People at Work
An innovative whole-language program based on recorded
interviews with 10 working people.
by: Edgar Sather, Catherine Sadow, and George Draper
Level: Intermediate to advanced, Secondary to Adult
Click here to Read what teachers say
about People At Work:
People at Work has ten-units.
There are 3 CDs with 3 1/2 hours of listening. The CDs are reasonably
priced so that students can afford them.
Each unit follows the same format:
A. Pre-listening - a brief reading with the working person's
photograph, and a vocabulary list.
B. First Listening to the taped interview. "Generic"
comprehension questions, and a taped idioms exercise.
C. Second Listening to the interview. Specific comprehension
questions (from the teacher's book) and a reconstruction exercise.
D. The Dialogue - a taped dramatization of some significant
incident mentioned in the interview. Discussion questions. A taped
interactive listening exercise.
E. Communicative Activities. Students choose from the following:
1. 5 to 7 projects for out-of-class experiential learning to be
done either individually or in small groups and then reported on
2. Readings related to the occupations being explored-they are not
simplified. Various activities are suggested using the readings.
Who are the people? A bank teller, a
shopkeeper, a waiter, an elementary school teacher, a folk singer,
a volunteer ombudsman, an industrial engineer, a student dean, a
medical intern, and a building contractor. Each individual is successful
and a good role model. Each has a compelling story to tell.
What is the program's focus? The interviewer
brings out more than information about the person's work and workplace.
The people discuss issues that are important to them and that will
be important to students learning about American culture.
Teachers who are using the program say:
EFL in Russia - Alyson Ewald
"I brought your wonderful People at Work books and
tapes to Russia with me. I taught English to Russians who were studying
at a teacher-training institute. People was very popular
and useful for me, but what surprised me were the numerous letters I've
received from other teachers at the institute who've used it after I
left. They love it, and it's become the most-used set of tapes with
the second-year students. Thank you."
Adult Ed. in Newton, Mass. - Faye Stylianopoulos
"Where can Iranian dentists, Guatemalan cleaning ladies, Taiwanese
computer scientists, European au pairs, and Brazilian doctors become
life-long friends? In my adult ed. ESL classroom, of course, and People
at Work deserves much of the credit for this. Working in groups
across ethnic and class lines, students have learned important new vocabulary
and enjoyed the challenge of the clever interactive listening exercises.
We videotape group presentations of the communicative activities found
at the end of each People at Work lesson, thus allowing
students to monitor their speaking progress."
Georgetown University, d.c. - Virginia Lezhnev
"People at Work has really worked for me. This text
keeps the students interested and involved while giving them a solid
foundation in understanding and using conversational English. A real
plus is the list of out-of-class projects at the end of each unit. Introduce
your students to People at Work, and they'll make all
kinds of new friends-both in the book and in the real world.
University of Washington, Seattle - Kim Newcomer
"Finally, a good listening text with affordable student tapes!
People at Work offers believable interviews and dialogues
from an interesting array of people and professions. The material is
long and complex enough to be challenging for more advanced students,
while still being manageable for intermediate students. Best of all
are the projects, which help get all types of learners out of the classroom
and into the community."
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