The Reading / Listening - Level 6

Japan's government is going to play Cupid in an attempt to encourage more couples to have babies. The country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world and politicians are turning to novel methods to get people to add to the population. One of these methods is local authorities acting as matchmakers. Japan's national government will support any local government effort at speed dating, online matchmaking and other ways to coax couples to get together and start families. The draft recommendations call for intensive efforts over the next five years. The report says Japan faces a "critical situation" in which the dwindling number of children could cause serious social problems for the country.



One reason the government has found for Japan's falling birth rate is the rising cost of raising children. The government hopes to address this with a variety of measures. These include plans to improve access to free nursery care, special centres for people undergoing fertility treatment, and a target to increase the number of fathers taking paternity leave after their baby is born to 80 per cent by the year 2020. There are also plans to provide greater support for families with three or more children. By 2060, nearly 40 per cent of Japan’s population will be aged over 65. The over-65s already constitute 25 per cent of the population. The birth rate has fallen steadily from 4.54 children per mother in 1947 to just 1.42 in 2014.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Level 4  or  Level 5

Sources
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-31869981
  • http://time.com/3744317/japan-birth-rate-matchmaking-paternity-leave/
  • http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/03/13/national/social-issues/government-to-support-matchmaking-mens-child-rearing-to-raise-birth rate/#.VQRJo2ZX-0f


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. MATCHMAKING: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about matchmaking. Change partners often and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?

 

government / couples / birth rates / population / authorities / matchmakers / critical / raising children / variety / measures / fertility / paternity leave / steadily / mother

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

3. COUPLES: What's the best way to meet a new partner? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Pros

Cons

Arranged meetings

 

 

Online dating

 

 

Singles' clubs

 

 

Blinds dates

 

 

Ask someone on a date

 

 

Speed dating

 

 

4. ONLINE DATING: Students A strongly believe online dating is great; Students B strongly believe it isn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

MY e-BOOK
See a sample

5. BIRTH RATE: Rank these with your partner. Put the best ways to increase the birth rate at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • cash bonus per child

  • education

  • free nurseries

  • better hospitals

  • Internet campaign

  • longer paternity leave

  • free education for third child

  • fertility treatment

6. BABIES: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "babies". 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.

Japan's government is putting on a play based on Cupid.

T / F

b.

Japan's government is asking people to read novels to help birth rates.

T / F

c.

Japan's government will support speed dating.

T / F

d.

There will be big efforts to increase Japan's population within 5 years.

T / F

e.

The cost of raising children is a big reason for falling birth rates.

T / F

f.

More fathers will be able to take paternity leave.

T / F

g.

By 2060, half of Japan's population will be over 65.

T / F

h.

Japan's birthrate in 2014 was just 4.54.

T / F

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

1.

ways

a.

care

2.

support

b.

repair

3.

coax

c.

proposals

4.

fix

d.

encourage

5.

serious

e.

back

6.

reason

f.

assist

7.

treatment

g.

methods

8.

plans

h.

significant

9.

help

i.

dropped

10.

fell

j.

cause

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

1.

Japan's government is going to play

a.

methods

2.

one of the lowest birth

b.

of measures

3.

politicians are turning to novel

c.

problems for the country

4.

the dwindling

d.

leave

5.

cause serious social

e.

free nursery care

6.

the rising cost of raising

f.

number of children

7.

address this with a variety

g.

rates in the world

8.

improve access to

h.

steadily

9.

paternity

i.

Cupid

10.

The birth rate has fallen

j.

children





GAP FILL

Japan's government is going to (1) ____________ Cupid in an attempt to (2) ____________ more couples to have babies. The country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world and politicians are turning to (3) ____________ methods to get people to add to the population. One of these methods is (4) ____________ authorities acting as matchmakers. Japan's national government will support any local government (5) ____________ at speed dating, online matchmaking and other ways to (6) ____________ couples to get together and start families. The draft recommendations call for intensive efforts over the next five years. The report says Japan faces a "(7) ____________ situation" in which the (8) ____________ number of children could cause serious social problems for the country.

