Skylark 1

? To all newbies:

Congratulations! You’ve been selected to become a Skylark.
In order to succeed in our secret mission, we’ve used the Skyeng platform as one of our means of communication.
You’ll have to do tasks and study English so as to prove your legend but mind how much more is at stake.

Skylarks data centre.


Can you guess who are Skylarks? Ok, let’s watch the video to find out if you are right. Mind that much depends on your choice.


Robert: How does it work?
Colin: Welcome to Skylarks!
You have barely heard of us before, and little will change in the future. What we do is top secret: our name is anonymity, our first language is silence, and our law is diversity.
Skylarks is what we call ourselves. Taken for granted, we attract little attention. You can see us everywhere, flying around and twittering. Nobody takes us seriously until it’s too late.
Our mission is to maintain balance. Trust us, human survival on this planet is constantly under threat. Every day we deal with all sorts of challenges. And each Skylark always has to be one step ahead.
We have a huge network of agents all over the world. They share as little information as possible so as not to give each other away.
During your trial period you will help an agent who is working undercover. Your task is to monitor possible risks and solve all problems that may arise. We will see how well you can do it.
Your mentor will give you all the information and provide assistance in case of need.
Good luck, newbie!
This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Complete the statements

Skylarks are ... , and I will be one of them!

As a Skylark, I will ...

If I need some questions to be answered, I will ...


 

Hm, have you read the new message? So, what do you know about Skylarks so far?
OK, I’ll tell you more about our mission, but first you’ll learn how to emphasise important ideas. The ability to prioritise is essential in any company.

? NEW MESSAGE

To whom it may concern,

We have hired a few interns.
1. They can hardly understand who Skylarks are and what we want. To speed up their integration, make them aware of our values and emphasise our priorities.
2. The interns also need to receive the first training in sorting out information. Our employees do a lot of analysis and they have to find and report key facts quickly.

  • Do you agree that humans are in danger? What threatens human survival?

 

  • Why is anonymity so important for Skylarks?

 

  • Why do you think Skylarks hire agents all over the world?

Emphatic phrases

To emphasize an action, we can use the following structures:

  • What + clause + be + infinitive (with or without to)

We aim at human survival.

What we aim at is human survival. (emphasis on «human survival»)

  • It + be + noun phrase + that/who + clause

We see violence escalation as a major threat.

It is violence escalation that we see as a major threat. (emphasis on «violence escalation»)

  • All + clause + be + infinitive (using «all» suggests that what happens is not very big or important)

We require anonymity from our employees.

All we require from our employees is anonymity. (emphasis on «anonymity»)

Emphatic tenses

  • Subject + do/did + verb
    Present Simple and Past Simple are often used for emphasis. An auxiliary verb is used in the positive sentence to emphasise ideas in the present or past.

We hire agents all over the world to increase diversity.

We do hire agents all over the world to increase diversity. (emphasis on «hire agents»)

We did hire agents all over the world to increase diversity. (emphasis on «hire agents» in the past)

  • Subject + be + constantly/always + verb(-ing)
    Present Continuous can also express one’s emotions or attitude in combination with the adverbs always and constantly. It is often used to characterise the person’s behaviour, especially something annoying or irritating.

Mentors say what interns should do.

Mentors are constantly saying what interns should do. (emotional description, irritation)

Let’s find out what your job duties and responsibilities are.

? NEW MESSAGE

To mentors:

More than 10 requests for undercover work from our interns in the last 6 hours. Each one believes that they are the new James Bond.
Is this a joke?! Stop it. Now. Newbies need motivation? Tell them that they are a whisper in Bond’s ear.
Each employee should know their areas of responsibility

Job description

Agents work in the field. They are always undercover and use fake identities. They are mainly involved in espionage by eliminating threats from suspicious organisations and gangs. Their primary objective is to prevent illegal activity by collecting information and conducting investigations. Occasionally they might have to fight, but it should be avoided.

Interns are trained to become technical support specialists. They are based at the company’s headquarters in different countries and never work in the field. Their responsibilities include doing research, analysing the information collected by agents, monitoring and solving issues with agents’ gadgets.

Mentors’ main responsibility is to control the work of interns. They do not take part in missions or investigations — they only give interns help and support to report on their results. Mentors can teach skills and techniques necessary to complete different tasks.




I want to make sure that you fully understand our terms

 

 

Oh, we’ve got our first case. So, what’s our priority? What is our additional task?

I’ve already ordered a hamster in some local pet shops, and they keep sending me voice messages. It’ll a good training session to sort out information on your own. Find out what’s going on and write me a message.

Read email.
?  NEW MESSAGE

To agent tU2:

Skylarks analysts monitor forums and social media all around the world.
Recently they have detected a range of complaints about the absence of hamsters in Welsh pet shops.
You and your intern should find out if this is true. If possible, collect more information.

Listen to your mentor’s voicemail

#1

#2

#3

#4

 

We must report to the headquarters. Study the structure — our boss doesn’t like long emails.

 

 

? NEW MESSAGE

To tU2:

Please report on the current status of the «Hamster case» as soon as possible.


Did they fail to get the report? It’s the first time in all these years I’ve been a Skylark. Hm, I’ll send a request to the data centre and ask a few colleagues for help.
Now you need to do the analysis. The procedure is simple: investigate different sources (a voice message and an email) and draw some conclusions in your own report. We’ll send it to agent Brooks, my good friend.

 

To tU2:

Still waiting for your report on the «Hamster case».

Make notes on the voice message and the email. Use your notes to report the problem to agent Brooks

The structure of a report includes:

who is calling

the reason of request

description of the problem

key details

your suggestions

a closing phrase

Hi, it’s a Skylark tech support intern.

I got your friend’s message and the email from the archive.

It looks as if somebody at the headquarters does prevent our investigation.

All your friend said was that asking questions about Wales and hamsters was not safe. The email from the archive does sound suspicious. They have never had any requests related to the case.

I have no idea what to do. We do need more information, but how can we collect it?


Re: Request for Information Dated XX/XX/20XX

Dear Sir/Madam,

You requested for information on the report entitled «Hamster case.»
No report with such a name has been registered in our infobase within the last two weeks.
Check your security settings or report to our security service.

Skylarks data centre

Also you can use this voice recorder. Open the web page, click the microphone icon and start talking.

Your agent has sent some pictures.

Look at the pictures and choose what you need to do next

I think the agent wants me to   

make an announcement about the alien invasion.

use a fake identity and get him out jail.

call the office and say that the agent needs rest.

go to Wales undercover to help him conduct a secret investigation.

apply for a position of an agent.



Your first day at Skylarks is now over. Good job!

One more advice: use each opportunity to practise your new skills at home. It can save your much time and effort next time.

I’ll send you some files to work with. See you!