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"learn the ropes" = learn how to do a specific job

"It took me a few months to learn the ropes at my new job."

"pull one's weight" = do a person's share of the work

"If you can't pull your own weight around here, the boss is going to fire you."

More of Randall's Favorite Learning Resources

[ Quiz Script ]

Career Search:
Finding the Right Job
1. Pre-Listening Exercises
2. Listening Exercises
3. Vocabulary
4. Post-Listening Exercises
5. Online Investigations

Level:Topic: Type:Speakers:Length:
mediumjobs and careersconversationman and woman01:35

1. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]
What jobs are popular among men and women in your country? Are there social or cultural rules that influence what jobs people do?

HELPFUL TIP: Work satisfaction often is not rooted in the money you make but in the joy it brings you in helping others.


2. Listening Exercises [Top]
Listen to the telephone message by pressing the "Play Audio" button and answer the questions. Press the "Final Score" button to check your quiz.

Loading the player ...
[ What are these different audio choices? ]
[ Other Audio Option: Play Window Media ]

1. What kind of career does the woman want to pursue?
A. She wants to become a sales associate for an auto company.
B. She is interested in repairing and maintaining cars and other vehicles.
C. The woman wants to major in mechanical engineering.

2. Right now, the woman's boyfriend is ___________________.
A. majoring in secondary education
B. pursuing a career in auto mechanics
C. getting a degree in a medical field

3. What does Ryan think about James' future career?
A. He thinks that there is no money in that profession.
B. He believes that James isn't qualified for the job.
C. He feels that James is pursuing a job designed for women.

4. Ryan suggests that women are more suited for jobs in _____________.
A. education and office work
B. farming and house cleaning
C. nursing and child care

5. At the end of the conversation, the man ends up ___________.
A. making his own dinner
B. taking care of his own car
C. apologizing to James

Score =
Correct answers:

Listen to the conversation again as you read the Quiz Script.

3. Vocabulary Activities [Top]
Review the key vocabulary from the conversation: [ Why do these? ]

4. Post-Listening Exercises [Top]

In the past, what kinds of jobs were mainly done by men or women (a registered nurse, a secretary, or childcare worker)? Is this still true today, or is this trend changing? What are the reasons for these changes: social, religious, or economic?

5. Online Investigations - [ What's This? ] [Top]
Use the Internet to find out how the workplace is changing in a different country in terms of men's and women's roles and cultural diversity. Interview a classmate from a different country if possible to understand their views on this topic. Here are some possible questions to consider:

  • Are women often more qualified then men to work in positions that were traditionally held by men? If so, what has caused this change?
  • Are there any religious principles within certain faiths that influence the degree to which women work outside of the home?
  • How do people view men who work in jobs that are often held by more women (nursing, elementary school teachers, secretaries, office clerks, etc.)?

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