.


Worksheet – B2/7 (S)

The problem can be traced back decades, to when companies like Exxon and Chevron pulled out of the U.S. in search of what turned out to be higher-cost oil in such places as Africa and Asia. That left smaller companies trying to solve the problem of how to coax more oil from the U.S. When horizontal drilling methods started bearing fruit, the smaller independents were in shape to snatch up assets on the cheap, all over North America. 1. At the moment oil companies are managing to find new reserves as fast as old ones dry up. T/F 2. The use of the word ‘treadmill’ gives a positive complexion to the problem. T/F 3. Shell’s “Monster ship” The Prelude costs just under $12 billion. T/F 4. It takes between one and ten years for these kinds of projects to start producing. T/F 5. Cash flow is a major issue for oil producing companies investing in projects of this kind. T/F 6. It may be better to not make such expensive investments. T/F 7. Shale technology is not an answer to the problem. T/F 8. America is the leader of shale extraction. T/F 9. Exxon paid too much for XTO Energy. T/F 10. Strategically, it was a bad move for the big American oil companies to look overseas for oil. T/F

Part C: ROLE-PLAY - EXPLORING NEW OIL FIELDS You will be given a role-card each stating who you are, what you want to do and what your attitude is. Follow the instructions on the card in order to convince your colleagues what you believe to be the right course of action. Use formal language with polite interruptions. Try to arrive at an agreed solution.


NEEDS ANALYSIS - ENGLISH FOR THE OIL & GAS INDUSTRIES How many people does your company employ?

Are these people working in a central area or are there several locations? Which location would the staff that need training be located?

How would you define the general level of English in your company? Does a lack of English knowledge in your staff constitute a problem for you? Are any of your personnel currently having English lessons? Would you be interested in a company audit of English language level (assessed individually) for selected members of staff? Do you think there would be a need for English training in specific areas of your business (technical, legal, administrative)? If you are interested in language training would you like this to be: Face to face intensive? Blended (face-to-face and online)? On-line? (only as an extension and follow-up to a course) Skype lessons Would you prefer to send staff to Britain or be trained locally?

Additional information (Please feel free to include in the space below any additional information that you feel might be useful):

(Yes, No, Possibly)

STUDENT FEEDBACK QUESTIONNAIRE Please fill in this form, leaving blank any questions which do not apply. Tick () the appropriate box. We are always seeking to improve our courses. Please help us by completing this short, anonymous questionnaire. Responses will be given serious consideration and will inform you about any changes made in light of your feedback. Course Name: International Sustainability Management (CSR)



Agree strongly -------------- Disagree strongly



The Quality of Teaching and or Supervision The Trainer(s) explained things well The Trainer(s) made the subject interesting The Trainer(s) provided opportunities to participate and ask questions The Way the Course was Organised Information provided about the course was accurate The course was well organised and ran smoothly I was generally given enough time to understand things I had to learn The overall amount of work expected from me was realistic and appropriate The Assessment on the Course It was made clear to me what standard of work I was expected to achieve I received helpful feedback on my progress during the course Learning Resources Materials given out before and during the course were useful The library and computing resources were good enough for my needs The room(s) in which I was taught were satisfactory Overall Satisfaction with the Course The course was intellectually stimulating I was committed to the course and did the work which was expected of me Overall this was a good course Please use this box for any further comments





Student Name: Hans-Werner Rothmann

Company: XYZ GmbH

Type of Course: Individual 50 hours

Course dates: 12-26 Jan 2014

POSITION IN COMPANY: Marketing Manager for Northern Europe. Hans-Werner’s responsibilities involve the planning and carrying out of direct marketing and sales activities so as to maintain and develop sales of XYZ’s machinery range to Scandinavia, the UK and Ireland. Hans Werner uses English both at meetings abroad and whilst making presentations. He is a member of the European Working Committee for project ABC. Agree strongly -------------- Disagree strongly

LANGUAGE LEVEL AT COURSE ENTRY: Fluency: B2-C1 Comprehension: C1 Vocabulary: B2-C1 Pronunciation: B1-B2 Language Structure: B2 Written: B2

LEARNER PROFILE: Although Hans-Werner already had a good level of English he struggled with his fluency especially when he had to use the type of language that were outside of his comfort zone or when confronting issues regarding financial and economic matters, such as describing trends and performance. His listening comprehension was extremely good and he could intuit the meaning of words that were not in his current vocabulary. Being rather a shy person meant that he felt rather uncomfortable in social situations and this generally affected his use and accuracy of the language. He himself felt that his pronunciation sometimes interfered with his communicative effectiveness as it impacted his confidence. He was also concerned that his email communications were too lengthy for their purpose.

