Racism in the United States

Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on July 20, 2019 and last updated on August 7, 2023

Talking about racism in the United States serves as a powerful conversation topic for English learners, offering opportunities for language improvement and cultural understanding. Engaging in discussions about racism allows learners to explore relevant vocabulary, express their perspectives and examine social issues through an intercultural lens. It encourages critical thinking, empathy and the development of effective communication skills.

By delving into this topic, English learners deepen their knowledge of American history, societal challenges and the importance of fostering a more inclusive and equitable world.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

Racism In The United States Review

The topic of racism in the United States represents a complex and profound societal issue that requires a nuanced understanding. Embedded within the nation’s history, racial discrimination has perpetuated systemic inequalities and shaped the lived experiences of marginalized communities. Examining this multifaceted subject unveils the interplay of power, privilege and prejudice.

From the legacy of slavery to present-day manifestations of racial bias, comprehending the intricacies of racism demands a critical exploration of social structures, institutional biases and the intersectionality of identities. By delving into this topic, we gain insights into the challenges, struggles, and ongoing efforts towards racial justice in the United States.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • racism (noun)
  • racist (adjective)
  • discriminate (verb)
  • slavery (noun)
  • ingrain (verb)
  • discrimination (noun)

Conversation Questions

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  • Does the United States have a racism problem?
  • What are some examples of systemic racism in the United States, and how do they manifest in society today?
  • Why do you think some people still believe the US to be a racist country? Why do you think others don’t?
  • Do people born racist or is it something they learn?
  • Do you think the US could do more to prevent racism?
  • Are there any news events you can think of that would support the argument that the US is a racist country?
  • In what ways can education and awareness play a role in combating racism?
  • What are some historical events or figures that have played significant roles in the fight against racism in the United States?
  • Should reparations be provided to individuals or communities impacted by historical instances of racism in the United States?
  • Should diversity quotas be implemented in workplaces and educational institutions to address racial representation?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.