The Reading / Listening - Level 3

The number of children in Japan aged 14 and under is the lowest ever. Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications released figures yesterday, just before the country's Children's Day national holiday on May the 5th. The figures show that the number of children in Japan fell by 160,000 from the previous year. It is the 33rd year in a row for the birthrate to decrease. There are 13 million fewer children in Japan today than there were in 1950. The Ministry said that out of 30 countries with a population of over 40 million, Japan has the smallest percentage of kids. Children make up 12.8 per cent of Japan’s population. In France, the figure is 18.5 per cent and in the United States, it is 19.5 per cent.



While the number of children in Japan is going down, the number of old people is increasing. The over-65s now make up a record 25.6 per cent of the Japanese population. The government has warned that these trends will continue for decades to come. It said the proportion of people aged 65 or over could reach nearly 40 per cent in 2060. This will make life in Japan almost impossible for young, working people. They will have to pay much higher taxes to support the over-65s. The Japanese economy will also be in big trouble because there will not be enough young people to work. Japan's government has tried many things to get people to have more babies, but nothing seems to be working.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Level 0 Level 1   or  Level 2

Sources
  • http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/04/national/number-of-children-in-japan-drops-for-33rd-year/
  • http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/408089/number-of-children-in-japan-declines-for-33rd-year-in-a-row
  • http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/04/japan-population-age-children


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



The 40 Lesson Activities on the PDF Handout

WARM-UPS

1. BIRTH RATES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about birth rates. Change partners often and share your findings.

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

 

children / communications / figures / previous year / in a row / birth rate / population / old people / government / decades / impossible / economy / big trouble / babies

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

3. CHILDREN: What are they like at different stages of their life? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What they do

What they need most

Newborn

 

 

6 months

 

 

18 months

 

 

4 years old

 

 

9 years old

 

 

14 years old

 

 

4. BONUSES: Students A strongly believe governments should pay bonuses for couples to have children; Students B strongly believe that's silly.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

MY e-BOOK
See a sample

5. MORE BABIES: Rank these with your partner. Put the best ideas to get couples to have more babies at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • cash bonuses

  • free house for four babies

  • more holidays from work

  • a daily helper from 4 babies

  • free education to university

  • award from the government

  • free health care

  • other ________________

6. BABY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "baby". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.





BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

The number of children under 14 in Japan is the lowest ever.

T / F

b.

There were only 160,000 births in Japan last year.

T / F

c.

The birth rate has been falling for over 40 years.

T / F

d.

Children make up almost 20 percent of population in the USA.

T / F

e.

Just over a quarter of Japan's population is over 65.

T / F

f.

The over-65s could be 40% of Japan's population by 2060.

T / F

g.

There will always be enough young people to do jobs.

T / F

h.

Japan's projects to get people to have more babies are working.

T / F

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

1.

ever

a.

numbers

2.

released

b.

attempted

3.

figures

c.

going up

4.

in a row

d.

issued

5.

decrease

e.

advised

6.

increasing

f.

go down

7.

warned

g.

in history

8.

support

h.

having an effect

9.

tried

i.

one after the other

10.

working

j.

look after

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

The number of children

a.

will continue

2.

the lowest

b.

children in Japan

3.

fell by 160,000 from

c.

to be working

4.

There are 13 million fewer

d.

65s

5.

Children make up 12.8 per cent

e.

ever

6.

The over-

f.

in Japan aged 14

7.

these trends

g.

much higher taxes

8.

for decades

h.

the previous year

9.

have to pay

i.

to come

10.

nothing seems

j.

of Japan's population



 

GAP FILL

The number of children in Japan aged 14 and under is the lowest (1) ____________. Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications released (2) ____________ yesterday, just before the country's Children's Day national holiday on May the 5th. The figures (3) ____________ that the number of children in Japan fell by 160,000 from the (4) ____________ year. It is the 33rd year in a row for the birth (5) ____________ to decrease. There are 13 million (6) ____________ children in Japan today than there were in 1950. The Ministry said that out of 30 countries with a population of over 40 million, Japan has the (7) ____________ percentage of kids. Children (8) ____________ up 12.8 per cent of Japan's population. In France, the figure is 18.5 per cent and in the United States, it is 19.5 per cent.

