Does It Bother You?

Stefanie Simmons - reviewer of the lesson   Stefanie I August 22, 2022
Business English, Speaking Lessons, English for HR
Emotions, People, Work, Human Resources
B2 Upper-Intermediate, C1 Advanced
Mixed Grammar
Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
30 minutes
Visual representation of students discussing work relationships in an online English lesson, providing engaging discussion activities and interesting tasks.

Lesson Overview

You landed your dream job—nice! But at the end of the day, troubling workplace personalities can make or break your experience at work, sometimes overshadowing an amazing salary or great perks. In this lesson students will discuss a touchy aspect of office life: difficult coworkers. From harmless annoyances to toxic personalities, topics covered in this lesson provide students with engaging discussion activities and worksheets they can use to practice new vocabulary. Students also watch a video about coworkers they should probably avoid. The activities lead to a debate on which practices help create an employee-friendly work environment. The lesson activities have been developed for adults and teenagers.

Lesson Objectives

  • Grammar: Students will work with mixed grammar, focusing on correcting errors in sentences and filling in blanks to strengthen their understanding of grammar rules. They will learn to recognize common grammar patterns and improve their writing clarity.

  • Listening: Students will listen to a video about challenging workplace personalities, such as gossipers and backstabbers. They will identify key points and fill in the blanks to better understand the characteristics of these toxic individuals and how to handle them.

  • Speaking: Students will participate in discussions about annoying behaviors in the workplace, sharing their own experiences and thoughts. They'll use new vocabulary and phrases like "gets on my nerves" and "hot under the collar" to describe their feelings about such behaviors.

  • Vocabulary: The lesson will introduce vocabulary related to workplace relationships, such as "mutual," "solicit," and "govern." These terms are essential for discussing professional dynamics and conflict resolution. Additionally, they will practice using synonyms and completing sentences with words like "derive," "display," and "primary."

  • Homework: Students will correct sentences with grammar issues and fill in blanks with appropriate vocabulary words. They will also replace phrases with synonyms to broaden their vocabulary and understanding. These activities reinforce the lesson's themes and help students apply their learning to real-world situations.


Do you have a difficult coworker? Difficult coworkers come in a few varieties. Before you know how to deal with them, you need to know which type of difficult person you are dealing with at work. Watch this video and find out the most common types of difficult coworkers.

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

pungent [adjective]: (of a smell or taste) very strong, usually in an unpleasant way
construe [verb]: to understand the meaning of something in a particular way; to interpret
bulldoze [verb]: to force someone to do something, although they might not want to
pawn [noun]: a person controlled by others and used for their advantage
blow one’s top [idiom]: to become extremely angry
single out [phrasal verb]: to choose someone or something for special attention
sweet-talk [verb]: to talk to someone in a very kind way because you want to persuade that person to do or allow something
pull rank [idiom]: to use the power that your position gives you over someone to make them do what you want
backstabber [noun]: someone who says harmful things about you when you are not there to defend yourself
spiral out of control [idiom]: (of a situation) to become impossible to control because one bad event causes another
fracture [verb]: to divide an organization or society
derive [verb]: to get or obtain something
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