 

 

novel
effort
encourage
critical
play
coax
dwindling
local

One reason the government has found for Japan's (9) ____________ birth rate is the rising cost of raising children. The government hopes to address this with a (10) ____________ of measures. These include plans to improve access to free nursery care, special centres for people (11) ____________ fertility treatment, and a target to increase the number of fathers taking (12) ____________ leave after their baby is born to 80 per cent by the year 2020. There are also plans to provide greater (13) ____________ for families with three or more children. By 2060, nearly 40 per cent of Japan's population will be (14) ____________ over 65. The over-65s already (15) ____________ 25 per cent of the population. The birth rate has fallen (16) ____________ from 4.54 children per mother in 1947 to just 1.42 in 2014.

 

undergoing
aged
variety
support
steadily
falling
constitute
paternity

 





LISTENING - Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)

play Cupid in an attempt to encourage more ______ babies

 

a.  couple to have
b.  couplets to have
c.  couples to have
d.  cup palls to have

2)

politicians are turning to novel methods to get people to ______

 

a.  add too the population
b.  add to the population
c.  add two the population
d.  add thru the population

3)

One of these methods is local authorities ______

 

a.  act in as matchmakers
b.  act tin as matchmakers
c.  acting as matchmakers
d.  acting in as matchmakers

4)

The draft recommendations call for ______

 

a.  intensive efforts
b.  extensive efforts
c.  intense sieve efforts
d.  extends sieve efforts

5)

the dwindling number of children could cause ______

 

a.  serious social problems
b.  serious socially problems
c.  serious so shall problems
d.  serious sew shell problems

6)

One reason the government has found for Japan's falling birth rate ______

 

a.  is the raising cost
b.  is the rising cost
c.  is the rise in costs
d.  is the rise in cost

7)

The government hopes to address this with a ______

 

a.  varied tea of measures
b.  varieties of measures
c.  verity of measures
d.  variety of measures

8)

a target to increase the number of fathers taking paternity leave after ______

 

a.  their babies are born
b.  their babe is born
c.  their baby is born
d.  their baby are born

9)

plans to provide greater support for families with three ______

 

a.  for more children
b.  four more children
c.  ore more children
d.  or more children

10)

The birth rate has fallen steadily from 4.54 children per mother in 1947 to ______

 

a.  justly 1.42 in 2014
b.  adjust 1.42 in 2014
c.  justly 1.42 in 2014
d.  just 1.42 in 2014

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Japan's government (1) ___________________ play Cupid in an attempt to encourage more couples to have babies. The country (2) ___________________ lowest birth rates in the world and politicians are turning to novel methods to get people (3) ___________________ population. One of these methods is local authorities acting as matchmakers. Japan's national government will support any local government effort at speed dating, online matchmaking and other (4) ___________________ couples to get together and start families. The draft recommendations call for intensive (5) ___________________ next five years. The report says Japan faces a "critical situation" in which the dwindling number of children (6) ___________________ social problems for the country.

One reason the government has found for Japan's falling birth rate is the rising (7) ___________________ children. The government hopes to address this with a (8) ___________________. These include plans to improve access to free nursery care, special centres for people undergoing fertility treatment, and (9) ___________________ the number of fathers taking paternity leave after their baby is born to 80 per cent by the year 2020. There are also (10) ___________________ greater support for families with three or more children. By 2060, nearly 40 per cent of Japan's population (11) ___________________ 65. The over-65s already constitute 25 per cent of the population. The birth rate (12) ___________________ from 4.54 children per mother in 1947 to just 1.42 in 2014.





COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

1.

What character will Japan's government play as matchmaker?

2.

What adjective was used to describe the methods Japan will use?

3.

What will local governments act as?

4.

How long will intensive efforts at increasing the population be?

5.

What could cause serious problems for the country?

6.

What is a major reason for the falling birth rate?

7.

