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Giving an Update Report

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

These materials are designed to help you to prepare for a lesson on: Giving an Update Report.

Being able to clearly update colleagues clients or customers on the progress of your work is an essential skill to be able to master in English. The report usually combines completed actions, current states and future plans, often with links between each. As such, there is a real need for clear sentences and grammatical accuracy.


Instructions:

  • Firstly, look at the preparation tasks that I have chosen to help you to develop this skill.

  • Then, look at the materials provided to help with your preparation tasks and in terms of your general understanding of this particular skill.

  • Lastly, complete the tasks prior to the lesson*. (Starting by having the student complete a preparation tasks gives me an understanding of the learners ability with this task to effectively ensure and build on their understanding of appropriate language and vocabulary, good use of grammar and clear communicational skills to communicate clearly, confidently and professionally in English).

*If it's not possible to complete the tasks outside of the lesson, then we can do this as part of a lesson. I prefer to give student the option of doing as much work in their own time as possible to be more cost efficient and to maximise learning.

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The Preparation Tasks


Your task has arrived via email below; A colleague is asking you to give an update report on their behalf because they are ill;


*The information to update is related to the launch of a new advertising campaign. The information to update in note form is here;

  • poster designed - sent to printer. - waiting for printer.

  • funding secured yesterday - not yet received.

  • distribution company not found - need one.

  • one company looks good, were contacted, waiting response.

  • locations for posters not yet found - visiting potential locations next week.



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The Materials


Lets start with an example update report that the person below could be giving:

Staff recruitment:

Hi everyone, so, I said that I would keep you up to date with how the recruitment for the new social media manager is going. We are still working on recruitment, that means, as of today we still have an open position for social media manager. I posted several adverts to social media advertising the post of social media manager earlier this week and they are online now. We have already received about two hundred applicants and I am currently screening these. Yesterday, a promising candidate contacted me to apply for the position. I sent them the application for the post, and they are currently writing their application which they will send back before the end of next week. I will update you at the next team meeting with what has happened.


Within this example update report, I have used several useful tense combinations. Lets have a look at some of them now;


1) We are still working on recruitment… (Present Continuous to describe an action happening now).

2) we still have an open position for social media manager. (Present Simple to describe a present state using the stative verb to have).

3) I posted several adverts … earlier this week and they are online now. (Past Simple for a completed action with a time reference that has an impact on the present).

4) We have already received about two hundred applicants and I am currently screening these. (Present Perfect for a completed action where a time reference isn’t necessary that has an impact on the present).

5) they are currently writing their application which they will send back next week. (Present Continuous to describe an action happening now with another action in the Future Simple to show when we expect it to end). To expand on these combination a bit more lets have a look at some more examples:


1) Completed actions with an impact on the Present.


· I have written to the complaints department and they are investigating our complaint.

· I have sent the draft contract to the legal department and they are looking at it now.

· I have emailed the IT department to tell them about the faulty equipment, and I am waiting for them to respond.


· I contacted the supplier on Tuesday morning and they are sending a replacement.

· The report was finalized yesterday so we can send it out today.

· The printer stopped working on Monday morning, so it needs to be replaced.


2) Completed actions with an impact on the future.


· The client has seen the proposals and will respond by the end of the week.

· I have sent out over 100 sample products to vendors, and I will follow up with each before the end of the month.

· My department has lost nearly half of it’s staff in the last year, but we will find new employees before the end of the year.


Functional Language related to update reports:


Giving an update:

Yesterday I worked on the new contract for the China project.

The draft contract is in progress and I expect to finish it today.

The draft contract is in progress and I expect it to be finished today.

The only obstacle/challenge/issue I see at the moment is time.

I had a meeting with a sub supplier in the morning where we agreed on some new deadlines.

I agreed to the suggestion to postpone the production dates that the supplier had made.

Today the plan is to finish the designs for the logo.

I don’t see any insurmountable problems at the moment.

I’m planning to work on writing a summary of yesterdays meeting.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day discussing ideas for the new logo.


Asking for an update on something:

How are you doing with the redrafting of the China contract?

What’s happening with the deadlines?

Where are we with the new logo?

Can you bring me up to date on the agenda for today?

What’s the latest on the new schedule?

Can you give me and update on the project?

Are you be able to bring me up to speed on the factory shutdown?


Time expressions and graded language:

as of today...at the moment... currently...

the current situation is....

we are very close to finishing...

we are very nearly finished with...

aside from.... we have completed everything.


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Finished

Having looked at the materials and completed the preparation tasks, you are ready for the lesson. Send anything you have prepared to me if you would like me to look at it before the lesson - joel.white.english@gmail.com


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