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Lesson Plan to accompany Developing Teachers Newsletter - May 2000

This is an intermediate level lesson plan - the text is at the end.

This material fits in very nicely with: English File Upper Intermediate, Self-Study Book, p54 - Sharon Buch (OUP) - an article about Sainsbury's employing the older worker. Business English Pairwork 2, No. 4 - Flinders & Sweeney (Penguin) - a discussion springboard about age & employment.

Here's an outline procedure:

1. Intro - Sainsbury's - type of jobs you would find in a supermarket - stds could rank them in order of interest/importance etc.

2. Headline (& picture?)- predict - teach 'trolley' & expressions 'to be driven off your trolley'(& poss. a couple of other like expressions).

3. Skim read to verify predictions i.e. stds are given a time limit of 1/2 minutes to read quickly to see if their ideas were right >> pairs compare >> feedback

4. Comprehension task - some questions to check understanding of the text >> pairs compare >> feedback. You could ask the stds to write 6 questions about the text & then swap them with their neighbour to answer - a std generated task!

5. Vocabulary - a meaning from context task i.e. get stds to work out the meaning of the words/expressions from the context in the text.
Examples of vocab to pick up on:
'fit as a fiddle' ('gammy knee' - will probably need dealing with but not high frequency)
'to go on working til I drop'
'Customers are very fond of Mr Dowd'
'He is always cheerful'
('Sheltered accommodation' - difficult to understand from the context)
('Driving around all the passes' - again the stds will ask about it but there are no clues unless the stds know about the Lake District.)

6.Language focus - direct/indirect speech - stds identify where both occur throughout & then discuss why the writer uses one & not the other.
It is also a very clear text review the present simple, present perfect, past simple & past continuous tenses. Ask the stds to find examples of these tenses in the text & then, in pairs, they work out how they are used differently.

Follow up activities
7.Interview with Jim Dowd
8.Discussion on ageism & employing older people
9.Writing - letter to the editor/letter to the supermarket manager.


'I'm 93, but quitting job would drive me off my trolley'

Keith Harper

Jim Dowd. 93. Perhaps the oldest working man in Britain, was taking a rest yesterday from his six day week as a trolley supervisor at Sainsbury's. Mr Dowd, a retired motor fitter, said he might put his feet up and watch television, "but it's usually very boring and I prefer to work"

At Sainsbury's Finchley Road branch, north London, he pushes trolleys from bays in the car park to the store for customers. He works a 33-hour week Monday to Saturday, and said be was fit as a fiddle, apart from a slightly gammy knee. "I intend to go on working until I drop. "There is nothing else to do, and I love it."

He joined the company eight years ago, having returned to work at 69 because he was bored and missed his job repairing cars. Sainsbury's allowed him to cut the tape when the store opened several years ago because he was so popular with customers.

The manager, Jim Rutledge, has offered him a job in the store but Mr Dowd said: "I have refused it. The only job I want inside is his, and he won't let me have it." Mr Rutledge said: "Customers are very fond of Mr Dowd, although they sometimes ask how long he can go on working.

He is always cheerful, and we value his contribution." He travels to work by bus from his sheltered accommodation in Hampstead. His wife died five years ago.

He spends most of his six weeks of holiday in the Lake District, driving 300 miles to farm near Cockermouth. He does not go walking but admires the lakes "by driving round all the passes".

Taken from the Guardian Newspaper, April 3rd 2000, p4.

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