The Reading / Listening - Maternity Leave - Level 3

Finland is giving new parents more time to spend with their babies. The Finnish government has decided to give mothers and fathers seven months of parental leave. This means Finland will almost double the amount of its maternity leave and paternity leave. The new Family Leave Policy will give 164 days to each parent. This is about seven months. Parents can also transfer up to 69 of their own days to their partner. This means it is possible for one parent to take nine months of parental leave. For single parents, Finland is giving all 328 days to the mother or father. Finland's current parental leave gives four months for maternity leave, and two months for fathers.



Finland's government said the new rules were necessary to help young families. Finland's Minister of Social Affairs and Health explained why the country is introducing the new rules. She said: "The model guarantees the child a place at the centre of family benefits, and it promotes wellbeing and gender equality." It will also help to increase the country's declining birth rate. The number of babies born in Finland has dropped for the past nine years. Last year, Finland had the lowest number of babies born in the country since 1868. Finland's neighbour Sweden has the most generous leave policy, offering 240 days per parent. The USA has no national paid leave for mothers or fathers.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Maternity Leave - Level 0 Maternity Leave - Level 1   or  Maternity Leave - Level 2

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. PARENTAL LEAVE: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about parental leave. 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?
       new parents / babies / double / maternity leave / transfer / possible / partner / rules /
       fathers / government / necessary / guarantee / benefits / gender equality / generous
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. ONE YEAR: Students A strongly believe companies should provide workers one year of paid leave after the birth of their child; Students B strongly believe not.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. LEAVE: What do you know about these kinds of leave? How long should they be? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What I Know

How Long?

Parental leave

 

 

Sick leave

 

 

Compassionate leave

 

 

Holiday leave

 

 

Study leave

 

 

Jury service

 

 

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. BABY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "baby". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. NEW PARENTS: Rank these with your partner. Put the best ways of helping new parents at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Money
  • Babysitting
  • Chats
  • Help with housework
  • Education
  • Free toys
  • Paid leave
  • Nursery

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. spend a. Having twice the usual size, quantity, or strength.
      2. double b. A course of action taken by a government, business, or person.
      3. amount c. Use time to do something.
      4. policy d. A person bringing up a child or children without a partner.
      5. transfer e. Move from one place to another.
      6. single parent f. Belonging to the present time; happening or being used or done now.
      7. current g. A quantity of something, especially the total of a thing or things in number, size, value, or extent.

    Paragraph 2

      8. necessary h. Showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is necessary.
      9. model i. The state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
      10. guarantee j. The state of having the same rights or opportunities regardless of gender.
      11. wellbeing k. Required to be done, achieved, or present; essential.
      12. gender equality l. A system or thing used as an example to follow or copy.
      13. declining m. Becoming smaller, fewer, or less; decreasing.
      14. generous n. A promise that certain conditions will be done.

 

Before reading / listening

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

  1. New parents will have more time to spend with their doctors.     T / F
  2. Finland will almost double the current level of parental leave.     T / F
  3. One parent can transfer leave days to his/her partner.     T / F
  4. Single parents in Finland will be able to take 328 days of parental leave.  T / F
  5. The government said the rules were necessary to help employers.     T / F
  6. The new rules help to promote gender inequality.     T / F
  7. Finland's birthrate is at its lowest for over a century.     T / F
  8. The USA has no national paid parental leave.     T / F

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

  1. leave
  2. double
  3. transfer
  4. single
  5. current
  6. necessary
  7. introducing
  8. equality
  9. declining
  10. generous
  1. needed
  2. pass on
  3. fairness
  4. time off
  5. large
  6. present
  7. falling
  8. increase twofold
  9. starting
  10. unmarried

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

  1. giving new parents more time to
  2. double the amount
  3. transfer up to 69 of their own days
  4. it is possible for one parent
  5. single
  6. the new rules were necessary
  7. explained why the country is introducing
  8. gender
  9. the country's declining
  10. Sweden has the most generous
  1. parents
  2. to their partner
  3. equality
  4. of its maternity leave
  5. to help young families
  6. leave policy
  7. spend with their babies
  8. birth rate
  9. the new rules
  10. to take nine months

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
each
parental
current
transfer
spend
single
amount
own

