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Learnenglish magazine-grameen-bank-support-pack 0

  1. 1. Magazine – Grameen bankIntroductionYou can listen to a recording of this article at:http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/magazine-articles/grameen-bankThis support pack contains the following materials: • a pre-reading vocabulary activity • the article that you can listen to • a comprehension activity based on the article • an activity that practises reference wordsBefore you readActivity 1At the top are 16 words and phrases from the text. Below are sentences which contain these words andphrases. Complete the sentences with the correct words and phrases.a. afford b. allows c. approach d. borrowe. borrowers f. collateral g. encourages h. lendi. lent j. loan k. paid l. peer pressurem. poor n. poverty o. repay p. repaymentsIt’s difficult for the [.....(1).....] to break free of the cycle of [.....(2).....].The woman that Yunus met couldn’t [.....(3).....] to buy bamboo to make her stools.Yunus [.....(4).....] twenty-seven dollars to the people in the village and they [.....(5).....] all of it back.Conventional banks don’t want to [.....(6).....] money to poor people because they don’t have any[.....(7).....].The Grameen bank started a new [.....(8).....] to lending money.The Grameen bank [.....(9).....] people to make small [.....(10).....] over a year.People can’t [.....(11).....] more money if they don’t pay back the first [.....(12).....].The majority of Grameen [.....(13).....] are women.There is [.....(14).....] from the rest of the group to [.....(15).....] the money.The Grameen system [.....(16).....] people to make their lives better. Page 1 of 5 The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
  2. 2. Magazine – Grameen bankRead the articleGrameen bankby Linda Baxter“If we are looking for one single action which will He lent them the money and told them to pay itenable the poor to overcome their poverty, I back whenever they could. He got all of it back,would focus on credit”. so he went to other villages and did the sameDr Muhammad Yunus thing. He always got his money back. The official banks didn’t want to get involved in what he was doing, so Yunus started his own bank. The Grameen bank was born, and with it a new approach to lending money – ‘micro-credit’. But what makes the Grameen bank so different? The conventional banking system is based on the principle that the more you have, the more you can borrow. Grameen gives priority to those who have nothing, particularly the poorest women. The loans are small and repayments are made in small amounts spread over a year, with a built-in insurance scheme so that the family doesn’t become responsible for the loan if something happens to the borrower. There is no legalThe beginning contract between the bank and the borrower, and no danger of legal action if the repayments areTwenty five years ago, Muhammed Yunus, a not made – the relationship is based on trust andBangladeshi economics teacher, was visiting a good faith.village when he met a woman who made bamboostools. She couldn’t afford to buy the bamboo to Repayment rates are very high for two mainmake the stools, so she had to borrow the money reasons. Firstly, borrowers know that theyfrom the bamboo sellers and then pay them a cannot borrow again if they don’t repay the firstlarge part of the profit from each one she sold. loan. And secondly, they must join a group ofThere was so little money left for her to keep that other borrowers who all share some responsibilityshe couldn’t afford to buy more bamboo, so she for other members’ loans and are encouraged tohad to borrow more money. And so the cycle make group decisions. So there is considerablecontinued with no way out for her. She couldn’t peer pressure and support from the group toborrow money from friends or family because encourage them to pay it all back.they were as poor as she was. She couldn’tborrow from the bank because she had no Another important difference from conventionalcollateral (property or land) to guarantee that she banks is that Grameen has a social programme.would pay back the loan. The system encourages the borrowers to doYunus went around the village and found forty- practical things to improve their living conditions,two people who were in the same situation - health and level of education. These are knowntrapped in a cycle of poverty with no escape. as the ‘Sixteen Decisions’ which include, forWhen he added up the amount of money that example, not continuing the dowry system,they needed to break free of the cycle, it came to growing fresh vegetables, organising cleanjust twenty-seven dollars. As Yunus says “I felt drinking water and good sanitation, education forashamed of myself for being part of a society children, and being ready to help each otherwhich could not provide even twenty-seven whenever necessary. Conventional banks woulddollars to forty-two hardworking, skilled human not consider this to be any of their business.beings.” Page 2 of 5 The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
