The Reading / Listening - Foreign Workers - Level 3

Japan is changing its immigration policy because it needs workers. Japan is an aging society. This means it does not have enough workers to work in many jobs. Japan's government has decided to allow many workers from other countries into the country to help fill the jobs. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will meet on December 28 to approve the plan. If the plan is approved, it will become law on April 1. The new law would allow up to 345,000 foreign workers to help with labor shortages. Many of these workers will work in the construction, fishing, healthcare and agriculture industries. They will be largely low-skilled workers and will need to pass a Japanese language test.



Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Saturday that Japan had to change and allow more foreign workers in to help the economy. He said: "If Japan simply continued along the same path, we would find ourselves in a very difficult situation." He also said the government would make sure the foreign workers can quickly adjust to life in smaller Japanese cities and towns. He said: "We want to ensure they have the right environment in which to live and work." Japanese people are having fewer children. The fertility rate is now only 1.4 children per woman. The rate should be 2.1 for Japan to have enough Japanese workers. Japan's population is already dropping by about 400,000 people a year.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Foreign Workers - Level 0 Foreign Workers - Level 1   or  Foreign Workers - Level 2

Sources
  • https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Japan-Immigration/Japan-prepares-support-for-incoming-foreign-workers
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/japan-passes-controversial-new-immigration-bill-to-attract-foreign-workers/2018/12/07/a76d8420-f9f3-11e8-863a-8972120646e0_story.html
  • https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/12/08/national/japan-passes-law-opening-door-foreign-labor-experts-warn-challenges-ahead/


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. FOREIGN WORKERS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about foreign workers. 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?
       immigration / policy / aging / society / workers / country / plan / law / language / test
       Saturday / economy / path / difficult situation / cities and towns / fertility / population
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. IMMIGRATION: Students A strongly believe immigration is a good thing; Students B strongly believe immigration isn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. MORE WORKERS: How can a government increase the number of workers it has? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these things. Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Advantages

Disadvantages

Raise retirement age

 

 

Foreign workers

 

 

Robots

 

 

Lower minimum working age

 

 

Stop emigration

 

 

Overseas call centers

 

 

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. SOCIETY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "society". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. INDUSTRIES: Rank these with your partner. Put the best industries to work in at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • I.T.
  • Tourism
  • Education
  • Oil
  • Construction
  • Fishing
  • Healthcare
  • Agriculture

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. immigration a. Let someone enter a place or go in a particular direction.
      2. policy b. The action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country.
      3. allow c. Say yes or agree to or accept as being OK.
      4. approve d. Workers, especially those who work with their hands.
      5. labor e. A course of action by a government, party, business, or individual.
      6. shortages f. The farming of fruit and vegetables and the keeping of animals to provide food, wool, and other products.
      7. agriculture g. Situations in which there is not enough of something that is needed.

    Paragraph 2

      8. economy h. The course or direction in which a person or thing is moving.
      9. path i. The ability of men and woman to create children.
      10. adjust j. The money and things of a country or region, especially in terms of the making and using of goods and services.
      11. ensure k. Change or move something slightly to get the appearance or result we want.
      12. fertility l. A measure, quantity, or frequency, usually one measured against some other quantity or measure.
      13. rate m. Make certain that something will happen.
      14. population n. All the people who live in a particular town, area, or country.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. Japan is changing its policy towards immigration.     T / F
  2. Japan does not have enough workers because too many citizens are old. T / F
  3. A new immigration plan would not become law until 2020.     T / F
  4. Workers from overseas must pass a Japanese language test.     T / F
  5. A government secretary said Japan must change or face difficulties.     T / F
  6. Foreign workers will not receive help to adjust to life in Japan's cities.     T / F
  7. The fertility rate in Japan is 2.1 children per woman.     T / F
  8. The article says Japan's fertility rate needs to be 1.4.     T / F

