The Reading / Listening - Train Punctuality - Level 6

Train companies in Japan are renowned for their punctuality. Many people claim Japan's rail network is the envy of the world. Others say you can set your own watch using a Japanese train's departure. Most rail companies around the world apologize to passengers for delayed trains or cancellations. However, the operators of Tokyo's Tsukuba Express line apologized for one of its trains leaving 20 seconds too early on Tuesday. According to the apology, the high-speed train pulled out of a station 20 seconds earlier than scheduled due to staff members failing to check the departure timetable. Even though the company issued the apology, it said it had not received any complaints from passengers.



Bosses of the Tsukuba Express said the train crew did not sufficiently check the departure time and failed to accurately perform the departure operations. The company made a statement in Japanese on its website. It "deeply" apologized for the "severe inconvenience" caused to passengers who missed the scheduled train, even though the next train was just four minutes later. Many people tweeted about the apology. One tweet read: "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 easier levels:

    Train Punctuality - Level 4  or  Train Punctuality - Level 5

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. TRAIN PUNCTUALITY: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about train punctuality. 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?

       train companies / rail network / envy / departure / delayed / cancellation / station /
       express / website / inconvenience / apology / commuter / 20 seconds / major

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

3. BEING PUNCTUAL: Students A strongly believe being punctual is very important; Students B strongly believe it isn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

4. PUNCTUALITY: How important is punctuality in these situations? Why? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

How important?

Why?

English class

 

 

First date

 

 

Your wedding

 

 

Work

 

 

Meeting a friend

 

 

Job interview

 

 

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

6. DELAYED: Rank these with your partner. Put the worst things to be delayed at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • road works
  • a sporting event
  • having children
  • a holiday
  • a train
  • an airplane flight
  • a book launch
  • a hospital operation

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. renowned a. Happening or doing something at the agreed or proper time.
      2. punctuality b. Things you say or write about regarding a situation that is unsatisfactory or unacceptable.
      3. envy c. Included in or planned according to a timetable.
      4. departure d. Make someone or something late or slow.
      5. delayed e. The action of leaving, typically to start a journey.
      6. scheduled f. Known or talked about by many people; famous.
      7. complaints g. A feeling of wanting / jealousy something by seeing someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.

    Paragraph 2

      8. crew h. A person who travels to work on a regular basis.
      9. sufficiently i. Trouble or difficulty caused to one's personal requirements or comfort.
      10. accurately j. Of something bad or undesirable that is very great; intense.
      11. severe k. A group of people who work on and operate a ship, boat, aircraft, spacecraft, or train.
      12. inconvenience l. Important, serious, or significant.
      13. commuter m. Enough; adequate.
      14. major n. Of information, measurements, statistics, etc. that is/are correct in all details.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. The article said people believe Japan's railways are the envy of the world. T / F
  2. The article said people leave their watches on Japanese trains.     T / F
  3. The article said all train companies worldwide apologize for delays.     T / F
  4. The train company got eight complaints about its train departing early.    T / F
  5. The train crew did not check the departure operations properly.     T / F
  6. The company apologized for the severe inconvenience caused.     T / F
  7. Another train was four minutes behind the one that left early.     T / F
  8. UK train companies apologize for trains being two minutes late.     T / F

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

  1. renowned
  2. claim
  3. envy
  4. pulled out
  5. timetable
  6. check
  7. severe
  8. inconvenience
  9. commuter
  10. major
  1. passenger
  2. left
  3. examine
  4. famous
  5. trouble
  6. schedule
  7. assert
  8. big
  9. very bad
  10. jealousy

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

  1. Train companies in Japan are renowned
  2. Japan's rail network is the envy
  3. you can set your
  4. delayed trains or
  5. it had not received any complaints from
  6. check the departure
  7. It deeply apologized for the severe
  8. passengers who missed the
  9. one of the best
  10. an apology from any major
  1. own watch
  2. passengers
  3. scheduled train
  4. time
  5. UK train company
  6. for their punctuality
  7. cancellations
  8. things about Japan
  9. of the world
  10. inconvenience

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
departure
timetable
apologized
renowned
complaints
envy
delayed
pulled

Train companies in Japan are (1) ____________ for their punctuality. Many people claim Japan's rail network is the (2) ____________ of the world. Others say you can set your own watch using a Japanese train's (3) ____________. Most rail companies around the world apologize to passengers for (4) ____________ trains or cancellations. However, the operators of Tokyo's Tsukuba Express line (5) ____________ for one of its trains leaving 20 seconds too early on Tuesday. According to the apology, the high-speed train (6) ____________ out of a station 20 seconds earlier than scheduled due to staff members failing to check the departure (7) ____________. Even though the company issued the apology, it said it had not received any (8) ____________ from passengers.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
deeply
tweeted
operations
scheduled
major
sufficiently
commuter
severe

