Examples of listening tasks according to stages of listening class

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Examples of listening tasks according to stages of listening class

Examples of listening tasks according to stages of listening class

Pre-listening activities. 3

Association. 3

Eliciting. 3

Linking. 4

Listing. 4

Mind-mapping. 4

Predicting. 4

Miming. 5

Prioritising. 5

Ranking. 6

Rating. 6

Categorising. 6

Finding Differences / Similarities. 7

Matching. 7

Paraphrasing. 7

Asking/Answering Questions. 8

Quiz. 8

While-listening activities. 9

Miming. 9

Completing. 9

Gap-filling. 9

Table-filling. 10

Ranking. 11

Reordering. 12

Categorising. 12

Correction. 13

Finding Differences / Similarities. 13

Matching. 14

Multiple Choice. 14

True / False Statements. 15

Dictation. 15

Information Transfer 16

Note-taking. 19

Labelling. 19

Picture completion. 21

Outlining. 22

Asking/Answering Questions. 22

Post-listening activities. 22

Dramatizing. 22

Miming. 23

Role-play. 23

Simulation. 24

Completing. 25

Expanding / Extending. 25

Table-filling. 25

True / False Statements. 26

Ranking. 27

Rating. 27

Finding Differences / Similarities. 28

Communicative games. 28

Describing. 29

Review.. 30

Summary. 31

Interview.. 31

Jig-saw.. 32

Questionnaire. 32

Survey (Opinion Poll) 33

Debate. 34

Decision Making. 35

List of products 1.. 35

Discussion. 35

Planning. 36

Problem Solving. 36

Survival games. 36

Variation 1. Desert Island. 36

Students imagine that they are going to spend next three months on an island (on the moon, etc.) alone. Fresh water and vegetation are provided and there is no real danger from wild animals. Students are given a list of objects and are asked to choose 5 of them, which they would like to take and to put them in order of importance. They should also be prepared to say why they want to take these things. 36

Variation 2. Who is the next?. 36

Students work in groups. Each of them selects any profession from the list. 36

Oral Presentation. 36

Story telling. 37

Composition. 38


Pre-listening activities


Inspired by words.

Teacher writes some words on the blackboard. Students are to write some associations under each.


table mother captivation
wood love prison
kitchen childhood fear
dinner home cage
vase care gate
napkins perfume guard
legs chains

Reminding word.

Teacher introduces new words to students. Students are to suggest a word they know which reminds them of the new one. Teacher writes this word on the blackboard and erases a new one. Students are to recollect it with the help of reminding word.


a new word: helicopter

a reminding word: dragon-fly


a new word: rewind

a reminding word: remind

Inspired by pictures.

Students look at the doodles and say what they might denote.



Eliciting background knowledge.

The teacher asks questions to see what students know on the topic.

e.g. (topic “Fashion”)

- What fashion styles / models / model agencies do you know?

- Which country is considered to be the centre of fashion?


Linking paragraphs.

Students are given a text, where they are to insert some linking words, expressions or even sentences to make the text look coherent.


Andy was a tiny boy with a strangely hoarse voice, extremely well-read for his age. At the very beginning he became very popular among his class mates owing to his striking ability of telling frightening stories.


His heroes underwent all kind of terrible adventures: they would freeze to death, or starve and, finally, die of hunger; wild beasts would eat them up or tear into pieces; bandits would beat them black and blue and rob them of all their possessions.


The headmaster found out that the children slept with the lights on. He made necessary inquiries and bedside tales were put an end to.

(the passage is taken from Reading and

Talking English by L.S. Golovchinskaya)


Picture-based listing.

Students look at the picture (e.g. a photographs of a cobra and a leopard) and write down as many words or phrases as they can (e.g. to describe the two animals).


Thematic map.

Teacher asks students which words are connected with the word (e.g. SCHOOL) and presents simultaneously the new words.





Predicting by pictures.

Students are asked to look at the pictures and say what the listening passage will be about.




Imposing a manner.

Variation 1.

Students choose one adverb out of the list of adverbs. Teacher reads out the verbs of action. Students mime them in the manner the adverb prompts.


Adverb: passionately

Actions: to blow the nose to look to eat to sneeze to hug a neighbour to mend the sock to read the newspaper to hammer a nail


Perfect partner.

Teacher explains to students that everybody has a different idea of the ideal boyfriend or girlfriend. Students are to put the following qualities in order of importance.


¡ A sense of humour ¡ Interests you both share
¡ Good looks ¡ Sexiness
¡ Patience ¡ Popular with your family
¡ Plenty of money ¡ Popular with your other friends
¡ Lets you decide things    

After that students are asked to write down "a lonely-heart advertisement" to a local newspaper.


Rank and write.

Students are given a list of qualities, which they rank in the order of importance for their future job. Then students are to write a letter of application.


Nice appearance, long legs, intelligence, sense of humour, responsibility, politeness, industry, patience, good mixability, etc.



