A lot of exams (like IELTS) quite reasonably expect candidates to be able to talk about social, environmental and economic issues. I’ve noticed over the years that some lack the basic conceptual tools. This lesson is designed to classify global problems and discuss possible solutions. It works well with B2+ classes.
- Match the definition with the keyword
- The Environment
- The Economy
- The area in which something exists or lives
- The system of production and distribution and consumption
- An extended group of people with a specific cultural and economic organization
Are the following problems social, economic or environmental? (some of them fit into more than one category). Decide for yourself and then compare with a partner.
- Climate Change
- Violence against women
- Poor healthcare services
- Financial collapse
What possible solutions are there to each of the above problems? Can you think of any more? Discuss in small groups. Feel free to disagree!
- New legislation
- Redistribution of wealth through taxation
- Leave it to the market
Look at the list of words for describing solutions, and look up any you don’t know in a dictionary.
utopian practical/impractical equitable viable/unviable sufficient/insufficient popular/unpopular expensive radical
Plan and write a paragraph (150 words) headed ‘The world’s biggest problems and what should be done about them’.
5. Reading and Speaking
Stick your paragraph up on the wall. Walk round and read what others have written. If you disagree, find the writer and tell them!
Bearing in mind the conversations you’ve just had, rewrite and expand your paragraph and then email it to your teacher for feedback.