What does the government hope to provide to parents for free?

8.

What extra benefits does the government plan to give to fathers?

9.

When will almost 40% of Japan's population be over 65?

10.

What was Japan's birth rate in 1947?

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ

1.

What character will Japan's government play as matchmaker?

6.

What is a major reason for the falling birth rate?

 

a) 007 (James Bond)
b) Hello Kitty
c) Popeye
d) Cupid

 

a) television
b) the cost of raising children
c) birth control methods
d) overworking

2.

What adjective was used to describe the methods Japan will use?

7.

What does the government hope to provide to parents for free?

 

a) smart
b) novel
c) forceful
d) inventive

 

a) health care
b) housing
c) advice
d) nurseries

3.

What will local governments act as?

8.

What extra benefits does the government plan to give to fathers?

 

a) advisor
b) financier
c) matchmaker
d) record keeper

 

a) paternity leave
b) free slippers
c) free healthcare
d) bus passes

4.

How long will intensive efforts at increasing the population be?

9.

When will almost 40% of Japan's population be over 65?

 

a) 5 years
b) 7 years
c) 8 years
d) 10 years

 

a) 2040
b) 2080
c) 2060
d) 2020

5.

What could cause serious problems for the country?

10.

What was Japan's birth rate in 1947?

 

a) high cost of weddings
b) high tax
c) the dwindling number of children
d) the roads

 

a) 1.42
b) 4.54
c) 2.41
d) 5.24

ROLE PLAY

Role  A – Cash bonus per child

You think a cash bonus per child is the best way to increase the birth rate. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't so good. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): free nurseries, longer paternity leave or free education for the third child.

Role  B – Free nurseries

You think free nurseries are the best way to increase the birth rate. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't so good. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): a cash bonus per child, longer paternity leave or free education for the third child.

Role  C – Longer paternity leave

You think longer paternity leave is the best way to increase the birth rate. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't so good. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): free nurseries, a cash bonus per child or free education for the third child.

Role  D – Free education for third child

You think free education for the third child is the best way to increase the birth rate. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't so good. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why):  free nurseries, longer paternity leave or a cash bonus per child.





AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

birth

 

rate

 

 

  • 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:

  • attempt
  • novel
  • acting
  • coax
  • efforts
  • cause
  • rising
  • variety
  • access
  • leave
  • three
  • steadily

MATCHMAKING SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about matchmaking 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.

MATCHMAKING DISCUSSION

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

1)

What did you think when you read the headline?

2)

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

3)

What is the best matchmaking method?

4)

What do you think of online dating?

5)

What do you think of Japan's government's efforts?

6)

What is speed dating?

7)

How can governments encourage people to have more children?

8)

What do you know about Cupid?

9)

What problems are there with falling birth rates?

10)

Why aren't couples getting together and having children?

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

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

11)

Did you like reading this article? Why/not?

12)

What makes raising children so expensive?

13)

How important is free or low-cost nursery care?

14)

What do you know about fertility treatment?

15)

What is paternity leave like in your country?

16)

How important is it for fathers to take paternity leave?

17)

What's the best number of children to have?

18)

What are the problems of an ageing population?

19)

What do you think of blind dates?

20)

What questions would you like to ask Japan's government?





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

Japan's government is going to play Cupid in an (1) ____ to encourage more couples to have babies. The country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world and politicians are turning to (2) ____ methods to get people to add to the population. One of these methods is local authorities acting (3) ____ matchmakers. Japan's national government will support any local government effort (4) ____ speed dating, online matchmaking and other ways to (5) ____ couples to get together and start families. The draft recommendations call for intensive efforts over the next five years. The report says Japan faces a "critical situation" in which the (6) ____ number of children could cause serious social problems for the country.