Per cent.

Students are to look through a list of notions (e.g. a list of stressful jobs). Working in pair they are to mark the degree of stressfulness of every profession on the given scale.



Profession The degree of stressfulness
Driver 0%------------------100%
Pilot 0%------------------100%
Butcher 0%------------------100%
President 0%------------------100%
Teacher 0%------------------100%



Filling in categories.

Variation 1.

Students write the words in the appropriate column.


best friend cousin classmate stranger acquaintance colleague ex-boyfriend flatmate head-teacher niece mother-in-law parent partner neighbour relative step-mother


family friends work school other


Comparing phenomena.

Before listening students list the differences and similarities between two phenomena (e.g. private and public schools) as they see them. After that they listen to the text and note down the facts they haven’t mentioned.


Split pictures.

Students guess how the people travel around the town and match the pictures.


Key: a – 4, b – 3, c – 1, d - 2



Students are asked to find synonyms to the given words.


meal – snack, nourishment;

insane – mad, crazy, loony, mentally unstable, wrong in the upper storey.

English or American?

Students are to give American variants of the given words in British English or vice versa.


British American   American British
timetable schedule   candies sweets
film movie   autumn fall
queue line   gas petrol
flat     vacation  
lift     pants  


Asking/Answering Questions

Answers before questions.

Before listening to a text students are given a list of answers. Their task is to write questions for them.


a) Who wrote it?

Virginia Woolf.


In the seventies.


It's fiction.



Extended information quiz.

Students can be asked to give extended answers to the questions of the quiz.


    a   b     Round britain quiz   If you wanted to visit Northern Ireland by car, which English or Scottish ferry port would you choose? Describe four ways to get from London to Paris – write the names of the stations / airports / ports. Etc

(taken from Focus on Britain Today by C. Lavery)


While-listening activities


Group miming.

Teacher thinks of some themes and scenes, writes them on the slips of paper and places the theme slips in one box, the scene slips in another. The class is divided into groups of five. A representative from each group takes one slip from each box. The groups then have to prepare a short sketch based on the theme and the scene which they have drawn (e.g. All children like ice cream + under the bed). The sketch is performed for another group, who comment and criticize.


Theme Scene
Dogs always bark. at the supermarket
All children like ice cream. in the tree
You need to read a lot. under the bed
My granny usually walks with a stick. in the fridge


Completing the text.

Students have an incomplete version of a story, a description or a song (some words, phrases or sentences are omitted). Students have to complete it either while they are listening or afterwards.


Students should listen to the conversation and complete the sentences:

A: Hello. Fast Pizza. Can _______________?
B: Yes, ___________. Two pizzas, _________.
A: Certainly. What kind __________________?
B: _______________ vegetarian pizzas?
A: Yes, __________ . A plain pizza Margarita.
B: ____________ that?
A: Cheese and tomato. With garlic _________________.
B: _________________ ?


Restoring a song.

Students listen to the song and fill in the words that are missing:


Imagine there’s no heaven It’s easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people Living for today…   Imagine there’s no countries It isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people Living life in peace   You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope somebody you’ll join us And the world will be as one   Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people Sharing all the world   You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us And the world will live as one Imagine by John Lennon Imagine there’s no heaven It’s easy if you try No hell _______us Above us only sky Imagine all the ­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______ Living for today…   Imagine there’s no ________ It isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no ________ too Imagine all the people Living life in ________   You may say I’m a ________ But I’m not the only one I hope _________ you’ll join us And the world will be as one   Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or _______ A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people ________ all the world   You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us And the world will live as one  


Restoring a scheme.

Students listen to the description of the family and write in the diagram the names and

ages of all the members of the family.



Wilson's Family


Tick what you’ve heard.

Students listen to the text and complete the grid (put ticks in proper spaces according to the text).


ears tail legs nose



Ranking frequency.

Students listen to the text and rank the means of transport according to how often they are used by the speaker. After listening they fill in the information about themselves and then go around the class asking two of their classmates and making notes in the table.


means of transport speaker you Pete Lora
car   2  
foot     3  
bus     1  
hot-air balloon 9    



Ordering phrases.

Students reorder the phrases in the dialogues and act them out.


1. - It's on the second floor, to the right of the escalator. 2. - Try the Household goods department. 3. - Excuse me, where can I buy some enamel saucepans? 4. - How do I get there?

(T.Drozdova "Everyday English", p.379)

Ordering pictures.

Before listening students put the pictures in the order of happening, listen to the story and check the order.



Key: 3 (to fall in love), 2 (to date), 4 (to get engaged), 1 (to get married)



Who said it?

Students listen to the conversation and identify who of the speakers (e.g. Bill and Susan) expresses the listed ideas.



Bill Susan

likes to watch TV, busy all the weekends, has a friend in Mexico, good swimmer, TV set needs repairing.