Finland is giving new parents more time to (1) ____________ with their babies. The Finnish government has decided to give mothers and fathers seven months of (2) ____________ leave. This means Finland will almost double the (3) ____________ of its maternity leave and paternity leave. The new Family Leave Policy will give 164 days to (4) ____________ parent. This is about seven months. Parents can also (5) ____________ up to 69 of their (6) ____________ days to their partner. This means it is possible for one parent to take nine months of parental leave. For (7) ____________ parents, Finland is giving all 328 days to the mother or father. Finland's (8) ____________ parental leave gives four months for maternity leave, and two months for fathers.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
lowest
explained
national
equality
necessary
generous
declining
benefits

Finland's government said the new rules were (9) ____________ to help young families. Finland's Minister of Social Affairs and Health (10) ____________ why the country is introducing the new rules. She said: "The model guarantees the child a place at the centre of family (11) ____________, and it promotes wellbeing and gender (12) ____________." It will also help to increase the country's (13) ____________ birth rate. The number of babies born in Finland has dropped for the past nine years. Last year, Finland had the (14) ____________ number of babies born in the country since 1868. Finland's neighbour Sweden has the most (15) ____________ leave policy, offering 240 days per parent. The USA has no (16) ____________ paid leave for mothers or fathers.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Finland is giving new parents more time to ______ babies
     a.  spend with them
     b.  spend within their
     c.  spend without their
     d.  spend with their
2)  decided to give mothers and fathers seven months ______
     a.  of parent all leave
     b.  off parental leave
     c.  off parental leaves
     d.  of parental leave
3)  almost double the amount of its maternity leave ______
     a.  and paternity leave
     b.  and paternal leave
     c.  and pater natty leave
     d.  and pater knitting leave
4)  Parents can also transfer up to 69 of their own days ______
     a.  to their partners
     b.  to their partner
     c.  to their partnered
     d.  to their part nary
5)  Finland's current parental leave gives four months ______
     a.  for mater knitting leave
     b.  for maternal knitting leave
     c.  for mat eternity leave
     d.  for maternity leave

6)  Finland's government said the new ______
     a.  rules were necessarily
     b.  rules were necessary
     c.  rules were necessitate
     d.  rules were necessaries
7)  explained why the country is introducing ______
     a.  the newly rules
     b.  the knew rules
     c.  the anew rules
     d.  the new rules
8)  The model guarantees the child a place at the centre ______
     a.  of familiar benefits
     b.  of family benefits
     c.  of familial benefits
     d.  of families benefits
9)  It will also help to increase the country's ______
     a.  decline in girth rate
     b.  declining birth rate
     c.  declining bath rate
     d.  declining bathe rate
10)  Finland's neighbour Sweden has the most ______
     a.  generously leave policy
     b.  generosity leave policy
     c.  generous leave policy
     d.  genius leave policy

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Finland is giving new parents more (1) ___________________ with their babies. The Finnish government has decided to give mothers and fathers seven months (2) ___________________. This means Finland will almost (3) ___________________ of its maternity leave and paternity leave. The new Family Leave Policy will give 164 days to each parent. This is about seven months. Parents can (4) ___________________ to 69 of their own days to their partner. This means it is possible for one parent to take nine months of parental leave. (5) ___________________, Finland is giving all 328 days to the mother or father. Finland's current parental (6) ___________________ months for maternity leave, and two months for fathers.

Finland's government said the new (7) ___________________ to help young families. Finland's Minister of Social Affairs and Health explained why the country (8) ___________________ new rules. She said: "The model guarantees the child a place at the centre (9) ___________________, and it promotes wellbeing and gender equality." It will also help to increase the country's (10) ___________________. The number of babies born in Finland has dropped for the past nine years. Last year, Finland (11) ___________________ number of babies born in the country since 1868. Finland's neighbour Sweden has the (12) ___________________ policy, offering 240 days per parent. The USA has no national paid leave for mothers or fathers.

Comprehension questions

  1. Who will Finnish parents be able to spend more time with?
  2. What will Finland almost double?
  3. How many days parental leave will each parent get?
  4. How many days can one parent transfer to their partner?
  5. Who will get 328 days of parental leave?
  6. Who are the new rules going to help?
  7. What kind of equality do the new rules promote?
  8. What is declining in Finland?
  9. When was the last time Finland's birth rate was so low?
  10. How many days national paid parental leave do parents in the USA get?