Bosses of the Tsukuba Express said the train crew did not (9) ____________ check the departure time and failed to accurately perform the departure (10) ____________. The company made a statement in Japanese on its website. It "(11) ____________" apologized for the "(12) ____________ inconvenience" caused to passengers who missed the (13) ____________ train, even though the next train was just four minutes later. Many people (14) ____________ about the apology. One tweet read: "Tokyo train company's apology for 20-second-early departure is one of the best things about Japan." A UK (15) ____________ tweeted: "They apologize for being 20 seconds early, and yet you don't get an apology from any (16) ____________ UK train company until they're over 2 hours late."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Train companies in Japan are renowned for ______
     a.  their punctually
     b.  their punctual it tea
     c.  their punctuality
     d.  their punk chew a little

2)  Many people claim Japan's rail network is the ______ world
     a.  envies of the
     b.  envy of the
     c.  envious of the
     d.  envied of the

3)  companies around the world apologize to passengers ______ trains
     a.  for delayed
     b.  for relayed
     c.  for elate
     d.  for relate

4)  due to staff members failing to check ______ timetable
     a.  the depart your
     b.  the deep art your
     c.  the depart chore
     d.  the departure

5)  Even though the company ______ apology
     a.  issued a
     b.  issued then
     c.  issue the
     d.  issued the

6)  Bosses of the Tsukuba Express said the train crew did not ______
     a.  sufficiently check
     b.  sufficiency check
     c.  sufficient recheck
     d.  suffice shan't check

7) The company made a statement in Japanese ______
     a.  on nits website
     b.  on knits website
     c.  on its website
     d.  onyx website

8) apologized for the severe inconvenience caused to passengers ______ scheduled train
     a.  whom mist the
     b.  who mist the
     c.  who misses the
     d.  who missed the

9)  apology for 20-second-early departure is one of the best ______ Japan
     a.  thing about
     b.  things about
     c.  thingies about
     d.  thinks about

10)  any major UK train company until they're ______ late
     a.  over 2 hours
     b.  overly 2 hours
     c.  rover 2 hours
     d.  overt 2 hours

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Train companies in Japan (1) ___________________ their punctuality. Many people claim Japan's rail network is (2) ___________________ the world. Others say you can set your own watch using a Japanese train's departure. Most rail companies around the (3) ___________________ passengers for delayed trains or cancellations. However, the operators of Tokyo's Tsukuba Express (4) ___________________ one of its trains leaving 20 seconds too early on Tuesday. According to the apology, the high-speed train pulled out of a station 20 seconds earlier than (5) ___________________ staff members failing to check the departure timetable. Even though the company issued the apology, it said it had not received (6) ___________________ passengers.

Bosses of the Tsukuba Express said the train crew (7) ___________________ check the departure time and failed to accurately perform the departure operations. The company (8) ___________________ in Japanese on its website. It "deeply" apologized for the "(9) ___________________" caused to passengers who missed the scheduled train, even though the next train was just four minutes later. Many people tweeted (10) ___________________. One tweet read: "Tokyo train company's apology for 20-second-early departure is one of the best things about Japan." A UK commuter tweeted: "(11) ___________________ being 20 seconds early, and yet you don't get an apology (12) ___________________ UK train company until they're over 2 hours late."

Comprehension questions

  1. What are train companies in Japan renowned for?
  2. What do people say you can set by a Japanese train's departure?
  3. What kind of train did the article say departed too early?
  4. What did staff members fail to check?
  5. What did the train company say it had not received?
  6. What did the train crew fail to sufficiently check?
  7. What kind of inconvenience did the train company apologize for?
  8. How much longer did passengers have to wait for the next train?
  9. What did a Tweeter say was one of the best things about Japan?
  10. When did a tweeter say major UK train companies apologized for delays?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What are train companies in Japan renowned for?
a) innovation
b) good employers
c) punctuality
d) manners

2) What do people say you can set by a Japanese train's departure?
a) your watch
b) a world record
c) a back
d) exchange rates

3) What kind of train did the article say departed too early?
a) a rush-hour train
b) a bullet train
c) a local train
d) a high-speed train

4) What did staff members fail to check?
a) if the doors were closed
b) the departure timetable
c) the rails
d) the Internet

5) What did the train company say it had not received?
a) money
b) feedback
c) complaints
d) a warning

