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My 1,000
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Date: May 10, 2005
Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)
Downloads: This Lesson (Word Doc) | Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

Listening (1:57 - 229.2 KB - 16kbps)
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THE ARTICLE

Nine rail companies in Tokyo began offering a women-only carriage on their rush hour trains on May 9. This is in reaction to a sharp increase in incidences of molestation. The groping of women by male passengers on Tokyo’s trains has increased three-fold in the past decade and is a particular problem during peak travel times. Sixty per cent of women in their twenties and thirties confessed to having been groped on a train, with a record 2,201 cases reported last year. Although police apprehended 217 molesters, the number of reported cases is just the tip of the iceberg. Many women suffer in silence, either feeling too ashamed or thinking that it is a waste of time to report it to the police.

The single-sex cars – just one per train – are part of a citywide effort to tackle indecent assault. Other weapons in the Tokyo Government’s arsenal include 100 specially trained police officers, who will ride the trains seeking out perverts who touch or covertly take photographs of women. These initiatives are welcomed by an overwhelming majority of female commuters. Tomoko Ando, 28, said: “At last I can go to work without worrying about who’s around me. The ladies car makes my commute a much more pleasant way to start my day.” Most male passengers agree with the new system, although a few have voiced concerns about the overcrowding it causes in other cars and of discrimination.

WARM UPS

1. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics you are interested in, which do not look interesting and which look really boring:

Tokyo / rush hour / traveling by train / single-sex train cars / icebergs / indecent assault / commuting / discrimination against men

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

2. COMMUTING: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with commuting. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. MY COMMUTE: In pairs / groups, describe your journey from your house to your office / school in as much detail as you can. You must try and account for and talk about every 30-second segment of your commute - your routines, the same faces you see, the same kiosks or shops you visit, what you eat or drink, what you always do on the train / bus / in the car…

4. PERVERTS: Match the kinds of perverts on the left with the definitions on the right. After you have finished, talk about the vocabulary:

stalker

Someone who suddenly reveals his / her naked body to another person in public.

peeping Tom

Someone who likes taking their clothes off and showing his/her body in public places.

flasher

Someone who obsessively tracks and follows another person.

molester

Someone who forcibly touches the body of another person, often in crowded places.

bottom pincher

Someone who, hidden from view, secretly looks at others undressing.

kerb crawler (UK)
curb crawler (US)

Someone who telephones another person anonymously to make unwanted, sexually suggestive comments.

exhibitionist

Someone who forcibly and often violently touches the body of another person , often in crowded places.

dirty caller

Usually a man who drives slowly in red-light areas looking for prostitutes, but will also harangue other women.

groper

Someone who engages in anti-social and sexually deviant practices.

pervert

Someone who tweaks a private body part of another person and thinks it’s a joke.

5. SINGLE-SEX: Around the world there are many examples of sexual segregation. Look at the following list of men-only or women-only places and decide whether you think each is a good idea:

  1. Movie theatre.
  2. Bar.
  3. Train carriage.
  4. Golf club.
  5. Shopping mall.
  6. Swimming pool.
  7. Public toilet.
  8. Beach.

 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Use your dictionary / computer to find word partners (collocates), other meanings, synonyms or more information on the words ‘rush’ and ‘hour’.

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

  1. Tokyo trains now have cars that are only for women.  T / F
  2. The women-only cars were introduced to reduce molestation.  T / F
  3. The groping of women by male passengers increased three-fold last year.  T / F
  4. The vast majority of molestation cases on Tokyo trains go unreported.  T / F
  5. The single-sex cars are part of a citywide effort to tackle indecent assault.  T / F
  6. Tokyo police officers are to secretly take photographs of women.  T / F
  7. Just over half of female commuters approve of the new initiative.  T / F
  8. A small percentage of male commuters feel discriminated against.  T / F

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

a.

rush

arrested

b.

sharp

efforts

c.

groping

combat

d.

apprehended

dramatic

e.

suffer in silence

accosting

f.

tackle

armory

g.

arsenal

peak

h.

covertly

keep tight-lipped

i.

initiatives

expressed

j.

voiced

secretly

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

a.

in reaction

217 molesters

b.

increased

welcomed

c.

confessed to

three-fold

d.

police apprehended

concerns

e.

the tip

to a sharp increase of

f.

indecent

majority

g.

other weapons in the

assault

h.

