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Date: Nov 26, 2007
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: 2:07 - 495.2KB - 32kbps
Online Test: Recreate the text in this online test.

1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Men motivated by co-worker salaries

New research shows that men are not just motivated by money, but also by how much more or less they earn than their colleagues. Traditional thinking was that men were only interested in the size of their pay packets. New findings from a study at the University of Bonn reveal that men are also concerned about how much their peers are getting. The research is published in this month’s edition of the journal Science. Researchers put 38 male volunteers under the microscope. The men had to perform simple tasks so that scientists could analyse the activity in the “reward centre” in their brain. They played a game in which they received payments depending on how well they did. They were also told how much money the other men were getting. The researchers discovered a lot more brain activity with the men who knew they were beating their rivals.

Lead scientist Dr Bernd Weber said he now wants to conduct a similar study on women. He wants to gauge whether they too are motivated by their peers’ earnings and not just individual success. It is not yet clear how the new findings will affect the workplace. There is a possibility that worker productivity could increase with the introduction of a system that created competition. Sales staff have long been in competition with each other to win bonuses. Human resource officers may now look at this research to find ways of bringing a sense of competitiveness to offices and perhaps schools. However, this may have a negative impact in the workplace if rivalries turn sour with jealousy. One company CEO, Jackie Baxter said: “It’s a balancing act between keeping harmony in the office and encouraging workers to be more efficient.”

WARM-UPS

1. SALARIES & WAGES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about salaries and wages. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

motivation / colleagues / pay packets / peers / rewards / brains / rivals / individual success / the workplace / productivity / jealousy / harmony

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. TWO-MINUTE SALARY DEBATES: Have the following fun 2-minute debates. Students A strongly believe in the first argument, students B the second. Change pairs often.

  1. Workers should get rises every year. Vs. Only if they work very well.
  2. Millionaire CEOs get paid too much. Vs. Worth every penny.
  3. A country’s leader should get millions. Vs. Public duty is sufficient reward.
  4. A 15% pay rise is way too much. Vs. A 50% pay rise is much better.
  5. Teachers and nurses get paid too little. Vs. But they don’t make anything.
  6. Merit-based rises are better than length of service rises. Vs. No way.

4. WORKPLACE MOTIVATION: With your partner(s), talk about whether you would be motivated by these things in your workplace. Rate them from 10 (= major motivation) to 1 (= couldn’t care less).

  • money
  • being better than your colleagues
  • pleasing your boss
  • impressing someone you want to date
  • reaching company targets
  • breaking departmental records
  • promotion
  • making a name for yourself in the company

5. REWARDS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘rewards’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. QUICK ROLE PLAY: Student A is the leader of a country. His/her salary is $100,000 a year; Student B is a company CEO. His/her salary is $1,000,000 a year. Is this fair? Role play their conversation.  Change partners often. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

A new survey found men want to help their colleagues earn more.

T / F

b.

Traditionally, men have never really been interested in pay.

T / F

c.

The survey was conducted on 38,000 male workers worldwide.

T / F

d.

Scientific tests focused on the “reward centre” in the men’s brain.

T / F

e.

The scientists now want to do the same tests on women.

T / F

f.

The survey findings point to clear, new methods to motivate staff.

T / F

g.

Adopting this research into the workplace may not be so good.

T / F

h.

A CEO said trying to keep balanced was a real harmony act.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

motivated

a.

assess

2

colleagues

b.

productive

3.

peers

c.

effect

4.

perform

d.

income

5.

rivals

e.

equals

6.

gauge

f.

driven

7.

earnings

g.

nasty

8.

impact

h.

carry out

9.

sour

i.

coworkers

10.

efficient

j.

competitors

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

1.

New research shows that men are not

a.

under the microscope

2

men were only interested in the size

b.

peers are getting

3.

concerned about how much their

c.

on how well they did

4.

Researchers put 38 male volunteers

d.

if rivalries turn sour

5.

they received payments depending

e.

of their pay packets

6.

gauge whether they too are motivated

f.

competitiveness to offices

7.

Sales staff have long

g.

by their peers’ earnings

8.

find ways of bringing a sense of

h.

just motivated by money

9.

a negative impact in the workplace

i.

act

10.