6) What did the train crew fail to sufficiently check?
a) the brakes
b) the departure time
c) passenger safety
d) the training manual

7) What kind of inconvenience did the train company apologize for?
a) terrible inconvenience
b) unplanned inconvenience
c) minor inconvenience
d) severe inconvenience

8) How much longer did passengers have to wait for the next train?
a) 14 minutes
b) 4 minutes
c) 34 minutes
d) 24 minutes

9) What did a Tweeter say was one of the best things about Japan?
a) the train company's apology
b) sushi
c) the bullet train
d) punctuality

10) When did a tweeter say major UK train companies apologized for delays?
a) after 20 minutes
b) every time
c) on Tuesdays
d) after two hours

Role play

Role  A – A Train

You think a train is the worst thing to be delayed. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what isn't so bad for their things being delayed. Also, tell the others which of these involves the fewest problems when being delayed (and why): road works, having children or a sporting event.

Role  B – Road Works

You think road works is the worst thing to be delayed. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what isn't so bad for their things being delayed. Also, tell the others which of these involves the fewest problems when being delayed (and why): a train, having children or a sporting event.

Role  C – Having Children

You think having children is the worst thing to be delayed. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what isn't so bad for their things being delayed. Also, tell the others which of these involves the fewest problems when being delayed (and why): road works, a train or a sporting event.

Role  D – A Sporting Event

You think a sporting event is the worst thing to be delayed. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what isn't so bad for their things being delayed. Also, tell the others which of these involves the fewest problems when being delayed (and why):  road works, having children or a train.

After reading / listening

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

'express'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'train'.

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

    • crew
    • website
    • missed
    • four
    • best
    • major
    • claim
    • set
    • delayed
    • high
    • staff
    • issued




    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 - Apology after Japanese train leaves 20 seconds early

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'train'?
    3. What do you know about Japan's trains?
    4. What thing in your country is the envy of the world?
    5. What are the trains like in your country?
    6. How can Japanese trains be so amazingly punctual?
    7. How punctual are you?
    8. What experiences do you have of trains not being on time?
    9. What would you complain about to a train company?
    10. Do you think the company needed to apologize?

    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 'punctuality'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What do you know about Japan's bullet train?
    5. How important is punctuality?
    6. What should happen to the crew who did not check the schedule?
    7. When has a train company inconvenienced you?
    8. What is one of the best things about your country?
    9. Has there been a time when you were very unpunctual?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the train company CEO?

    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)

    Train companies in Japan are (1) ____ for their punctuality. Many people claim Japan's rail network is the (2) ____ of the world. Others say you can set your own watch using a Japanese train's departure. Most rail companies around the world apologize to passengers for (3) ____ trains or cancellations. However, the operators of Tokyo's Tsukuba Express line apologized for one of its trains (4) ____ 20 seconds too early on Tuesday. According to the apology, the high-speed train pulled          (5) ____ of a station 20 seconds earlier than scheduled due to staff members failing to check the departure timetable. Even though the company (6) ____ the apology, it said it had not received any complaints from passengers.

    Bosses of the Tsukuba Express said the train crew did not (7) ____ check the departure time and failed to accurately perform the departure operations. The company made a statement (8) ____ Japanese on its website. It "(9) ____" apologized for the "severe inconvenience" caused to passengers who missed the scheduled train, even though the next train was just four minutes (10) ____. Many people tweeted about the apology. One tweet read: "Tokyo train company's apology for 20-second-early (11) ____ 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 (12) ____ they're over 2 hours late."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     renowned     (b)     renewed     (c)     renounced     (d)     renamed    
    2. (a)     jealousy     (b)     covet     (c)     envy     (d)     crave    
    3. (a)     delays     (b)     relays     (c)     delayed     (d)     relayed    
    4. (a)     left     (b)     leave     (c)     leaves     (d)     leaving    
    5. (a)     out     (b)     up     (c)     in     (d)     over    
    6. (a)     issuing     (b)     issued     (c)     issue     (d)     issues    
    7. (a)     suffocating     (b)     suffusing     (c)     suffering     (d)     sufficiently    
    8. (a)     at     (b)     in     (c)     of     (d)     on    
    9. (a)     deepest     (b)     deepen     (c)     deeply     (d)     deeps    
    10. (a)     lateness     (b)     later     (c)     lately     (d)     late    
    11. (a)     departing     (b)     departs     (c)     departed     (d)     departure    
    12. (a)     still     (b)     until     (c)     after     (d)     by

