As robots replace old jobs, new jobs should be invented

Read through this article from The New York Times by Garry Kasparov titled As Robots Replace Old Jobs, New Jobs Should Be Invented.

Match the words on the left to the correct definitions on the right:

  1. adaptable –                                             A. boring and dull
  2. doomsaying –                                         B. copy
  3. replicate –                                               C. use of automatic equipment
  4. capable –                                                 D. to change to suit a new situation
  5. liberate –                                                 E. waste something without thought
  6. tedious –                                                  F. to predict a negative future
  7. automation –                                          G. to free or release
  8. squandered –                                         H. able to achieve something

 

Answers: 1D, 2F, 3B, 4H, 5G, 6A, 7C, 8E

For more activities on reading the news go to Unit 4 Reading News Reports.

Will a robot do your job in the future?

Discuss these questions about jobs with a partner.

  1. Do you have a job now? What is it?
  2. Could a computer do your job? Explain why or why not?
  3. What types of jobs can computers or robots do now?
  4. What types of jobs will computers or robots do in the future?
  5. What is your opinion on machines doing jobs.
  6. Will a robot do your job in the future?

Now paraphrase to another person what your partner’s opinion is. Use your own words to explain what they have discussed.

For more activities on paraphrasing go to Unit 11 Paraphrasing.

The jobs we’ll lose to machines

Listen to this lecture on TED Talks by Anthony Goldbloom about machine learning and our future. Take notes as you listen to the lecture.

Use your notes to complete these points:

  • 9 months –
  • 2013 –
  • 1 in 2 –
  • 100’s of 1,000’s –
  • early ’90s –
  • 2012 –
  • 10,000 –
  • 40 years –
  • 50,000 –
  • millions –
  • World War 2 –
  • frequent, high-volume tasks – 
  • tackling novel situations –
9 months - the age of his niece
2013 - researchers at Oxford University did a study on the future of work
1 in 2 - jobs have a high risk of being automated by machines
100's of 1,000's - experts to solve important problems for industry and academia
early '90s - machine learning started making its way into industry 
2012 - a challenge was set to build an algorithm that could grade high-school essays
10,000 - a teacher might read 10,000 essays 
40 years - a 40-year teaching career
50,000 - an ophthalmologist might see 50,000 eyes
millions - a machine can read millions of essays or see millions of eyes within minutes
World War 2 - the microwave oven was invented
frequent, high-volume tasks - machines are getting smarter and smarter
tackling novel situations - humans

Go to Unit 6 for more activities on note-taking.

Writing a persuasive essay

Use your notes from the debate to write an essay on the same topic.

All countries should create a new national anthem every 50 years.

You can either agree or disagree with the statement. Use three arguments to support your point of view in the body so that you essay will be 5 paragraphs altogether, including the introduction and conclusion.

Essay outline:

  1. Introduction: introduce the topic and define the terms, include a thesis statement that outlines what the body of your essay will be about.
  2. Body 1: your first argument, include a topic sentence that states what this paragraph is about, then use examples and evidence to support your point of view.
  3. Body 2: your second argument, include a topic sentence that states what this paragraph is about, then use examples and evidence to support your point of view.
  4. Body 3: your third argument, include a topic sentence that states what this paragraph is about, then use examples and evidence to support your point of view.
  5. Conclusion: sum up the main points of your essay and finish with your final thoughts.

For more help on how to write an essay go to Unit 9 Essay Writing to give you detailed instructions on how to write an introduction, body and conclusion.

Debate

A debate is an argument between two teams on one topic where each team supports one side of the argument. In other words one team will agree with the statement and the other team will disagree.

When looking at a topic you need to consider the pros and cons and make a list of both the positive and the negative points.

A class can hold a debate by having 2 teams debating the same topic. One team supports the statement and the other team opposes the statement. Students must listen carefully to the other teams arguments to be able to respond with a rebuttal or explanation that disagrees with their arguments.

Divide the class into groups of 6 students to debate this topic:

All countries should create a new national anthem every 50 years.

For each group have 3 students agree with the statement and come up with 3 main ideas or points to support the statement. The other 3 students must disagree with the statement and figure out 3 main points to oppose the statement. Each student must speak uninterrupted for a set time to explain their point (between 2 – 4 minutes). The rest of the class will be the audience and they will judge which team wins the debate with the stronger argument.

