Views #609 | Intermediate 5

Students and Jobs

Greg and Todd discuss whether it is a good idea for students to have jobs.

Todd: You know, Greg, we were both talking about how we have part-time job, you know, I think there's a lot of benefit but looking back, sometimes I wonder if it's not so good if children work.

Greg: Why?

Todd: You know, I just think, basically, that kids get in this trap, they start working, they start getting a little money, they kind of get into buying things, consumerism, and they really don't focus on studying or being in clubs or just doing extra-curricular activities when they're young.

Greg: But sometimes if people work, they learn that they have to work in order to get something and then they transfer that to school and say, OK, I have to work at school in order to get good grades, or to get into the high school I want, or into the college I want.

Todd: I think it's nice to look at it that way but I think in reality, most people that are wealthy, their children don't work and they get better grades and they do activities that help their school resume, and as a result they get into the best schools, and they get the best jobs.

Greg: Maybe the rich people are able to go to better schools cause their better schools in the rich area so their getting a better education, that might be one.

Todd: Yeah, that's true but I think maybe that if kids, if they start working and they work too much, then they lose their priorities, which should just be about an education.

Greg: I agree if they work too much, but I think you learn a lot of things, which are very important, you know, there's a difference between book knowledge and world knowledge.

Todd: OK, that's true. Well, so how many hours would you suggest that a child works? Like for you what's the maximum hours that a kid in high school should work?

Greg: A high school student should probably work no more than 10 hours a day.

Todd: OK, I agree. I agree. See when I was in high school, I was like working 25, 30 hours.

Greg: That's, that's a lot.

Todd: Right, and that's why I'm not a rich man today.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

looking back

Looking back, sometimes I wonder if it's not so good if children work.

You can use the phrase 'looking back' when you are talking how you feel now about situations in the past. Notice the following:

  1. Looking back, she recognizes that she has made a few mistakes in her life.
  2. Looking back, I wish I had found an internship while I was in school.


I think kids get in this trap of buying things, consumerism, instead of studying.

'Consumerism' refers to the buying and consuming of products. Notice the following:

  1. Consumerism is very difficult to resist.
  2. Television commercials give buyers a huge push toward consumerism.


I think it's good for young kids to be in clubs or do extra-curricular activities.

'Extra-curricular activities' are things you do outside of school to increase your knowledge and experience or just for fun. Notice the following:

  1. You can't be in an extra-curricular activities if you don't start getting better grades.
  2. She was involved in many extra-curricular activities in middle school and high school.


When kids learn they have to work to get something, they transfer that to school and think they have to work to get good grades.

Here, 'transfer' refers to learning something in one area of your life and then using that knowledge in another area. Generally, transfer is used to show movement from one place to another. Notice the following:

  1. Right now we are working on transferring what we learned in our classes to the office.
  2. Exams in university are more difficult, because they are asking you to transfer your knowledge.

lose priorities

When kids work too much, they lose their priorities, which should be their studies.

'Losing your priorities' talks about losing focus about what is most important in your life. Your priorities are what you should focus your energy on. Notice the following:

  1. Many kids lose family priorities when they are teenagers.
  2. She kind of lost her priorities when they started dating.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Vocabulary Quiz

looking • consumerism • extra-curricular
transfer • priorities
  1. Even though she worked nearly 30 hours a week, she never lost in terms of school or her family.
  2. What kinds of activities do they offer at your school?
  3. Some English students think it's difficult to what they learn in class to real conversation.
  4. Right now we are learning about and why people buy.
  5. I would say, back, that I made the right decision.


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