A. Accuracy Check

Listen to the following questions, and write short answers. You will hear each question one time only.

1. _

2. __

3. ________________________________________________________________

4. ________________________________________________________________

5. ________________________________________________________

6. ___________________________________________________________________________

7. T____________________________



Follow-up: Check your answers with your teacher. If your score is less than 70 percent, you may need to listen to the lecture again or rewrite your notes so that you can understand and use them later.

B. Oral Activities

1. Review

In pairs, use your notes to reproduce sections of the lecture. Student A will present the introduction and subtopic 1 including details to Stu­dent B. Student В will present subtopic 2 including details. Check what you hear against your notes. If you don’t understand or you disagree with what you hear, wait until your partner finishes. Then bring your notes into agreement by seeking clarification, as follows:

• I don’t think the lecturer said 60 percent of the workforce were women in 1999.

• Could you repeat what you said about the average per capita income in 1999?

• Did you understand the meaning of "a rising trend"?

2. Transfer

If you and your classmates come from different countries, prepare a short oral report about work in your country, covering the points be­low. Work with other students from your country.

If your classmates are all from the same country, discuss work in your country as a class, covering the points below.

• how work changed over the last century

• what kind of work most people in your country do

• what percentage of women arc employed

• how many hours a week most people work

• whether things are getting better for workers or not

C. Collaboration: Discussion

Discuss the following questions in small groups. Appoint one person to report your group’s opinions to the class.

1. Do you think most people are happy to leave farms to go work in industry? Explain your answer.

2. Is there ever a good reason for children to work? Why or why not?

3. Should women have the same opportunities to be employed as men, both before and after they are married? Give reasons.

4. Should the government set the number of weeks of vacation workers get each year? Why or why not?

5. Should workers share in the profits of the companies they work for? Explain your answer.

D. Pursuing the Topic

The following are recommended for a closer look at work in the United States:


Schor, Juliet B. The Overworked American. New York: Basic Books, 1993.

In her best-selling book, Schor concluded that Americans worked an average of one month more per year in 1990 than in 1970.

Ciulla, Joanne B. The Working Life. New York: Times Books, 2000. Ciulla concludes that Americans let their work define them, which is dangerous as companies generally see workers as replaceable cogs.

Fraser, Jill Andresky. The White-Collar Sweatshop. New York: W. W. Norton St Company, 2002.

From her five years of interviews across the country with white – collar workers, Frazier describes what she believes has gone wrong and suggests possible solutions for workers.


American Dream, Barbara Kopple, director; 100 minutes, no rating.

The film shows the attempts of workers at a huge meat-packing plant to negotiate salaries with the help of their union.


Interview an American who has worked at a job for at least five years. Beforehand, prepare interview questions as a class to ask. Here are some suggestions:

• where the person works

• how long he or she has worked there

• how he or she feels about the job

• what the person’s favorite and least favorite parts of the job are

• four to five additional questions the class is interested in •

During the interview, write down the answers to the questions, and later share the information with your classmates.

Variation: Invite an American to visit your class, and have the whole class interview him or her by using the questions you wrote.

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