Spaces and exchanges

This notion deals with the geographical and symbolic areas that all societies occupy and the interactions between men and different societies. Our world is built on the exploration and conquest of new spaces. The different cultural, economic, sociological and language interactions have shaped and characterised our modern-day world.

Examples can be:

– Trade (the basis of all societies)

– Working conditions (telecommuting, internet)

– Globalization (the world has become a small village)

– School and education (social diversity / knowledge) comparison of the different educational systems

– The Internet / social networks…

– the movement of people: Immigration

– movement across borders (Gap Year)

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LINK: Spaces and exchanges: vocabulary

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Spaces and Exchanges

This notion deals with the idea of giving one thing and receiving another in return    (exchange) and also with the places (or « spaces ») where  these exchanges take place. It is the idea that in today’s modern-day world there are more and more exchanges taking place, more and more interaction between different populations, business, students, families etc. These exchanges can take several forms:  economic – work exchanges, exchange of goods, trading across borders,  cultural – exchange of ideas, information, education,  movement of people – immigration, student exchanges, gap years…  Our modern-day world is changing quickly and seems to be a smaller place due to improvements in technology and communication. Information exchange has become easier thanks to the internet and international trade has enabled us to expand our markets for goods and services that might not have been available to us.

More and more people are crossing borders, leaving their countries to seek better lives elsewhere. This migration can be for several reasons: economic migration – moving to find work or follow a particular career path, social migration – moving somewhere for a better quality of life or to be closer to family or friends, political migration – moving to escape political persecution or war.

These different cultural, economic, sociological and language interactions have transformed and characterised our modern-day world – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

Here are some ideas of topics that could be used to illustrate this notion:

  • Globalisation: what is it and what are the positive and negative effects? (BBC link)
  • How internet is changing international business exchanges (product availability, prices, demand…)
  • How internet is changing cultural exchanges (access to information across borders, easier and faster communication but also negative effects)
  • The brain drain: migration of personnel in search of the better standard of living and quality of life, higher salaries, access to advanced technology and more stable political conditions in different places worldwide
  • Student exchanges – work placements and gap years in foreign countries
  • Social media – the advantages and disadvantages of increased access to sites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Cybercriminality, identity theft, cyberbullying, internet scams….
  • Immigration: the reasons why people migrate and what effect this has on the countries they migrate to and migrate from
  • Immigration to the USA – the problem between Mexico and the USA
  • Immigration to the UK – the migrant problem
  • The reasons for Irish immigration to America
  • The first Americans/ the pilgrims
  • Exchanges across borders – how the European Union was created and how it has developed
  • The Brexit – why and how did it happen and what effect will it have on Europe?
  • The influence of wars and conflicts on the world economy and population

Useful and probable questions:

1. What kind of exchanges are there in today’s world? (trade, financial, sport, social networking,
education, …)
2. How are these exchanges influenced by modern technologies? Do new technologies make exchanges
3. What impact does globalisation have on exchanges?
4. To what extent can globalisation be an asset?
5. Would you like to travel abroad? Which country would you like to live in? Why?
6. Have you ever travelled abroad? Which countries have you visited?
7. What did you learn from your trips abroad?
8. Would you like to go on a gap year? Why? Why not? Do you think gap years should be compulsory for
all students?
9. Why do people emigrate?
10. Would you like to emigrate to another country? Where to? Why? Why not?
11. What do immigrants bring to their new country? Are they always an asset?
12. Why do so many immigrants take so many risks to get to Europe? What should European countries
13. What is the American Dream? Is it still true today?
14. What about volunteering? Would you be ready to become a volunteer on a mission?
15. Is English a good means to communicate/exchange?
16. Which difficulties do immigrants have to face ?
17. Some say that many Spanish-speaking people feel discriminated against in the United States . Can
you give me some examples of discrimination?
18. Is ‘being on the move’ a must today?
19. Does the word ‘ home’ still make sense in this globalized world or is it losing its meaning ?
20. Do you think borders still serve a purpose today? Do you dream of a world without borders- like John
Lennon in ‘Imagine’- or do you regard it as utopia or hypocrisy?
21. Immigrants: a blessing or a curse?
22. ‘Travelling broadens the mind’, as the saying goes: how can you benefit from travelling abroad?