Archivos de la categoría Listening

Hints on Blank Filling Listening Comprehensions+ 2 Listening Activities

In this kind of listenings   you don’t need to write  a full sentence to give the correct answer.
Normally there is a maximum of three  words to complete notes , statements or questions.

In these exercises it is very helpful to:

And don’t forget to read the completed sentences to make sure the words fit grammatically  :)



Source: Cambridge FC Practice Tests
Source: Cambridge Complete First Certificate

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Two Wonderful Sites to Practise Listening and other skills

So, you’ve done all the listening exercises in your textbook, workbook  and on my website 😉  but still, you feel you  really need to go the extra mile ?

Here you are two wonderful websites where you can find tons of Listening exercises to practise before the exam.

1. ESOL COURSES. Choose your level and then choose the skill you want to practise ; they are all great!

2. ESl Lounge Students: on this site you can also practise all skills . Scroll down the page and on the right sidebar, choose the skill you want to practise and your level.


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Preparing for Listening: Focus on Distractors.

In a Multiple Choice Listening  you need a bit of attention. In this kind of listening exercises there are always words and expressions which are designed to distract students from the correct answer. If you don’t know about these distractors , you are likely to be misled by them and choose the wrong answer.

The most important thing in this kind of listening exercises is to read the questions carefully . You are always given some time to read  through questions and answers , use that time. Listen very carefully to the details and make sure the answer you choose really matches what the question has asked you. It’s important to concentrate on understanding in detail .

♥Let’s look at an example

How long has Liz been snowboarding?

a. One year          b. five years            c. every year since she was a child.

The underlined words in the transcript  all appear in the possible answers a, b or c, but only one answer is correct. The other words are distractors.

♥Read the transcript , choose the right answer and say why the other are not correct

I first did it when I was on holiday with my parents- When I was younger I used to go skiing every year with them and then one year I tried snowboarding and I haven’t skied since then. That was 5 years ago.

These extracts have been taken from Listening Comprehensions. The distractors are in bold . Read them and then answer the questions

A. My brother was so scared he couldn’t watch the film whereas I didn’t find it at all frightening. ♥Is the speaker frightened by the film?

B. Although most critics agreed that the film was her best ever , I was rather disappointed by her performance.  ♥ Did the speaker love the film?

C. Although snow is now unlikely, we can expect a certain amount of rain later on.   ♥ Does the speaker think it will rain or snow?

D. My daughter wanted me to help her with her homework but I told her to ask her mother.   ♥ Did the speaker help his daughter?

E. Whereas in most of her other film she plays the “baddie”  in this one he’s definitely the good guy. ♥ Does the speaker say the actor is the villain or the hero in the film?

Answers: A. no   B. no   C. rain   E. the hero

Now , let’s do some practice.

You will hear  people talking in 8 different situations. For each question , choose the best answer.



Source: Ready for First Certificate and Cambridge FC Practice Tests 1

Lesson Plan: Cities , Towns and Villages

This is a lesson for Intermediate students (B1) . Hopefully at the end of this lesson you’ll have learnt useful vocabulary to talk about a city/town/ village you like , you’ll be able to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of living in the city or the countryside and you’ll be able to understand people talking about it.

What’s your hometown like?
Are you happy with the city/town/village you live in? What are some of the pros and cons?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in the coutryside or in a town

These are some common questions  in oral exams . Before reading any further , think about how you coud best answer these questions . Try really hard. Imagine you’re taking the real test.

Ok! Now!!! Do you have all the words you need or, are there things you couldn’t say because you didn’t have the right words?  If this is the case , then go on reading , this post is for you.

Below you’ll find some ideas to help you get started

Mapa Mental creado con ExamTime por cristina.cabal


Now , watch these two short videos and answer the questions below. The first one is about the advantages and disadvantages of living in a big city and the second about the advantages and disadvantages of living in a small town ( could also be applied to living in the countryside)

Video 1. Advantages and disadvantages of living in a big city

Speaker 1.What’s the disadvantage he mentions?

Speaker 2. What are the disadvantages he mentions?

Speaker 3. What is , in his opinion, the main advantage? What two disadvantages does he mention?

Speaker 4.What’s the huge advantage cities have compared to rural areas?

Speaker 5.  What’s , according to this speaker, the main advantage?

Answers here

Video 2. Advantages and disadvantages of living in a small town (could be applied to the countryside)

Speaker 1. What’s the advantage and the disadvantage he mentions?

Speaker 2. What does he say about the pace of life in small towns?

Speaker 3. What’s the advantage and the disadvantage he mentions?

Speaker 4.For him , what’s the advantage and the disadvantage  of living in a small town?

Speaker 5. What does he say happens in small towns?

 Answers here

♥By the way. do you know the difference between a city and a town???

A city is larger than a town and it has a cathedral :) , at least in the UK

Now, do you think you can describe your hometown? Can you talk about your favourite city? Can you talk about the advantages and disadvantages of living in a city or in the countryside? Hope you can!


Today is on me- Let’s Go to a Musical Show !

