The Reading / Listening - Convenience Stores - Level 6

Convenience stores provide many of us with a handy place to pop into 24 hours a day to buy things we have forgotten or didn't have time to get from other stores. They also provide part-time jobs for thousands of people. A new report from Japan suggests that some convenience stores are not so convenient for its workers. The report, from Japan's national broadcaster NHK, says overbearing and unrealistic sales quotas are being imposed on many part-time workers. Labor rights experts are calling on store bosses to stop what they deem to be an exploitative practice. There are reports of workers having hundreds of dollars deducted from their salaries and having to buy unsold stock for failing to meet the quotas.



An expert on Japanese labor law Professor Mitsumo Uematsu said deducting a quota's worth of unsold products from salaries violated labor laws. He also questioned why so many part-timers felt compelled to buy unsold stock, which could be "seen as being forced to take on an economic burden because of pressure from stores". Professor Uematsu urged the headquarters of convenience store chains to tackle this problem so that part-timers are not exploited. One part-time worker said he was "drowning in quotas". Another said that workers can lose up to 20-30% of their monthly salary. The biggest losses come with quotas for unsold seasonal items like Valentines and Christmas goods and special sushi rolls.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Convenience Stores - Level 4  or  Convenience Stores - Level 5

Sources
  • http://www.tokyoreporter.com/2017/01/29/japans-convenience-store-clerks-bemoan-overbearing-sushi-quotas/
  • http://www.fnn-news.com/news/headlines/articles/CONN00348152.html
  • http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20170202/k10010862671000.html?


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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. CONVENIENCE STORES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about convenience stores. 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?

       convenience / stores / 24 hours / part-time work / broadcaster / bosses / salaries /
        expert / laws / unsold products / economic / burden / headquarters / losses / sushi

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

3. CONVENIENT: Students A strongly believe convenience stores are very convenient; Students B strongly believe they aren't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

4. PART TIME: What are the pros and cons of working part time? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Pros

Cons

Pay

 

 

Hours

 

 

Holidays

 

 

Being sick

 

 

Responsibility

 

 

Full-timer relations

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. 24 HOURS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the words "24 hours". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. CONVENIENCE: Rank these with your partner. Put the most convenient things about convenience stores at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • location
  • fresh food
  • essential items
  • price
  • opening hours
  • range of products
  • drinks
  • extra services

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. The article said convenience stores were dandy places to pop into.     T / F
  2. The article has news about a report from Japan's national broadcaster.    T / F
  3. A report said sales quotas given to part-timers were unrealistic.     T / F
  4. The report says workers have salaries deducted for not meeting quotas.  T / F
  5. A labor law expert says deducting salaries for unsold quotas is legal.     T / F
  6. The expert suggested workers were under pressure to buy unsold stock.  T / F
  7. A part-timer described how he was drowning in sushi.     T / F
  8. The biggest losses with quotas are for unsold daily newspapers.     T / F

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

  1. handy
  2. overbearing
  3. imposed
  4. practice
  5. meet
  6. expert
  7. violated
  8. pressure
  9. tackle
  10. goods
  1. breached
  2. specialist
  3. fulfill
  4. address
  5. useful
  6. coercion
  7. method
  8. merchandise
  9. forced
  10. bullying

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

  1. a handy place to pop
  2. Japan's national
  3. unrealistic sales
  4. workers having hundreds of dollars deducted
  5. having to buy unsold stock for failing
  6. An expert
  7. being forced to take on an economic
  8. because of pressure
  9. One part-time worker said he was
  10. quotas for unsold
  1. broadcaster
  2. burden
  3. to meet the quotas
  4. on Japanese labor law
  5. seasonal items
  6. from their salaries
  7. into
  8. "drowning in quotas"
  9. quotas
  10. from stores

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
provide
practice
handy
meet
national
deducted
convenient
imposed

