miércoles, 13 de noviembre de 2013

Talking point: The economic crisis, homelessness and poverty

There is great concern about the international economic crisis, as it is affecting most sectors of societies worldwide, especially in countries like Spain. Strikes and political instability are spreading while the unemployment rate soars, the quality of life keeps deteriorating and we don’t seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Go over the questions below and think about the answers, so that ideas flow more easily when you get together with the members of your conversation group and you can deal with vocabulary issues beforehand.

- Why have we ended up in this deep international recession?
- Who is to blame?
- How is the economic situation affecting our society?
- How is the situation affecting you on a personal level?
- What can we as individuals do to cope with the situation?
- What can governments do to improve the situation?
- How is it possible that an ordinary citizen ends up homeless or living in poverty?

- Have you ever talked to a homeless/poor person?
- Have you ever helped a homeless/poor person? If so, how?
- What do you do when a beggar asks you for money?
- Would you pay more taxes if this eliminated poverty by creating jobs for everyone?
- Are you or have you been involved with a charity? Do you know anyone who is?
- How do volunteers involved in charities help people? How much time do they devote to helping others?

To illustrate the topic you can watch CBS's Hard Times Generation: Families living in cars, released in their programme 60 minutes, about two ordinary American families who became homeless because of the economic recession.

You can read the transcript for the segment here or activate the CC subtitles in the lower side of the video players.