Level 1 | Level  2 | Level 3 | Answers

South Korea has a problem. The problem is that the number of babies being born each year is going down. South Korea has the lowest birth rate in the world. In 2020, more people died in Korea than were born. This is the first time that this has happened in Korea. The problem has the government in Korea worried.

If a country does not have enough children, it can cause many problems. Without enough young people, there won’t be enough workers in the future. This means countries won’t have enough people or money to look after elderly people. South Korea is trying to get people to have more children. The president of South Korea is Moon Jae In. President Moon has started a program to give parents money when they have children. The government hopes this will convince more families to have children.

The problem in Korea is that work pressure can stop people from having children. Women can sometimes feel like having children will hurt their career. If they want to have a great career, they may choose to not have children or have children later. Another problem is the cost of having a child. People in many countries are having fewer or no children because of the cost.

Difficult words

Born (adj): Being alive after birth, coming from another person.

Rate (n): The speed that something gets bigger or smaller.

Elderly (adj): Being old or ageing.

Convince (v): Make someone believe what you believe.

Pressure (n): To feel forced or stressed to do something.

Career (n): A job you choose to do for a long time.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

Match the Synonym!

 1. Born A. Speed of growth.
 2. Rate B. Make someone believe.
 3. Elderly C. Job
 4. Convince D. Alive
 5. Career E. Old

True or False?

1. There are not enough babies in North Korea.  T / F

2. Less people died than were born in 2020 in South Korea. T / F

3. The government are not worried about the problem. T / F

4. Not having enough young people can cause many problems. T / F

5. There is very little work pressure in South Korea. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

  1. a / South Korea / problem / has

2. lowest / rate / has / South Korea / the / birth

3. president / Moon Jae In / of / South Korea / The / / is

4. a / started / has / President Moon / program

5. problem / is / cost / Another / the

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

CostWorriedMoney
ProblemWorkersSometimes

South Korea has a (1)___________. The problem is that the number of babies being born each year is going down. South Korea has the lowest birth rate in the world. In 2020, more people died in Korea than were born. This is the first time that this has happened in Korea. The problem has the government in Korea (2)___________.

If a country does not have enough children, it can cause many problems. Without enough young people, there won’t be enough (3)__________ in the future. This means countries won’t have enough people or money to look after elderly people. South Korea is trying to get people to have more children. The President of South Korea is Moon Jae In. President Moon has started a program to give parents (4)_________ when they have children. The government hopes this will convince more families to have children.

The problem in Korea is that work pressure can stop people from having children. Women can (5)____________ feel like having children will hurt their career. If they want to have a great career, they may choose to not have children or have children later. Another problem is the (6)________ of having a child. People in many countries are having fewer or no children because of the cost.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Is it expensive to raise children in your country?
5. What is the cost of living like where you live?
6. Is work culture in your country stressful?
7. Are there any other reasons why you think people might not be having children?
8. How easy is it for women to take maternity leave in your country?
9. Does your country have paternity leave? If so, do fathers use it?
10. Do you know if people are having fewer children in your country?
11. Are people getting married later or buying houses later in your country?
12. How do you think the Korean government can encourage people to have children?
13. How big of a problem do you think it is that people are having fewer children?
14. Do you think it is more difficult to raise children today compared to 20-30 years ago?
15. How many children do people usually have in your country?
16. How easy is it to have a successful career and care for children in your country?
17. Should people be encouraged to have fewer children because it is more environmentally friendly?
18. How many hours a week do people usually work in your country?
19. Do people receive any benefits for having children in your country?
20. What could the government do to make you want to have children?