Lesson Topic: Affirmative action policies, diversity, hiring decisions
Skill Focus: Speaking, Reading, Vocabulary
Approximate Class Time: 1.75 hours
Lesson Plan Download: Topic-Affirmative-Action-upper-intermediate.docx
- The reading passage defines affirmative action, explains its introduction in the U.S., and presents some of its benefits and drawbacks.
- Post-reading activities include a debate about the admissions of a white student to a medical program and a hiring scenario with three candidates.
- All lessons come with warm-up questions, comprehension questions, a vocabulary section, and discussion questions.
Note: This lesson was revised considerably on 12/2022.
Affirmative Action & Diversity ESL Lesson Plan
Warm-up Questions (Pair-work)
- How did you get your current job? Did you compete with many other people?
- Would you say that your workplace or school is a diverse place? In other words, are there people of differing backgrounds?
- Do the below minority groups face discrimination in your country? To what extent?
|· Women (Yes/No)|
· The disabled (Yes/No)
· Visible minorities (Yes/No)
|· Gays (Yes/No)|
· Religious groups (Yes/No)
· Other: ________
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-- Lesson plan on affirmative action by Matthew Barton of EnglishCurrent.com (copyright). Site members may photocopy and edit the file for their classes. Permission is not given to rebrand the lesson, redistribute it on another platform, or sell it as part of commercial course curriculum. For questions, contact the author.
Debate scenario taken from Bakke vs. California, 1978. Verdict: the court upheld the legality of affirmative action based on race, but outlawed the inflexible quota system which had unfairly discriminated against Bakke. Bakke was later accepted into the program.
Possible answers to comprehension questions:
- It requires preferential treatment.
- They believe that giving minority groups advantages means that the majority group will be disadvantaged.
- It exemplifies a fault with meritocracy, namely, that people with privilege (in this case, money and fame) rise to the top at the expense of others.
- The statement does not mention its effects.
- They feel that university admission process in the U.S. discriminates against them and favors Black and Latino applicants.
- It shows that the crux of the issue, which can be described by two (incompatible?) desires: wanting fairness for all but also desiring to uplift the disadvantaged.
Vocabulary Answers: 1-k, 2-g, 3-i, 4-b, 5-a, 6-L, 7-j, 8-h, 9-d, 10-e, 11-c, 12-f
-  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/affirmative-action/
-  http://www.infoplease.com/spot/affirmative1.html
-  The bones for this paragraph were created by OpenAI’s text-davinci-003’s model. See https://beta.openai.com/playground
-  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varsity_Blues_scandal
-  https://www.forbes.com/sites/avivahwittenbergcox/2021/05/15/france-unanimously-votes-gender-quotas-for-executive-leadership
-  https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/03/us/affirmative-action-asian-americans-qa-cec/index.html
-  Roles generated by OpenAI’s text-davinci-003’s model and later modified. See https://beta.openai.com/playground