People in Society


Discussing the value for different kinds of people for society, with jobs vocabulary practice

People in society vocabulary and speaking

People in society guessing game

Choose one of the people below and explain who you are thinking of until your partner guesses correctly. Things you could mention:

  • Ages
  • Appearance, e.g. clothes
  • Cultural differences
  • Dangers
  • Equipment
  • Gender
  • Good and bad aspects of having this role
  • Impact on society
  • Importance for society
  • Job conditions, e.g. salary and job security
  • Kinds of people who are suited to this
  • Kinds of people who usually do this
  • Personality
  • Place of work
  • Social class
  • Status
  • Stress levels
  • Training/ Qualifications/ Skills
  • What others think about this job
  • Working hours
  • Your experience
  • Your opinions, e.g. if you’d like to do this or not and why


(Traditional) craftsman                               Accountant

Actor                                                                           Artist, e.g. painter or sculptor

Athlete (= Sportsman)                               Au pair/ Nanny/ Babysitter

Baker/ Pastry chef                                                    Bank clerk

Banker                                                         Barber/ Hairdresser/ Stylist

Bellhop/ Bellboy/ Porter                             Broker/ Trader

Bus driver                                                                  Businessman/ Entrepreneur

Busker/ Street performer                                         Cameraman

Car park attendant/ Valet                                        Care worker

Carpenter                                                                  Cleaner

Consultant                                                                 Cook/ Chef

Counsellor/ Therapist                                Cycle courier/ Motorcycle courier

Debt collector                                              Designer

Door man/ Concierge                                Door to door salesman

Editor/ Sub-editor                                                     Engineer

Estate agent (= Real estate agent)         Executive (= Director = Top manager)

Factory worker                                            Farmer

Fire fighter (= fireman)                               Fisherman

Flight attendant/ Cabin crew (= Air stewardess/ Air hostess)

GP (= General practitioner = Local doctor)          Handyman/ Janitor (= Caretaker)

Help desk staff/ Call centre staff                            Homemaker (= Housewife)

Immigration officer                                                   Judge

Lecturer/ Professor                      Local bobby (= Local PC = Local police officer/ policeman)

Local politician, e.g. town councillor or mayor                   Lorry driver (= Truck driver)

Masseur                                                                     Member of the royal family

Middle manager                                                        Monk/ Nun

Musician                                                                    National politician, e.g. MP or senator

Newsreader                                                              Novelist

Clerk/ Office worker                                                 Pet stylist

Photographer                                              Playwright/ Screenwriter

Plumber                                                                     Postal worker (= Postman = Mailman)

Priest                                                                          Prime Minister/ President

PI (= Private investigator = Private detective)                   Private tutor

Psychiatrist/ Psychologist                        

Public servant (= Civil servant, e.g. taxman, diplomat or ambassador)

Receptionist                                                              Researcher

Sales executive (= Salesman)                 PA (= personal assistant)/ Secretary

Security guard/ Bouncer                                        Servant, e.g. maid or butler

Shop assistant/ Cashier                                          Social worker

Soldier                                                         Attorney/ Lawyer/ Solicitor/ Barrister

Spy/ Secret agent                                                    Street cleaner

Street trader                                                              Stripper

Surgeon                                                                     Tailor

Taxi driver                                                                  Teacher

Mechanic/ Repairman/ Service engineer/ Technician                                  Tele sales staff

Television presenter/ Television celebrity             Tour guide

Traffic warden                                             Translator/ Interpreter

Travel agent                                                              Vet (= Veterinarian)


Ask about any people above you couldn’t understand, found it difficult to describe etc, working together to describe them each time.


People in society vocabulary practice

What are the differences between the following words and expressions?

  • Accountant and accounts clerk
  • Announcer and television presenter
  • Au pair, babysitter and nanny
  • Bank clerk, bank employee and banker
  • Businessman and office worker
  • Busker and street performer
  • Chef and cook
  • Engineer and technician
  • Executive and sales executive
  • Lecturer and professor
  • Manager and executive/ top manager/ director
  • PA and secretary

Can you remember what the more politically correct versions of these positions are?

  • Actress
  • Air hostess/ Air stewardess
  • Bellboy
  • Fireman
  • Housewife
  • Policeman
  • Postman/ Mailman
  • Repairman
  • Salesman
  • Sportsman

These expressions are still quite common. Can you think of a more PC version of each one?

  • Businessman
  • Cameraman
  • Door man
  • Fisherman
  • Handyman


People in society discussion

Choose a category from below and find at least five words from above that you both think that is true for, putting them in order if you can.

  • Becoming more/ less important
  • Companies should/ shouldn’t be allowed to outsource this job overseas
  • Don’t usually do their job properly
  • Foreigners should/ shouldn’t be allowed to get a visa to do this job in Japan
  • Gets money from the government and shouldn’t
  • High/ Low standards in Japan
  • Paid too little/ too much
  • Should be fewer/ more
  • Should be more open to women
  • Should be supported or encouraged by the government
  • Should get money or more money from the government
  • Shouldn’t be allowed
  • Standard of service getting better/ worse
  • Unfairly popular/ Unfairly get good publicity
  • Unfairly unpopular/ Unfairly get bad publicity
  • We could live without
  • We couldn’t live without
  • Will become less common/ disappear
  • Will become more common
  • Would/ Wouldn’t want my children to become


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