Multiple choice quiz

1) Who will Finnish parents be able to spend more time with?
a) their parents
b) their friends
c) their doctors
d) their babies
2) What will Finland almost double?
a) the number of children born
b) parental leave
c) salaries
d) child minders
3) How many days parental leave will each parent get?
a) 116
b) 146
c) 164
d) 140
4) How many days can one parent transfer to their partner?
a) 69
b) 79
c) 59
d) 49
5) Who will get 328 days of parental leave?
a) mothers with twins
b) the Prime Minister
c) single parents
d) company CEOs

6) Who are the new rules going to help?
a) big families
b) young families
c) poor families
d) doctors
7) What kind of equality do the new rules promote?
a) income equality
b) age equality
c) racial equality
d) gender equality
8) What is declining in Finland?
a) the birth rate
b) education standards
c) baby weight
d) the number of midwives
9) When was the last time Finland's birth rate was so low?
a) 2008
b) 1968
c) 1868
d) 1768
10) How many days national paid parental leave do parents in the USA get?
a) 72
b) none
c) 20
d) 30

Role play

Role  A – Money
You think money is the best way to help new parents. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): babysitting, nursery or help with the housework.

Role  B – Babysitting
You think babysitting is the best way to help new parents. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): money, nursery or help with the housework.

Role  C – Nursery
You think nursery is the best way to help new parents. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): babysitting, money or help with the housework.

Role  D – Help with the Housework
You think help with the housework is the best way to help new parents. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their ways. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): babysitting, nursery or money.

After reading / listening

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

'parent'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'leave'.

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

    • giving
    • seven
    • 164
    • 69
    • single
    • two
    • young
    • guarantees
    • gender
    • number
    • 1868
    • national




    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 - Maternity Leave

    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 'parent'?
    3. What do you know about Finland?
    4. What do you think of seven months of paid leave for new parents?
    5. How much leave should parents get?
    6. Should parental leave be paid?
    7. Should mothers and fathers get the same amount of leave?
    8. Why is Finland giving so much parental leave?
    9. What effect will the new rule have on Finnish society?
    10. What kind of parent are you or would you be?

    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 'leave'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What can governments do to help young families?
    5. What does the government do for young families in your country?
    6. How can governments reverse falling birth rates?
    7. What is the problem with falling birth rates?
    8. How much parental leave would you like?
    9. Why do you think the USA has no paid parental leave?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the Finnish government?

    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)

    Finland is (1) ____ new parents more time to spend with their babies. The Finnish government has (2) ____ to give mothers and fathers seven months of parental leave. This means Finland will almost (3) ____ the amount of its maternity leave and paternity leave. The new Family Leave Policy will give 164 days to each parent. This is about seven months. Parents can also (4) ____ up to 69 of their own days to their partner. This means it is possible for one parent to take nine months of parental leave. For (5) ____ parents, Finland is giving all 328 days to the mother or father. Finland's (6) ____ parental leave gives four months for maternity leave, and two months for fathers.

    Finland's government said the new rules were (7) ____ to help young families. Finland's Minister of Social Affairs and Health explained why the country is introducing the new rules. She said: "The model (8) ____ the child a place at the centre of family benefits, and it promotes wellbeing and (9) ____ equality." It will also help to increase the country's declining (10) ____ rate. The number of babies born in Finland has dropped for the past nine years. Last year, Finland had the (11) ____ number of babies born in the country since 1868. Finland's neighbour Sweden has the most (12) ____ leave policy, offering 240 days per parent. The USA has no national paid leave for mothers or fathers.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     given     (b)     giving     (c)     give     (d)     gave    
    2. (a)     decision     (b)     decided     (c)     derision     (d)     decides    
    3. (a)     duet     (b)     two     (c)     duo     (d)     double    
    4. (a)     refer     (b)     transfer     (c)     confer     (d)     suffer    
    5. (a)     singular     (b)     single     (c)     singularity     (d)     singled    
    6. (a)     currant     (b)     currency     (c)     current     (d)     currently    
    7. (a)     necessitate     (b)     necessarily     (c)     necessary     (d)     necessaries    
    8. (a)     warranties     (b)     evidence     (c)     guarantees     (d)     proof    
    9. (a)     grander     (b)     grinder     (c)     gander     (d)     gender    
    10. (a)     births     (b)     birthday     (c)     born     (d)     birth    
    11. (a)     lowest     (b)     fewest     (c)     less     (d)     dropped    
    12. (a)     generosity     (b)     genius     (c)     generous     (d)     ingenious

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. The Finnish tngeroevnm
    2. buoeld the amount
    3. raeiymntt leave
    4. rnesartf up to 69 of their own days
    5. silnge parents
    6. Finland's current artaepln leave

    Paragraph 2

    1. rules were eascsnrey to help young families
    2. origndtnicu the new rules
    3. The model eugtasnera the child
    4. family ieeftnsb
    5. gender uitalqye
    6. the most esngroeu leave policy

