The Reading / Listening - Convenience Stores - Level 5

Convenience stores are handy when we need somewhere to pop into if we have forgotten to buy something. They also provide part-time jobs for thousands of people. A new report from Japan suggests that some stores are not so convenient for their workers. Japan's national broadcaster NHK says many part-time workers are given unrealistic sales quotas. Labor rights experts want stores to stop what they call an exploitative practice. There are reports of workers having hundreds of dollars deducted from salaries and having to buy unsold stock for not meeting their quotas.



An expert on Japanese labor law said deducting money from salaries for unmet quotas was against the law. He questioned why so many part-timers felt they had to buy unsold stock. He suggested it was because of pressure from stores. The expert asked the bosses of convenience stores to tackle this problem so that part-timers are not exploited. One worker said he was "drowning in quotas". Another said that he can lose up to 30% of his monthly salary. The biggest losses come with quotas for unsold seasonal items like Valentines goods and special sushi rolls.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Convenience Stores - Level 4 or  Convenience Stores - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.tokyoreporter.com/2017/01/29/japans-convenience-store-clerks-bemoan-overbearing-sushi-quotas/
  • http://www.fnn-news.com/news/headlines/articles/CONN00348152.html
  • http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20170202/k10010862671000.html?


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. Convenience stores are
  2. we need somewhere to
  3. Japan's national
  4. workers are given unrealistic
  5. an exploitative
  6. hundreds of dollars deducted
  7. having to buy unsold
  8. not meeting
  1. stock
  2. practice
  3. pop into
  4. broadcaster
  5. their quotas
  6. handy
  7. sales quotas
  8. from salaries

Paragraph 2

  1. An expert on
  2. it was because of pressure
  3. tackle this
  4. so that part-timers are not
  5. One worker said he was
  6. he can lose up to 30%
  7. unsold seasonal
  8. special sushi
  1. of his monthly salary
  2. problem
  3. rolls
  4. from stores
  5. Japanese labor law
  6. items
  7. exploited
  8. "drowning in quotas"

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Convenience (1) ___________________ when we need somewhere to pop into if we have forgotten to buy something. (2) ___________________ part-time jobs for thousands of people. A new report from Japan suggests that some (3) ___________________ convenient for their workers. Japan's national broadcaster NHK says many part-time (4) ___________________ unrealistic sales quotas. Labor (5) ___________________ stores to stop what they call an exploitative practice. There are reports of workers having hundreds of dollars deducted from salaries and (6) ___________________ stock for not meeting their quotas.

(7) ___________________ Japanese labor law said deducting money from salaries for unmet quotas (8) ___________________ law. He questioned why so many part-timers felt they (9) ___________________ stock. He suggested it was because of pressure from stores. The expert asked the bosses of convenience stores (10) ___________________ problem so that part-timers are not exploited. One worker said he was "(11) ___________________". Another said that he can lose up to 30% of his monthly salary. The biggest losses come with quotas (12) ___________________ items like Valentines goods and special sushi rolls.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Conveniencestoresarehandywhenweneedsomewheretopopintoifwe
haveforgottentobuysomething.Theyalsoprovidepart-timejobsforth
ousandsofpeople.AnewreportfromJapansuggeststhatsomestoresar
enotsoconvenientfortheirworkers.Japan'snationalbroadcasterNHKs
aysmanypart-timeworkersaregivenunrealisticsalesquotas.Laborrig
htsexpertswantstorestostopwhattheycallanexploitativepractice.Th
erearereportsofworkershavinghundredsofdollarsdeductedfromsala
riesandhavingtobuyunsoldstockfornotmeetingtheirquotas.Anexper
tonJapaneselaborlawsaiddeductingmoneyfromsalariesforunmetqu
otaswasagainstthelaw.Hequestionedwhysomanyparttimersfeltthey
hadtobuyunsoldstock.Hesuggesteditwasbecauseofpressurefromsto
res.Theexpertaskedthebossesofconveniencestorestotacklethisprob
lemsothatpart-timersarenotexploited.Oneworkersaidhewas"drow
ninginquotas".Anothersaidthathecanloseupto30%ofhismonthlysala
ry.ThebiggestlossescomewithquotasforunsoldseasonalitemslikeVal
entinesgoodsandspecialsushirolls.

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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