 

 

previous
smallest
figures
make
ever
rate
fewer
show

While the number of children in Japan is going down, the number of old people is (9) ____________. The over-65s now make up a record 25.6 per cent of the Japanese population. The government has (10) ____________ that these trends will continue for (11) ____________ to come. It said the proportion of people aged 65 or over could reach (12) ____________ 40 per cent in 2060. This will make life in Japan almost (13) ____________ for young, working people. They will have to pay much higher taxes to support the over-65s. The Japanese economy will also be in big (14) ____________ because there will not be enough young people to work. Japan's government has tried many (15) ____________ to get people to have more babies, but nothing (16) ____________ to be working.

 

trouble
things
decades
increasing
seems
nearly
warned
impossible

 





LISTENING - Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)

The number of children in Japan aged 14 and under is ______

 

a.  the low its ever
b.  the lowest even
c.  the lowest never
d.  the lowest ever

2)

the number of children in Japan fell by 160,000 from ______

 

a.  the previously year
b.  the previous ear
c.  the previous year
d.  the previously ear

3)

It is the 33rd year in a row for the birth ______

 

a.  rate too decrease
b.  rate to decrease
c.  rate two decrease
d.  rate tow decrease

4)

There are 13 million fewer children in Japan today than there ______

 

a.  were in 1950s
b.  were in 1950
c.  were in 1951
d.  were in 1915

5)

In France, the figure is 18.5 per cent and in the United States, ______

 

a.  it is 19.5 per cent
b.  it is 90.5 per cent
c.  it is 19.9 per cent
d.  it is 90.9 per cent

6)

While the number of children in Japan is going down, the number of old ______

 

a.  people are increasing
b.  people this increasing
c.  people is increasing
d.  people is increase in

7)

The government has warned that these trends will continue for ______

 

a.  decades to come
b.  arcades to come
c.  recedes to come
d.  barricades to come

8)

They will have to pay much higher taxes to support ______

 

a.  the uner-65s
b.  the overly-65s
c.  the over-60's fives
d.  the over sixty and fives

9)

The Japanese economy will also be ______

 

a.  in big trouble
b.  on big trouble
c.  in bigger trouble
d.  on bigger trouble

10)

Japan's government has tried many things to get people to ______

 

a.  have more babe ease
b.  have most babies
c.  have many babies
d.  have more babies

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The number of children in Japan aged (1) ___________________ the lowest ever. Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications released figures yesterday, (2) ___________________ Children's Day national holiday on May the 5th. The figures show that the number of children in Japan fell by 160,000 (3) ___________________ year. It is the 33rd year in a row for the birth rate to decrease. There are 13 (4) ___________________ in Japan today than there were in 1950. The Ministry said that out of 30 countries with a population of over 40 million, Japan has (5) ___________________ of kids. Children make up 12.8 per cent of Japan's population. In France, the (6) ___________________ and in the United States, it is 19.5 per cent.

While the number of children in Japan is going down, the number of old (7) ___________________. The over-65s now make up a record 25.6 per cent of the Japanese population. The government has warned (8) ___________________ will continue for decades to come. It said the proportion of people aged 65 or over (9) ___________________ 40 per cent in 2060. This will make life in Japan almost impossible for young, working people. They will have to (10) ___________________ taxes to support the over-65s. The Japanese economy will also be in big trouble because there will (11) ___________________ young people to work. Japan's government has tried many things to get people to have more babies, (12) ___________________ to be working.





COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

1.

What is at the lowest ever rate in Japan?

2.

What happened on May the 5th?

3.

For how many years has the birth rate been declining in Japan?

4.

How many fewer children are there in Japan today than in 1950?

5.

What percentage of the USA population are children?

6.

What is increasing in Japan?

7.

What is the proportion of over-65s in Japan?

8.

