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Japan's Soccer Women Fly Business, Like Men (14th August, 2012)


 

The Japanese women's football team was upgraded to business class on its flight home from the London Olympics. This was a huge departure from how the team entered the U.K. Even though they are the soccer world champions, Japan's football association bought them economy class tickets. Meanwhile, the men's team flew business class, even though they had never come close to winning a major football tournament. The upgrade happened only because the Japanese ladies won the Olympics silver medal. The men flew home empty-handed, being eliminated before the medal stages, but they still flew business class. The Japanese Football Association said this was because the men were "professionals".

Members of the women's squad have complained they have been treated unfairly and unequally. Japan's star player and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa told Japanese reporters that the only previous time her team had been given business class seats was last year, after they won the World Cup. Ms Sawa was perplexed at why she and her world champion team had to endure economy class on the 12-hour flight to London while her lesser-achieving male counterparts enjoyed the luxury of business. "It should have been the other way around. Even just in terms of age, we are senior," she joked. Regardless, it is the Japan Football Association's decision to decide who gets business class.

WARM-UPS

1. BUSINESS CLASS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about business class. Change partners often. Share your findings with your first partner.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

women's football / business class / world champions / silver medal / complained / treated unfairly / perplexed / 12-hour flight / luxury / the other way around

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. INEQUALITY: Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Inquality in…

What are the inequalities?

How to remedy this?

sport

 

 

the home

 

 

the boardroom

 

 

government

 

 

education

 

 

marriage

 

 

4. EQUAL: Students A strongly believe women will enjoy equal rights with men one day; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. UPGRADE TO: Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • business class
  • Microsoft 9 / Apple OS XX
  • a better car
  • a nicer house
  • a better mobile phone
  • a better partner
  • a faster car
  • a faster Internet connection

6. UNFAIR: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word 'unfair'. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Japan's female soccer team will fly business class from now on.

T / F

b.

Japan's women soccer team flew business class to the London Olympics.

T / F

c.

Japan's male soccer team flew business class to the London Olympics.

T / F

d.

Japan's women's soccer players are not professional.

T / F

e.

Japan's women's soccer players hadn't previously flown business class.

T / F

f.

Japan's women's captain understood why the men went business class.

T / F

g.

The captain thinks the men should have flown economy, not the women.

T / F

h.

The Olympic Association doesn't decide who flies economy or business.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

upgraded

a.

at the same time

2.

departure

b.

dealt with

3.

meanwhile

c.

nonetheless

4.

empty-handed

d.

change

5.

eliminated

e.

peers

6.

treated

f.

with nothing

7.

previous

g.

tolerate

8.

endure

h.

elevated

9.

counterparts

i.

earlier

10.

regardless

j.

knocked out

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

upgraded

a.

close to winning

2.

This was a huge

b.

counterparts

3.

economy

c.

before the medal stages

4.

they had never come

d.

time

5.

eliminated

e.

to business class

6.

they have been treated

f.

hour flight

7.

the only previous

g.

unfairly

8.

on the 12-

h.

departure

9.

her lesser-achieving male

i.

other way around

10.

It should have been the

j.

class tickets


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

The Japanese women's football team was (1) ____________ to business class on its flight home from the London Olympics. This was a huge (2) ____________ from how the team                   (3) ____________ the U.K. Even though they are the soccer world champions, Japan's football association bought them economy class tickets. Meanwhile, the men's team                   (4) ____________ business class, even though they had never come close to winning a (5) ____________ football tournament. The upgrade happened only because the Japanese ladies won the Olympics silver medal. The men flew home empty-                  (6) ____________, being eliminated before the medal             (7) ____________, but they still flew business class. The Japanese Football Association said this was because the men were "(8) ____________".

 

 

 

stages
entered
major
upgraded
handed
departure
professionals
flew

Members of the women's (9) ____________ have complained they have been treated unfairly and (10) ____________. Japan's star player and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa told Japanese reporters that the only (11) ____________ time her team had been given business class seats was last year, after they won the World Cup. Ms Sawa was (12) ____________ at why she and her world champion team had to                    (13) ____________ economy class on the 12-hour flight to London while her (14) ____________-achieving male counterparts enjoyed the luxury of business. "It should have been the other way (15) ____________. Even just in terms of age, we are (16) ____________," she joked. Regardless, it is the Japan Football Association's decision to decide who gets business class.

 

 

endure
unequally
senior
previous
squad
lesser
around
perplexed

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The Japanese women's football team was (1) ____________________ class on its flight home from the London Olympics. This                                      (2) ____________________ from how the team entered the U.K. Even though they are the soccer world champions, Japan's football association    (3) ____________________ class tickets. Meanwhile, the men's team flew business class, even though they had never (4) ____________________ a major football tournament. The upgrade happened only because the Japanese ladies won the Olympics silver medal. The men flew                    (5) ____________________, being (6) ____________________ medal stages, but they still flew business class. The Japanese Football Association said this was because the men were "professionals".

Members of the women's squad have complained                                      (7) ____________________ unfairly and unequally. Japan's star player and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa told Japanese reporters that the (8) ____________________ team had been given business class seats was last year, after they won the World Cup. Ms Sawa was (9) ____________________ and her world champion team had to endure economy class on the 12-hour flight to London while her lesser-      (10) ____________________ enjoyed the luxury of business. "It should have been the other way around. Even (11) ____________________, we are senior," she joked. Regardless, it is the Japan Football Association's decision (12) ____________________ business class.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'business' and 'class'.

business

class

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • flight
  • entered
  • close
  • happened
  • empty
  • professionals
  • treated
  • previous
  • perplexed
  • lesser
  • other
  • decide

BUSINESS CLASS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about business class in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.