Who doesn’t like music? Today I am inviting you to take a glimpse at the Top Ten Musicals in London. Tough  job to choose one ! A video-based lesson you’ll positively enjoy!

Level: B1/B2

Skills :listening, writing and vocabulary

Step 1. WARM UP. In pairs, talk about the questions below

♥How important is  music in your life?

♥Have you ever been to a musical show? Why(not)?

♥Do you know  any famous musicals?

♥There are lots of things to do in London, would you consider going to a musical?


Step 2. Look at the following collage containing pictures of different musicals. In pairs, can you identify any?

Get feedback. Most possibly students won’t be able to come up with the names for all the musicals. If this is the case, show them the options below.

A. The Lion King

B. The Phantom of the Opera

C. Wicked

D. Mamma Mia

E. Thriller

F. Billy Elliot

G. Les Miserables

H. The Book of Mormon

I. The Commitments

J. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Step 3. Play the video  for the first time without giving students any task.After watching it , ask them whether they  would fancy watching any of these musicals. Students watch the video a second time  and fill in the gaps in the exercise below


Number 10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Grab your won golden ticket and step inside the ____ (1) and wonderful Wonka Chocolate factory

Number 9. The Commitments.Originally a novel, then a hit movie, this musical is jam ____ (2) with classic soul hits

Number 8. The Book of Mormon.From the ____  (3)of South Park, this outrageously funny musical is not for the faint -hearted

Number 7. Les Miserables.An epic tale of broken dreams, passion, ____ (4) and redemption

Number 6. Billy Elliot.The ____ (5) story of a boy’s struggle against the odds  to become a ballet star

 Number 5. Thriller Live.The spectacular show takes you on an electrifying journey through Michael Jackson’s musical ____ (6).

 Number 4.Mamma Mia. Abba’s  timeless songs create the ultimate feel-good tale of love , laughter and ____ (7)

 Number 3. Wicked.The untold story of the witches of Oz has won 90 international awards and is loved by ____ (8) and critics.

 Number 2.The Phantom of the Opera.Andrew Lloyd Webber’s  musical ____ (9) continues to captivate audiences

 Number 1. The Lion King.Set in the Serengeti, this epic show explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects and  ____ (10) music

 Step 4. Vocabulary. Find a synonym for the following words in the video








 Step 5. Writing . You’ve been asked to create a poster to advertise your high school end-of-the-term musical.Use to create the poster and think of something to say about the musical to attract an audience . Use some of the adjective+noun combinatios below

Mapa Mental creado con ExamTime por cristina.cabal


Lesson Plan: Dating , Family and Friends

Level: Intermediate
Topic: Dating, Family and Friends
Aim: To develop all four skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking .

Has our lifestyle changed so much that it has affected the way we socialise, date and  communicate with our family? Here is a nice visual lesson plan to talk about these issues TASK 1 Look at the picture below. Which of these adjectives would you use to describe the picture? Give reasons

Awesome   disgusting   funny   unreal   pornographic  sexist

romantic   interesting     unusual      provocative     depressing

Can you think of any more adjectives?

Task 2.  Introducing &Revising Vocabulary :   Dictogloss.

(Dictogloss technique here )

As I normally have large classes I have written two texts containing the target language so I will divide the class into two groups and I’ll dictate the texts in turns, following the dictogloss technique . Texts will be then written on the board or /and a copy of the texts handed out.

Vocabulary Handout 


Has traditional dating become a thing of the past? Look at the  pictures  below showing different ways of dating. In pairs, discuss which ones you prefer, which one you wouldn’t mind trying and which ones you would never try , giving reasons to support your opinion.

TASK 4. LISTENING: What makes for a good friend.  See on youtube

Time to improve  your listening  abilities. This time we are going to listen for specific vocabulary  . Ready?

Listen to  a man talking about  What Makes a Good Friend and fill in the spaces in the exercise embedded below .




TASK 5  .SPEAKING: A CLOSE FRIEND. Think of one of your close friends. In pairs, ask and answer these questions

  • How long have you known him?
  • Where did you meet?
  • Do you get on well? What do you have in common?
  • Do you ever argue? What about?
  • How often do you see each other?
  • How do you keep in touch? Have you ever lost touch? Why?


Students sit facing each other using the speed-dating technique.Some students remain seated during the whole event ( in real speed dating, women remain seated). When the bell rings , students sit across another student and they use their questions to start a conversation . They need to keep on talking for 3 minutes. Then a bell rings and “men” need to stand up and move to their right to start a new conversation with a different partner  and the whole process is repeated again. Instead of a  bell so I use a Class Timer (here).

Display with  the OHP ,on the whiteboard ,the pictures with the questions and ask students to talk about the question on the picture for about three minutes . When the time’s up , students change partner and a new picture is displayed.

I have created this slideshow with Thematic, which is a tool for creating and sharing visual stories

TASK  5 Writing. Choose any of the questions in the exercise above and write an essay  making sure you use the vocabulary you have learnt in this lesson. Do you need some inspiration? See what other students have written   here ,here,here and here

I hope you’ve enjoyed the lesson!!