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

  1. policy
  2. aging
  3. enough
  4. approved
  5. largely
  6. change
  7. path
  8. foreign
  9. fewer
  10. dropping
  1. accepted
  2. mainly
  3. a smaller number
  4. sufficient
  5. route
  6. strategy
  7. falling
  8. adjust
  9. overseas
  10. maturing

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

  1. changing its immigration policy
  2. Japan is an aging
  3. his government will meet on December 28
  4. The new law would allow up
  5. They will be largely low-
  6. Japan simply continued
  7. make sure the foreign workers can
  8. right environment in
  9. The fertility rate is now only 1.4
  10. Japan's population is already
  1. to 345,000 foreign workers
  2. children per woman
  3. quickly adjust
  4. skilled workers
  5. to approve the plan
  6. dropping
  7. because it needs workers
  8. along the same path
  9. which to live and work
  10. society

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
allow
shortages
largely
policy
fill
industries
aging
approved

Japan is changing its immigration (1) ____________ because it needs workers. Japan is an (2) ____________ society. This means it does not have enough workers to work in many jobs. Japan's government has decided to (3) ____________ many workers from other countries into the country to help (4) ____________ the jobs. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will meet on December 28 to approve the plan. If the plan is               (5) ____________, it will become law on April 1. The new law would allow up to 345,000 foreign workers to help with labor         (6) ____________. Many of these workers will work in the construction, fishing, healthcare and agriculture                           (7) ____________. They will be (8) ____________ low-skilled workers and will need to pass a Japanese language test.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
sure
which
population
economy
enough
find
life
fertility

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Saturday that Japan had to change and allow more foreign workers in to help the (9) ____________. He said: "If Japan simply continued along the same path, we would (10) ____________ ourselves in a very difficult situation." He also said the government would make (11) ____________ the foreign workers can quickly adjust to (12) ____________ in smaller Japanese cities and towns. He said: "We want to ensure they have the right environment in (13) ____________ to live and work." Japanese people are having fewer children. The (14) ____________ rate is now only 1.4 children per woman. The rate should be 2.1 for Japan to have (15) ____________ Japanese workers. Japan's (16) ____________ is already dropping by about 400,000 people a year.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Japan is changing its immigration policy because ______
     a.  it needless workers
     b.  it kneads workers
     c.  it knees workers
     d.  it needs workers
2)  This means it does not have enough workers to ______ jobs
     a.  working many
     b.  work in many
     c.  were kin many
     d.  wore kin many
3)  The new law would allow up to 345,000 foreign workers to ______ shortages
     a.  help within labor
     b.  help with labor
     c.  help without labor
     d.  help wither labor
4)  workers will work in the construction, fishing, healthcare and ______
     a.  agriculture in dust tries
     b.  agriculture industrialise
     c.  agriculture industrials
     d.  agriculture industries
5)  They will be largely low-______
     a.  skilled worker
     b.  skilled works are
     c.  skilled work are
     d.  skilled workers

6)  Japan had to change and allow more foreign workers in to help ______
     a.  the economical
     b.  the economies
     c.  the economy
     d.  the economise
7)  If Japan simply continued along ______
     a.  the sane path
     b.  this aim path
     c.  thus aim path
     d.  the same path
8)  He also said the government would make sure the foreign workers ______
     a.  can quickly adjusts
     b.  can quickly adjust
     c.  can quickly adjusted
     d.  can quickly adjustable
9)  He said: "We want to ensure they have the ______"
     a.  rightly environment
     b.  rights environmental
     c.  right environment
     d.  right environmental
10)  The rate should be 2.1 for Japan to have ______ workers
     a.  enough Japanese
     b.  a naff Japanese
     c.  though Japanese
     d.  in ought Japanese