One reason the government has found for Japan's falling birth rate is the rising cost of raising children. The government hopes to (7) ____ this with a variety of measures. These include plans to improve (8) ____ to free nursery care, special centres for people undergoing fertility treatment, and a target to increase the number of fathers taking (9) ____ leave after their baby is born to 80 per cent by the year 2020. There are also plans to provide (10) ____ support for families with three or more children. By 2060, nearly 40 per cent of Japan's population will be (11) ____ over 65. The over-65s already constitute 25 per cent of the population. The birth rate has fallen (12) ____ from 4.54 children per mother in 1947 to just 1.42 in 2014.

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

1.

(a)

attempted

(b)

attempting

(c)

attempts

(d)

attempt

2.

(a)

storied

(b)

literary

(c)

bookish

(d)

novel

3.

(a)

has

(b)

as

(c)

ease

(d)

was

4.

(a)

by

(b)

of

(c)

at

(d)

to

5.

(a)

coach

(b)

coast

(c)

coax

(d)

coaxial

6.

(a)

dwindling

(b)

tingling

(c)

mingling

(d)

kindling

7.

(a)

envelope

(b)

address

(c)

stamp

(d)

post

8.

(a)

access

(b)

recess

(c)

excess

(d)

success

9.

(a)

eternity

(b)

paternity

(c)

fraternity

(d)

maternity

10.

(a)

goodly

(b)

grate

(c)

greater

(d)

grated

11.

(a)

ageing

(b)

ageless

(c)

aged

(d)

ages

12.

(a)

steadies

(b)

steadied

(c)

steady

(d)

steadily

SPELLING

Paragraph 1

1.

an attempt to eocuaengr more couples

2.

local iherotatius

3.

other ways to xoca couples

4.

neivnties efforts

5.

Japan faces a crciliat situation

6.

the diwdgninl number of children

Paragraph 2

7.

Japan's falling tbhtaerir

8.

a variety of euamrsse

9.

people undergoing eriylitft treatment

10.

fathers taking itetyrnpa leave

11.

esctonutit 25 per cent of the population

12.

… has fallen dylaeist

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

number of children could cause serious social problems for the country.

(    )

access to free nursery care, special centres for people undergoing fertility treatment, and a target

(    )

of raising children. The government hopes to address this with a variety of measures. These include plans to improve

(    )

one of the lowest birth rates in the world and politicians are turning to novel methods to get people to add

(    )

ways to coax couples to get together and start families. The draft recommendations call for intensive

(    )

2020. There are also plans to provide greater support for families with three or more children. By 2060,

(    )

government will support any local government effort at speed dating, online matchmaking and other

1  )

Japan's government is going to play Cupid in an attempt to encourage more couples to have babies. The country has

(    )

to increase the number of fathers taking paternity leave after their baby is born to 80 per cent by the year

(    )

the population. The birth rate has fallen steadily from 4.54 children per mother in 1947 to just 1.42 in 2014.

(    )

to the population. One of these methods is local authorities acting as matchmakers. Japan's national

(    )

efforts over the next five years. The report says Japan faces a "critical situation" in which the dwindling

(    )

nearly 40 per cent of Japan's population will be aged over 65. The over-65s already constitute 25 per cent of

(    )

One reason the government has found for Japan's falling birth rate is the rising cost

PUT THE WORDS IN THE RIGHT ORDER

1.

play   to   going   is   government   Japan's   Cupid.  

2.

one   lowest   has   the   rates   country   of   birth   The.  

3.

to   to   turning   methods   people   are   novel   get   Politicians.  

4.

to   ways   get   to   together   coax   couples   Other.  

5.

country   the   for   problems   social   serious   Cause.  

6.

raising   One   the   of   is   cost   children   reason   rising.  

7.

access   to   free   nursery   care   These   include   plans   to   improve.  

8.

leave   paternity   taking   fathers   of   number   The.  

9.

families   There   are   also   plans   to   provide   greater   support  for.  

10.

already   65s      over-   The   population   the   of      25%   constitute.   

