The Reading / Listening - Working Hours - Level 4

Japan is trying to ease the pressure on workers and boost consumer spending. It started a campaign called "Premium Friday". Workers are being encouraged to leave work earlier on the last Friday of the month to relax or go shopping. About 130 companies are participating. Doubters are unsure if the campaign will work. Japan's workers are famous for being workaholics. The government said: "It will take time for Premium Friday to take root."



Premium Friday followed the suicide of a man who was made to do too much overtime. A court said it was "death by overwork". It said overworking was a big problem. Japan's Prime Minister promoted the campaign by leaving the office at 3:30pm for a meditation session. The government said both the government and the private sector needed to make workers feel comfortable in leaving early. Many workers said they would just have to work on Saturdays.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Working Hours - Level 5 or  Working Hours - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/02/24/national/premium-friday-drive-kicks-off-energize-weary-workers-feeble-economy/
  • http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-overwork-reforms-idUSKBN1630OC
  • https://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/japans-first-premium-friday-shows-mixed-results


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. ease the
  2. boost consumer
  3. a campaign called
  4. Workers are being encouraged
  5. on the last Friday
  6. About 130 companies
  7. famous for being
  8. time for Premium Friday to take
  1. "Premium Friday"
  2. workaholics
  3. of the month
  4. spending
  5. are participating
  6. pressure on workers
  7. root
  8. to leave work earlier

Paragraph 2

  1. Premium Friday followed the suicide
  2. made to do too
  3. A court said it was
  4. overworking was
  5. a meditation
  6. the private
  7. make workers feel
  8. they would just have to
  1. "death by overwork"
  2. work on Saturdays
  3. much overtime
  4. session
  5. of a man
  6. comfortable
  7. sector
  8. a big problem

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Japan is (1) ___________________ the pressure on workers and boost consumer spending. It (2) ___________________ called "Premium Friday". Workers are being encouraged to leave (3) ___________________ the last Friday of the month (4) ___________________ shopping. About 130 companies are participating. Doubters (5) ___________________ the campaign will work. Japan's workers are famous for being workaholics. The government said: "It will take time for Premium Friday (6) ___________________."

Premium Friday followed (7) ___________________ man who was made to do too much overtime. A court (8) ___________________ by overwork". It said overworking (9) ___________________. Japan's Prime Minister promoted the campaign by leaving (10) ___________________ 3:30pm for a meditation session. The government said both the government and the private sector needed to make workers feel (11) ___________________ leaving early. Many workers said they would just (12) ___________________ Saturdays.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Japanistryingtoeasethepressureonworkersandboostconsumerspen
ding.Itstartedacampaigncalled"PremiumFriday".Workersarebeinge
ncouragedtoleaveworkearlieronthelastFridayofthemonthtorelaxorg
oshopping.About130companiesareparticipating.Doubtersareunsur
eifthecampaignwillwork.Japan'sworkersarefamousforbeingworkah
olics.Thegovernmentsaid:"ItwilltaketimeforPremiumFridaytotaker
oot."PremiumFridayfollowedthesuicideofamanwhowasmadetodoto
omuchovertime.Acourtsaiditwas"deathbyoverwork".Itsaidoverwor
kingwasabigproblem.Japan'sPrimeMinisterpromotedthecampaignb
yleavingtheofficeat3:30pmforameditationsession.Thegovernments
aidboththegovernmentandtheprivatesectorneededtomakeworkersf
eelcomfortableinleavingearly.Manyworkerssaidtheywouldjusthavet
oworkonSaturdays.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic 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.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

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

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

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

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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