The Reading / Listening - Loneliness - Level 2

Japan has a "minister of loneliness" for the first time. Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga created the role in early February. Mr Suga wanted to do something about the rise in suicide cases. More people are taking their own lives in the pandemic. Japan's police agency said 20,919 people died by suicide in 2020. This is 750 more than the year before. It is also the first two-year rise in suicides in 11 years. The minister told reporters: "I hope to promote activities that prevent loneliness and social isolation and to improve the ties between people."

The police agency said there was a bigger rise in suicides among women. Prime Minister Suga said women have been struggling with loneliness since the coronavirus pandemic started. He told reporters: "Women are suffering from isolation more than men are, and the number of suicides is...rising." There has been a 70 per cent increase in the number of women taking their own lives. A 23-year-old designer said she has suffered from loneliness. She said: "Not seeing people smile behind their mask makes me sad and lonely." She added: "I want to see happy faces."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Loneliness - Level 0 Loneliness - Level 1   or  Loneliness - Level 3

Sources
  • https://thehill.com/policy/international/asia-pacific/539917-japanese-prime-minister-appoints-minister-of-loneliness-to
  • https://nypost.com/2021/02/22/japan-creates-minister-of-loneliness-to-fight-covid-suicides/
  • https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/02/12/national/loneliness-isolation-minister/


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)





Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. for the
  2. Suga created the role
  3. people are taking
  4. Japan's police
  5. 20,919 people died
  6. This is 750 more
  7. the first two-year
  8. activities that prevent
  1. than the year before
  2. by suicide
  3. loneliness
  4. in early February
  5. rise in suicides
  6. first time
  7. agency
  8. their own lives

Paragraph 2

  1. a bigger rise in suicides
  2. women have been struggling
  3. since the coronavirus pandemic
  4. the number of suicides
  5. she has suffered
  6. Not seeing people
  7. mask makes me
  8. I want to see happy
  1. smile
  2. is rising
  3. faces
  4. from loneliness
  5. sad
  6. with loneliness
  7. among women
  8. started

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Japan has a "minister of loneliness" (1) ___________________ time. Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (2) ___________________ in early February. Mr Suga wanted to do something about (3) ___________________ suicide cases. More people are taking their (4) ___________________ the pandemic. Japan's police agency said 20,919 people died by suicide in 2020. This is 750 more than (5) ___________________. It is also the first two-year rise in suicides in 11 years. The minister told reporters: "I hope to promote (6) ___________________ loneliness and social isolation and to improve the ties between people."

The police agency said there was a (7) ___________________ suicides among women. Prime Minister Suga said women have (8) ___________________ loneliness since the coronavirus pandemic started. He told reporters: "Women are suffering from isolation more than men are, and (9) ___________________ suicides is...rising." There has been a 70 per cent increase in the number of women taking (10) ___________________. A 23-year-old designer said she has suffered from loneliness. She said: "Not seeing people (11) ___________________ mask makes me sad and lonely." She added: "I want to (12) ___________________."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Japanhasa"ministerofloneliness"forthefirsttime.Japan'sPrimeMinist
erYoshihideSugacreatedtheroleinearlyFebruary.MrSugawantedtod
osomethingabouttheriseinsuicidecases.Morepeoplearetakingtheiro
wnlivesinthepandemic.Japan'spoliceagencysaid20,919peoplediedb
ysuicidein2020.Thisis750morethantheyearbefore.Itisalsothefirsttwo-yearriseinsuicidesin11years.Theministertoldreporters:"Ihopeto
promoteactivitiesthatpreventlonelinessandsocialisolationandtoimp
rovethetiesbetweenpeople."Thepoliceagencysaidtherewasabigge
rriseinsuicidesamongwomen.PrimeMinisterSugasaidwomenhavebe
enstrugglingwithlonelinesssincethecoronaviruspandemicstarted.He
toldreporters:"Womenaresufferingfromisolationmorethanmenare,
andthenumberofsuicidesis...rising."Therehasbeena70percentincre
aseinthenumberofwomentakingtheirownlives.A23-yearolddesigner
saidshehassufferedfromloneliness.Shesaid:"Notseeingpeoplesmile
behindtheirmaskmakesmesadandlonely."Sheadded:"Iwanttoseeha
ppyfaces."

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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