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 cassette
tapes with 3 1/2
hours of listening. The cassettes are reasonably priced so that students
can afford them.
• Each unit follows the same format:
- Pre-listening - a brief reading with the working
and a vocabulary list.
- First Listening to the taped interview. "Generic"
questions, and a taped idioms exercise.
- Second Listening to the interview. Specific
(from the teacher's book) and a reconstruction exercise.
- The Dialogue - a taped dramatization of some
mentioned in the interview. Discussion questions. A taped interactive
- Communicative Activities. Students choose from
1. 5 to 7 projects for out-of-class experiential learning to be done
either individually or in small groups and then reported on in class,
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
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
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
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."
Suggestions for the student working independently 1
Suggestions for the teacher 3
Suggestions for the tutor 9
Lesson 1: Freddy Gallagher, bank teller 11
Lesson 2: Dolores Silva, co-owner of a small business 20
Lesson 3: Neal Wade, waiter 20
Lesson 4: Bertha Haynes, elementary school teacher 38
Lesson 5: Douglas Clegg, folk singer 47
Lesson 6: Helen Chandler, volunteer 58
Lesson 7: Sam Adams, industrial engineer 66
Lesson 8: Rebecca Kraus, Assistant Dean of Students 76
Lesson 9: Tom Hyatt, medical intern 84
Lesson 10: Connie Snow, building contractor 94