The Reading / Listening - Maternity Leave - Level 2

New parents in Finland will have more time to spend with their babies. The government decided to give mothers and fathers seven months of parental leave. This is almost double the amount of its maternity and paternity leave. The new policy will give 164 days to each parent - about seven months. Parents can also give up to 69 of their days to their partner. This means one parent could take nine months of leave. Single parents will get all 328 days. Finland's current parental leave gives four months for maternity leave, and two months for fathers.



Finland said the new rules were needed to help families. The Minister of Social Affairs and Health explained the importance of the new rules. She said they put the child "at the centre of family benefits, and promote wellbeing and gender equality". It will also reverse falling birth rates. Births in Finland dropped for the past nine years. Last year saw the lowest number of babies born in the country since 1868. Finland's neighbour Sweden has the most generous leave. It offers 240 days per parent. The USA has no national paid leave for mothers or fathers.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Maternity Leave - Level 0 Maternity Leave - Level 1   or  Maternity Leave - Level 3

Sources
  • https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/05/world/finland-parental-leave-policy-trnd/index.html
  • https://www.forbes.com/sites/elanagross/2020/02/06/finlands-female-led-government-gives-men-and-women-nearly-seven-months-of-paid-parental-leave
  • https://www.npr.org/2020/02/05/803051237/finlands-women-led-government-has-equalized-family-leave-7-months-for-each-parent


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. have more time to spend
  2. This is almost double
  3. maternity and
  4. The new
  5. give 164 days
  6. one parent could take
  7. Single
  8. four months for maternity
  1. paternity leave
  2. to each parent
  3. nine months
  4. the amount
  5. parents
  6. with their babies
  7. leave
  8. policy

Paragraph 2

  1. Finland said the new rules
  2. promote wellbeing and gender
  3. It will also reverse falling
  4. Births in Finland dropped for
  5. Last year saw the lowest
  6. babies born in the country
  7. Sweden has the
  8. The USA has no national paid
  1. most generous leave
  2. birth rates
  3. number
  4. leave
  5. equality
  6. were needed
  7. since 1868
  8. the past nine years

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

New parents in Finland will have more (1) ___________________ with their babies. The government decided to give mothers and fathers seven months (2) ___________________. This is almost double the amount of its (3) ___________________ leave. The new policy will give 164 days to each parent - about seven months. Parents can also give up to 69 of their days (4) ___________________. This means one parent could take nine months of leave. Single parents (5) ___________________ 328 days. Finland's current parental leave gives four months for maternity leave, and (6) ___________________ fathers.

Finland said the new (7) ___________________ to help families. The Minister of Social Affairs and Health explained the importance of (8) ___________________. She said they put the child "at the centre of family (9) ___________________ wellbeing and gender equality". It will also (10) ___________________ rates. Births in Finland dropped for the past nine years. Last year (11) ___________________ number of babies born in the country since 1868. Finland's neighbour Sweden has the (12) ___________________. It offers 240 days per parent. The USA has no national paid leave for mothers or fathers.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

NewparentsinFinlandwillhavemoretimetospendwiththeirbabies.The
governmentdecidedtogivemothersandfatherssevenmonthsofparen
talleave.Thisisalmostdoubletheamountofitsmaternityandpaternityl
eave.Thenewpolicywillgive164daystoeachparent-aboutsevenmont
hs.Parentscanalsogiveupto69oftheirdaystotheirpartner.Thismeans
oneparentcouldtakeninemonthsofleave.Singleparentswillgetall328
days.Finland'scurrentparentalleavegivesfourmonthsformaternityle
ave,andtwomonthsforfathers.Finlandsaidthenewruleswereneededt
ohelpfamilies.TheMinisterofSocialAffairsandHealthexplainedtheimp
ortanceofthenewrules.Shesaidtheyputthechild"atthecentreoffamily
benefits,andpromotewellbeingandgenderequality".Itwillalsorevers
efallingbirthrates.BirthsinFinlanddroppedforthepastnineyears.Last
yearsawthelowestnumberofbabiesborninthecountrysince1868.Finl
and'sneighbourSwedenhasthemostgenerousleave.Itoffers240days
perparent.TheUSAhasnonationalpaidleaveformothersorfathers.

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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