Convenience stores provide many of us with a (1) ____________ place to pop into 24 hours a day to buy things we have forgotten or didn't have time to get from other stores. They also (2) ____________ part-time jobs for thousands of people. A new report from Japan suggests that some convenience stores are not so (3) ____________ for their workers. The report, from Japan's (4) ____________ broadcaster NHK, says overbearing and unrealistic sales quotas are being (5) ____________ on many part-time workers. Labor rights experts are calling on store bosses to stop what they deem to be an exploitative (6) ____________. There are reports of workers having hundreds of dollars (7) ____________ from their salaries and having to buy unsold stock for failing to (8) ____________ the quotas.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
unsold
burden
drowning
expert
exploited
seasonal
compelled
tackle

An (9) ____________ on Japanese labor law Professor Mitsumo Uematsu said deducting a quota's worth of (10) ____________ products from salaries violated labor laws. He also questioned why so many part-timers felt (11) ____________ to buy unsold stock, which could be "seen as being forced to take on an economic (12) ____________ because of pressure from stores". Professor Uematsu urged the headquarters of convenience store chains to (13) ____________ this problem so that part-timers are not (14) ____________. One part-time worker said he was "(15) ____________ in quotas". Another said that workers can lose up to 20-30% of their monthly salary. The biggest losses come with quotas for unsold (16) ____________ items like Valentines and Christmas goods and special sushi rolls.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Convenience stores provide many of us with a handy ______
     a.  place to pop in two
     b.  place to popping to
     c.  place to pop in too
     d.  place to pop into

2)  A new report from Japan suggests that some convenience stores are ______
     a.  not so convenient
     b.  not so inconvenience
     c.  not so conveniently
     d.  not so inconvenient

3)  overbearing and unrealistic sales quotas are being ______
     a.  imposed in many
     b.  imposed on many
     c.  imposed an many
     d.  imposed and many

4) experts are calling on store bosses to stop what they deem to be an ______
     a.  exploitative practicing
     b.  exploitative practiced
     c.  exploitative practices
     d.  exploitative practice

5)  deducted from their salaries and having to buy unsold stock for failing ______
     a.  to meet them quotas
     b.  to meet all quotas
     c.  to meet the quotas
     d.  to meet those quotas

6)  deducting a quota's worth of unsold products from salaries ______
     a.  violated labor laws
     b.  bio-rated labor laws
     c.  belated labor laws
     d.  violation labor laws

7)  Professor Uematsu urged the headquarters of convenience store chains to ______
     a.  tack all this problem
     b.  tackle this problem
     c.  trickle this problem
     d.  tickle this problem

8)  One part-time worker said he was "______"
     a.  drowning in quotas
     b.  drown in quotas
     c.  downing in quotas
     d.  dawning in quotas

9)  Another said that workers can lose up to 20-30% of their ______
     a.  monthly salaries
     b.  monthlies salary
     c.  month less salary
     d.  monthly salary

10)  The biggest losses come with quotas for unsold ______
     a.  seasonal item
     b.  seasonal items
     c.  unseasonal items
     d.  season all items

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Convenience stores provide (1) ___________________ a handy place to  (2) ___________________ hours a day to buy things we have forgotten or didn't have time to get (3) ___________________. They also provide part-time jobs for thousands of people. A new report from Japan suggests that some convenience stores are not so convenient for their workers. The report, from Japan's (4) ___________________ NHK, says overbearing and unrealistic sales quotas are being imposed on many part-time workers. Labor rights experts are calling on store bosses to stop what they               (5) ___________________ exploitative practice. There are reports of workers having hundreds of dollars deducted from their salaries and having to buy unsold stock for (6) ___________________ the quotas.

(7) ___________________ Japanese labor law Professor Mitsumo Uematsu said deducting a quota's (8) ___________________ products from salaries violated labor laws. He also questioned why so many part-timers felt compelled (9) ___________________ stock, which could be "seen as being forced to take on an economic burden because of pressure from stores". Professor Uematsu urged the headquarters of convenience store chains to (10) ___________________ so that part-timers are not exploited. One part-time worker said he was "(11) ___________________". Another said that workers can lose up to 20-30% of their monthly salary. The biggest losses come with quotas (12) ___________________ items like Valentines and Christmas goods and special sushi rolls.

