- Ask how students usually pay when they buy something. Elicit different ways people can pay for things, e.g. coins, notes, and credit cards. Ask about the advantages or problems with each.
- On the board, write:
Local Exchange Trading Scheme
Explain that it is another way of paying for things. Ask what any of the words mean. Elicit or explain the meaning of local and exchange. Tell them that trade is similar to exchange, and that scheme is like a pion here. Ask ii anyone can guess what a Local Exchange Trading Scheme is.
- Tell students they are going to read about Local Exchange Trading Schemes and find out if their guesses were near. Go around the class telling students they are A, B, or C in turn. Put them in groups of three or four, with each group being all the same letter, e.g. AAAA, BBBB, CCCC
- Tell them to read the text and help their group with anything they do not understand.
- Tell them to talk about the text again and each make notes about the most important information.
- Ask them to discuss the text again, make notes, write the most important information, and answer the questions.
- While they work, write these questions on the board:
- What do L.E.T.S. do?
- Are they popular, and are they successful?
- How do they make exchanges easier?
- Do they use notes or coins? What do they use?
Now put students in groups of at least three so that each group has a person who has read each text, e.g. ABC, ABC, ABC, ABC. Show the questions on the board and explain that students should tell each other about their text. They must work from their notes and turn their text face down so they can not read aloud from it or see each other’s.
Check their answers. Answer key
1. They help students exchange things and do things for each other.
2. They are successful, they are becoming more popular.
3. they invent and use their own money.
4. They do not use notes or coins, they use computers to record exchanges and how much people have.
- Ask students to talk about other advantages, possible problems of L.E.T.S., and suggestions for what they might do or make.
- Listen to opinions and encourage comments and questions.
- In groups, students plan a L.E.T.S. They should think about:
– Where you have the central bank, and who would be the banker a name for it
– What money you will use
– Who you will ask to join
– What kind of things you want people to sell prices; the cost of different things
– How much you will pay for the banker
– Other information
- Each group makes an advertising poster for their scheme with relevant and necessary information.
Local Exchange Trading Schemes (L.E.T.S.) do not make money, but they help people to help themselves and help each other. They are very good for local areas, and people welcome them. L.E.T.S. are becoming very popular. There are more than 200 in the UK, and some of them have hundreds of members. None of them are exactly the same because different people have-different ideas. But they all offer their members many advantages. L.E.T.S. are very friendly. Members meet new people and make new friends. People learn to use their free time
better. An important advantage is that people without any money can still buy things. They can still pay other people to do things for them too. People do not have to pay a bank to borrow money.
– So what do L.E.TS. do, and how do they do it?
You and your friends or neighbours might not have a lot of money to spend, but you are rich in other ways. Everyone has lots of abilities; we all have things that we can do. Some of us are experts in special subjects. For example, we might be doctors or artists. Others are good at simpler things like cooking or decorating. Maybe we can only do easy things like cleaning, but we all have something we can exchange with other people. And we all need each other’s help, but of course, life is always difficult. For example, my neighbour is a hairdresser and I
can cook fantastic cakes. Unfortunately, he does not like sweet foods, so I can not get a haircut. So I need to find a third person who likes cakes, a person who has got something the hairdresser wants. Then perhaps all three of us can do an exchange together. It will not be easy!
– We need an easier way to exchange things, but how?
Have you ever thought of making your own money? Do not think of dollars or euros; invent and use your own money. You can call your money anything you like, for example, a Pop, and ask other people to join you in the ‘Pops Trading Club’. You get Pops by doing something for someone; they pay you in Pops. You can spend your Pops on something that someone else does or makes for you. You do not need coins or notes, but you do need a central bank. This can be a telephone answering machine where people can leave messages about their
exchanges. The Pops Trading Club banker listens to the messages and puts all the information into a computer, so everyone knows how many Pops they have got. The club pays the banker in Pops for the work they do. Simple!
– So how big are these trading clubs, and are they successful?