Are robots hurting job growth?

Links to online video: 


Before you watch

  1. What do you make of the cartoon above? What do you expect this video session to be about?
  2. What are the most common reasons why people may lose their jobs?
  3. What do you understand by “technological unemployment”?
  4. Can you think of jobs that are now done by robots? Do you find any downside to this? What about the advantages?
  5. Do you think that all the work will be eventually done by machines?


1.      white collar/ routine/ middle-skilled       a. sample
2.      heavily automated                                 b. warehouses
3.      blood                                                   c. teller
4.      state-of-the-art                                     d. job
5.      wide and varied                                    e. operator
6.      assembly                                               f. product
7.      Sales                                                    g. robots
8.      Switchboard                                         h. product line
9.      Bank                                                    i. line
10.  flagship                                                 j. clerk 


1.      perform                                              a. an order/ a prescription
2.      portray                                               b. the job of a human/ a task
3.      Give way/ surrender                            c. stocks on Wall Street
4.      Fill                                                      d. a robot/ a computer
5.      Ship                                                   e. a robot as household help
6.      Make                                                 f. somebody’s plans/ mission
7.      Trade                                                 g. to something
8.      Run                                                    h. a lab/ a company
9.      Upgrade                                             i. a living/ a comeback
10.  level                                                   j. merchandise for retailers
11.  bring                                                  k. the playing field
12.  jeopardize                                          l. to mind

After you watch

A-Watch and fill in the table below

What I already knew
What I learnt watching this video
Something that surprised me
Something I’d like to find out more about

B-Get together with your group and share what you've written. Then choose something you'd like to know more about and look it up in wikipaedia. Then, prepare a short presentation (using PPT) and share your findings.

 Language Follow up

How have things changed over the past years? Make comparisons. You can use the words below.
MORE              FASTER                       MORE EFFICIENTLY                       FEWER                   BIGGER                        HIGHER                   

·         Interactions with machines
·         Interactions with human beings
·         The economy now and before the Great Recession
·         Business investment in hardware and software
·         Way the merchandise is shipped


  1. Marcela,

    I`m very happy that you are back, after this looong absence.
    Thank you for all your posts, they are great!! They are very useful for my lessons and the topics that you choose are really very interesting!
    I hope you have time to keep on posting!
    Florencia Z

    1. Thanks a lot for your comments, Flor! Very rewarding indeed! I promise I'll keep it up! Suggestions on interesting topics are always most welcome!