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Oct 17, 2017
Andrew Walkley

Intermediate word of the day: embrace

Embrace literally means to put your arms around someone, but in conversation we more often use the word hug – he gave me a hug / she hugged him, etc. Embrace is more commonly used to mean that you accept something or someone and you include them – which I suppose is basically what you are doing when you hug someone!

To do well at work these days, it seems that you have to embrace change or embrace new technology. When people are reluctant to embrace change, they are often seen as being awkward and preventing progress; they may be told they are stuck in their ways or that they are dinosaurs. Companies may try to get rid of these members of staff.

Of course, sometimes people can be too keen to embrace new ideas or theories so that they start to employ them before they have been properly tested or proven. As a result they can invest a lot of money or time and effort in the idea and abandon the previous way of doing things. Unfortunately, they later realise that the new policy is failing. I guess the people who refused to accept the idea are proved right and can say ‘I told you so’ – if they are still employed!

Organisations are often encouraged to embrace diversity these days. In other words, they are told they should try and employ a variety of people from different backgrounds and encourage them to contribute. If they don’t, they may miss talented people and ideas that could help build their business and secure its future.

Cover the text. What do you remember?

  • Say three things you can embrace.
  • Why might someone be reluctant to embrace change?
  • Why might someone say I told you so!
  • What might happen if a company fails to embrace diversity?

Related stories in the news
In education, teachers are always being told they need to fully embrace technology. Usually this call is led by tech companies trying to sell their various products and services, but there are also many teachers who suggest that educational technology is here to stay and, therefore, we should embrace it as a tool in the classroom.  At the risk of sounding like a dinosaur, I think this is nonsense. From time to time, I use the Internet to show a picture of word which may be otherwise difficult to explain – like avocado. I have also used the Internet to find an interesting text to read in class. And I can also see the value of the Internet and of some apps for self study. However, for me, the most important part of any class – especially a language class – is interaction and communication. That’s me, the teacher, talking with the students, and them talking with each other. Technology gets in the way of chat; we have been so keen to embrace our smartphones and Google that we are constantly looking at them instead of at each other – we all know that, right? And the evidence seems to suggest that the same happens in the classroom. And my bigger concern is the cost. No sooner does new technology come out than it seems to be out-of-date or requires extra training. Is that a cost worth paying?


  • What do you think? Should we embrace technology more in education? Why? / Why not?

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