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Listen&Learn: The Great Depression

14th October 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • recession: a period of economic decline
  • stocks: shares in ownership of a company
  • drought: a period of time with little rainfall
  • unemployed: without a job
  • prairie: a wide area of flat land
  • migrate: to move from one area to another
  • welfare program: a program meant to help people in poverty

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Great Depression was a worldwide economic recession. It began in 1929 in the United States, when the of stocks decreased drastically. People who had invested their savings lost a lot of , and an overall decrease in spending caused many Americans to lose their jobs. This downturn quickly began to affect the rest of the world, because the United States couldn’t afford to with other countries frequently. This was a particularly difficult time for American farmers, who were also dealing with harsh conditions like droughts and dust storms. Many unemployed farmers from the prairie states began to migrate west in hopes of finding work. Throughout the recession, the American government worked to build welfare programs to help unemployed people. These programs contributed to the end of the Great Depression in 1939, around the start of World War II.

Comprehension questions

1. The year 1929 was

Correct! Wrong!

The year 1929 was the start of the Great Depression.

2. The Great Depression was a difficult time for farmers because

Correct! Wrong!

The Great Depression was a difficult time for farmers because they had to deal with economic struggles as well as droughts.

3. The government supported unemployed people by providing

Correct! Wrong!

The government supported unemployed people by providing welfare programs.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. The economic state of the United States (and many other countries) has changed a lot since the Great Depression. Do you think such a disastrous recession could ever happen again? What factors could cause this?

Transcript

The Great Depression was a worldwide economic recession. It began in 1929 in the United States, when the value of stocks decreased drastically. People who had invested their savings lost a lot of money, and an overall decrease in spending caused many Americans to lose their jobs. This downturn quickly began to affect the rest of the world, because the United States couldn’t afford to trade with other countries frequently. This was a particularly difficult time for American farmers, who were also dealing with harsh climate conditions like droughts and dust storms. Many unemployed farmers from the prairie states began to migrate west in hopes of finding work. Throughout the recession, the American government worked to build welfare programs to help support unemployed people. These programs contributed to the end of the Great Depression in 1939, around the start of World War II.