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Japan is changing its immigration policy (1) ___________________ workers. Japan is an aging society. This means it does not have enough workers to (2) ___________________ jobs. Japan's government has decided to allow many workers from other countries into the country to help (3) ___________________. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will meet on December 28 to (4) ___________________. If the plan is approved, it will become law on April 1. The new law would allow up to 345,000 foreign workers to help (5) ___________________. Many of these workers will work in the construction, fishing, healthcare and agriculture industries. They will be largely low-skilled workers and will (6) ___________________ a Japanese language test.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Saturday that Japan (7) ___________________ and allow more foreign workers in to help the economy. He said: "If Japan simply continued along (8) ___________________, we would find ourselves in a very difficult situation." He also said the government would make sure the foreign workers can quickly (9) ___________________ in smaller Japanese cities and towns. He said: "We want to ensure they have the right environment in (10) ___________________ and work." Japanese people are having fewer children. The (11) ___________________ now only 1.4 children per woman. The rate should be 2.1 for Japan to have enough Japanese workers. Japan's population is already (12) ___________________ 400,000 people a year.

Comprehension questions

  1. Why is Japan changing its immigration policy?
  2. When will the government meet to approve a plan?
  3. Up to how many foreign workers might be allowed to work in Japan?
  4. What kind of workers will the foreign workers be?
  5. What kind of test will the workers need to pass?
  6. What did Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary say Japan had to do?
  7. What kind of situation would Japan be in if it followed the same path?
  8. What does Japan want to ensure foreign workers have?
  9. What is the current fertility rate in Japan?
  10. By how much is Japan's population reducing in size each year?




Multiple choice quiz

1) Why is Japan changing its immigration policy?
a) international rules
b) it needs more workers
c) it wants stricter regulations
d) to help poorer people
2) When will the government meet to approve a plan?
a) December 25
b) December 27
c) December 29
d) December 28
3) Up to how many foreign workers might be allowed to work in Japan?
a) 354,000
b) 534,000
c) 345,000
d) 435,000
4) What kind of workers will the foreign workers be?
a) low-skilled workers
b) white-collar workers
c) university graduates
d) European
5) What kind of test will the workers need to pass?
a) a logic test
b) a language test
c) a Japanese history test
d) a Japanese culture test

6) What did Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary say Japan had to do?
a) change
b) relax
c) compete
d) stop
7) What kind of situation would Japan be in if it followed the same path?
a) a good situation
b) the same situation
c) a difficult situation
d) a better situation
8) What does Japan want to ensure foreign workers have?
a) the right environment
b) workers' rights
c) lots of cash
d) a place to stay
9) What is the current fertility rate in Japan?
a) 1.1 children per woman
b) 1.2 children per woman
c) 1.3 children per woman
d) 1.4 children per woman
10) By how much is Japan's population reducing in size each year?
a) just over 400,000
b) exactly 400,000
c) about 400,000
d) just under 400,000

Role play

Role  A – Fishing
You think fishing is the best industry to work in. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their industries. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): healthcare, I.T. or oil.

Role  B – Healthcare
You think healthcare is the best industry to work in. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their industries. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): fishing, I.T. or oil.

Role  C – I.T.
You think I.T. is the best industry to work in. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their industries. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): healthcare, fishing or oil.

Role  D – Oil
You think oil is the best industry to work in. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their industries. Also, tell the others which is the worst of these (and why): healthcare, I.T. or fishing.

After reading / listening

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

'foreign'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'worker'.

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

    • economy
    • path
    • situation
    • quickly
    • fertility
    • dropping
    • society
    • other
    • fill
    • 28
    • fishing
    • pass




    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 - Japan prepares for many foreign workers

    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 'foreign'?
    3. What kind of immigration policy does your country have?
    4. What do you think of working abroad?
    5. What workers does your country need?
    6. What foreign workers are there in your country?
    7. What are the advantages of foreign workers?
    8. How would 345,000 foreign workers affect your country?
    9. What are the negatives of having foreign workers?
    10. Should foreign workers have to speak the language?

    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 'worker'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Would you like to work in another country?
    5. What difficulties do foreign workers have?
    6. Would you rather work in a town or city?
    7. How can Japan increase its population?
    8. How can Japan solve its labor shortage?
    9. What would the best thing be about working in Japan?
    10. What questions would you like to ask Japan's Prime Minister?