COURSE CONTENTS AND OUTCOMES: The main focus of the programme was to build Hans-Werner’s confidence in himself and his abilities as we felt that most of the problems arose from a feeling of insecurity when he felt he was the centre of attention. Through the use of specific texts regarding marketing and sales we dealt with vocabulary development with plenty of work on both pronunciation and intonation patterns. Hans-Werner had to prepare and deliver a number of presentations to an audience made up of other language teachers for authenticity and was given feedback and tips on his performance. There were even question and answer sessions whereby the audience asked real questions based on the subject of his presentation. By becoming accustomed to public speaking and familiar with expressions and useful technical vocabulary he soon felt comfortable and confident in many situations where before he would previously have felt under

great pressure. Great emphasis was put on vocabulary connected with describing graphs, market trends and making financial forecasts based on current strategic planning. Core grammar structures were consolidated in context as well as a broadening of vocabulary so that communication would become more fluent and accurate. Skills such as active listening, telephone calls, and note taken helped him to concentrate on making relevant notes with which to then report back on. Some sessions were dedicated to negotiating and agreeing on contractual points. Hans-Werner spent a lot of time examining email correspondence style and the art of being diplomatic yet assertive in replying to difficult customers and work colleagues. We felt it was important to also develop and examine intercultural issues and how an understanding of other cultures can facilitate business relationships. Some time was spent analyzing diverse attitudes and behaviour of international contacts and colleagues. Hans-Werner developed a more flexible attitude to potentially problematic work situations through a heightened awareness of potential cultural clashes. Role-plays became an enjoyable part of the course. The progress made by Hans-Werner was extremely satisfactory. By his own admission he said he could more clearly identify situations which could have caused him stress and uncertainty and now felt better able to deal with these.

SUGGESTIONS: We recommend that Hans-Werner regularly reviews the language input received whilst at the College through the reading of articles and by doing exercises which we have given him as supplementary coursework. He should also read the books we have suggested regarding intercultural awareness and effective communications through writing. He should take advantage of the training received and use every opportunity to put it into practice both professionally and socially. Please use this box for any further comments

Magna Carta College (MCC) is an independent business school, offering a wide range of business and professional programmes, in traditional and online learning formats allowing students to study from anywhere in the world. Magna Carta College was established by renowned academics from leading institutions from Oxford and the surrounding area. High academic standards, fully qualified staff and an impressive variety of accredited programmes are just a few of the many reasons why students choose Magna Carta College. It provides innovative teaching methods, excellent student support, generous financial aid and a great learning environment to students from the UK and abroad. At Magna Carta College, we believe that high motivation and commitment to studies can lead to excellent outcomes. Why Choose Magna Carta College? Students from all over the world choose Magna Carta College as a stepping stone towards their professional and personal goals. Below are key factors of why Magna Carta College is the best choice:         

MCC has colleges located in Oxford and London and a network of partners spanning the globe. Our multilingual support team is here to assist students throughout their studies. Our academic team is highly experienced professionals who offer first class support to students, offering innovative and interactive teaching. MCC is a Highly Trusted Sponsor for Tier 4 Students (UKBA). Scholarships are available to students upon application. Fully compliant with the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Small class sizes with a personal tutor. Career development and guidance with experienced tutors and staff with industry knowledge. Interactive and adaptive learning.

Our Current Programmes: English Courses

Pathway to University

English for the Oil and Gas Industries Aviation English ICAO (including the option of the ELPAC Aviation English test Level 4 and 5) Business English IELTS Preparation English for Teachers English for Young Learners English Courses around the UK English Courses for Professionals

International University Foundation Diploma in Business University Foundation Diploma ABE Level 4 Diploma in Business Management ABE Level 5 Diploma in Business Management ABE Level 6 Diploma in Business Management ABE Level 6 Extended Diploma in Business Management

Postgraduate Programmes

Professional Development

MSc Accounting & Finance MSc in Finance & Investment Msc Financial Service Management MSc Management in Global Service Economy MSc Management in a Service Economy Pre-Masters Certificate ABP administered ABE Level 7

MCC Graduate Development Programme (GDP) International Professional and Personal Development Course Association of Certified Chartered Accountants Exam Tutoring Effective Online Tutoring Programme Programme of Occupational Retraining

Contact details: Bob Ratto English for Oil & Gas Industries Programme Coordinator Milford House 1A Mayfield Road Summertown Oxford, OX2 7EL United Kingdom Telephone: +44 (0)1865 593 131

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