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. renowned for their ayttnupculi
    2. a Japanese train's rutrapede
    3. apologize to pnegserssa
    4. gcdraconi to
    5. earlier than sdcdelueh
    6. it had not received any olimapsntc

    Paragraph 2

    1. did not iinuftyefcsl check
    2. failed to rtecacluya perform
    3. The company made a aetemtstn
    4. evrsee inconvenience
    5. tweeted about the oyagplo
    6. A UK ecruotmm tweeted

    Put the text back together

    (    )     time and failed to accurately perform the departure operations. The company made a statement in Japanese on its

    (    )     world apologize to passengers for delayed trains or cancellations. However, the operators of Tokyo's Tsukuba Express

    (    )     about the apology. One tweet read: "Tokyo train company's apology for 20-second-early departure is

    (    )     to staff members failing to check the departure timetable. Even though the company issued

    1  )     Train companies in Japan are renowned for their punctuality. Many people claim Japan's rail network is the envy

    (    )     the apology, it said it had not received any complaints from passengers.

    (    )     website. It "deeply" apologized for the "severe inconvenience" caused to passengers who missed

    (    )     apology, the high-speed train pulled out of a station 20 seconds earlier than scheduled due

    (    )     of the world. Others say you can set your own watch using a Japanese train's departure. Most rail companies around the

    (    )     line apologized for one of its trains leaving 20 seconds too early on Tuesday. According to the

    (    )     one of the best things about Japan." A UK commuter tweeted: "They apologize for

    (    )     Bosses of the Tsukuba Express said the train crew did not sufficiently check the departure

    (    )     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."

    (    )     the scheduled train, even though the next train was just four minutes later. Many people tweeted

    Put the words in the right order

    1. Train   renowned  companies   for   in  their   Japan   punctuality   are  .
    2. is   world   the   Japan's   envy   rail   of   network   the   .
    3. -   pulled   a   high   train   of   The   speed   out   station   .
    4. to   members   to   Due   staff   failing   check   .
    5. not   had   It   said   any   received   complaints   it   .
    6. The   not   train   sufficiently   crew   check   did   .
    7. for   severe   It   apologized   the   inconvenience   deeply   .
    8. Passengers   the   who   missed   train   scheduled   .
    9. The   train   just   later   next   was   four   minutes   .
    10. an   from   Get   train   any   apology   company   major   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Train companies in Japan are renowned / re-owned for their punctuality. Many people claim Japan's rail network is the envy / envious of the world. Others say you can let / set your own watch using a Japanese train's departure. Most rail companies around the world apologize to passengers for delayed / delay trains or cancellations. However, the operators of Tokyo's Tsukuba Express lined / line apologized for one of its trains leaving 20 seconds too early on Tuesday. According to the apology / apologize, the high-speed train pulled over / out of a station 20 seconds earlier than scheduled due to / for staff members failing to check the departure timetable. Even though the company issuing / issued the apology, it said it had not received any complaints / complaint from passengers.

    Bosses of the Tsukuba Express said the train crew did not sufficient / sufficiently check the departure time and failed to accuracy / accurately perform the departure operations. The company made / did a statement in Japanese on its website. It "deeply" apologized for the "severely / severe inconvenience" caused to passengers who missed the scheduled / schedule train, even though the next train was justly / just four minutes later. Many people tweeted about the apology. One tweet read: "Tokyo train company's apology for 20-second-early departure / departs is one of the best things about Japan." A UK commuter / computer tweeted: "They apologize for being 20 seconds early, and yet you don't get an apology from any majority / major UK train company still / until they're over 2 hours late."

    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)

    Tr__n c_mp_n__s _n J_p_n _r_ r_n_wn_d f_r th__r p_nct__l_ty. M_ny p__pl_ cl__m J_p_n's r__l n_tw_rk _s th_ _nvy _f th_ w_rld. _th_rs s_y y__ c_n s_t y__r _wn w_tch _s_ng _ J_p_n_s_ tr__n's d_p_rt_r_. M_st r__l c_mp_n__s _r__nd th_ w_rld _p_l_g_z_ t_ p_ss_ng_rs f_r d_l_y_d tr__ns _r c_nc_ll_t__ns. H_w_v_r, th_ _p_r_t_rs _f T_ky_'s Ts_k_b_ _xpr_ss l_n_ _p_l_g_z_d f_r _n_ _f _ts tr__ns l__v_ng 20 s_c_nds t__ __rly _n T__sd_y. _cc_rd_ng t_ th_ _p_l_gy, th_ h_gh-sp__d tr__n p_ll_d __t _f _ st_t__n 20 s_c_nds __rl__r th_n sch_d_l_d d__ t_ st_ff m_mb_rs f__l_ng t_ ch_ck th_ d_p_rt_r_ t_m_t_bl_. _v_n th__gh th_ c_mp_ny _ss__d th_ _p_l_gy, _t s__d _t h_d n_t r_c__v_d _ny c_mpl__nts fr_m p_ss_ng_rs.