When might the over-65s be 40% of the population?

9.

What will young people have to pay in the future?

10.

What has Japan's government tried to do?

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ

1.

What is at the lowest ever rate in Japan?

6.

What is increasing in Japan?

 

a) figures
b) inflation
c) the number of under-14s
d) children over 15

 

a) the price of baby food
b) the number of old people
c) records
d) the population

2.

What happened on May the 5th?

7.

What is the proportion of over-65s in Japan?

 

a) Children's Day
b) Figures Day
c) Baby's Day
d) Communications Day

 

a) 26.5%
b) 56.2%
c) 62.5%
d) 25.6%

3.

For how many years has the birth rate been declining in Japan?

8.

When might the over-65s be 40% of the population?

 

a) 30
b) 31
c) 32
d) 33

 

a) 2050
b) 2060
c) 2080
d) 2090

4.

How many fewer children are there in Japan today than in 1950?

9.

What will young people have to pay in the future?

 

a) 130,000
b) 13,000,000
c) 13 billion
d) 30 million

 

a) higher taxes
b) a baby tax
c) new Japanese dollars
d) the price

5.

What percentage of the USA population are children?

10.

What has Japan's government tried to do?

 

a) 12.8%
b) 18.5%
c) 19.5%
d) 33%

 

a) support the over-65s
b) increase the retirement age
c) get people working
d) get couples to have babies

ROLE PLAY

Role  A – Cash bonus for each baby

You think a cash bonus for each baby is the best way to get couples to have more children. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their ideas. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): a free home helper, longer paid maternity leave or free lifetime education.

Role  B – Free home helper

You think a free home helper is the best way to get couples to have more children. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their ideas. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): a cash bonus for each baby, longer paid maternity leave or free lifetime education.

Role  C – Longer paid maternity leave

You think longer paid maternity leave is the best way to get couples to have more children. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their ideas. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): a free home helper, a cash bonus for each baby or free lifetime education.

Role  D – Free lifetime education

You think free lifetime education is the best way to get couples to have more children. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them things that are wrong with their ideas. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why):  a free home helper, longer paid maternity leave or a cash bonus for each baby.





AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words 'record' and 'low'.

record

low

 

 

 

  • 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 how they were used in the text:

  • ever
  • before
  • previous
  • row
  • 30
  • 19.5
  • down
  • warned
  • come
  • big
  • things
  • nothing

CHILDREN SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about children 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.

CHILDREN DISCUSSION

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

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word 'children'?

c)

How important are children to a country?

d)

What do you think of the record low number of children in Japan?

e)

What's the best number of children for a couple to have?

f)

Is it too expensive to have more than a few children?

g)

What are the reasons for falling birthrates?

h)

Is it better to have just a few siblings or many?

i)

How many children do (or did) you want?

j)

Is having children as important today as it was 100 years ago?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article? Why/not?

b)

What problems are there with an ageing population?

c)

What are the advantages of an ageing population?

d)

How can the Japanese government reverse this trend?

e)

How can a country survive if it is full of old people?

f)

Should Japan increase the retirement age to 75?

g)

What kind of trouble might the Japanese economy be in?

h)

How can the government avoid economic problems?

i)

What do you think the government should do to get couples to have more babies?

j)

What questions would you ask the Japanese leader about this?





DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

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

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

LANGUAGE - CLOZE

The number of children in Japan aged 14 and under is the lowest ever. Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (1) ____ figures yesterday, just before the country's Children's Day national holiday on May the 5th. The figures show that the number of children in Japan fell (2) ____ 160,000 from the previous year. It is the 33rd year in a (3) ____ for the birth rate to decrease. There are 13 million (4) ____ children in Japan today than there were in 1950. The Ministry said that out of 30 countries with a population of over 40 million, Japan has the smallest percentage (5) ____ kids. Children make (6) ____ 12.8 per cent of Japan's population. In France, the figure is 18.5 per cent and in the United States, it is 19.5 per cent.