 
 

BUSINESS CLASS DISCUSSION

STUDENT A's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word 'unfair'?

c)

What do you think about what you read?

d)

Do you think all Olympic athletes should fly business class?

e)

Should the Japan Football Association always buy business class tickets for the women's team from now on?

f)

How do you think the men would feel if they got economy class tickets and the women flew business?

g)

What's the difference between economy and business?

h)

Should flying business class depend on winning medals?

i)

Does it matter if the men are professionals?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B's QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think the women have been treated unfairly and unequally?

c)

What do you think of business class?

d)

Do you think other athletes would feel jealous at those flying business class?

e)

When was the last time you were perplexed?

f)

What advice would you give to Japan's star player Homare Sawa?

g)

Is this sexism or simply the case that professionals get better treatment?

h)

Should the team fly first class if it wins gold?

i)

What questions would you like to ask the head of the Japan Football Association?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The Japanese women's football team was upgraded (1) ____ business class on its flight home from the London Olympics. This was a huge (2) ____ from how the team entered the U.K. Even though they are the soccer world champions, Japan's football association bought them economy class tickets. (3) ____, the men's team flew business class, even though they had never (4) ____ close to winning a major football tournament. The upgrade happened only because the Japanese ladies won the Olympics silver medal. The men flew home (5) ____-handed, being eliminated before the medal (6) ____, but they still flew business class. The Japanese Football Association said this was because the men were "professionals".

Members of the women's (7) ____ have complained they have been treated unfairly and unequally. Japan's star player and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa told Japanese reporters that the only (8) ____ time her team had been given business class seats was last year, after they won the World Cup. Ms Sawa was (9) ____ at why she and her world champion team had to endure economy class on the 12-hour flight to London (10) ____ her lesser-achieving male counterparts enjoyed the luxury of business. "It should have been the (11) ____ way around. Even just in terms of age, we are senior," she joked. Regardless, it is the Japan Football Association's decision to decide who (12) ____ business class.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

from

(b)

for

(c)

by

(d)

to

2.

(a)

leaving

(b)

farewell

(c)

departure

(d)

goodbye

3.

(a)

Worthwhile

(b)

Meanwhile

(c)

In a while

(d)

Erstwhile

4.

(a)

come

(b)

go

(c)

arrive

(d)

leave

5.

(a)

vacant

(b)

full

(c)

empty

(d)

hollow

6.

(a)

steps

(b)

platforms

(c)

levels

(d)

stages

7.

(a)

squid

(b)

squad

(c)

quad

(d)

quid

8.

(a)

previous

(b)

impervious

(c)

perilous

(d)

porous

9.

(a)

fabricated

(b)

perplexed

(c)

elongated

(d)

reincarnated

10.

(a)

whence

(b)

whatever

(c)

while

(d)

whom

11.

(a)

other

(b)

another

(c)

others

(d)

otherwise

12.

(a)

puts

(b)

sets

(c)

pats

(d)

gets


 
 

WRITING

Write about business class for 10 minutes. Correct your partner's paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about Japan's female soccer team. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. BUSINESS CLASS: Make a poster about business class. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. INEQUALITY: Write a magazine article about the difference between how Japan's male and female football players are treated. Include imaginary interviews with male and female players.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of the Japan Football Association. Ask him three questions about why the men always get business class. Give him three of your opinions. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

upgraded

a.

elevated

2.

departure

b.

change

3.

meanwhile

c.

at the same time

4.

empty-handed

d.

with nothing

5.

eliminated

e.

knocked out

6.

treated

f.

dealt with

7.

previous

g.

earlier

8.

endure

h.

tolerate

9.

counterparts

i.

peers

10.

regardless

j.

nonetheless

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

upgraded

a.

to business class

2.

This was a huge

b.

departure

3.

economy

c.

class tickets

4.

they had never come

d.

close to winning

5.

eliminated

e.

before the medal stages

6.

they have been treated

f.

unfairly

7.

the only previous

g.

time

8.

on the 12-

h.

hour flight

9.

her lesser-achieving male

i.

counterparts

10.

It should have been the

j.

other way around

GAP FILL:

Japan's soccer women fly business, like men

The Japanese women's football team was (1) upgraded to business class on its flight home from the London Olympics. This was a huge (2) departure from how the team (3) entered the U.K. Even though they are the soccer world champions, Japan's football association bought them economy class tickets. Meanwhile, the men's team (4) flew business class, even though they had never come close to winning a (5) major football tournament. The upgrade happened only because the Japanese ladies won the Olympics silver medal. The men flew home empty-(6) handed, being eliminated before the medal (7) stages, but they still flew business class. The Japanese Football Association said this was because the men were "(8) professionals".

Members of the women's (9) squad have complained they have been treated unfairly and (10) unequally. Japan's star player and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa told Japanese reporters that the only (11) previous time her team had been given business class seats was last year, after they won the World Cup. Ms Sawa was (12) perplexed at why she and her world champion team had to (13) endure economy class on the 12-hour flight to London while her (14) lesser-achieving male counterparts enjoyed the luxury of business. "It should have been the other way (15) around. Even just in terms of age, we are (16) senior," she joked. Regardless, it is the Japan Football Association's decision to decide who gets business class.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - c

3 - b

4 - a

5 - c

6 - d

7 - b

8 - a

9 - b

10 - c

11 - a

12 - d

 

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