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: 13 December 2017

Dictionary Chooses “Feminism” as 2017 Word of the Year

Listen to the news in English with Tara Benwell

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • prominent: well-known
  • harassment: the act of bothering or pressuring someone aggressively
  • claim: a statement that one says is true, though others may disbelieve
  • the #MeToo movement: a group of women speaking out about sexual misconduct
  • popularize: to make well-known

Dictionary Chooses “Feminism” as Word of the Year

Merriam-Webster, a prominent US , has selected “feminism” as its Word of the Year for 2017. Dictionary searches for the word “feminism” are up by 70% this year to Merriam-Webster. This year’s women’s and harassment claims (especially the #MeToo movement) are both reasons for the increase in searches for this term. Merriam-Webster defines the word feminism as “the theory of the political, , and economic equality of the sexes” as well as “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.” The film Wonder Woman and the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale also helped popularize this term in 2017.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What is Merriam-Webster?
  2. What does the 2017 Word of the Year mean?
  3. What events in the news caused people to search for this word?

Discussion Questions

Would you describe yourself as a feminist? Why or why not?

show Answers

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

3 Comments on Dictionary Chooses “Feminism” as 2017 Word of the Year

  1. Evangelina says:

    Hello Tara,

    Feminism – I think it is a great word chosen as the word of the year.

    I hope this somehow may promote and help to focus more and the woman rights around the globe, because it is needed. Especially on places where women has to struggle with different kinds of issues, maybe living in fear, suppression, abusive environments.

    I guess, I am a feminist all the way to my fingertips.

    I just noticed the Word of the year and clicked on this, it is very interesting. I think, I will have a look here from time to time.

    Regards and Happy New Year,
    Evangelina from the Cold North 🙂

  2. Alberto says:

    I try to be fair in every decision I take and in every thing I do. In my humble opinion, the more fair you become, the more feminist you are.

  3. Bijan says:

    Hi Tara,

    First, thank you for this week’s news report and thank you again for choosing this news report for English Club.

    Second, I myself choose this audio news report as the best news report for 2017 because I believe feminism. I believe there isn’t any difference between a woman and a man and believe they have the same rights.

    Third, I myself use The Merriam-Webster Dictionary when I cannot understand or cannot find the meaning of a word in the Cambridge Dictionary. The Merriam-Webster is one of the best dictionaries that I have seen(my opinion).

    Fourth, it was interesting for me that saw you have used two ” ‘s ” with each other (this year’s women’s marches). I had never seen nowhere this subject. English grammar is very complicated.

    Fifth, it was also very interesting for me to know about “the #MeToo Movement”. I searched for it on the Internet and learned a lot of things about it.

    Best wishes and have a great weekend,
    Bijan from the Persian Gulf

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