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How to Study the Economics of a Country: Intermediate Spanish Lesson Plan

written by: Eric W. Vogt•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 11/27/2011

Assign a student to make a 2-3 minute presentation about the economy of a given country. This article provides the questions he or she should answer, then how the answers could be organized.

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    Economy: More than Dollars and Cents

    In chronological order for presentation in class, this is the third presentation in the series of four oral presentations of a Country Case Studies series. This student should be introduced by the second one, at the close of his or her presentation on the history and politics of the country being studied.

    In preparation for the oral presentation, the student should be required to locate, read and digest data relevant to the economy and economic system of the country his or her group is studying. Then, prior to actually organizing the oral presentation, the following questions should be answered:

    1. What are the main sources of the country's wealth?

    2. Is the country an industrialized country? An undeveloped (i.e. "third world") country or a developing country? Be sure to look up the proper ways to say these terms in the target language.

    3. Discuss or at least describe the balance of trade: exports relative to imports.

    4. Is the country heavily in debt? If so, to whom and for how much?

    5. Does the country have a peace-time economy or a war-time economy (the old guns vs. butter description -- be careful not to translate economic terms from English in a literal way -- there are many resources to help students find the specialized vocabularies they need).

    6. What agricultural products do they grow/produce? Animal husbandry vs. crops? Do they import food? Export?

    7. What mineral resources does the country have? Do they use it themselves or do the sell the raw materials to others? To whom? For how much?

    8. Has the country tried to industrialize, if not industrialized?

    9. What is the economic forecast for the country?

    10. What resources are there for following the country's economic health?

    Of course, depending on the level, age of the student and the country, some of these questions can be omitted or changed. Others could be added. Once the questions are answered, the student will need to assemble them into a coherent whole, adding transitional clauses and other phrases to string them together. Intermediate students should be assisted by the teacher in this by having them submit a draft that the teacher edits. A great writing assignment that leads to an oral presentation! Before presenting, the student should practice orally, often just for the teacher, to help lessen performance anxiety.

References

  • Author's more than 20 years experience teaching and translating Spanish.

Lesson Plans for Intermediate Foreign Language Classes

This series of four articles shows how to use national data of different kinds to move students from the textbook to using their second language to find, assemble and present meaningful information -- in short, to begin to master their second language.
  1. Group Project Idea for a Foreign Language Class: Geography of a Country
  2. Oral Presentation Idea for Intermediate Foreign Language Students: History of a Country
  3. How to Study the Economics of a Country: Intermediate Spanish Lesson Plan
  4. Lesson Plans for Intermediate Foreign Language Students: Arts & Culture of a Country