    Put the text back together

    (...)  decided to give mothers and fathers seven months of parental leave. This means Finland will almost double
    (...)  to each parent. This is about seven months. Parents can also transfer up to 69 of their own
    1  ) Finland is giving new parents more time to spend with their babies. The Finnish government has
    (...)  nine years. Last year, Finland had the lowest number of babies born in the country since 1868. Finland's
    (...)  declining birth rate. The number of babies born in Finland has dropped for the past
    (...)  days to their partner. This means it is possible for one parent to take nine months of parental
    (...)  Finland's government said the new rules were necessary to help young families. Finland's Minister of Social Affairs
    (...)  and Health explained why the country is introducing the new rules. She said: "The model guarantees the child a
    (...)  neighbour Sweden has the most generous leave policy, offering 240 days
    (...)  place at the centre of family benefits, and it promotes wellbeing and gender equality." It will also help to increase the country's
    (...)  the amount of its maternity leave and paternity leave. The new Family Leave Policy will give 164 days
    (...)  leave. For single parents, Finland is giving all 328 days to the mother or father. Finland's current
    (...)  per parent. The USA has no national paid leave for mothers or fathers.
    (...)  parental leave gives four months for maternity leave, and two months for fathers.

    Put the words in the right order

    1. time   to   their   More   babies   .   spend   with
    2. double   of   the   amount   maternity   its   leave   .   Almost
    3. to   of   days   .   69   up   their   own   Transfer
    4. parent   take   one   months   .   to   Possible   for   nine
    5. months   .   four   gives   leave   Finland's   parental   current
    6. to   rules   necessary   families   .   were   New   young   help
    7. is   rules   .   country   Why   introducing   the   the   new
    8. increase   declining   birth   the   country's   to   rate   .   Help
    9. of   had   lowest   number   babies   the   born   .   Finland
    10. policy   .   has   Sweden   generous   most   the   leave

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Finland is giving new parents more time to purchase / spend with their babies. The Finnish government has decided to give mothers and fathers seven months of patent / parental leave. This means Finland will almost double / twice the amount of its maternity leave and fraternity / paternity leave. The new Family Leave Policy will give 164 days to per / each parent. This is about seven months. Parents can also transfer down / up to 69 of their own day / days to their partner. This means it is possibility / possible for one parent to take nine months of parental leave. For single parents, Finland is given / giving all 328 days to the mother or father. Finland's current parental leave gives four months for maternity leave, and two months for / of fathers.

    Finland's government said the new rules were necessarily / necessary to help young families / family. Finland's Minister of Social Affairs and Health explained why the country is introducing a / the new rules. She said: "The model guarantees / warranties the child a place at the centre of family benefits, and it demotes / promotes wellbeing and gender equality." It will also help to increase the country's reclining / declining birth rate. The number of babies born on / in Finland has dropped for the past / passed nine years. Last year, Finland had the lowest number of babies born in the country since / from 1868. Finland's neighbour Sweden has the most generous leave policy, offering 240 days per parent. The USA has no nationally / national paid leave for mothers or fathers.

    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)

    F_n l_n d _s g_v_n g n_w p_r_n t s m_r_ t_m_ t_ s p_n d w_t h t h__ r b_b__ s . T h_ F_n n_s h g_v_r n m_n t h_s d_c_d_d t_ g_v_ m_t h_r s _n d f_t h_r s s_v_n m_n t h s _f p_r_n t_l l__ v_. T h_s m__ n s F_n l_n d w_l l _l m_s t d__ b l_ t h_ _m__ n t _f _t s m_t_r n_t y l__ v_ _n d p_t_r n_t y l__ v_. T h_ n_w F_m_l y L__ v_ P_l_c y w_l l g_v_ 1 6 4 d_y s t_ __ c h p_r_n t . T h_s _s _b__ t s_v_n m_n t h s . P_r_n t s c_n _l s_ t r_n s f_r _p t_ 6 9 _f t h__ r _w n d_y s t_ t h__ r p_r t n_r . T h_s m__ n s _t _s p_s s_b l_ f_r _n_ p_r_n t t_ t_k_ n_n_ m_n t h s _f p_r_n t_l l__ v_. F_r s_n g l_ p_r_n t s , F_n l_n d _s g_v_n g _l l 3 2 8 d_y s t_ t h_ m_t h_r _r f_t h_r . F_n l_n d ' s c_r r_n t p_r_n t_l l__ v_ g_v_s f__ r m_n t h s f_r m_t_r n_t y l__ v_, _n d t w_ m_n t h s f_r f_t h_r s .

