Shorter Work-days and Working Hours (Advanced Reading Lesson Plan)

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Note: This advanced ESL lesson plan is based on two articles. The first one is Sweden: The New Laboratory for a Six-Hour Work Day and the second is  To grow your company and make millions, start working four days a week. The lesson focuses on vocabulary, reading, speaking, and writing. You will need to print the articles as well to use this lesson plan.

Vocabulary from “Sweden: The new laboratory for a 6 hour work day” and “To Grow your Company and Make Millions…”

(Articles: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/04/sweden-the-new-laboratory-for-a-six-hour-work-day/360402/ , http://qz.com/516023/if-nearly-40-of-americans-arent-working-what-are-they-doing/)

Read the following sentences from the two essays and try to guess the meaning of the words in bold.

  1. “The cult of the six-hour work day knows no bounds, stretching from France to Venezuela, but the policy doesn’t always work.”

 

  1. “….it proved costly and detrimental to workers’ health (it turns out working non-stop for six hours isn’t great for you either).”

 

  1. “This mixed record hints at a larger insight: The relationship between hours worked and productivity- let alone other variables like wealth and well-being- is incredibly complex.”

 

  1. “The productivity of knowledge workers…….is more difficult to both measure and optimize…”

 

  1. “When people join the company they often wonder if we’re for real.”

 

  1. “As you know, it completely wrecks your productivity when someone comes over to your desk and taps you on the shoulder, or pulls you into a meeting.”

 

  1. The overarching theme here is this: We treat our employees like the responsible adults they are.

 

  1. Recruiting is easy. Retention is easier. Morale is boosted.

 

  1. On Mondays, everyone is fresh and excited- not jaded from working over the weekend.

 

Post-Reading: Discussion Questions about Shorter Workdays or Weeks

Discuss the following questions with your partner.

  1. In general, how many hours per day and how many days per week does the average worker in your home country spend at work? Do you think they work harder than Canadians?

 

  1. If you had the choice between working 6 hours a day OR only 4 days a week, which would you choose? Do you think this idea is feasible for companies? Do you think it would work in Canada?

 

  1. How important is having a work-life balance to you? Do you think it is possible to achieve this in your lifetime?

 

  1. One of the more controversial ideas at Treehouse is their ban on internal emails. Do you find internal emails to be a waste of time at work? Would you welcome a ban on internal emails?

B. Choose one of the above questions and write your answer below.

 

 

ESL Lesson Plan on workweeks and workdays created by Katarina Ohlsson of Englishcurrent.com (copyright)

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