  3. 3. Magazine – Grameen bankThe success the world, lending to over 16 million of the poorest people.The bank now lends over a billion dollars to morethan two million borrowers, 96% of them women, Grameen’s success in Bangladesh has alsoand involving more than half of the villages in shown that the developing world has lessons toBangladesh. The repayment rate is 99%. The teach richer countries like the USA and Britain.rural economy of the country has improved Both countries have begun to encouragegreatly since the bank started. And the success microcredit schemes based on the Grameenhas spread. This year it was estimated that there model, in an attempt to deal with their own levelsare now over 7,000 microcredit organizations in of poverty.After readingActivity 2Complete the gaps with a word from the box to make a summary of the text.a. action b. amounts c. conditions d. loane. microcredit f. repayments g. social h. trustMohammed Yunus started the Grameen bank in order to lend poor women in Bangladesh small[.....(1).....] of money. The bank does not take legal [.....(2).....] if the person has difficulties in repayingand the system is based entirely on [.....(3).....]. It works because those taking the [.....(4).....] know theymust return the money if they want to borrow again in future. They must also join together as a group sothat they are partly responsible for each others’ [.....(5).....]. Only 1% of borrowers have ever defaulted.The bank’s [.....(6).....] programme encourages borrowers to improve their own and their children’s living[.....(7).....]. This [.....(8).....] system has spread to 50% of Bangladeshi villages and many other countries,including those in the so-called ‘developed world’.Activity 3In each of the questions below there are words in bold. Decide in each case what these words refer to byselecting the correct answer.1. ‘She couldn’t afford to buy the bamboo canes to make the stools, so she had to borrow the moneyfrom the bamboo sellers and then pay them a large part of the profit from each one she sold.’What does ‘them’ refer to?a. the stoolsb. the bamboo sellersc. the bamboo canes2. ‘As Yunus says “I felt ashamed of myself for being part of a society which could not provide eventwenty-seven dollars to forty-two hardworking, skilled human beings.”’What does ‘which’ refer to?a. Yunusb. societyc. feeling ashamed Page 3 of 5 The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
  4. 4. Magazine – Grameen bank3. ‘The Grameen bank was born, and with it a new approach to lending money – ‘micro-credit’.’What does ‘it’ refer to?a. the new bankb. microcreditc. a new approach4. ‘Grameen gives priority to those who have nothing, particularly the poorest women.’What does ‘those’ refer to?a. peopleb. womenc. loans‘The system encourages the borrowers to do practical things to improve their living conditions, healthand level of education. These are known as the ‘Sixteen Decisions’ Decisions’ which include, forexample, not continuing the dowry system, growing fresh vegetables, organising clean drinking waterand good sanitation, education for children, and being ready to help each other whenever necessary.’5. What does ‘These’ refer to?a. the borrowersb. living conditionsc. practical things6. What does ‘each other’ refer to?a. the borrowersb. the sixteen decisionsc. the children7. ‘The bank now lends over a billion dollars to more than two million borrowers, 96% of them women,and involving more than half of the villages in Bangladesh.’What does ‘them’ refer to?a. womenb. dollarsc. the borrowers8. ‘Grameen’s success in Bangladesh has also shown that the developing world has lessons to teachricher countries like the USA and Britain. Both countries have begun to encourage microcredit schemesbased on the Grameen model, in an attempt to deal with their own levels of poverty.’What does ‘their’ refer to?a. the developing worldb. microcredit schemesc. the USA and Britain Page 4 of 5 The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
  5. 5. Magazine – Grameen bankAnswers:Activity 11. m; 2. n; 3. a; 4. i; 5. k; 6. h; 7. f; 8. c; 9. b; 10. p; 11. d; 12. j; 13. e; 14. l; 15. o; 16. gActivity 21. b; 2. a; 3. h; 4. d; 5. f; 6. g; 7. c; 8. eActivity 31. b; 2. b; 3. a; 4. a; 5. c; 6. a; 7. c; 8. c Page 5 of 5 The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.

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