    B_ss_s _f th_ Ts_k_b_ _xpr_ss s__d th_ tr__n cr_w d_d n_t s_ff_c__ntly ch_ck th_ d_p_rt_r_ t_m_ _nd f__l_d t_ _cc_r_t_ly p_rf_rm th_ d_p_rt_r_ _p_r_t__ns. Th_ c_mp_ny m_d_ _ st_t_m_nt _n J_p_n_s_ _n _ts w_bs_t_. _t "d__ply" _p_l_g_z_d f_r th_ "s_v_r_ _nc_nv_n__nc_" c__s_d t_ p_ss_ng_rs wh_ m_ss_d th_ sch_d_l_d tr__n, _v_n th__gh th_ n_xt tr__n w_s j_st f__r m_n_t_s l_t_r. M_ny p__pl_ tw__t_d _b__t th_ _p_l_gy. _n_ tw__t r__d: "T_ky_ tr__n c_mp_ny's _p_l_gy f_r 20-s_c_nd-__rly d_p_rt_r_ _s _n_ _f th_ b_st th_ngs _b__t J_p_n." _ _K c_mm_t_r tw__t_d: "Th_y _p_l_g_z_ f_r b__ng 20 s_c_nds __rly, _nd y_t y__ d_n't g_t _n _p_l_gy fr_m _ny m_j_r _K tr__n c_mp_ny _nt_l th_y'r_ _v_r 2 h__rs l_t_."

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    train companies in japan are renowned for their punctuality many people claim japan's rail network is the envy of the world others say you can set your own watch using a japanese train's departure most rail companies around the world apologize to passengers for delayed trains or cancellations however the operators of tokyo's tsukuba express line apologized for one of its trains leaving 20 seconds too early on tuesday according to the apology the high-speed train pulled out of a station 20 seconds earlier than scheduled due to staff members failing to check the departure timetable even though the company issued the apology it said it had not received any complaints from passengers

    bosses of the tsukuba express said the train crew did not sufficiently check the departure time and failed to accurately perform the departure operations the company made a statement in japanese on its website it "deeply" apologized for the "severe inconvenience" caused to passengers who missed the scheduled train even though the next train was just four minutes later many people tweeted about the apology one tweet read "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"

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    TraincompaniesinJapanarerenownedfortheirpunctuality.Manypeopl
    eclaimJapan'srailnetworkistheenvyoftheworld.Otherssayyoucanset
    yourownwatchusingaJapanesetrain'sdeparture.Mostrailcompanies
    aroundtheworldapologizetopassengersfordelayedtrainsorcancellati
    ons.However,theoperatorsofTokyo'sTsukubaExpresslineapologized
    foroneofitstrainsleaving20secondstooearlyonTuesday.Accordingtot
    heapology,thehigh-speedtrainpulledoutofastation20secondsearlie
    rthanscheduledduetostaffmembersfailingtocheckthedeparturetime
    table.Eventhoughthecompanyissuedtheapology,itsaidithadnotrecei
    vedanycomplaintsfrompassengers.BossesoftheTsukubaExpresssai
    dthetraincrewdidnotsufficientlycheckthedeparturetimeandfailedtoa
    ccuratelyperformthedepartureoperations.Thecompanymadeastate
    mentinJapaneseonitswebsite.It"deeply"apologizedforthe"severeinc
    onvenience"causedtopassengerswhomissedthescheduledtrain,eve
    nthoughthenexttrainwasjustfourminuteslater.Manypeopletweeted
    abouttheapology.Onetweetread:"Tokyotraincompany'sapologyfor2
    0-second-earlydepartureisoneofthebestthingsaboutJapan."AUKco
    mmutertweeted:"Theyapologizeforbeing20secondsearly,andyetyo
    udon'tgetanapologyfromanymajorUKtraincompanyuntilthey'reover
    2hourslate."

    Free writing

    Write about train punctuality for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Rail is the best way to travel. 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 this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

    3. JAPANESE TRAINS: Make a poster about Japanese trains. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

    4. RAIL TRAVEL: Write a magazine article about rail being the best form of travel in the world. Include imaginary interviews with people who believe this and with those who do not believe it.

    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 train punctuality. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your ideas. 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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