It’s a balancing

j.

been in competition

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

New research shows that men are not __________ motivated by money, but also by how much more or less they __________ than their colleagues. Traditional thinking was that men were only interested in the size of their pay packets. New __________ from a study at the University of Bonn reveal that men are also concerned about how much their peers are __________. The research is published in this month’s edition of the journal Science. Researchers put 38 male volunteers __________ the microscope. The men had to perform simple tasks so that scientists could analyze the __________ in the “reward centre” in their brain. They played a game in which they received payments __________ on how well they did. They were also told how much money the other men were getting. The researchers discovered a lot more brain activity with the men who knew they were __________ their rivals.

 

 

 

activity
earn
getting
depending
just
beating
under
findings

Lead scientist Dr Bernd Weber said he now wants to __________ a similar study on women. He wants to __________ whether they too are motivated by their peers’ earnings and not just individual success. It is not yet clear how the new findings will __________ the workplace. There is a possibility that worker productivity could increase with the introduction of a system that __________ competition. Sales staff have __________ been in competition with each other to win bonuses. Human resource officers may now look at this research to find ways of bringing a __________ of competitiveness to offices and perhaps schools. However, this may have a negative impact in the workplace if rivalries __________ sour with jealousy. One company CEO, Jackie Baxter said: “It’s a balancing __________ between keeping harmony in the office and encouraging workers to be more efficient.”

 

 

sense created
gauge
act
turn
conduct
affect
long

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

New research shows that men _______________________ money, but also by how much more or less they earn than their colleagues. Traditional thinking _______________________ interested in the size of their pay packets. New findings from a study at the University of Bonn reveal that men are also concerned _______________________ peers are getting. The research is published in this month’s edition of the journal Science. Researchers put 38 male _______________________. The men had to perform simple tasks so that scientists could analyze the activity in the “reward centre” in their brain. They played a game in which they received payments _______________________ they did. They were also told how much money the other men were getting. The researchers discovered a lot more brain activity _______________________ were beating their rivals.

Lead scientist Dr Bernd Weber said _______________________ similar study on women. He wants _______________________ motivated by their peers’ earnings and not just individual success. It is not yet clear how the new findings will affect the workplace. There is a possibility that worker productivity could increase _______________________ system that created competition. Sales staff have long been in competition with each other to win bonuses. Human resource officers _______________________ to find ways of bringing a sense of competitiveness to offices and perhaps schools. However, ____________________________ in the workplace if rivalries turn sour with jealousy. One company CEO, Jackie Baxter said: “It’s a ______________________________ harmony in the office and encouraging workers to be more efficient.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘pay’ and ‘packet’.

pay

packet

 

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • not just
  • size
  • peers
  • microscope
  • depending
  • rivals
  • conduct
  • individual
  • sales
  • impact
  • sour
  • act

STUDENT SALARY SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about salaries in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What motivates you in the workplace?

c)

How much of a motivating factor is money for you?

d)

Do you care about how much your colleagues are getting?

e)

How often do you think about the size of your pay packet and wish it was bigger?

f)

What other things concern you about your peers or colleagues?

g)

What does the reward centre in your brain like?

h)

How important is it for you to beat your rivals?

i)

What things are much more important in life than money?

--------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think men and women look at money differently?

c)

Which sex is more competitive, men or women?

d)

Do you think knowledge of colleagues’ salaries would increase productivity in the workplace?

e)

What would the introduction of competition in offices, hospitals and schools do to working relationships?

f)

Would rivalries and jealousies increase efficiency?

g)

How do managers balance keeping workers happy with their salaries and working conditions while increasing productivity?

h)

What questions would you like to ask Dr Bernd Weber?

i)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Put the correct words from a–d below in the article.

New research shows that men are not (1) ____ motivated by money, but also by how much more or less they (2) ____ than their colleagues. Traditional thinking was that men were only interested in the size of their pay packets. New findings from a study at the University of Bonn reveal (3) ____ men are also concerned about how much their (4) ____ are getting. The research is published in this month’s edition of the journal Science. Researchers put 38 male volunteers (5) ____ the microscope. The men had to perform simple tasks so that scientists could analyze the activity in the “reward centre” in their brain. They played a game in which they received payments depending on how well they did. They were also told how much money the other men were getting. The researchers discovered a lot more brain activity with the men who knew they were (6) ____ their rivals.