While the number of children in Japan is going down, the number of old people is (7) ____. The over-65s now make up a record 25.6 per cent of the Japanese population. The government has warned that these (8) ____ will continue for decades to come. It said the (9) ____ of people aged 65 or over could reach nearly 40 per cent in 2060. This will make life in Japan (10) ____ impossible for young, working people. They will have to pay much higher taxes to support the over-65s. The Japanese economy will also be in (11) ____ trouble because there will not be enough young people to work. Japan's government has tried many things to get people to have more babies, but (12) ____ seems to be working.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

rallied

(b)

realised

(c)

relayed

(d)

released

2.

(a)

at

(b)

for

(c)

as

(d)

by

3.

(a)

column

(b)

row

(c)

low

(d)

line

4.

(a)

lesser

(b)

smaller

(c)

fewer

(d)

reduced

5.

(a)

of

(b)

from

(c)

for

(d)

if

6.

(a)

up

(b)

for

(c)

over

(d)

it

7.

(a)

increase

(b)

increased

(c)

increases

(d)

increasing

8.

(a)

trends

(b)

makes

(c)

styles

(d)

marks

9.

(a)

promotion

(b)

proportion

(c)

probation

(d)

prohibition

10.

(a)

impossibly

(b)

possible

(c)

almost

(d)

right

11.

(a)

large

(b)

heavy

(c)

big

(d)

volume

12.

(a)

something

(b)

nothing

(c)

anything

(d)

thing

SPELLING

Paragraph 1

1.

the oswlet ever

2.

… released ersgifu yesterday

3.

oaanilnt holiday

4.

… for the birth rate to ecaesred

5.

Japan has the smallest epcergtnae

6.

12.8 per cent of Japan's lappnoituo

Paragraph 2

7.

the number of old people is csrieanngi

8.

these sdtrne will continue

9.

for saeecdd to come

10.

pay much higher atexs

11.

uptoprs the over-65s

12.

The Japanese emoocyn

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

40 million, Japan has the smallest percentage of kids. Children make up 12.8 per cent of Japan's

(    )

trouble because there will not be enough young people to work. Japan's government has tried

(    )

While the number of children in Japan is going down, the number of old people is increasing. The over-

(    )

were in 1950. The Ministry said that out of 30 countries with a population of over

1  )

The number of children in Japan aged 14 and under is the lowest ever. Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and

(    )

65s now make up a record 25.6 per cent of the Japanese population. The government has warned that these

(    )

year. It is the 33rd year in a row for the birthrate to decrease. There are 13 million fewer children in Japan today than there

(    )

much higher taxes to support the over-65s. The Japanese economy will also be in big

(    )

2060. This will make life in Japan almost impossible for young, working people. They will have to pay

(    )

population. In France, the figure is 18.5 per cent and in the United States, it is 19.5 per cent.

(    )

trends will continue for decades to come. It said the proportion of people aged 65 or over could reach nearly 40 per cent in

(    )

Communications released figures yesterday, just before the country's Children's Day national holiday

(    )

many things to get people to have more babies, but nothing seems to be working.

(    )

on May the 5th. The figures show that the number of children in Japan fell by 160,000 from the previous

PUT THE WORDS IN THE RIGHT ORDER

1.

of    children    in    Japan    aged    14    and   under   .    The   number

2.

holiday    country's    Children's    Just    Day    before    national    the.   

3.

from    year    by    160,000    previous    Fell    ,    the    .   

4.

year   for  33rd  decrease  row   the   to   a   is   birthrate   in   It    the.   

5.

population    Japan's    of    cent    per    12.8    up    make    Children.   

6.

of    number    The    increasing    is    people    old.   

7.

decades    trends    to    will    come    continue    for    These.   

8.

over    -    65s    Pay    much    higher    taxes    to    support    the.   

9.

be    people    not    young    work    will    enough    to    There.   

10.

get    people    to    have    more    babies    Tried    many    things   to.   

