Lesson 9: Priorities
Don’t you think you need to get your priorities straight?!

I can discuss priorities.

INTRODUCE

People’s priorities change as they enter different stages in life. Being able to talk about priorities will help you have a clear sense of what your friends and family feel is important.

PRESENT

STEP A EXPRESSIONS

Go over the expressions with your tutor and fill in the blanks.

    1. To get one’s priorities straight means to know what’s most important and to focus on it.

    Nice! There’s a marathon of my favorite show on TV all day this Saturday!

    If you want to pass your final exam, you need to get your priorities straight! You’re in high school now. No more watching TV all day for you!

    I think it’s important to get your priorities straight by the time you _____.

     

     

    2. If you couldn’t care less about something, it means that you don’t care about it at all.

    Did you hear? There’s a big sale at the mall today! Let’s go!

    Sorry, but I couldn’t care less about shopping right now. My daughter is really sick.

    Right now, I couldn’t care less about _____.

     

     

    3. Something that’s at the top of the list is more important than anything else. It’s a person’s highest priority.

    You’re free this weekend, right? Why don’t we go on a date?

    I don’t have time to go on dates! Right now, my career is at the top of the list.

    For most people my age, _____ is at the top of the list.

STEP B PRONUNCIATION

When a word that ends with t comes before a word that starts with y, the t and y often combine to form /ch/.
Phrase Example

get your

/ ge-cher /

You’d better / ge-cher / priorities straight.

about you

/ uh-bou-chu /

He said I couldn’t care less / uh-bou-chu /, but it’s not true!

UNDERSTAND

SPEAKING

Naoki was working on his laptop when Aoi began crying in the middle of the night.

Saori:

Naoki, could you help me for a bit? Aoi-chan won’t stop crying.

Naoki:

Sorry, give me a few seconds. I just need to write my boss an email…

Saori:

Naoki, please. Just hold her for a minute.

Naoki:

Hold on. Just a sec…

Saori:

Naoki! Don’t you think you need to get your priorities straight?!

Naoki:

What?

Saori:

You always put your job first! I feel like you only live to work!

Naoki:

That’s not true!

Saori:

Yes, it is! You even spend your weekends golfing with your boss! It’s like you couldn’t care less about our family! All you think about is getting that promotion! But you know what? If you get the position in LA, you’ll have to go alone. Aoi-chan and I are staying here in Japan. Her education should be our top priority, not some fantasy about working overseas.

Naoki:

(sighs) Don’t worry about LA.

Saori:

What do you mean “don’t worry about LA”? That’s all you’ve been talking about for months!

Naoki:

It was just announced today that Toru got the position… You don’t have to worry about moving to LA. I’m sorry if I’ve been too focused on work, but I only wanted that promotion to be a better provider for our family. My job is not at the top of the list—you and Aoi-chan are.

Saori:

Oh, Naoki…

TRIVIA

When a person’s life is all about their job, you can say that they live to work. People who do the opposite and prioritize their personal life over work are said to work to live. This means that their motivation for working is simply to earn money to support themselves and their families.

PRACTICE

STEP A EXERCISE

Choose the responses that best use the underlined expressions.

1.

Tutor: Technically, I have Saturday and Sunday off, but I usually work from home on the weekend.

Student: __________.

  1. It sounds like you’ve put your family at the top of the list
  2. You have a young baby! You shouldn’t put your career at the top of the list

 

2.

Tutor: I’m busy with school. I don’t have time for a relationship right now.

Student: __________?

  1. I bet you couldn’t care less about the final exam
  2. So, does that mean you couldn’t care less about cute guys

 

3.

Tutor:  I can’t go to my family reunion next week because I have to finish my report.

Student: __________.

  • I think you need to get your priorities straight and put your family first
  • Good for you! You’ve got your priorities straight

 

4.

Tutor: I put 30% of every paycheck in a savings account. I know it’s more important to save for the future than it is to go shopping now.

Student: __________.

  1. I think I should get my priorities straight and do the same
  2. You should get your priorities straight and have a little fun

STEP B EXERCISE

What will you say to the people below? Give them advice using the expressions in parentheses.

Sam always works overtime, so his health has gotten worse.

ex. (get one’s priorities straight)

→ You should get your priorities straight and think about your health first!

Yuu always goes out with her friends instead of studying for her exams.

1. (at the top of the list)

Finn is always busy with work, so his wife feels like he doesn’t care about her.

2. (couldn’t care less about something)

Rima spends all her money on shopping, so she has no money left for important things.

3. (get one’s priorities straight)

CHALLENGE

Challenge 1

You’re visiting your friend who’s had a really bad cold for the past three weeks. Convince him/her to rest and give him/her some advice about priorities.

Today's Expressions

  • get one's priorities straight
  • couldn’t care less about something
  • at the top of the list

Challenge 2

Discuss your ideas.

If Time
Allows
1

PRIORITIES

2

FAMILY VS WORK

3

WORKING TO LIVE VS LIVING TO WORK

1

PRIORITIES

  1. What do many people put at the top of their list (ex. relationships, their health)?
  2. What usually ends up at the bottom of many people's lists?
  3. Why is it difficult for some people to get their priorities straight?
  4. At what age should people start to get their priorities straight?

2FAMILY VS WORK

  1. Why do you think some people work even at home?
  2. What are signs that someone is having trouble balancing family and work?
  3. What makes it difficult to balance time for family and work?
  4. What are some family situations/occasions that you should never miss because of work?

3WORKING TO LIVE VS LIVING TO WORK

  1. Do most Japanese people work to live or live to work?
  2. Do you think this will change in the near future?
  3. What countries are known more for working to live?
  4. Who do you think is happier after retirement, someone who worked to live or someone who lived to work?

FEEDBACK

I can discuss priorities.

LESSON GOAL ACHIEVEMENT

  • 4
    Very Good

    Could complete the task with ease

  • 3
    Good

    Could complete the task with some clarifications

  • 2
    Fair

    Could complete the task with additional instructions

  • 1
    Poor

    Could somehow complete the task with difficulty

PERSONALIZED FEEDBACK

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Chapter 2 Lesson 10 (Review) - Marriage: Lesson 6-9 Review