Video quiz details
The task is to brainstorm jobs that the characters in the short film would be better off doing instead of their own. Students need to think of jobs according to the instruction in each question, e.g. "Suggest a more meaningful job for this man related to electricity."
You can have a competition among pairs or small teams: let's see who can brainstorm more relevant occupations for each question. Or you can have each pair or team just think of one or two possible professions.
This video quiz was prepared to fit into Kieran Donaghy's lesson plan for this short film on FilmEnglish: http://film-english.com/2017/03/21/the-employment/
An award-winning short film depicting a surreal world where everyone does menial, repetitive, senseless jobs that we normally have objects or machines to do for us. This short film is an excellent springboard to discussing what work means in our lives, what it means to have a calling or vocation in one's life, and what kind of jobs are worth devoting your life to.
5 minutes 22 seconds
The above lesson is a great teaching resource for:Intermediate (B1), Upper-intermediate (B2)
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1. Get students to discuss what kind of jobs they would never be willing to do, e.g. because it is disgusting, overly demanding mentally, physically or psychologically. Do they know friends or relatives whose job they would not do no matter how much it pays?
1. I recommend Kieran Donaghy's lesson plan for this short film: http://film-english.com/2017/03/21/the-employment/
2. I recommend finishing the class with a discussion. I selected a bouquet of questions that revolve around the themes of the film: quality and meaning of work, the role it serves in our lives, the issue of salary vs enjoyment.
1. How would you describe the jobs featured in the film?
2. Did you see any job in the short film that seemed acceptable to you?
3. Why do we find these jobs inhumane, senseless, pointless?
4. If we lived in a society where we didn't have access to machines or electricity, would any of these jobs be acceptable?
5. What is menial work? Can you think of a few examples?
6. What could working mean in a person's life? What role should it serve in our lives ideally?
7. What are some jobs that you think would be fun?
8. What are you trying to do in order to find a job that you really like?
9. Do you think it is more important to make a lot of money or to enjoy your job?
10. You may have heard that masses of people are set to lose their jobs to automation (robots and AI) in the near future, e.g. taxi and truck drivers. What are some of the jobs that are most at risk of being automated?
11. Would you agree that some jobs are not meant for women, and some other are meant for men?
12. What jobs in your country are considered to be good jobs? Why?
13. Which jobs do you think are the most prestigious? What makes them prestigious?
14. Who is the breadwinner (provider) in your family?
15. What job would you most like to do? If money weren't a problem for you, which job would you prefer to have?
16. How do you think work was different in the Middle Ages than today? How have working conditions changed since the Middle Ages?