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Special Topic: Generation Gaps

Generation Gaps in the Workplace

The Generation gap is a term popularized in the West during the 1960s, a time when a gulf between
young people and their parents opened up. These differences extended to music, fashion, and politics.
Being aware of generational differences can help you anticipate miscommunications and avoid
problems in the workplace and in social settings.

Experts say you should keep in mind these patterns when communicating across generations:

Traditionalists (born 1922-1943) These workers place a lot of value on formality and the top-down
chain of command. Respect is also important. Traditionalists appreciate formal titles instead of first
names and scheduling meetings rather than have colleagues drop in.

Baby boomers (born 1943-1960) Baby boomers are the largest generation of workers and they are
generally willing to sacrifice for success. Recognition is important to boomers and they prefer more
personable communication. They also value respect and order.

Generation X (born 1960-1980) A higher divorce rate combined with an increase in working mothers
meant many Xers grew up being alone often. Xers tend to be skeptical, highly individual workers who
value a work/life balance. Most would rather be rewarded with extra time off than a promotion.

Millenials (born 1980-2002) Raised by young boomers and older Xers, the first members of this group
are just entering the workforce. Millenials are highly collaborative and optimistic. They share Xers'
emphasis on work/life balance and are the most comfortable using new technologies.

Vocabulary
1. Gulf between A. when you decide not to have something so you can get something else
2. Anticipate B. tending to disagree with what other people tell you
3. Pattern C. careful attention to polite behavior and language in formal situations
4. Formality D. when two or more people work together to complete something
5. Sacrifice E. to expect that something will happen and be ready for it
6. Recognition F. controlled, directed, or organized from the top; having one leader
7. Skeptical G. a move to a more important job or position in a company or organization
8. Promotion H. a difference and lack of understanding between two groups of people
9. Collaborative I. to visit informally and spontaneously
10. Emphasis J. public respect and thanks for someone's work or achievements
11. The Top-down K. the regular way in which something happens, develops, or is done
12. Drop in L. a time period when you are not required to work
13. Time off M. special attention or importance
Special Topic: Generation Gaps
1) Vocabulary What can you learn from the younger and older generations? What can you teach
to the younger and older generations
1. Gulf between H A. when you decide not to have something so you can get something else
2. Anticipate E B. tending to disagree with what other people tell you
3. Pattern K C. careful attention to polite behavior and language in formal situations
4. Formality C D. when two or more people work together to complete something
5. Sacrifice A E. to expect that something will happen and be ready for it
6. Recognition J F. controlled, directed, or organized from the top; having one leader
7. Skeptical B G. a move to a more important job or position in a company or organization
8. Promotion G H. a difference and lack of understanding between two groups of people
9. Collaborative D I. to visit informally and spontaneously
10. Emphasis M J. public respect and thanks for someone's work or achievements
11. The Top-down F K. the regular way in which something happens, develops, or is done
12. Drop in I L. a time period when you are not required to work
13. Time off L M. special attention or importance
Generation Gaps in the Workplace

The Generation gap is a term popularized in the West during the 1960s, a time when a gulf between
young people and their parents opened up. These differences extended to music, fashion, and politics.
Being aware of generational differences can help you anticipate miscommunications and avoid
problems in the workplace and in social settings.

Experts say you should keep in mind these patterns when communicating across generations:

Traditionalists (born 1922-1943) These workers place a lot of value on formality and the top-down
chain of command. Respect is also important. Traditionalists appreciate formal titles instead of first
names and scheduling meetings rather than have colleagues drop in.

Baby boomers (born 1943-1960) Baby boomers are the largest generation of workers and they are
generally willing to sacrifice for success. Recognition is important to boomers and they prefer more
personable communication. They also value respect and order.

Generation X (born 1960-1980) A higher divorce rate combined with an increase in working mothers
meant many Xers grew up being alone often. Xers tend to be skeptical, highly individual workers who
value a work/life balance. Most would rather be rewarded with extra time off than a promotion.

Millenials (born 1980-2002) Raised by young boomers and older Xers, the first members of this group
are just entering the workforce. Millenials are highly collaborative and optimistic. They share Xers'
emphasis on work/life balance and are the most comfortable using new technologies.