CIRCLE THE CORRECT WORD (20 PAIRS)

Japan's government is going to play Cupid in an attempt to encouragement / encourage more couples to have babies. The country has one / two of the lowest birth rates in the world and politicians are turning to bookish / novel methods to get people to add / plus to the population. One of these methods is local authorities acting has / as matchmakers. Japan's national government will support any local government effort at speed / sped dating, online matchmaking and other ways to hoax / coax couples to get together and start families. The draft / drafty recommendations call for intensive efforts over the next five years. The report says Japan faces / facing a "critical situation" in which the dwindling / tingling number of children could cause serious social problems for the country.

One reason the government has found for Japan's failing / falling birth rate is the rising / risen cost of raising children. The government hopes to address this with a variety / various of measures. These include plans to improve access to freely / free nursery care, special centres for people undergoing fertility treatment, and a target to increase the number of fathers taking paternity / paternal leave after their baby is born to 80 per cent by the year 2020. There are also plans to provision / provide greater support for families with three or more / most children. By 2060, nearly 40 per cent of Japan's population will be ages / aged over 65. The over-65s already constitute / consider 25 per cent of the population. The birth rate has fallen steadily / steady from 4.54 children per mother in 1947 to just 1.42 in 2014.

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)

J_p_n's g_v_rnm_nt _s g__ng t_ pl_y C_p_d _n _n _tt_mpt t_ _nc__r_g_ m_r_ c__pl_s t_ h_v_ b_b__s. Th_ c__ntry h_s _n_ _f th_ l_w_st b_rth r_t_s _n th_ w_rld _nd p_l_t_c__ns _r_ t_rn_ng t_ n_v_l m_th_ds t_ g_t p__pl_ t_ _dd t_ th_ p_p_l_t__n. _n_ _f th_s_ m_th_ds _s l_c_l __th_r_t__s _ct_ng _s m_tchm_k_rs. J_p_n's n_t__n_l g_v_rnm_nt w_ll s_pp_rt _ny l_c_l g_v_rnm_nt _ff_rt _t sp__d d_t_ng, _nl_n_ m_tchm_k_ng _nd _th_r w_ys t_ c__x c__pl_s t_ g_t t_g_th_r _nd st_rt f_m_l__s. Th_ dr_ft r_c_mm_nd_t__ns c_ll f_r _nt_ns_v_ _ff_rts _v_r th_ n_xt f_v_ y__rs. Th_ r_p_rt s_ys J_p_n f_c_s _ "cr_t_c_l s_t__t__n" _n wh_ch th_ dw_ndl_ng n_mb_r _f ch_ldr_n c__ld c__s_ s_r___s s_c__l pr_bl_ms f_r th_ c__ntry.

_n_ r__s_n th_ g_v_rnm_nt h_s f__nd f_r J_p_n's f_ll_ng b_rth r_t_ _s th_ r_s_ng c_st _f r__s_ng ch_ldr_n. Th_ g_v_rnm_nt h_p_s t_ _ddr_ss th_s w_th _ v_r__ty _f m__s_r_s. Th_s_ _ncl_d_ pl_ns t_ _mpr_v_ _cc_ss t_ fr__ n_rs_ry c_r_, sp_c__l c_ntr_s f_r p__pl_ _nd_rg__ng f_rt_l_ty tr__tm_nt, _nd _ t_rg_t t_ _ncr__s_ th_ n_mb_r _f f_th_rs t_k_ng p_t_rn_ty l__v_ _ft_r th__r b_by _s b_rn t_ 80 p_r c_nt by th_ y__r 2020. Th_r_ _r_ _ls_ pl_ns t_ pr_v_d_ gr__t_r s_pp_rt f_r f_m_l__s w_th thr__ _r m_r_ ch_ldr_n. By 2060, n__rly 40 p_r c_nt _f J_p_n's p_p_l_t__n w_ll b_ _g_d _v_r 65. Th_ _v_r-65s _lr__dy c_nst_t_t_ 25 p_r c_nt _f th_ p_p_l_t__n. Th_ b_rth r_t_ h_s f_ll_n st__d_ly fr_m 4.54 ch_ldr_n p_r m_th_r _n 1947 t_ j_st 1.42 _n 2014.

