Listening

Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. groceries
    • ex. We went to the supermarket and bought four big bags of groceries.
  2. physical
    • ex. I prefer to buy clothes from physical stores so I can choose the right size.
  3. a purchase
    • ex. I made three purchases last week, one at a convenience store and two at the mall.
  4. a checkout lane
    • ex. The line is long because only one checkout lane is open.
  5. an endcap
    • ex. I’m not sure where the candy is. Maybe it’s on an endcap.

Article

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

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A study by Harvard University found that people who buy groceries online get less junk food than people who buy groceries at physical stores. Researchers observed 137 people who bought groceries online and at supermarkets between 2015 and 2017. The study lasted for 44 weeks.

The researchers reviewed more than 5,500 purchases. Over 4,500 were done at a physical store, while the rest were done online. The study showed that online shoppers spent about $2.50 less on unhealthy food like candy, soda, and snacks than people who went to the supermarket. However, online shoppers also bought more groceries and spent around 44% more money overall.

The researchers said that in physical stores, it’s easier for people to buy unhealthy snacks because these items are usually displayed in easy-to-see places. Supermarkets often put junk food in checkout lanes and endcaps to encourage shoppers to make unplanned purchases. The researchers hope that the results of this study can help shoppers make healthier food choices.

Discussion

Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Buying Groceries

  • In your opinion, why did online shoppers spend around 44% more money than people who went to the supermarket (ex. online groceries are more expensive, they wanted to get free delivery)? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, why did online shoppers buy more groceries than people who went to supermarkets (ex. they didn’t have to carry them, they didn’t realize how much they were buying)? Discuss.
  • The study was done between 2015 and 2017. Do you think more people buy groceries online now? Why or why not? Discuss.

Making Purchases

  • Do you prefer to make purchases online or at physical stores? Why? Discuss.
  • Supermarkets often put junk food in checkout lanes and endcaps. Do you agree that this encourages shoppers to make unplanned purchases? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • The researchers hope that the study can help shoppers make healthier food choices. After reading about it, will you change the way that you make food purchases? Why or why not? Discuss.