These initiatives are

having been groped

i.

overwhelming

of the iceberg

j.

a few have voiced

Tokyo Government’s arsenal

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. GAP FILL: Put the words from the column on the right into the correct spaces in the text:

Women-only cars for Tokyo trains

Nine rail companies in Tokyo began offering a women-only carriage on their rush hour trains on May 9. This is in __________ to a sharp increase in __________ of molestation. The groping of women by male passengers on Tokyo’s trains has increased __________  in the past decade and is a particular problem during peak travel times. Sixty per cent of women in their twenties and thirties confessed to having been groped on a train, with a record 2,201 cases reported last year. Although police __________ 217 molesters, the number of reported cases is just the tip of the __________. Many women suffer in __________, either feeling too ashamed or thinking that it is a waste of time to report being molested.

 

apprehended
silence
incidences
reaction
iceberg
three-fold

The single-sex cars – just one per train – are part of a __________ effort to tackle indecent __________. Other weapons in the Tokyo Government’s __________ include 100 specially trained police officers, who will ride the trains seeking out perverts who touch or __________ take photographs of women. These initiatives are welcomed by an __________ majority of female commuters. Tomoko Ando, 28, said: “At last I can go to work without worrying about who’s around me. The ladies car makes my commute a much more pleasant way to start my day.” Most male passengers agree with the new system, although a few have __________ concerns about the overcrowding it causes in other cars and of discrimination.

 

overwhelming
covertly
assault
voiced
arsenal
citywide

2. TRUE/FALSE: Check your answers to the T/F exercise.

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Check your answers to this exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH: Check your answers to this exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Make notes for questions you would like to ask the class about the article.

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


 
 

POST READING IDEAS

1. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, check your answers to this exercise.

2. QUESTIONS: Ask the discussion questions you thought of above to your partner / group / class. Pool the questions for everyone to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT COMMUTING SURVEY: In pairs/groups write down questions about commuting. Ask other classmates your questions and report back to your original partner/ group to compare your findings.

5. ‘RUSH’ / ‘HOUR’: Make questions based on your findings from pre-reading activity #1. Ask your partner / group your questions.

6. DISCUSSION:

  1. What did you think of this article?
  2. Did anything in this article surprise you?
  3. Were you angered by anything you read in the article?
  4. What do you think about female-only train carriages?
  5. Should there also be male-only train carriages?
  6. Is molestation on trains a problem in your country?
  7. Are there any examples of segregated services or places in your country?
  8. Is segregating train carriages an effective solution to molestation?
  9. What happens to molesters in your country?
  10. What should happen to molesters in your view?
  11. If you were being groped on a train, would you “suffer in silence”?
  12. Do you think the men who complained about reverse discrimination have a point?
  13. Would (do) you use single-sex train carriages?
  14. What annoyances are there on the trains or buses in your country?
  15. Are there any annoyances on public transport you particularly dislike?
  16. How would you feel if a close male relative or friend of yours was apprehended for being a molester?
  17. How often do you see weirdoes on the train or bus?
  18. What do you do when a weirdo sits next to you and wants to talk to you?
  19. Did you like this discussion?
  20. Teacher / Student additional questions.

7. COMMUTING OFFENCES: You are head of the newly created “Keep Commuting Carefree Council” It is your job to eradicate all forms of anti-social behaviour on all modes of public transport. In pairs / groups, determine the seriousness of the “commuting crimes” in the table and decide on a suitable punishment.