PUNCTUATE THE TEXT AND ADD CAPITALS

japan's government is going to play cupid in an attempt to encourage more couples to have babies the country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world and politicians are turning to novel methods to get people to add to the population one of these methods is local authorities acting as matchmakers japan's national government will support any local government effort at speed dating online matchmaking and other ways to coax couples to get together and start families the draft recommendations call for intensive efforts over the next five years the report says japan faces a "critical situation" in which the dwindling number of children could cause serious social problems for the country

one reason the government has found for japan's falling birth rate is the rising cost of raising children the government hopes to address this with a variety of measures these include plans to improve access to free nursery care special centres for people undergoing fertility treatment and a target to increase the number of fathers taking paternity leave after their baby is born to 80 per cent by the year 2020 there are also plans to provide greater support for families with three or more children by 2060 nearly 40 per cent of japan's population will be aged over 65 the over-65s already constitute 25 per cent of the population the birth rate has fallen steadily from 454 children per mother in 1947 to just 142 in 2014

PUT A SLASH ( / ) WHERE THE SPACES ARE

Japan'sgovernmentisgoingtoplayCupidinanattempttoencouragemo
recouplestohavebabies.Thecountryhasoneofthelowestbirthratesint
heworldandpoliticiansareturningtonovelmethodstogetpeopletoaddt
othepopulation.Oneofthesemethodsislocalauthoritiesactingasmatc
hmakers.Japan'snationalgovernmentwillsupportanylocalgovernme
nteffortatspeeddating,onlinematchmakingandotherwaystocoaxcou
plestogettogetherandstartfamilies.Thedraftrecommendationscallfo
rintensiveeffortsoverthenextfiveyears.ThereportsaysJapanfacesa"c
riticalsituation"inwhichthedwindlingnumberofchildrencouldcausese
rioussocialproblemsforthecountry.Onereasonthegovernmenthasfo
undforJapan'sfallingbirthrateistherisingcostofraisingchildren.Thego
vernmenthopestoaddressthiswithavarietyofmeasures.Theseinclud
eplanstoimproveaccesstofreenurserycare,specialcentresforpeopleu
ndergoingfertilitytreatment,andatargettoincreasethenumberoffath
erstakingpaternityleaveaftertheirbabyisbornto80percentbytheyear
2020.Therearealsoplanstoprovidegreatersupportforfamilieswiththr
eeormorechildren.By2060,nearly40percentofJapan'spopulationwill
beagedover65.Theover-65salreadyconstitute25percentofthepopu
lation.Thebirthratehasfallensteadilyfrom4.54childrenpermotherin1
947tojust1.42in2014.

FREE WRITING

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

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ACADEMIC WRITING

Matchmaking is better than meeting people by chance. 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 the Japanese government's matchmaking plans. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MATCHMAKING: Make a poster about matchmaking. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. BIRTH RATE: Write a magazine article about declining birth rates. Include imaginary interviews with people who think it's no problem and with people who think it is a big problem.

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 matchmaking. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to make it work better. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE (p.4)

a

F

b

F

c

T

d

T

e

T

f

T

g

F

h

F

SYNONYM MATCH (p.4)

1.

ways

a.

methods

2

support

b.

back

3.

coax

c.

encourage

4.

fix

d.

repair

5.

serious

e.

significant

6.

reason

f.

cause

7.

treatment

g.

care

8.

plans

h.

proposals

9.

help

i.

assist

10.

fell

j.

dropped

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS (p.8)

1.

cupid

2.

novel

3.

matchmaker

4.

5 years

5.

the dwindling number of children

6.

the cost of raising children

7.

nurseries

8.

paternity leave

9.

2060

10.

4.54

MULTIPLE CHOICE - QUIZ (p.9)

1.

d

2.

b

3.

c

4.

a

5.

c

6.

b

7.

d

8.

a

9.

c

10.

b

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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