    F_n l_n d ' s g_v_r n m_n t s__ d t h_ n_w r_l_s w_r_ n_c_s s_r y t_ h_l p y__ n g f_m_l__ s . F_n l_n d ' s M_n_s t_r _f S_c__ l A f f__ r s _n d H__ l t h _x p l__ n_d w h y t h_ c__ n t r y _s _n t r_d_c_n g t h_ n_w r_l_s . S h_ s__ d : " T h_ m_d_l g__ r_n t__ s t h_ c h_l d _ p l_c_ _t t h_ c_n t r_ _f f_m_l y b_n_f_t s , _n d _t p r_m_t_s w_l l b__ n g _n d g_n d_r _q__ l_t y . " I t w_l l _l s_ h_l p t_ _n c r__ s_ t h_ c__ n t r y ' s d_c l_n_n g b_r t h r_t_. T h_ n_m b_r _f b_b__ s b_r n _n F_n l_n d h_s d r_p p_d f_r t h_ p_s t n_n_ y__ r s . L_s t y__ r , F_n l_n d h_d t h_ l_w_s t n_m b_r _f b_b__ s b_r n _n t h_ c__ n t r y s_n c_ 1 8 6 8 . F_n l_n d ' s n__ g h b__ r S w_d_n h_s t h_ m_s t g_n_r__ s l__ v_ p_l_c y , _f f_r_n g 2 4 0 d_y s p_r p_r_n t . T h_ U S A h_s n_ n_t__ n_l p__ d l__ v_ f_r m_t h_r s _r f_t h_r s .

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    finland is giving new parents more time to spend with their babies the finnish government has decided to give mothers and fathers seven months of parental leave this means finland will almost double the amount of its maternity leave and paternity leave the new family leave policy will give 164 days to each parent this is about seven months parents can also transfer up to 69 of their own days to their partner this means it is possible for one parent to take nine months of parental leave for single parents finland is giving all 328 days to the mother or father finlands current parental leave gives four months for maternity leave and two months for fathers

    finlands government said the new rules were necessary to help young families finlands minister of social affairs and health explained why the country is introducing the new rules she said the model guarantees the child a place at the centre of family benefits and it promotes wellbeing and gender equality it will also help to increase the countrys declining birth rate the number of babies born in finland has dropped for the past nine years last year finland had the lowest number of babies born in the country since 1868 finlands neighbour sweden has the most generous leave policy offering 240 days per parent the usa has no national paid leave for mothers or fathers

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Finlandisgivingnewparentsmoretimetospendwiththeirbabies.TheFi
    nnishgovernmenthasdecidedtogivemothersandfatherssevenmonth
    sofparentalleave.ThismeansFinlandwillalmostdoubletheamountofit
    smaternityleaveandpaternityleave.ThenewFamilyLeavePolicywillgi
    ve164daystoeachparent.Thisisaboutsevenmonths.Parentscanalsot
    ransferupto69oftheirowndaystotheirpartner.Thismeansitispossiblef
    oroneparenttotakeninemonthsofparentalleave.Forsingleparents,Fi
    nlandisgivingall328daystothemotherorfather.Finland'scurrentpare
    ntalleavegivesfourmonthsformaternityleave,andtwomonthsforfath
    ers.Finland'sgovernmentsaidthenewruleswerenecessarytohelpyou
    ngfamilies.Finland'sMinisterofSocialAffairsandHealthexplainedwhyt
    hecountryisintroducingthenewrules.Shesaid:"Themodelguarantees
    thechildaplaceatthecentreoffamilybenefits,anditpromoteswellbeing
    andgenderequality."Itwillalsohelptoincreasethecountry'sdecliningb
    irthrate.ThenumberofbabiesborninFinlandhasdroppedforthepastnin
    eyears.Lastyear,Finlandhadthelowestnumberofbabiesborninthecou
    ntrysince1868.Finland'sneighbourSwedenhasthemostgenerouslea
    vepolicy,offering240daysperparent.TheUSAhasnonationalpaidleav
    eformothersorfathers.

    Free writing

    Write about maternity leave for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Companies should give new parents a year's paid leave. 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. PARENTAL LEAVE: Make a poster about parental leave. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. ONE YEAR: Write a magazine article about companies having to give companies one year off to look after their babies. 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 parental leave. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions on it. 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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