    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)

    Japan is changing its immigration (1) ____ because it needs workers. Japan is an aging society. This (2) ____ it does not have enough workers to work in many jobs. Japan's government has decided to allow many workers from other countries into the country to help (3) ____ the jobs. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will meet on December 28 to (4) ____ the plan. If the plan is approved, it will become law on April 1. The new law would allow (5) ____ to 345,000 foreign workers to help with labor shortages. Many of these workers will work in the construction, fishing, healthcare and agriculture industries. They will be (6) ____ low-skilled workers and will need to pass a Japanese language test.

    Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Saturday that Japan had to (7) ____ and allow more foreign workers in to help the economy. He said: "If Japan simply continued along the same (8) ____, we would find ourselves in a very difficult situation." He also said the government would make sure the foreign workers can quickly (9) ____ to life in smaller Japanese cities and towns. He said: "We want to ensure they have the right environment (10) ____ which to live and work." Japanese people are having fewer children. The (11) ____ rate is now only 1.4 children per woman. The rate should be 2.1 for Japan to have enough Japanese workers. Japan's population is (12) ____ dropping by about 400,000 people a year.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     politics     (b)     politeness     (c)     policing     (d)     policy    
    2. (a)     meanies     (b)     meanings     (c)     meaning     (d)     means    
    3. (a)     filling     (b)     fill     (c)     filler     (d)     file    
    4. (a)     compost     (b)     reply     (c)     approve     (d)     premier    
    5. (a)     rise     (b)     higher     (c)     up     (d)     increase    
    6. (a)     largely     (b)     biggest     (c)     huge     (d)     inflated    
    7. (a)     chance     (b)     change     (c)     charge     (d)     chart    
    8. (a)     path     (b)     street     (c)     avenue     (d)     expressway    
    9. (a)     benefit     (b)     adjust     (c)     liberty     (d)     business    
    10. (a)     on     (b)     at     (c)     in     (d)     by    
    11. (a)     utility     (b)     ability     (c)     fertility     (d)     civility    
    12. (a)     but     (b)     although     (c)     however     (d)     already

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. Japan is changing its immigration ipoycl
    2. Japan is an aging csetyoi
    3. If the plan is vpaoeprd
    4. to help with labor srtesaohg
    5. healthcare and agriculture dirnstsuie
    6. They will be largely low-leklids workers

    Paragraph 2

    1. Japan's chief cabinet rctsyaeer
    2. in a very difficult niasituto
    3. foreign workers can quickly datjus to life
    4. We want to snreue they have the right environment
    5. The iilttfrye rate is now only 1.4
    6. Japan's ltpooipanu is already dropping

    Put the text back together

    (...)  Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Saturday that Japan had to change and allow more foreign workers in
    (...)  work in the construction, fishing, healthcare and agriculture industries. They will be largely low-
    (...)  law would allow up to 345,000 foreign workers to help with labor shortages. Many of these workers will
    (...)  environment in which to live and work." Japanese people are having fewer children. The fertility rate is now
    (...)  skilled workers and will need to pass a Japanese language test.
    (...)  enough workers to work in many jobs. Japan's government has decided to allow many workers from other
    (...)  to help the economy. He said: "If Japan simply continued along the same path, we would find ourselves in a very difficult
    (...)  Japanese cities and towns. He said: "We want to ensure they have the right
    (...)  countries into the country to help fill the jobs. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will
    (...)  meet on December 28 to approve the plan. If the plan is approved, it will become law on April 1. The new
    1  ) Japan is changing its immigration policy because it needs workers. Japan is an aging society. This means it does not have
    (...)  situation." He also said the government would make sure the foreign workers can quickly adjust to life in smaller
    (...)  population is already dropping by about 400,000 people a year.
    (...)  only 1.4 children per woman. The rate should be 2.1 for Japan to have enough Japanese workers. Japan's

