Ageism in the Workplace

Rob - author of the lesson plan   Rob I November 09, 2021
General English, Business English, Speaking Lessons, English for HR
Employment, Work, Human Resources
C1 Advanced
Grammar, Speaking, Vocabulary, Listening
Lesson ID
Lesson Time
45 minutes
ESL lesson plan for an online class titled “Ageism in the Workplace ”

Lesson Overview

Age is just a number! In this lesson, students will learn about ageism and discrimination in the workplace. This lesson features a video of a news station talking about how older people are treated differently at their jobs and how employees can protect themselves against this discrimination. Students will learn and practice the use of quantifiers and vocabulary relating to this topic. The lesson includes plenty of engaging discussion activities and worksheets that have been developed for adult and teenage learners.

Lesson Objectives

  • Grammar: Students will focus on mastering the use of adverbs of degree, such as "considerably," "slightly," and "far more," to discuss intensities and comparisons in professional settings. They will practice these adverbs in sentences that help articulate nuanced views about workplace dynamics.

  • Listening: Students will enhance their listening skills by engaging with a video that discusses ageism in the workplace. They will pay close attention to how speakers use adverbs of degree to describe the intensity of workplace discrimination and the challenges faced by older employees.

  • Speaking: Through role-playing exercises, students will simulate conversations that might occur in a professional context, using adverbs of degree to express their thoughts on ageism and its impact on career progression. This practice will help improve their ability to convey subtle differences in meaning.

  • Vocabulary: The lesson will introduce vocabulary related to discussing workplace issues, including terms like "ageism," "discrimination," and "side hustle." Students will learn how these terms interact with adverbs of degree to describe workplace experiences effectively.

  • Cultural Awareness: Students will explore cultural attitudes towards age in the workplace, discussing how ageism can manifest differently across industries and cultures. They will consider the implications of these attitudes for policy and practice in the workplace.

  • Homework: Students will be tasked with exercises that reinforce the use of adverbs of degree and related vocabulary. Activities will include creating sentences using provided adverbs, discussing real-life scenarios where ageism may be evident, and writing responses to hypothetical workplace situations.


Ageism, or the discrimination of people based on age, is a dilemma that's said to affect many people in their workplace in various ways. Watch this video to educate yourself on this problem and learn how older employees can protect themselves and their jobs.

Video Transcript

Vocabulary and Pronunciation

turbulent [adjective]: with a lot of sudden changes, arguments, or violence, e.g., a turbulent relationship
playbook [noun]: a set of rules or methods that are considered suitable for a particular activity, industry, job
no-brainer [noun]: informal; something that is very easy or obvious such as a decision or choice
play catch-up [idiom]: to try to reach the same level or standard as others after you have fallen behind them
stack the deck [idiom]: to arrange something in a dishonest way in order to achieve the result you want
maternity leave [noun]: the period when a woman can legally be absent from work before and after she has a baby
lay somebody off [phrasal verb]: to stop employing someone, usually temporarily, because of lack of work to do
side hustle [noun]: a piece of work or a job that you get paid for doing in addition to doing your main job
outsource [verb]: obtain (goods or a service) from an outside or foreign supplier
perk [noun]: a special advantage or benefit, in addition to the salary you are paid, that you are given because of your job
fall back on something [phrasal verb]: to use something for help because no other choice is available
outing [noun]: a short trip taken for pleasure or entertainment
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