Saturday, 23 November 2013

Globalization and Economic Growth (Listening)

One topic that is certain to show up somewhere on your IELTS exam is the issue of globalization. You may find it in the reading section, in a listening lecture, or as a Task 2 Writing assignment such as the following common topics:

While globalization has made it possible for us to buy a wide variety of international products, many people believe that it’s preferable to buy local products, rather than those from international companies, in order to support the local economy. Please discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this issue, and present your own opinion.

Although developing countries receive a great deal of financial aid from elsewhere in the world, they continue to have issues with poverty. Do you think that developed countries should give more help or a different kind of help? Or do you think that developing countries must find their own solutions to poverty?

Some have argued that the term globalization should actually be called “Americanization” because it largely consists of United States culture and products being dominant all over the world. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Differences between countries are becoming less and less evident with each passing year. Nowadays, everyone in the world has the same fashions, eating habits, and media. To what extent do you agree with this statement? Do you think the changes associated with globalization are largely positive or largely negative?

You will need to have appropriate ideas and vocabulary in order to understand and discuss these topics. 

In the following video, speaker Alex Tabarrok speaks mostly about the advantages and benefits of a globalized economy. It's useful to pay attention to the manner in which he presents his arguments and gives examples to support them. If you need specific help on how to structure an essay about globalization, or would like to see some sample essays on these topics, please see the previous blog post:

Essay Structure Globalization Topic

Before watching the video, look up the vocabulary words below and preview the gap fill sentences. Remember, it's a good strategy for IELTS listening to guess the word form that will go in the blank. Will the gap be filled by a noun, a verb, or an adjective? Make your guess before you hear the talk, then watch the video to fill the gaps.

Part 1: Fill in the blanks to complete the sentences from the talk. Use these vocabulary words and double check to ensure that the grammar of each sentence is correct. 

Disaster       Cataclysm       Tragedy       Poverty       Resistant       Demand

Embrace       Burden       Cooperation       Incentives       Tripled       Abyss

1. The first part of the 20th century was an absolute _________________ in human affairs, a _________________.
2. It was only in the second half of the 20th century that we slowly began to pull ourselves out of this _________________.
3. We globalised the world. What does that mean? We extended _________________ across national boundaries.
4. Never before in human history have so many people been raised out of such great _________________ as happened in China.
5. Over the next 18 years, incomes in India have _________________.
6. Sub Saharan Africa has been the area of the world most _________________ to growth.
7. The _________________ are much larger to produce drugs which treat more people.
8. It is fortunate that we are becoming less of an idea leader because for too long, the United States and a handful of other developed countries have shouldered the entire _________________ of research and development.
9. We should not fear other countries becoming wealthy, that is something that we should _________________.
10. Globalization is increasing the _________________ for new ideas.

Part 2: Discussion Questions

Is Alex Tabarrok generally optimistic or pessimistic about the future of globalization?

What is the meaning of the Thomas Jefferson quote: “He who lights his candle at mine receives light without darkening me.” ?

Explain why it is better to have a common disease than to have a rare disease, from the standpoint of receiving treatment.

According to Alex, how will economic growth in Africa affect the world market? Give an example.

Does Alex think that we should be worried about future Depressions? Do you agree with him?

Why does he ask the question “Is China drinking our milkshake?” What does that question refer to?

What does Alex Tabarrok recommend that America do regarding globalization?

Do you believe that Alex Tabarrok’s views about the future are correct? Do you see any problems with his argument?

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