    Put the words in the right order

    1. workers   .   because   it   needs   its   policy   Changing   immigration
    2. workers   .   This   does   means   not   it   have   enough
    3. Meet   on   plan   .   approve   to   28   the   December
    4. approved,   If   is   will   it   law   .   it   become
    5. to   pass   Japanese   need   will   They   test   .   language   a
    6. Allow   Japan   .   help   workers   foreign   to   in   more
    7. a   difficult   would   ourselves   in   find   We   situation   .
    8. life   adjust   Quickly   in   to   cities   .   Japanese   smaller
    9. environment   live   .   right   in   Have   the   which   to
    10. is   400,000   .   Japan's   population   about   by   dropping   already

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Japan is changing / changed its immigration policy because it needs workers. Japan is an age / aging society. This means it does not have enough workers to work in many / much jobs. Japan's government has decided to allow / allowance many workers from other countries into the country to help filling / fill the jobs. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will encounter / meet on December 28 to approve the plan. If the plan is approved, it will becoming / become law on April 1. The new law would allow up to 345,000 foreign workers to help with / within labor shortages. Many of these workers will work on / in the construction, fishing, healthcare and agriculture industries / industry. They will be largely low-skilled workers and will need to pass / passed a Japanese language test.

    Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Saturday that Japan had to changing / change and allow more foreign workers in to help the economy. He said: "If Japan simple / simply continued along the same path, we would find ourselves / yourselves in a very difficult situation." He also said the government would make / take sure the foreign workers can quickly / quick adjust to life in smaller Japanese cities and town / towns. He said: "We want to ensure they have the left / right environment in which to live and work." Japanese people are having / doing fewer children. The fertility rate is now only 1.4 children per woman. The rate should have / be 2.1 for Japan to have enough Japanese workers. Japan's population is already drop / dropping by about 400,000 people a year.

    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 c h_n g_n g _t s _m m_g r_t__ n p_l_c y b_c__ s_ _t n__ d s w_r k_r s . J_p_n _s _n _g_n g s_c__ t y . T h_s m__ n s _t d__ s n_t h_v_ _n__ g h w_r k_r s t_ w_r k _n m_n y j_b s . J_p_n ' s g_v_r n m_n t h_s d_c_d_d t_ _l l_w m_n y w_r k_r s f r_m _t h_r c__ n t r__ s _n t_ t h_ c__ n t r y t_ h_l p f_l l t h_ j_b s . J_p_n ' s P r_m_ M_n_s t_r S h_n z_ A b_ s__ d h_s g_v_r n m_n t w_l l m__ t _n D_c_m b_r 2 8 t_ _p p r_v_ t h_ p l_n . I f t h_ p l_n _s _p p r_v_d , _t w_l l b_c_m_ l_w _n A p r_l 1 . T h_ n_w l_w w__ l d _l l_w _p t_ 3 4 5 , 0 0 0 f_r__ g n w_r k_r s t_ h_l p w_t h l_b_r s h_r t_g_s . M_n y _f t h_s_ w_r k_r s w_l l w_r k _n t h_ c_n s t r_c t__ n , f_s h_n g , h__ l t h c_r_ _n d _g r_c_l t_r_ _n d_s t r__ s . T h_y w_l l b_ l_r g_l y l_w - s k_l l_d w_r k_r s _n d w_l l n__ d t_ p_s s _ J_p_n_s_ l_n g__ g_ t_s t .

