~ TLW ~ News for Discussion ~ Group One ~

~ The following procedures are recommended for studying the topics in this curriculum ~


1) Before class, read through the text and questions in order to prepare for your discussion.

2) When study begins, as a class, in groups, or in pairs, read the text and discuss the content and vocabulary. 

3) After that, in a similar fashion, choose the questions you¡¯d like to answer or create your own questions.

4) Take some time to prepare meaningful responses to the questions (with the teacher or in pairs/groups).

5) Take part in the class discussion with your peers, and follow your teacher¡¯s prompts and suggestions.


Click to print questions: .docx /.doc

~ News Discussion ~ 102 ~ Occupations in the 21st Century ~


A 21st-century Higher Education: Training for Jobs of the Future ~ Adapted from The Conversation


Only the brave or foolhardy would claim knowledge about the shape of jobs for the next decade, let alone the rest of the 21st century. We know that the end of local car manufacturing (in Australia) will involve the loss of up to 200,000 jobs directly or indirectly, and there will be no large-scale manufacturing to replace them.


We also cannot assume that employment in health and human services will continue to expand in their place. Globally, millions of dollars are being invested in robotic monitors, nurses and companions for the elderly. The driverless car is almost with us, meaning that even Uber¡¯s moment in the sun may be brief.


So if we¡¯re not sure what the jobs of the future will look like, what kind of tertiary education can prepare students for the world of work? Various forces will be at play including economic (such as continued globalization and intensification of competition), social (such as the ageing of populations), and technological (automation, digitalization). There are also powerful environmental constraints¡¦


Higher levels of education must also be available in more flexible and innovative forms to enable lifelong learning. This will be essential both for deepening skills and re-skilling as old occupations disappear and new ones evolve.

Future education should not just prepare students for jobs that might be on offer, but stimulate them to see the possibilities for innovation and even – for some – the creation of their own jobs¡¦


Students don¡¯t learn by sitting passively in lectures, but by engaging in activities that help them understand which technologies, methods and creative practices can provoke innovation. 


Boundaries between educational institutions and the outside world need to be far more porous, not to ¡°train¡± students for existing jobs, but so they can understand the new forces at work. They will have to adapt to these forces, but they can also be helped to respond with creativity and intelligence.


Group A

1) When do people usually begin to work in your country? At what age do they retire?

2) Talk about your job history. Have you ever had a part-time job? Describe.

3) Do you think it is more important to make a lot of money or to enjoy your job?

4) How have working conditions changed in your country over the years? In what ways?

5) How do you think working conditions will change in the future? Present a scenario.


Group B

1) How many hours a day/days a week should people work? How much vacation per year?

2) What are some common occupations in your country? Are they desirable? Why/Why not?

3) Do you think your parent's generation had an easier time becoming employed? Explain.

4) What were the advantages/disadvantages in employment in previous generations?

5) What does/did your father do for a living? What does/did your mother do?


Group C

1) Have you ever taken any courses that specifically helped you get a job? If not, why not?

2) What occupations do you think will be most/least popular in your country in the future?

3) What occupations do you think will be the most important? Why do you think so?

4) What are some questions that are asked in a job interview? How would you respond?

5) When you were a child, what job did you want to have when you grew up? 






brain drain  ~ The departure of highly qualified people (scientists, engineers, etc.) for other countries, where they have better opportunities and pay, is called a brain drain.


dead wood ~ The term dead wood refers to people or things which are no longer considered useful or necessary.
The new manager wants to reduce costs by cutting out the dead wood.

on the dole ~ A person who receives financial assistance from the government when they are unemployed is on the dole.
Their father is on the dole so the family is living on a tight budget.


earn while you learn ~ This refers to the possibility of earning a salary while in training.
Become an apprentice and get paid while in training.  Earn while you learn!

firing line ~ Someone who is in the firing line is in a position to be criticized because of their responsibilities or their position.
The managing director of the bank is in the firing line since the fraud was discovered.


get the axe ~ If someone gets the axe, they lose their job.
When a company is restructured, the senior staff are often the first to get the axe.

Warm~up: Related idioms from Learn English Today:

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