CRIME

SERIOUSNESS
(10 = Seriously serious,
1 = I can live with that)

PUNISHMENT

Groping

 

 

Taking up two seats

 

 

Taking one’s (live) chickens on the train

 

 

Smoking

 

 

Talking loudly on a mobile phone

 

 

Eating smelly food

 

 

Reading or looking at pornographic material

 

 

Sitting in the special needs seats

 

 

Falling asleep and dribbling on another passenger’s shoulder

 

 

Listening to a loud Walkman

 

 

Your ideas?
____________________

____________________

 

 

Change partners. With new partners, compare how serious you deemed the “crimes” and the punishments. Agree on the five top offences in order of most serious. Have a class vote to see which offences are the worst.

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 information on rules of behaviour on trains. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. TRAIN STORY: Write a story about a weirdo you have encountered on public transport. Share your story with your classmates in your next lesson.

4. LETTER: Write a letter to the boss of the Japanese train lines telling him / her what you think of the new ladies only train carriages. Show your letters to the class next lesson.

ANSWERS

PERVERTS:

stalker

Someone who obsessively tracks and follows another person.

peeping Tom

Someone who, hidden from view, secretly looks at others undressing.

flasher

Someone who suddenly reveals his / her naked body to another person in public.

molester

Someone who forcibly and often violently touches the body of another person, often in secluded places.

bottom pincher

Someone who tweaks a private body part of another person and thinks it’s a joke.

kerb crawler (UK)
curb crawler (US)

Usually a man who drives slowly in red-light areas looking for prostitutes, but will also harangue other women.

exhibitionist

Someone who likes taking their clothes off in public places.

dirty caller

Someone who telephones another person anonymously to make unwanted, sexually suggestive comments.

groper

Someone who forcibly touches the body of another person, often in crowded places.

pervert

Someone who engages in anti-social and sexually deviant practices.

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. Tokyo trains now have cars that are only for women.  T
  2. The women-only cars were introduced to reduce molestation.  T
  3. The groping of women by male passengers increased three-fold last year.  F
  4. The vast majority of molestation cases on Tokyo trains go unreported.  T
  5. The single-sex cars are part of a citywide effort to tackle indecent assault.  T
  6. Tokyo police officers are to secretly take photographs of women.  F
  7. Just over half of female commuters approve of the new initiative.  F
  8. A small percentage of male commuters feel discriminated against.  T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

rush

peak

b.

sharp

dramatic

c.

groping

accosting

d.

apprehended

arrested

e.

suffer in silence

keep tight-lipped

f.

tackle

combat

g.

arsenal

armory

h.

covertly

secretly

i.

initiatives

efforts

j.

voiced

expressed

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

in reaction

to a sharp increase of

b.

increased

three-fold

c.

confessed to

having been groped

d.

police apprehended

217 molesters

e.

the tip

of the iceberg

f.

indecent

assault

g.

other weapons in the

Tokyo Government’s arsenal

h.

These initiatives are

welcomed

i.

overwhelming

majority

j.

a few have voiced

concerns

GAP FILL:

Women-only cars for Tokyo trains

Nine rail companies in Tokyo began offering a women-only carriage on their rush hour trains on May 9. This is in reaction to a sharp increase in incidences of molestation. The groping of women by male passengers on Tokyo’s trains has increased three-fold in the past decade and is a particular problem during peak travel times. Sixty per cent of women in their twenties and thirties confessed to having been groped on a train, with a record 2,201 cases reported last year. Although police apprehended 217 molesters, the number of reported cases is just the tip of the iceberg. Many women suffer in silence, either feeling too ashamed or thinking that it is a waste of time to report being molested.

The single-sex cars – just one per train – are part of a citywide effort to tackle indecent assault. Other weapons in the Tokyo Government’s arsenal include 100 specially trained police officers, who will ride the trains seeking out perverts who touch or covertly take photographs of women. These initiatives are welcomed by an overwhelming majority of female commuters. Tomoko Ando, 28, said: “At last I can go to work without worrying about who’s around me. The ladies car makes my commute a much more pleasant way to start my day.” Most male passengers agree with the new system, although a few have voiced concerns about the overcrowding it causes in other cars and of discrimination.

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