Lesson Plan : Talking about Mobiles and Technology

Level : B1-B2

In this lesson  we talk about mobiles and the Internet ,about the use or overuse of this new technology in our lives .The lesson aims at developing their listening and speaking skills and also provides them with the vocabulary and expressions needed to talk about this increasing and ,in some cases, worrying phenomenon .This Lesson Plan has two parts. In the first half of the lesson students are presented with two food- for- thought  videos related  to the use or overuse of mobiles phones  . In the second half students are asked to talk about their own experiences using mobiles and the Internet


Warm up: Do a quick survey to find how many students are carrying their mobile phones. Ask how many have them on their desks.

Video 1.I forgot my phone. (Lasts 2:10) Explain they are going to watch a video and after it , they’ll have to discuss in pairs their feelings and reactions to what they have seen. Get feedback. Follow-up questions: Are mobiles killing conversation?. Are they replacing  face-face communication?

Video 2Nomophobia. (lasts 1:00) Ask students if they have ever heard the term nomophobia. Ask them to predict  what kind of phobia  it might refer to. Before playing the video pre-teach ” feature phone”  ( a low-end mobile phone with limited capabilities).Play the video and ask students to make a summary of what it says and encourage students to discuss the question posed  in the video:  What would you do a week if you didn’t have access to your mobile phone?


Working on Vocabulary.Introduce vocabulary by displaying the word cloud and ask students to make sentences with the words displayed. For a more interactive approach ,we might want to ask students to  first work in pairs  asking them to choose words from the word cloud to make sentences. Get feedback to solve doubts

Discussion Questions .Handout  photocopy with the questions to be discussed . There are quite a number of questions on the hand-out . I’d suggest doing the first part , which is more mobile oriented , on the first session and the second part , which is more computer oriented , on the second session.  Hand-out here




Listening: Kids around Christmas Time

I am in Christmas mode. My class already has a Christmas tree  decorated with white stars, , some silver baubles  and not a trace of tinsel- I don’t like tinsel. Christmas carols  are already playing in my hi-fi and I am trying to figure out what to cook for Christmas’Eve and Christmas day without ending up dead tired and falling asleep in the middle of the dinner.

So , fully into Christmas mode ,  I have chosen these two clips from The Cosby Show  to help my intermediate students get into the mood  and  improve their listening skills, too 😉 Hope it serves both purposes!

I wish this show was still on air. For me, it is probably one of the best sitcoms ever  and the scenes with Olivia among my favourites.


What Race is Santa Claus?.  I would suggest playing the video once  without bothering with the listening task .Watch it on youtube here

Kids at Christmas Time. Again, I would suggest playing the video once  without bothering with the listening task .Watch it on youtube here

LinkengPark: a nice site to practise Listening

Happy Monday to you all!  And no, I am not being ironic here, I sort of “hate” Mondays like everybody else in this planet  but today I am going to share a link with you that is going to help brighten your day, especially if you like English as much as I do, or if you happen not to like it so much ,yes, let’s say it , I know there are some few people out there who don’t give a damn about learning this language but still…. they need to.  So.. for both , here we have Linkengpark  ,a great site to help you  improve your listening skills .

I learned about Linkengpark from the sweetest person on earth, Maria Artime who ,when seeing its potential ,didn’t hesitate to share it with me. I thank you María. It is really helpful! Linkengpark is a very nice site to practise Listening . It offers lots of different Podcasts(6 minute English, English at work,BBC how to,ESL stories…),  Audiobooks (Pride and Prejudice, Roald Dahl ….)and Videos  (English Vid, CNN Students News,Reuters…) with transcript  so you can also practise pronunciation  .   You can choose your level ,from Elementary to Advanced .

A great site which I’ll be visiting very often. I hope you do, too.

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Listening: What is a vegetarian ?

I want to start this week with a positive thought . It is something I’ve read recently and that has been going around for some days inside my head.

Happiness is not getting what you want . It’s wanting what you have.

I should say that I am normally a glass-full type of person but sometimes, only sometimes,  I need to remind myself.

Well, today I want to share with you this amazing site which has a lot of potential . Educaplay is a platform to create embeddable multimedia teaching activities . You can create interactive engaging activities  like crosswords, matching exercises , dialogues, presentations, tests, dictations , interactive maps, word search puzzles and many more… but what I really like about this website is the possibility of creating  a video quiz  as the one I have posted below .

The structure of the activity, is defined by sequences that are composed of a video, or part of it, and a question that will be the end of the sequence.

To define the sequences, we go through three phases:

  • Video election: We can use the search engine, or if we know, insert its URL directly.
  • Sequence election to be held on the question.
  • Definition of the question: Each question can be configured to ask for the answer in any of the following methods;

              ♥In a written form, by selecting one answer from various options or by  selecting         several answers from various options

Another important feature is that it is entirely web based so you don’t need to download anything  and … it is free , you only need to register.

And now, have a look at this videoquiz answering the question WHAT IS A VEGETARIAN?


What is a Vegetarian?

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