photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 15 February 2011

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China Officially Passes Japan as No. 2 Economy

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • gross domestic product (GDP): a measurement of the output of goods and services in a country in one year
  • economist: a person who studies and analyzes matters of the economy, including the use and production of goods and services
  • overtake: become more powerful than another
  • generation: a group of people born during a specific period in history
  • ranking: a position or grade in comparison to others
  • citizen: a person who lives in a specific place

China Officially Passes Japan as No. 2 Economy

According to financial reports, China’s overall gross domestic product for 2010 was calculated at $5.8 trillion dollars, Japan’s GDP of $5.4 trillion. For the past 40 years, Japan has held the number two position behind the US. Economists expect China, sometimes to as “the world’s factory”, to overtake the US in total GDP within the next years. While the Japanese government is concerned for future generations, leaders reminded their people that their population is just one-tenth of China’s. Japan’s Economic Minister said that the lives of citizens is more important than economic rankings. The Japanese citizen is still ten times richer than the average Chinese citizen.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What did China do in 2010 to make the world headlines in 2011?
  2. Why is this change in economic ranking historic?
  3. How does the wealth of an average Japanese citizen compare to his average Chinese neighbour?

Discussion Question: One of Japan’s major economic issues is its aging population. The elderly are not working and are also spending less money. What does a government need to do to accommodate an aging population?

show Answers

Written and recorded by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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