Listening

Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. warehouse
    • ex. The warehouse has thousands of products.
  2. supposed to
    • ex. We were supposed to have a meeting yesterday, but it was canceled.
  3. load
    • ex. My dad loaded our suitcases into the car.
  4. lightweight
    • ex. Their old computers are heavy, but their new computers are lightweight.
  5. efficient
    • ex. My boss says that we need to be more efficient at work.

Article

Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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US megastore Walmart says that it will save millions of dollars by changing the step stools in its warehouses. Employees are supposed to use step stools when they load products into delivery trucks. However, Walmart’s old step stools were very big and heavy, so some employees did not use them. Because of this, they couldn’t reach very high to fill the trucks completely, and the trucks had to take several trips to deliver all the products.

For this reason, the company decided to replace its old step stools with lightweight ones. After this change, Walmart’s truck deliveries became more efficient. Walmart CEO Doug McMilon explained that they will save at least $30 million a year because of lower shipping costs.

This is not the first time that the company made small changes that had great impact. Before the step stools, Walmart also saved money by changing lightbulbs. The company changed all its lightbulbs to LED lights, which use less electricity. This change is expected to reduce Walmart’s energy costs by $200 million.

Discussion

Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Saving Money

  • What do you think is the best way for companies to save money? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think trying to save money can negatively affect a company’s services/products? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think making small changes can help regular people save a lot of money too? Why or why not? Discuss.

Following Work Rules

  • Do you think that employees should always follow every rule at work (ex. using step stools when loading trucks)? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • How can companies encourage employees to follow their rules? Why? Discuss.
  • Should companies change rules that are hard for employees to follow? Why or why not? Discuss.