Listen&Learn: The Spanish Flu

Jaksyn Peacock Posted by: Jaksyn Peacock
One of the worst pandemics in history
Spanish Flu in USA

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • influenza: a type of lung infection caused by a virus
  • pandemic: a global outbreak of disease
  • neutral: not involved in either side of a conflict
  • deadly: dangerous, possibly fatal
  • quarantine: a time when someone stays alone in their home to avoid spreading disease
  • track: to monitor the location or path of something

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Spanish flu was a 1918 influenza pandemic that infected nearly one third of the world’s . The virus that caused the pandemic was unusual, because it mainly caused serious illness in young and people. Despite the name of the disease, this flu virus did not actually come from Spain. Spain was a neutral country during World War I, and Spanish newspapers were simply the first to start on the pandemic. As the situation got worse, more countries began to realize how deadly the new virus was. To prevent the spread of the disease, people spent time in quarantine and wore face . However, there was very limited back then. Tracking the spread of the virus was very difficult, and there was no way to treat the disease. Between 1918 and 1920, about 50 million people died from the Spanish flu, and it is now known as one of the worst pandemics in history.

Comprehension questions

1. The pandemic began in

Correct! Wrong!

The pandemic began in 1918.

2. The virus was "unusual" because

Correct! Wrong!

The virus was "unusual" because it caused serious illness in young people.

3. The disease was called the "Spanish flu" because

Correct! Wrong!

The disease was called the "Spanish flu" because Spanish newspapers were the first to report on it.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. The article says that the 1918 flu virus was difficult to control because of the limited technology. How would this pandemic be different if they had the technology that we have today?
  2. Compare the 1918 flu pandemic with the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. What is similar about the methods of disease control? What is different?

Transcript

The Spanish flu was a 1918 influenza pandemic that infected nearly one third of the world’s population. The virus that caused the pandemic was unusual, because it mainly caused serious illness in young and healthy people. Despite the name of the disease, this flu virus did not actually come from Spain. Spain was a neutral country during World War I, and Spanish newspapers were simply the first to start reporting on the pandemic. As the situation got worse, more countries began to realize how deadly the new virus was. To prevent the spread of the disease, people spent time in quarantine and wore face masks. However, there was very limited technology back then. Tracking the spread of the virus was very difficult, and there was no way to treat the disease. Between 1918 and 1920, about 50 million people died from the Spanish flu, and it is now known as one of the worst pandemics in history. 

Further Reading

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub
© EnglishClub.com

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