Follow this guide for each speaker:

  • Speaker 1 (PRO): introduce the topic and their team and what each speaker will discuss, argue the first point
  • Speaker 2 (CON): introduce the topic and their team and what each speaker will discuss, rebuttal, argue the first point
  • Speaker 3 (PRO): rebuttal, second point
  • Speaker 4 (CON): rebuttal, second point
  • Speaker 5 (PRO): rebuttal, third point, conclude argument
  • Speaker 6 (CON): rebuttal, third point, conclude argument

Debates are a great activity to practise speaking and listening and forming opinions, but most of all to have fun!!

For more speaking activities go to Unit 8 Biography.

A new national anthem

Listen to this interview by Mandia Sami discussing how Switzerland is holding a competition to find a new national anthem and take notes the first time you listen.

Hundreds enter Swiss competition to find a new national anthem

Listen for a second time and answer these questions.

  1. What are the common images of Switzerland?
  2. Do most Swiss people know the lyrics of their current national anthem?
  3. When was the current national anthem composed?
  4. What do they not like about the national anthem?
  5. What percentage of the Swiss population can sing the national anthem without reading the lyrics?
  6. How many people have sent in a tune for the competition?
  7. What are the 4 official languages of Switzerland?
  8. How many people are there in the jury?
  9. How many songs do the public get to vote for?
  10. What will they do with the winning anthem?
Answers:
1. mountains, chocolates, clocks, tradition 2. no 3. 1841 4. too hymn like and old 5. 4% 6. more than 200 7. German, French, Italian, Romansch 8. 30 9. 3 10. submit it as a suggestion to the government

For more activities on National Anthems go to Unit 2 of the Teachers Course.

Swiss anthem

Do you know the national anthem from Switzerland?

Read about it here, then answer these questions.

  1. What 3 jobs did Leonard Widmer do?
  2. What job did Alberik Zwyssig do?
  3. What did they do together?
  4. Why didn’t the Swiss government declare ‘Swiss Psalm’ a national anthem immediately?
  5. Why did the government allow ‘Swiss Psalm’ to be the anthem in 1961?
  6. When was it officially declared the Swiss national anthem?
  7. What are the 4 languages of Switzerland?
  8. Read through the English version of the lyrics.
Answers:
1. music publisher, journalist and lyricist 2. music director 3. create the Swiss national anthem 4. the government wanted the public to have an opinion 5. because their original anthem sounded the same as the British anthem, they wanted something Swiss 6. 1981 7. German, French, Italian, Romansch

For more activities on National Anthems go to Unit 2 of the Teachers Course.

Writing a news story

Think about something that has happened to you recently that you can write a news story about.

Answer these questions as you write the most important information about your news story.

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • How?

Use short, simple sentences and short paragraphs. Don’t forget to include a headline for your news story.

For more lessons on the news go to Unit 4 Reading News Reports.

Speaking about the news

Choose a current news story that you are interested in to talk about. You can either listen to the news story or read about it – in English of course!

Once you have chosen the news story take notes on these questions:

  1. Who is the story about?
  2. What happened?
  3. When did it happen?
  4. Where did it happen?
  5. Why did it happen?
  6. How did it happen?

Now use your notes to tell your partner what your news story is about. Once you have finished telling the news discuss what your opinion is on the news story.

For more lessons on the news go to Unit 4 Reading News Reports.

Online news

New research has found most Australians prefer online outlets as their main source of news.

Listen twice to the audio from ABC News Radio, 16th June 2015 and answer the questions that follow.

  1. What percentage of people use smart phones weekly to access news?
  2. What percentage of people use social media as a source of news?
  3. What are two examples of social media sites that offer the news?
  4. What age group primarily source the news online?
  5. What age group primarily read the newspaper and watch TV news?
  6. What are three forms of traditional news outlets?
  7. What is the percentage of people in Australia who pay for news in some form?
Answers
1.      59%, 2.      51%, 3.      Facebook and twitter, 4.      Under 35’s, 5.      Over 45’s, 6.      Print, TV and radio, 7.      11%

Go to Unit 2.2 Listening to the News for more listening activities.