Comprehension questions

  1. What kind of place did the article call convenience stores?
  2. For whom do convenience stores provide thousands of jobs?
  3. What did NHK call the quotas besides overbearing?
  4. What kind of experts are calling on bosses to stop quotas?
  5. What do some convenience store workers have to buy?
  6. What is Professor Mitsumo Uematsu an expert on?
  7. What kind of burden might workers be forced into taking on?
  8. What did a part-time worker say he was drowning in?
  9. How much can workers have deducted from their monthly salary?
  10. What fish product was mentioned at the end of the article?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What kind of place did the article call convenience stores?
a) a handy place
b) a central place
c) a storage place
d) a provision place

2) For whom do convenience stores provide thousands of jobs?
a) homemakers
b) students
c) part-time workers
d) single people

3) What did NHK call the quotas besides overbearing?
a) stupid
b) unrealistic
c) achievable
d) challenging

4) What kind of experts are calling on bosses to stop quotas?
a) psychology experts
b) retail experts
c) convenience experts
d) labor rights experts

5) What do some convenience store workers have to buy?
a) unsold stock
b) uniforms
c) membership
d) bar code scanners

6) What is Professor Mitsumo Uematsu an expert on?
a) pressure
b) sales quotas
c) convenience workers
d) Japanese labor law

7) What kind of burden might workers be forced into taking on?
a) a heavy burden
b) an economic burden
c) the burden of proof
d) a burden on their shoulders

8) What did a part-time worker say he was drowning in?
a) ice cream
b) unpaid bills
c) money
d) quotas

9) How much can workers have deducted from their monthly salary?
a) ten per cent
b) up to half
c) 20-30%
d) up to 12-13%

10) What fish product was mentioned at the end of the article?
a) tuna sashimi
b) sushi rolls
c) fish and chips
d) prawn cocktail

Role play

Role A —Opening Hours

You think opening hours are the best thing about convenience stores. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least convenient of these (and why): extra services, location or the range of products.

Role B —Extra Services

You think extra services are the best thing about convenience stores. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least convenient of these (and why): opening hours, location or the range of products.

Role C —Location

You think location is the best thing about convenience stores. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least convenient of these (and why): extra services, opening hours or the range of products.

Role D —Range of Products

You think the range of products is the best thing about convenience stores. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least convenient of these (and why):  extra services, location or opening hours.

After reading / listening

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

'convenience'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'store'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • 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:

    • worth
    • seen
    • pressure
    • tackle
    • lose
    • special
    • us
    • time
    • national
    • calling
    • deem
    • failing




    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic 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.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - Sales quotas exploit convenience store workers

    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 'convenience'?
    3. How important are convenience stores?
    4. What would life be like without convenience stores?
    5. What services do convenience stores provide in your country?
    6. What would it be like to work in a convenience store?
    7. What do you think of convenience store prices?
    8. Should part-time workers be given sales quotas?
    9. Is giving sales staff quotas an 'exploitative practice'?
    10. What advice do you have for convenience store part-time workers?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'store'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. How convenient are convenience stores?
    5. Why don't convenience store workers sue their employers over quotas?
    6. What kind of company pressures staff to buy unsold stock?
    7. In what ways are part-time workers exploited?
    8. How might it feel to be 'drowning in quotas'?
    9. What do you think of workers having money deducted from their salary?
    10. What questions would you like to ask a convenience store boss?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Convenience stores provide many of us with a (1) ____ place to pop into 24 hours a day to buy things we have forgotten or didn't have time to get from other stores. They also (2) ____ part-time jobs for thousands of people. A new report from Japan suggests that some convenience stores are not so (3) ____ for their workers. The report, from Japan's national broadcaster NHK, says overbearing and unrealistic (4) ____ quotas are being imposed (5) ____ many part-time workers. Labor rights experts are calling on store bosses to stop what they (6) ____ to be an exploitative practice. There are reports of workers having hundreds of dollars deducted from their salaries and having to buy unsold stock for failing to meet the quotas.

