FOCUS Vocabulary: salary
TIME  60 min (incl. 7 min video)


This ESL lesson discusses the thorny issue of pay secrecy and focuses on vocabulary connected with getting paid. TED Talk by David Burkus called “Why you should know how much your co-workers get paid” is the key point of this worksheet that will kick off a lively discussion. The lesson was designed for HR professionals, however, it works well with other working adults too.

The worksheet is divided into two sections: vocabulary & video/discussion. The lesson starts with a lexical exercise in which Ss must put words in right categories. Next, Ss will practise using new vocabulary by filling in gaps in sentences to see how they work in context. Exercise 3 is a comprehensive grammar task that focuses on various tenses. Ss will have to identify where tenses are used wrongly and correct the mistakes. In order to give more opportunity to reinforce new vocabulary, students have to discuss in pairs whether they agree or disagree with the statements from exercise 2.

The next page starts with a pre-watching activity where Ss need to get the meaning of idioms used in the video from example sentences. Afterwards, students watch the TED talk and go to the last activity which contains discussion points based on the video. This can be done in pairs or as a class activity (depending on the group size). Remember that this lesson discusses money and salary which for many people might be a controversial topic, so tread lightly 🙂

This ESL lesson should take around 60 minutes (including the 7-minute talk) and is prepared for B2 students, but stronger B1+ students should also manage.



David Burkus: Why you should know how much your coworkers get paid

How much do you get paid? How does it compare to the people you work with? You should know, and so should they, says management researcher David Burkus. In this talk, Burkus questions our cultural assumptions around keeping salaries secret and makes a compelling case for why sharing them could benefit employees, organizations and society.

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