2) Questions
1. What is this article about?
2. What are generation gaps? Can you describe the characteristics of each generation?
3. Why should you keep in mind the differences between generations when at work?
4. What are the similarities and differences between generations in Korea?
5. Which generation are you a part of? Do you agree with the description? Why/Why not?
Special Topic: Generation Gaps
1) Vocabulary
1. Gulf between A. when you decide not to have something so you can get something else
2. Anticipate B. tending to disagree with what other people tell you
3. Pattern C. careful attention to polite behavior and language in formal situations
4. Formality D. when two or more people work together to complete something
5. Sacrifice E. to expect that something will happen and be ready for it
6. Recognition F. controlled, directed, or organized from the top; having one leader
7. Skeptical G. a move to a more important job or position in a company or organization
8. Promotion H. a difference and lack of understanding between two groups of people
9. Collaborative I. to visit informally and spontaneously
10. Emphasis J. public respect and thanks for someone's work or achievements
11. The Top-down K. the regular way in which something happens, develops, or is done
12. Drop in L. a time period when you are not required to work
13. Time off M. special attention or importance
Generation Gaps in the Workplace

The Generation gap is a_______popularized in the West during the______, a time when a gulf between
young people and their parents opened up. These differences extended to ______, fashion, and_______.
Being aware of generational differences can help you anticipate ____________________ and avoid
problems in the workplace and in social settings.

__________ say you should keep in mind these patterns when communicating across generations:

Traditionalists (born 1922-1943) These workers place a lot of value on formality and the top-down
chain of command. __________is also important. Traditionalists ______________ formal titles instead
of first names and scheduling meetings rather than have ________________ drop in.

Baby boomers (born 1943-1960) Baby boomers are the largest generation of workers and they are
generally willing to sacrifice for success. Recognition is important to boomers and they prefer more
_______________ communication. They also value respect and _________.

Generation X (born 1960-1980) A higher _____________ rate combined with an increase in working
mothers meant many Xers grew up being alone often. Xers tend to be skeptical, highly_____________
workers who value a work/life _____________. Most would rather be rewarded with extra time off than
a promotion.

Millenials (born 1980-2002) Raised by young boomers and older Xers, the first members of this group
are just entering the workforce. Millenials are highly collaborative and_______________. They share
Xers' emphasis on work/life balance and are the most comfortable using new ____________________.

2) Questions
1. What is this article about?
2. What are generation gaps? Can you describe the characteristics of each generation?
3. Why should you keep in mind the differences between generations when at work?
4. What are the differences between generations in Korea?
5. Which generation are you a part of? Do you agree with the description? Why/Why not?
3) Free Discussion – Discuss these questions with your partner.
1. What do you have in common with previous generations? What are some differences?

2. How do you view people from your generation? How do you view people from older
generations? How do you view children of the newest generations? (what do you think they are like?)

3. Have you ever had a major clash or a big click with a person from a different generation? When?

4) Around the Class – What did you used to do when you were younger? What do you do now?
Let's go around the class, listen to and tell stories about something we used to do and how we do it now.
Just tell 1 story!
EX: Before cell phones, I used to go home every hour when I was playing outside to call my parents to
say, “I'm OK.” I used to hate doing that because I wanted to play longer. But now, all children have
cell phones so they don't have to go home to 'check in.'

You can quickly write some ideas here: 

________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________

5) Debate – The class is divided into 2 teams, Team A and Team B. Debate about the issues.

Team A/B, your opinion is A/B- you can't change teams! Take a minute to think about your ideas.

Useful Language: In my opinion..., The way I see it..., I strongly believe that..., I don't agree/I disagree...,
The truth of the matter is..., But what about..., Many people think..., The problem is...

1. A) Life is better when you are young. VS B) Life is better when you are old.

2. A) Children become adults at age 15. VS B) Children are not adults until they are 20.

3. A) Older generations are too conservative and strict. VS B) Younger generations are too immature and selfish.

6) A Time Capsule! – Make groups with people from similar generations as yourself.

Talk about and decide what to include in your time capsule. Each thing should represent your
generation. Ask: “What ____do you think represents our generation the most?” “Why?”
Complete the chart:
Name Reason
Book
Song
Movie
Item
(fashion/tech/etc)