For Elementary and pre-Intermediate students, ‘jobs’ are often used to introduce various grammatical structures, especially, to compare ‘have to’ (A police officer has to arrest people) with ‘must’ (A police officer must be brave). This comparison, to me, doesn’t seem to make sense as the two language items belong to two separate systems (one is verbal expansion and the other is modality). A better comparison it seems to me, and one that is not often highlighted, is that between ‘have to’ and ‘get to’ and a way to introduce the concept of appraisal in a simple way.
Materials: a set of ‘jobs’ cards (about 10 cards – I’ve found that the cards from Let’s Go 3 work well) and some A4 paper.
Stage 1: Group
First, go through the ‘jobs’ cards and ask “What’s this?”/”What’s he/she doing?”-type questions. At the same time, on a piece of paper, write down any vocabulary that students don’t know, concentrating in particular on collocations. This is the list we made:
do an experiment (scientist)
put flowers in a vase (florist)
deliver packages (postal worker)
a briefcase (businesswoman)
a stethoscope (doctor)
a cash register (shop clerk)
a drill (dentist)
take/make an appointment (secretary)
an assembly line (factory workers)
This list forms a mini classroom corpus.
Stage 2: content plane – lexico-grammar
In Stage 1, the language used was mostly relational processes (He is a researcher). Here, we can expand this into a clause including experiential Process + Circumstance:
He is working + as a researcher
He is working + in a lab
He is working + with equipment
He is working + on an experiment
He is working + at Sony
This can be done for each card, incorporating the language items from the classroom corpus if appropriate.
Next, a game can be played using the langauge items from the classroom corpus – lay the cards on the table and ask “Who…?”-questions (Who is doing an experiment?). The first student to answer gets the card.
Stage 3 – content plane – semantics
Thus far, we have been merely describing the jobs but we may also wish to add some of our own opinion about the jobs. First, on an A4 piece of paper, draw two faces as such:
Then, discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of each job for you personally (She gets to be creative, he has to stand up all day).
Stage 4 – content plane – textual semantics
Once we have discussed all the jobs cards, have the students choose their dream job, which may or may not be from the jobs listed. After some preparation time to look up any vocabulary they might need, the students justify to the class why their dream job is best. This might take the form of a discussion genre:
- Introduction: State the dream job
- Statement: Describe the job in general terms
- Arguments for: Give the advantages of the job
- Arguments against: Give possible disadvantages of the job
- Concluding statement: Give the best reason for deciding on this job.