Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

    • ex. The store is temporarily closed because of bad weather.
    • ex. My coworker took a three-month leave of absence when he was really sick.
    • ex. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in life. You can’t always get everything that you want.
  1. give one’s all
    • ex. I gave my all to the project, but it wasn’t successful.
  2. resume
    • ex. My son took a quick break for dinner, then resumed his video game.


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

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Cheyna Matthews, a 26-year-old soccer star, announced that she will temporarily stop playing soccer. Matthews is taking a leave of absence for two months in order to focus on her family. Matthews is a player for Washington Spirit, an American professional soccer team. She’s married to Jordan Williams, a professional American soccer player, and they have a 20-month-old son.

Taking the leave of absence was a tough decision for Matthews. She said that she loves both her job and her family. However, she realized that being a mother and playing soccer at the same time requires sacrifices. She promised to return to soccer once she can give her all to the sport. Matthews thanked her team and fans for their support.

Fans of the soccer star supported her decision and called her an inspiration. Washington Spirit praised Matthews and said that they’re proud of their athletes who are mothers. The soccer team explained that Matthews will still receive pay during her two-month leave of absence, and that she can resume her career when she’s ready.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Leaves of Absence

  • Do you agree that taking a leave of absence to focus on family is a difficult decision? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think workers and athletes who take a leave of absence should still be paid? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Should there be a limit for how long a leave of absence can be (ex. one week, one month)? Why or why not? Discuss.


  • Which is more important, family or career? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think it’s difficult for working parents to take care of their children? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Aside from parents, who can take care of small children? Why? Discuss.