    An expert on Japanese labor law Professor Mitsumo Uematsu said (7) ____ a quota's worth of unsold products from salaries violated labor laws. He also questioned why so many part-timers felt (8) ____ to buy unsold stock, which could be "seen as being forced to take on an economic (9) ____ because of pressure from stores". Professor Uematsu urged the headquarters of convenience store chains to tackle this problem so that part-timers are not (10) ____. One part-time worker said he was "drowning in quotas". Another said that workers can lose up to 20-30% of their monthly salary. The biggest losses (11) ____ with quotas for unsold seasonal items (12) ____ Valentines and Christmas goods and special sushi rolls.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     handy     (b)     handle     (c)     handed     (d)     handing    
    2. (a)     provided     (b)     providing     (c)     provide     (d)     provision    
    3. (a)     conveniently     (b)     convenience     (c)     convenient     (d)     conveniences    
    4. (a)     costs     (b)     demands     (c)     supplies     (d)     sales    
    5. (a)     on     (b)     to     (c)     at     (d)     of    
    6. (a)     seem     (b)     deem     (c)     teem     (d)     meme    
    7. (a)     reducing     (b)     deducing     (c)     redacting     (d)     deducting    
    8. (a)     repelled     (b)     compelled     (c)     propelled     (d)     dishevelled    
    9. (a)     bludgeon     (b)     braiding     (c)     burden     (d)     burdock    
    10. (a)     exploitative     (b)     exploited     (c)     exploitation     (d)     exploits    
    11. (a)     deduct     (b)     take     (c)     go     (d)     come    
    12. (a)     by     (b)     like     (c)     such     (d)     as

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. Japan's national cderaartosb NHK
    2. overbearing and sraitcenuil sales quotas
    3. being epdomis on many part-time workers
    4. Labor rights rxteeps
    5. an eoapilvitext practice
    6. hundreds of dollars udeddetc from their salaries

    Paragraph 2

    1. aivotlde labor laws
    2. part-timers felt dpellecmo to buy unsold stock
    3. forced to take on an economic unrdbe
    4. because of usreepsr from stores
    5. rgnodniw in quotas
    6. unsold aenossla items

    Put the text back together

    (    )     forgotten or didn't have time to get from other stores. They also provide part-time jobs for thousands of

    (    )     "drowning in quotas". Another said that workers can lose up to 20-30% of their monthly salary. The biggest losses

    (    )     problem so that part-timers are not exploited. One part-time worker said he was

    (    )     come with quotas for unsold seasonal items like Valentines and Christmas goods and special sushi rolls.

      )     An expert on Japanese labor law Professor Mitsumo Uematsu said deducting a quota's worth of unsold products

    (  1  )     Convenience stores provide many of us with a handy place to pop into 24 hours a day to buy things we have

    (    )     from stores". Professor Uematsu urged the headquarters of convenience store chains to tackle this

    (    )     people. A new report from Japan suggests that some convenience stores are not so

    (    )     deducted from their salaries and having to buy unsold stock for failing to meet the quotas.

    (    )     to buy unsold stock, which could be "seen as being forced to take on an economic burden because of pressure

    (    )     convenient for their workers. The report, from Japan's national broadcaster NHK, says overbearing and unrealistic sales

    (    )     from salaries violated labor laws. He also questioned why so many part-timers felt compelled

    (    )     quotas are being imposed on many part-time workers. Labor rights experts are calling on store bosses to

    (    )     stop what they deem to be an exploitative practice. There are reports of workers having hundreds of dollars