CIRCLE THE CORRECT WORD (20 PAIRS)

The number of children in Japan aged 14 and under is the fewest / lowest ever. Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications realised / released figures yesterday, just / justly before the country's Children's Day national holiday on May the 5th. The figures show / shows that the number of children in Japan fell by / up 160,000 from the previous year. It is the 33rd year in a row / column for the birth rate to decrease. There are 13 million lesser / fewer children in Japan today than there were in 1950. The Ministry said that out of 30 countries with a population for / of over 40 million, Japan has the smallest percentage of kids. Children make out / up 12.8 per cent of Japan's population. In France, the figure / figures is 18.5 per cent and in the United States, it is 19.5 per cent.

While the number of children in Japan is going down, the number of old people is increased / increasing. The over-65s now make up a record / recording 25.6 per cent of the Japanese population. The government has warned that these / them trends will continue for decadence / decades to come. It said the proportion of people aged 65 or over could reach / leach nearly 40 per cent in 2060. This will make life in Japan almost impossibility / impossible for young, working people. They will have to pay much higher taxes / taxis to support the over-65s. The Japanese economy will also be in big / large trouble because there will not be enough / plenty young people to work. Japan's government has tried many things to get people to have more babies, but nothing seems to be works / working.

Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.





INSERT THE VOWELS (a, e, i, o, u)

Th_ n_mb_r _f ch_ldr_n _n J_p_n _g_d 14 _nd _nd_r _s th_ l_w_st _v_r. J_p_n's M_n_stry _f _nt_rn_l _ff__rs _nd C_mm_n_c_t__ns r_l__s_d f_g_r_s y_st_rd_y, j_st b_f_r_ th_ c__ntry's Ch_ldr_n's D_y n_t__n_l h_l_d_y _n M_y th_ 5th. Th_ f_g_r_s sh_w th_t th_ n_mb_r _f ch_ldr_n _n J_p_n f_ll by 160,000 fr_m th_ pr_v___s y__r. _t _s th_ 33rd y__r _n _ r_w f_r th_ b_rth r_t_ t_ d_cr__s_. Th_r_ _r_ 13 m_ll__n f_w_r ch_ldr_n _n J_p_n t_d_y th_n th_r_ w_r_ _n 1950. Th_ M_n_stry s__d th_t __t _f 30 c__ntr__s w_th _ p_p_l_t__n _f _v_r 40 m_ll__n, J_p_n h_s th_ sm_ll_st p_rc_nt_g_ _f k_ds. Ch_ldr_n m_k_ _p 12.8 p_r c_nt _f J_p_n's p_p_l_t__n. _n Fr_nc_, th_ f_g_r_ _s 18.5 p_r c_nt _nd _n th_ _n_t_d St_t_s, _t _s 19.5 p_r c_nt.

Wh_l_ th_ n_mb_r _f ch_ldr_n _n J_p_n _s g__ng d_wn, th_ n_mb_r _f _ld p__pl_ _s _ncr__s_ng. Th_ _v_r-65s n_w m_k_ _p _ r_c_rd 25.6 p_r c_nt _f th_ J_p_n_s_ p_p_l_t__n. Th_ g_v_rnm_nt h_s w_rn_d th_t th_s_ tr_nds w_ll c_nt_n__ f_r d_c_d_s t_ c_m_. _t s__d th_ pr_p_rt__n _f p__pl_ _g_d 65 _r _v_r c__ld r__ch n__rly 40 p_r c_nt _n 2060. Th_s w_ll m_k_ l_f_ _n J_p_n _lm_st _mp_ss_bl_ f_r y__ng, w_rk_ng p__pl_. Th_y w_ll h_v_ t_ p_y m_ch h_gh_r t_x_s t_ s_pp_rt th_ _v_r-65s. Th_ J_p_n_s_ _c_n_my w_ll _ls_ b_ _n b_g tr__bl_ b_c__s_ th_r_ w_ll n_t b_ _n__gh y__ng p__pl_ t_ w_rk. J_p_n's g_v_rnm_nt h_s tr__d m_ny th_ngs t_ g_t p__pl_ t_ h_v_ m_r_ b_b__s, b_t n_th_ng s__ms t_ b_ w_rk_ng.

PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

the number of children in japan aged 14 and under is the lowest ever japan's ministry of internal affairs and communications released figures yesterday just before the country's children's day national holiday on may the 5th the figures show that the number of children in japan fell by 160000 from the previous year it is the 33rd year in a row for the birth rate to decrease there are 13 million fewer children in japan today than there were in 1950 the ministry said that out of 30 countries with a population of over 40 million japan has the smallest percentage of kids children make up 128 per cent of japan's population in france the figure is 185 per cent and in the united states it is 195 per cent

while the number of children in japan is going down the number of old people is increasing the over-65s now make up a record 256 per cent of the japanese population the government has warned that these trends will continue for decades to come it said the proportion of people aged 65 or over could reach nearly 40 per cent in 2060 this will make life in japan almost impossible for young working people they will have to pay much higher taxes to support the over-65s the japanese economy will also be in big trouble because there will not be enough young people to work japan's government has tried many things to get people to have more babies but nothing seems to be working





PUT A SLASH ( / ) WHERE THE SPACES ARE

ThenumberofchildreninJapanaged14andunderisthelowestever.Ja
pan'sMinistryofInternalAffairsandCommunicationsreleasedfigure
syesterday,justbeforethecountry'sChildren'sDaynationalholidayo
nMaythe5th.ThefiguresshowthatthenumberofchildreninJapanfell
by160,000fromthepreviousyear.Itisthe33rdyearinarowforthebirt
hratetodecrease.Thereare13millionfewerchildreninJapantodayth
antherewerein1950.TheMinistrysaidthatoutof30countrieswithapo
pulationofover40million,Japanhasthesmallestpercentageofkids.C
hildrenmakeup12.8percentofJapan'spopulation.InFrance,thefigu
reis18.5percentandintheUnitedStates,itis19.5percent.Whilethen
umberofchildreninJapanisgoingdown,thenumberofoldpeopleisinc
reasing.Theover-65snowmakeuparecord25.6percentoftheJapan
esepopulation.Thegovernmenthaswarnedthatthesetrendswillcon
tinuefordecadestocome.Itsaidtheproportionofpeopleaged65orov
ercouldreachnearly40percentin2060.ThiswillmakelifeinJapanalm
ostimpossibleforyoung,workingpeople.Theywillhavetopaymuchhi
ghertaxestosupporttheover-65s.TheJapaneseeconomywillalsobe
inbigtroublebecausetherewillnotbeenoughyoungpeopletowork.Ja
pan'sgovernmenthastriedmanythingstogetpeopletohavemoreba
bies,butnothingseemstobeworking.

FREE WRITING

Write about children for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner's paper.

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ACADEMIC WRITING

Having many children is better than having just a few. Discuss.

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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 out more about birth rates. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. CHILDREN: Make a poster about the costs of raising children. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. BIRTH RATE: Write a magazine article about falling birth rates. Include imaginary interviews with people with ideas to reverse these falls.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on children. Ask him/her three questions about children. Give him/her three of your opinions on them. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE (p.4)

a

T

b

F

c

F

d

T

e

T

f

T

g

F

h

F

SYNONYM MATCH (p.4)

1.

ever

a.

in history

2.

released

b.

issued

3.

figures

c.

numbers

4.

in a row

d.

one after the other

5.

decrease

e.

go down

6.

increasing

f.

going up

7.

warned

g.

advised

8.

support

h.

look after

9.

tried

i.

attempted

10.

working

j.

having an effect

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (p.8)

1.

The number of children aged 14 an under

2.

The Children's Day national holiday

3.

33

4.

13 million

5.

19.5%

6.

The number of old people

7.

25.6%

8.

2060

9.

Higher taxes

10.

Get people to have more babies

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ (p.9)

1.

c

2.

a

3.

d

4.

b

5.

c

6.

d

7.

b

8.

d

9.

a

10.

d

ALL OTHER EXERCISES

Please check for yourself by looking at the Article on page 2.
(It's good for your English ;-)

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