Lead scientist Dr Bernd Weber said he now wants to conduct a similar study (7) ____ women. He wants to gauge whether they too are motivated        (8) ____ their peers’ earnings and not just individual success. It is not yet clear how the new findings will affect the workplace. There is a possibility that worker productivity could increase with the introduction of a system that created competition. Sales staff have (9) ____ been in competition with each other to win bonuses. Human resource officers may now look at this research to find ways of bringing a (10) ____ of competitiveness to offices and perhaps schools. However, this may have a negative impact in the workplace if rivalries (11) ____ sour with jealousy. One company CEO, Jackie Baxter said: “It’s a balancing (12) ____ between keeping harmony in the office and encouraging workers to be more efficient.”

1.

(a)

gist

(b)

justice

(c)

just

(d)

jest

2.

(a)

earn

(b)

earnings

(c)

earning

(d)

earns

3.

(a)

much

(b)

though

(c)

what

(d)

that

4.

(a)

peers

(b)

pears

(c)

pairs

(d)

pores

5.

(a)

under

(b)

in

(c)

through

(d)

as

6.

(a)

beaten

(b)

beat

(c)

beating

(d)

beatings

7.

(a)

to

(b)

on

(c)

of

(d)

in

8.

(a)

with

(b)

for

(c)

of

(d)

by

9.

(a)

long

(b)

wide

(c)

high

(d)

deep

10.

(a)

sensory

(b)

sensation

(c)

sense

(d)

sensational

11.

(a)

come

(b)

mix

(c)

flow

(d)

turn

12.

(a)

action

(b)

act

(c)

actor

(d)

acting

WRITING: 

Write about salaries for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about the “reward centre” in the brain. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. PAY: Make a poster about average pay in different countries for different jobs and professions. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all include similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about how people’s pay should be worked out according to the jobs they do – how much should a nurse or a president get? Include imaginary interviews with a nurse and a president.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down new words and expressions.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the boss of your company. Give him/her three reasons why you should get a pay rise. Make three promises on what you’ll do from now to deserve your pay rise. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. F

d. T

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

motivated

a.

driven

2

colleagues

b.

coworkers

3.

peers

c.

equals

4.

perform

d.

carry out

5.

rivals

e.

competitors

6.

gauge

f.

assess

7.

earnings

g.

income

8.

impact

h.

effect

9.

sour

i.

nasty

10.

efficient

j.

productive

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

New research shows that men are not

a.

just motivated by money

2

men were only interested in the size

b.

of their pay packets

3.

concerned about how much their

c.

peers are getting

4.

Researchers put 38 male volunteers

d.

under the microscope

5.

they received payments depending

e.

on how well they did

6.

gauge whether they too are motivated

f.

by their peers’ earnings

7.

Sales staff have long

g.

been in competition

8.

find ways of bringing a sense of

h.

competitiveness to offices

9.

a negative impact in the workplace

i.

if rivalries turn sour

10.

It’s a balancing

j.

act

GAP FILL:

Men motivated by co-worker salaries

New research shows that men are not just motivated by money, but also by how much more or less they earn than their colleagues. Traditional thinking was that men were only interested in the size of their pay packets. New findings from a study at the University of Bonn reveal that men are also concerned about how much their peers are getting. The research is published in this month’s edition of the journal Science. Researchers put 38 male volunteers under the microscope. The men had to perform simple tasks so that scientists could analyze the activity in the “reward centre” in their brain. They played a game in which they received payments depending on how well they did. They were also told how much money the other men were getting. The researchers discovered a lot more brain activity with the men who knew they were beating their rivals.

Lead scientist Dr Bernd Weber said he now wants to conduct a similar study on women. He wants to gauge whether they too are motivated by their peers’ earnings and not just individual success. It is not yet clear how the new findings will affect the workplace. There is a possibility that worker productivity could increase with the introduction of a system that created competition. Sales staff have long been in competition with each other to win bonuses. Human resource officers may now look at this research to find ways of bringing a sense of competitiveness to offices and perhaps schools. However, this may have a negative impact in the workplace if rivalries turn sour with jealousy. One company CEO, Jackie Baxter said: “It’s a balancing act between keeping harmony in the office and encouraging workers to be more efficient.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - c

2 - a

3 - d

4 - a

5 - a

6 - c

7 - b

8 - d

9 - a

10 - c

11 - d

12 - b

 

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