    Put the words in the right order

    1. to   place  handy  a   with  us   of  many  provide   Stores  into   pop    .
    2. part   -  being  workers  imposed  Sales  on  quotas  many  are   time   .
    3. an   they   exploitative   deem   practice   to   Stop   be   what      .
    4. dollars  Workers  deducted  having  from  hundreds  their  of   salaries  .
    5. for   the  unsold   quotas  Having   to   buy  failing  to  meet   stock  .
    6. worth   a  salaries   products   of  quota's   Deducting  from  unsold  .
    7. stock   compelled   Many   to   part   buy   timers   unsold   felt  .
    8. burden   pressure  Take   economic  of  stores   an  because  from  on  .
    9. said   "drowning   he   One   in   was   worker   part-time   quotas"      .
    10. losses  quotas   seasonal  biggest  with  unsold  The   come  for  items  .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Convenience stores provide / provision many of us with a handy place to pop into 24 hours a day to buy things we have / are forgotten or didn't have time to get from other stores. They also provide part-time jobs for thousand / thousands of people. A new report from Japan suggests / suggestive that some convenience stores are not so convenience / convenient for their workers. The report, from Japan's national / nationally broadcaster NHK, says overbearing / bearing and unrealistic sales quotas are being imposed on many part-time workers. Labor rights experts are calling off / on store bosses to stop what they deem / seem to be an exploitative practice. There are reports of workers having hundreds of dollars deducted from their salaries and having to buy unsold stock for failing / falling to meet the quotas.

    An expert on / by Japanese labor law Professor Mitsumo Uematsu said deducting a quota's worthy / worth of unsold products from salaries violated labor laws. He also questioned what / why so many part-timers felt compared / compelled to buy unsold stock, which could be "seen as / was being forced to take off / on an economic burden because of pressure from stores". Professor Uematsu urged / purged the headquarters of convenience store chains to tackle this problem so that part-timers are not exploited. One part-time worker said he was "drowning on / in quotas". Another said that workers can lose up to 20-30% of their monthly / month salary. The biggest losses come with quotas for unsold seasonal items like Valentines and Christmas goods and specially / special sushi rolls.

    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)

    C_nv_n__nc_ st_r_s pr_v_d_ m_ny _f _s w_th _ h_ndy pl_c_ t_ p_p _nt_ 24 h__rs _ d_y t_ b_y th_ngs w_ h_v_ f_rg_tt_n _r d_dn't h_v_ t_m_ t_ g_t fr_m _th_r st_r_s. Th_y _ls_ pr_v_d_ p_rt-t_m_ j_bs f_r th__s_nds _f p__pl_. _ n_w r_p_rt fr_m J_p_n s_gg_sts th_t s_m_ c_nv_n__nc_ st_r_s _r_ n_t s_ c_nv_n__nt f_r th__r w_rk_rs. Th_ r_p_rt, fr_m J_p_n's n_t__n_l br__dc_st_r NHK, s_ys _v_rb__r_ng _nd _nr__l_st_c s_l_s q__t_s _r_ b__ng _mp_s_d _n m_ny p_rt-t_m_ w_rk_rs. L_b_r r_ghts _xp_rts _r_ c_ll_ng _n st_r_ b_ss_s t_ st_p wh_t th_y d__m t_ b_ _n _xpl__t_t_v_ pr_ct_c_. Th_r_ _r_ r_p_rts _f w_rk_rs h_v_ng h_ndr_ds _f d_ll_rs d_d_ct_d fr_m th__r s_l_r__s _nd h_v_ng t_ b_y _ns_ld st_ck f_r f__l_ng t_ m__t th_ q__t_s.

