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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.

Listen&Learn: The Cold War

1st July 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • rivalry: a competitive relationship between two people or groups
  • ideology: a set of political beliefs
  • capitalism: an economic system where corporations control the production of goods and services
  • communism: an economic system where the government controls the production of goods and services
  • restrict: to put limits on something
  • treaty: a written agreement between countries

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Cold War was a rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union that lasted from 1947 to 1991. It was caused by the opposing ideologies of the American and Soviet . While the U.S. was a capitalist country, the Soviet Union had a communist system. After World War II, the Soviets controlled communist governments in Eastern Europe, while the Americans were allied with democratic governments in Western Europe. The divide between Eastern and Western Europe became known as the Iron Curtain. Throughout the Cold War, both the Soviet Union and the U.S. tried to prove their superiority by gathering and testing nuclear . While the two countries never each other directly, they became involved in conflicts between other countries. In the 1980s, the U.S. and the Soviet Union began to sign agreements restricting nuclear weapons. However, the treaties divided the citizens of the Soviet Union. Some people still strongly communism, and didn’t want to make peace with the United States. Others wanted to convert to a capitalist system. This division eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, which ended the Cold War.

Comprehension questions

1. The Cold War started in

Correct! Wrong!

The Cold War started in 1947.

2. The government of the Soviet Union was

Correct! Wrong!

The government of the Soviet Union was communist.

3. In the 1980s, the two countries agreed to

Correct! Wrong!

In the 1980s, the two countries agreed to restrict nuclear weapons.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Some historians have debated about which country was at fault for the Cold War. However, many believe that the Cold War was always going to happen, because the U.S. and the Soviet Union were powerful countries with opposing beliefs. Do you think it is possible for two powerful countries with different ideologies to exist without conflict?

Transcript

The Cold War was a political rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union that lasted from 1947 to 1991. It was caused by the opposing ideologies of the American and Soviet governments. While the U.S. was a capitalist country, the Soviet Union had a communist system. After World War II, the Soviets controlled communist governments in Eastern Europe, while the Americans were allied with democratic governments in Western Europe. The divide between Eastern and Western Europe became known as the Iron Curtain. Throughout the Cold War, both the Soviet Union and the U.S. tried to prove their superiority by gathering and testing nuclear weapons. While the two countries never fought each other directly, they became involved in conflicts between other countries. In the 1980s, the U.S. and the Soviet Union began to sign agreements restricting nuclear weapons. However, the treaties divided the citizens of the Soviet Union. Some people still strongly supported communism, and didn’t want to make peace with the United States. Others wanted to convert to a capitalist system. This division eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, which ended the Cold War.

The Moon Landing of 1969

18th March 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • astronaut: a person who travels in space
  • pledge: to publicly promise to do something
  • rivalry: a conflict between two groups competing to reach the same goal
  • advancement: a new development or progression in a certain area
  • capable: having the ability to complete a certain task

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

In 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first to walk on the moon. The decision to send astronauts to the moon was made in 1961, when U.S. President John F. Kennedy pledged to accomplish this before the end of the . Kennedy set this goal because of the rivalry between the U.S. and the Soviet Union at the time. The Soviet Union had already made advancements in space , such as sending the first unmanned probe to the moon, and sending the first human to space. The U.S. wanted to prove that they were capable of space exploration as well. Over eight years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and launched 11 missions that would lead to the moon landing. The final mission took place on July 20th, 1969. Armstrong was the first of the two astronauts to walk on the moon, where he said the quote – “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Comprehension questions

1. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were

Correct! Wrong!

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans on the moon.

2. The decision to land a man on the moon was made in

Correct! Wrong!

The decision to land a man on the moon was made in 1961.

3. One advancement that the Soviet Union made in space travel was

Correct! Wrong!

One advancement that the Soviet Union made in space travel was sending the first human to space.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Some people believe in the conspiracy theory that the moon landing was faked. Do you think this is possible? Why or why not?

Transcript

In 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. The decision to send astronauts to the moon was made in 1961, when U.S. President John F. Kennedy pledged to accomplish this before the end of the decade. Kennedy set this goal because of the rivalry between the U.S. and the Soviet Union at the time. The Soviet Union had already made advancements in space travel, such as sending the first unmanned probe to the moon, and sending the first human to space. The U.S. wanted to prove that they were capable of space travel as well. Over eight years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) prepared and launched 11 missions that would lead to the moon landing. The final mission took place on July 20th, 1969. Armstrong was the first of the two astronauts to walk on the moon, where he said the famous quote: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”