Black Friday: To buy or not to buy?

Black Friday: To buy or not to buy?

Level: B2-C1

Black Friday is here again. On the fourth Friday of every November a shopping frenzy takes over stores and shopping centres around the globe. Everyone has seen the embarrassing footage of people trampling over each other for the latest Playstation or Christmas toy. While Black Friday is an American invention, it’s not quite up to the standard of the lightbulb or the internet.

On the other hand, you might think, some of these Black Friday deals are hard to ignore. Televisions at half price, discounts on shoes, accessories, furniture, electronics – anything you can name. It can all be very tempting. So this Black Friday, the big question on everybody’s lips is: to buy or not to buy? This blog might give you a surprising answer. Buy, but spend wisely, because what you choose to buy changes the world. How you spend your money sends a signal of how you would like the world to be, so here are a few suggestions of how you could use your time and money this Black Friday without  taking part in consumerist culture.

Education

Spending money on education is always a clever decision. This Black Friday why not use your hard-earned money on self-improvement? Education is an investment, more than a purchase, because learning a skill or any new knowledge pays you back a thousand-fold what you paid for it. A new television, though, will make you happy for a week or two and then, eventually, break. Ingla, in North London, is offering great deals on English courses at school in Turnpike Lane or around the world, online. There are discounts as big as 50% on General English classes, Speaking lessons, Exam preparation and more. Give it a try and spend the rest of 2020 improving your English and, as a result, your future.

A New Experience

Studies show that spending money on an experience brings people much more happiness than buying things. So this Black Friday, instead of buying passive entertainment, why not do something active and engaging? Try your hand at shooting a bow and arrow at Experience Archery, conveniently located between Crouch End and Archway, fittingly. Or have a go in the kitchen, with a professional chef from Jamie Oliver’s Cookery school. This can either be done at the Jamie Oliver Cookery school in Islington or online for the whole household. The best part is it’s only $45.50, so you don’t have to break the bank. An experience is something that you’ll remember for a lifetime. An object is something you’ll forget as soon as it’s gone.

This Black Friday we’ll all have some important decisions to make about what, if anything, to spend our money on. More importantly, Black Friday forces us to ask ourselves how our choices about money affect the world around us and what they mean. As environmentalist Anna Lappe has said, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” How will you vote this year? Will it be for education, self-improvement and new experiences or for consumerism?

Answer True, False, or Not Given and explain why you’ve chosen this answer

 

  1. The writer thinks that Black Friday is a great American invention, like the lightbulb or the internet.
    1. True
    2. False
    3. Not Given
  2. The writer thinks that spending money on objects prevents people from getting an education.
    1. True 
    2. False
    3. Not Given
  3. The writer thinks that the location of Experience Archery isn’t suitable.
    1. True
    2. False
    3. Not Given
  4. The writer thinks that Jamie Oliver’s Cookery School is reasonably priced.
    1. True
    2. False
    3. Not Given
  5. The writer believes that we should take environmental concerns into account when buying things.
    1. True
    2. False
    3. Not Given
  1. B, False. The writer says that Black Friday is “not up to the standard” of the other inventions
  2. C, Not Given. The writer encourages people to use their money on education and self-improvement, but doesn’t say that one prevents the other.
  3. B, False. The writer thinks that the location, Archway, is “fitting” because of the connection of the name and the sport, archery.
  4. A, True. The writer tells us that paying for this cookery course won’t “break the bank”, which means that it’s reasonably priced.
  5. C, Not Given. While it’s reasonable to assume this given the content of the article, and the fact that the writer quotes an environmentalist in the last paragraph, it’s not directly stated. So the answer must be “Not Given”.



Match the underlined word from the article to definition

  1. (Adv.) in a way that shows experience, knowledge, and good judgement.
  2. (Adj.) accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance.
  3. (Phrasal verb) join in an activity; be involved.
  4. (Adj.) a thousand times more than something else.
  5. (N.) a state or period of uncontrolled excitement or wild behaviour.
  6. (Adv.) in a way that is suitable or appropriate under the circumstances.
  7. (N.) part of a cinema or television film recording a particular event.
  8. (Gerund/Present participle) step on and crush.
  1. Wisely
  2. Passive
  3. Taking part in
  4. Thousand-fold
  5. Frenzy
  6. Fittingly
  7. Footage
  8. Trampling

Discussion

  1. Do you think that Black Friday is an example of excessive consumerism or just an opportunity to get good deals at the shops?
  2. Do you take part in, or look forward to, Black Friday?
  3. What do you think about the quote, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want”? Do you consider the impact the things you buy have on the world?