    _n _xp_rt _n J_p_n_s_ l_b_r l_w Pr_f_ss_r M_ts_m_ __m_ts_ s__d d_d_ct_ng _ q__t_'s w_rth _f _ns_ld pr_d_cts fr_m s_l_r__s v__l_t_d l_b_r l_ws. H_ _ls_ q__st__n_d why s_ m_ny p_rt t_m_rs f_lt c_mp_ll_d t_ b_y _ns_ld st_ck, wh_ch c__ld b_ "s__n _s b__ng f_rc_d t_ t_k_ _n _n _c_n_m_c b_rd_n b_c__s_ _f pr_ss_r_ fr_m st_r_s". Pr_f_ss_r __m_ts_ _rg_d th_ h__dq__rt_rs _f c_nv_n__nc_ st_r_ ch__ns t_ t_ckl_ th_s pr_bl_m s_ th_t p_rt-t_m_rs _r_ n_t _xpl__t_d. _n_ p_rt-t_m_ w_rk_r s__d h_ w_s "dr_wn_ng _n q__t_s". _n_th_r s__d th_t w_rk_rs c_n l_s_ _p t_ 20-30% _f th__r m_nthly s_l_ry. Th_ b_gg_st l_ss_s c_m_ w_th q__t_s f_r _ns_ld s__s_n_l _t_ms l_k_ V_l_nt_n_s _nd Chr_stm_s g__ds _nd sp_c__l s_sh_ r_lls.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    convenience stores provide many of us with a handy place to pop into 24 hours a day to buy things we have forgotten or didn't have time to get from other stores they also provide part-time jobs for thousands of people a new report from japan suggests that some convenience stores are not so convenient for their workers the report from japan's national broadcaster nhk says overbearing and unrealistic sales quotas are being imposed on many part-time workers labor rights experts are calling on store bosses to stop what they deem to be an exploitative practice there are reports of workers having hundreds of dollars deducted from their salaries and having to buy unsold stock for failing to meet the quotas

    an expert on japanese labor law professor mitsumo uematsu said deducting a quota's worth of unsold products from salaries violated labor laws he also questioned why so many part-timers felt compelled to buy unsold stock which could be "seen as being forced to take on an economic burden because of pressure from stores" professor uematsu urged the headquarters of convenience store chains to tackle this problem so that part-timers are not exploited one part-time worker said he was "drowning in quotas" another said that workers can lose up to 20-30% of their monthly salary the biggest losses come with quotas for unsold seasonal items like valentines and christmas goods and special sushi rolls

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Conveniencestoresprovidemanyofuswithahandyplacetopopinto24h
    oursadaytobuythingswehaveforgottenordidn'thavetimetogetfromo
    therstores.Theyalsoprovidepart-timejobsforthousandsofpeople.An
    ewreportfromJapansuggeststhatsomeconveniencestoresarenotsoc
    onvenientforitsworkers.Thereport,fromJapan'snationalbroadcaster
    NHK,saysoverbearingandunrealisticsalesquotasarebeingimposedo
    nmanypart-timeworkers.Laborrightsexpertsarecallingonstorebosse
    stostopwhattheydeemtobeanexploitativepractice.Therearereportso
    fworkershavinghundredsofdollarsdeductedfromtheirsalariesandha
    vingtobuyunsoldstockforfailingtomeetthequotas.AnexpertonJapan
    eselaborlawProfessorMitsumoUematsusaiddeductingaquota'sworth
    ofunsoldproductsfromsalariesviolatedlaborlaws.Healsoquestioned
    whysomanyparttimersfeltcompelledtobuyunsoldstock,whichcouldb
    e"seenasbeingforcedtotakeonaneconomicburdenbecauseofpressur
    efromstores".ProfessorUematsuurgedtheheadquartersofconvenien
    cestorechainstotacklethisproblemsothatpart-timersarenotexploite
    d.Onepart-timeworkersaidhewas"drowninginquotas".Anothersai
    dthatworkerscanloseupto20-30%oftheirmonthlysalary.Thebiggestl
    ossescomewithquotasforunsoldseasonalitemslikeValentinesandChr
    istmasgoodsandspecialsushirolls.

    Free writing

    Write about convenience stores for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Convenience store workers should never be given sales quotas. 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 working in convenience stores. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

    3. PART-TIME WORK: Make a poster about part-time work. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

    4. CONVENIENCE STORES: Write a magazine article about convenience stores making giving their workers sales quotas. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.

    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 convenience stores. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your ideas on how they can be better. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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