    J_p_n ' s C h__ f C_b_n_t S_c r_t_r y Y_s h_h_d_ S_g_ s__ d _n S_t_r d_y t h_t J_p_n h_d t_ c h_n g_ _n d _l l_w m_r_ f_r__ g n w_r k_r s _n t_ h_l p t h_ _c_n_m y . H_ s__ d : " I f J_p_n s_m p l y c_n t_n__ d _l_n g t h_ s_m_ p_t h , w_ w__ l d f_n d __ r s_l v_s _n _ v_r y d_f f_c_l t s_t__ t__ n . " H_ _l s_ s__ d t h_ g_v_r n m_n t w__ l d m_k_ s_r_ t h_ f_r__ g n w_r k_r s c_n q__ c k l y _d j_s t t_ l_f_ _n s m_l l_r J_p_n_s_ c_t__ s _n d t_w n s . H_ s__ d : " W_ w_n t t_ _n s_r_ t h_y h_v_ t h_ r_g h t _n v_r_n m_n t _n w h_c h t_ l_v_ _n d w_r k . " J_p_n_s_ p__ p l_ _r_ h_v_n g f_w_r c h_l d r_n . T h_ f_r t_l_t y r_t_ _s n_w _n l y 1 . 4 c h_l d r_n p_r w_m_n . T h_ r_t_ s h__ l d b_ 2 . 1 f_r J_p_n t_ h_v_ _n__ g h J_p_n_s_ w_r k_r s . J_p_n ' s p_p_l_t__ n _s _l r__ d y d r_p p_n g b y _b__ t 4 0 0 , 0 0 0 p__ p l_ _ y__ r .

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    japan is changing its immigration policy because it needs workers. japan is an aging society. this means it does not have enough workers to work in many jobs. japan's government has decided to allow many workers from other countries into the country to help fill the jobs. japan's prime minister shinzo abe said his government will meet on december 28 to approve the plan. if the plan is approved, it will become law on april 1. the new law would allow up to 345,000 foreign workers to help with labor shortages. many of these workers will work in the construction, fishing, healthcare and agriculture industries. they will be largely low-skilled workers and will need to pass a japanese language test.

    japan's chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga said on saturday that japan had to change and allow more foreign workers in to help the economy. he said: "if japan simply continued along the same path, we would find ourselves in a very difficult situation." he also said the government would make sure the foreign workers can quickly adjust to life in smaller japanese cities and towns. he said: "we want to ensure they have the right environment in which to live and work." japanese people are having fewer children. the fertility rate is now only 1.4 children per woman. the rate should be 2.1 for japan to have enough japanese workers. japan's population is already dropping by about 400,000 people a year.

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Japanischangingitsimmigrationpolicybecauseitneedsworkers.Japan
    isanagingsociety.Thismeansitdoesnothaveenoughworkerstoworkin
    manyjobs.Japan'sgovernmenthasdecidedtoallowmanyworkersfrom
    othercountriesintothecountrytohelpfillthejobs.Japan'sPrimeMiniste
    rShinzoAbesaidhisgovernmentwillmeetonDecember28toapproveth
    eplan.Iftheplanisapproved,itwillbecomelawonApril1.Thenewlawwo
    uldallowupto345,000foreignworkerstohelpwithlaborshortages.Man
    yoftheseworkerswillworkintheconstruction,fishing,healthcareanda
    gricultureindustries.Theywillbelargelylow-skilledworkersandwilln
    eedtopassaJapaneselanguagetest.Japan'sChiefCabinetSecretaryYo
    shihideSugasaidonSaturdaythatJapanhadtochangeandallowmorefo
    reignworkersintohelptheeconomy.Hesaid:"IfJapansimplycontinued
    alongthesamepath,wewouldfindourselvesinaverydifficultsituation."
    Healsosaidthegovernmentwouldmakesuretheforeignworkerscanqui
    cklyadjusttolifeinsmallerJapanesecitiesandtowns.Hesaid:"Wewantt
    oensuretheyhavetherightenvironmentinwhichtoliveandwork."Japa
    nesepeoplearehavingfewerchildren.Thefertilityrateisnowonly1.4chi
    ldrenperwoman.Therateshouldbe2.1forJapantohaveenoughJapane
    seworkers.Japan'spopulationisalreadydroppingbyabout400,000pe
    opleayear.

    Free writing

    Write about foreign workers for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Everyone should be able to work anywhere in the world. 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. FOREIGN WORKERS: Make a poster about foreign workers. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. WORKING OVERSEAS: Write a magazine article about everyone being able to work anywhere in the world. 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 foreign workers. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your opinions on foreign workers. 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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