Listening

Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. unpredictable
    • ex. No one knows what Jack is going to do next. He’s very unpredictable.
  2. dip into (one’s) savings
    • ex. When I lost my job last year, I had to dip into my savings for a few months.
  3. inflation
    • ex. Because of inflation, movie tickets now cost three times more than they did in 1980.
  4. live paycheck to paycheck
    • ex. I used to live paycheck to paycheck, but recently, I’ve been trying to save some money every month.
  5. a recession
    • ex. Economists are worried that the country may enter a recession soon.

Article

Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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According to major US department store Macy’s, many shoppers this summer will have to choose between going to the mall or taking a vacation. Macy’s CFO Adrian Mitchell said that the situation is very unpredictable. Macy’s believes that people will be spending more money, but the company isn’t sure if they’re going to buy products or pay to travel instead.

Sales of home improvement goods, beauty products, and casual clothing have all decreased in recent weeks. However, more people are planning weddings, so Macy’s expects sales of formal clothing to see a boost soon. Denim retailer Levi Strauss & Co. reported that its sales are still good, but some customers have started to dip into their savings in order to keep shopping.

Recent inflation is causing shoppers to spend 59% more on gas and food than they did one year ago. According to surveys, over 66% of Americans are stressed about money, and almost the same number are living paycheck to paycheck. Many economists believe that the US will be pushed into a recession by next year.

Discussion

Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Shopping

  • Imagine that you have to choose between shopping or taking a vacation this summer. Which one will you choose? Why? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, is it okay to dip into your savings in order to keep shopping? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Why do you think that sales of home improvement goods, beauty products, and casual clothing have all decreased recently? Discuss.

The Economy

  • In your opinion, why are so many Americans living paycheck to paycheck? Discuss.
  • Recent inflation is causing US shoppers to spend 59% more on gas and food than they did one year ago. Is inflation becoming a problem in your country too? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Many economists believe that the US will be pushed into a recession by next year. Do you think that your country will also enter a recession soon? Why or why not? Discuss.