The Reading / Listening - Train Punctuality - Level 5

Japan's trains are renowned for their punctuality. People say Japan's rail network is the envy of the world. Others say you can set your watch by a Japanese train's departure. Most rail companies apologize to passengers for delayed or cancelled trains. However, the operators of a Tokyo express train apologized for one of its trains leaving 20 seconds too early on Tuesday. The high-speed train pulled out of a station earlier than scheduled when staff failed to check the departure timetable. The company said it had not received any complaints from passengers.



The Tsukuba Express company said the train crew failed to accurately perform the departure operations. It made a statement that read it "deeply" apologized for the "severe inconvenience" caused to passengers, even though the next train was just four minutes later. Someone on Twitter wrote: "Tokyo train company's apology for 20-second-early departure is one of the best things about Japan." A UK commuter tweeted: "They apologize for being 20 seconds early, and yet you don't get an apology from any major UK train company until they're over 2 hours late."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Train Punctuality - Level 4 or  Train Punctuality - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-16/japan-rail-operator-says-sorry-as-train-leaves-20-seconds-early
  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/16/japanese-rail-company-apologises-train-departs-20-seconds-early/
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5089569/Japanese-train-leaves-20-secs-early-company-apologises.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 :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. Japan's trains are renowned for
  2. Japan's rail network is the envy
  3. set your
  4. delayed or
  5. the operators of
  6. The high-speed train pulled
  7. check the departure
  8. it had not received any complaints
  1. watch
  2. out of a station
  3. from passengers
  4. a Tokyo express train
  5. their punctuality
  6. timetable
  7. cancelled trains
  8. of the world

Paragraph 2

  1. the train
  2. accurately perform the
  3. severe
  4. the next train was just four
  5. one of the best
  6. A UK
  7. you don't get
  8. they're over
  1. an apology
  2. minutes later
  3. commuter
  4. 2 hours late
  5. inconvenience
  6. crew failed
  7. things about Japan
  8. departure operations

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Japan's trains (1) ___________________ their punctuality. People say Japan's rail network is (2) ___________________ the world. Others say you can set your watch by a Japanese train's departure. Most rail companies apologize to passengers (3) ___________________ cancelled trains. However, the operators of a Tokyo express train (4) ___________________ of its trains leaving 20 seconds too early on Tuesday. The high-speed train pulled out of a station earlier than scheduled when (5) ___________________ check the departure timetable. The company said it had not received (6) ___________________ passengers.

The Tsukuba Express company said the train crew (7) ___________________ perform the departure operations. It made a statement that read it (8) ___________________ the "severe inconvenience" caused to passengers, (9) ___________________ next train was just four minutes later. Someone on Twitter wrote: "Tokyo train company's apology for 20-second-early (10) ___________________ of the best things about Japan." A UK commuter tweeted: "They (11) ___________________ 20 seconds early, and yet you don't get an apology (12) ___________________ UK train company until they're over 2 hours late."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Japan'strainsarerenownedfortheirpunctuality.PeoplesayJapan'srail
networkistheenvyoftheworld.OtherssayyoucansetyourwatchbyaJa
panesetrain'sdeparture.Mostrailcompaniesapologizetopassengersf
ordelayedorcancelledtrains.However,theoperatorsofaTokyoexpres
strainapologizedforoneofitstrainsleaving20secondstooearlyonTues
day.Thehigh-speedtrainpulledoutofastationearlierthanscheduledw
henstafffailedtocheckthedeparturetimetable.Thecompanysaidithad
notreceivedanycomplaintsfrompassengers.TheTsukubaExpressco
mpanysaidthetraincrewfailedtoaccuratelyperformthedepartureope
rations.Itmadeastatementthatreadit"deeply"apologizedforthe"seve
reinconvenience"causedtopassengers,eventhoughthenexttrainwas
justfourminuteslater.SomeoneonTwitterwrote:"Tokyotraincompan
y'sapologyfor20-second-earlydepartureisoneofthebestthingsabou
tJapan."AUKcommutertweeted:"Theyapologizeforbeing20seconds
early,andyetyoudon'tgetanapologyfromanymajorUKtraincompany
untilthey'reover2hourslate."

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 — Write your own questions

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

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

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

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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