|Download the lesson plan here: shorter-workday-week-advanced-lesson.docx|
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.
- “The cult of the six-hour work day knows no bounds, stretching from France to Venezuela, but the policy doesn’t always work.”
- “….it proved costly and detrimental to workers’ health (it turns out working non-stop for six hours isn’t great for you either).”
- “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.”
- “The productivity of knowledge workers…….is more difficult to both measure and optimize…”
- “When people join the company they often wonder if we’re for real.”
- “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.”
- The overarching theme here is this: We treat our employees like the responsible adults they are.
- Recruiting is easy. Retention is easier. Morale is boosted.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- How important is having a work-life balance to you? Do you think it is possible to achieve this in your lifetime?
- 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)