Focused correction.

Students listen to their peers’ oral presentations or stories and each of them is focused on checking a specific aspect of speech: grammar, phonetics, vocabulary. After the speech is over they comment on the mistakes made by the speaker.


Comparing texts.

Students listen to two spoken texts, which have slight differences between them and are to identify these differences (factual, not grammatical).


A Welcome to the Eiffel Tower. The Tower was completed in 1789, under the supervision of Gustave Eiffel, for the Centennial Exposition of the same year. At the time of its construction, standing at 234 m high, it was the tallest building in the world and remained so until 1930, when the Chrysler Building took the title. Closed only on Tuesdays, the Tower enjoys more than 8 million visitors every year, and this year the Tower will welcome its 200 millionth visitor. The Tower is made of a special type of iron, which was very popular all over Europe in the 18th century, and it is painted (in three shades of blue) every three years. There are 1400 steps from the ground to the top, but the steps from the first floor to the top are closed to the public. There are, however, two elevators, which go all the way to the top of the Tower. Initially despised by the people of Paris, the Eiffel Tower has come to represent the very essence of this romantic city.
B Welcome to the Eiffel Tower. The Tower was completed in 1789, under the supervision of Gaston Eiffel, for the Centennial Exposition of the same year. At the time of its construction, standing at 324 m high, it was the tallest building in the world and remained so until 1830, when the Empire State Building took the title. Open every day of the year, the Tower enjoys more than 6 million visitors every year, and this year the Tower will welcome its 200 millionth visitor. The Tower is made of a special type of steel, which was very popular all over Europe in the 19th century, and it is painted (in three shades of brown) every seven years. There are 1665 steps from the ground to the top, but the steps from the first floor to the top are closed to the public. There are, however, three elevators, which go all the way to the top of the Tower. Immediately loved by the people of Paris, the Eiffel Tower has come to represent the very essence of this romantic city.



Split song.

Students listen to the song and match the words on the left with the words on the right.


clap   knees
slap   feet
snap your fingers
stamp   hands


If You're Happy.

If you're happy and you know it – clap your hands! (2 times)

If you're happy and you know it, and you really want to show it,

If you're happy and you know it – clap your hands!

Multiple Choice

True / False Statements

While-reading true/false.

Students listen to the text and mark the given sentences T or F standing for True and False.


1.The Prime Minister is the oldest MP.

2.The Cabinet is chosen by the voters.




Pair dictation.

Variation 1.

Teacher divides the class into pairs and provides with two halves of one text. They dictate their parts to each other to complete the text.

Variation 2.

Teacher prepares texts with parts of sentences omitted. Each version of a text lacks different information. Students dictate the missing information to each other to restore the whole text. Then peer-correction may take place.


Text A

It was a _____ _____ _____ and the bus was _____ _________. There was a tall, handsome man standing _____ _____ ________ ___ ______ ______. Sitting ________ him there was a _____________ _______. The ______ still _______ a long ___________ to do. He _________ talking to the _______. He tells _____ that he is very wealthy. _______ pricks _______ _____ up. He talks to her ________ _____ _____ _______ - she looks at him ______ ____ __________. ___ tells her ______ _____ _____ ______ and ________. She ______ _____ him with tender __________. Finally he tells her he ________ a ______.

The man says: "_____'_ _____ _____ the bus at _____ ______ ______- then we _____ _______." ______ _______ up and gets _____ the bus. ________ doesn't ______ _________ _____. ____ has taken ______ _______.


Text B

___ _____ __ very hot day _____ ____ ______ _____ very crowded. ______ ____ __ ______, ___________ _______ _____________ near the front of the bus. __________ near _____ ________ ______ __ beautiful girl. ______ man ______ had __ _____ journey ____ _____. _____ begins __________ ____ ____ girl. ____ _________ her ________ _____ _____ _______ _________. She _______ her ears _____. _____ _______ ___ _____ about his big farm - ______ ________ ___ ____ with real interest. He ______ ______ that he is sad _____ lonely. ________ looks at ______ _______ ________ sympathy. __________ _____ ________ _____ _____ needs __ wife.

_____ ______ _______: "Let's get off _______ ______ ____ the next stop - ______ _____ can talk." She gets _____ ______ _______ off ______ ______. She ________ look behind her. He ______ _________ her seat!

(the idea and the text are taken from

Dictation by P. Davis & M. Rinvolucri)

Cloze dictation.

Teacher dictates the text and from time to time instead of the right word he/she whistles or claps. Students task is to write the complete version of the text.


At the Barber's

Once a boy (whistle) fifteen, who wanted (whistle) much to grow up, went (whistle) a barber's shop. He sat down in the (whistle) and asked the barber to shave (whistle). The barber lathered his chin and (whistle) went to speak to a friend. The boy waited a long (whistle), and then he called the barber and said, "What are you waiting (whistle)?" "I am waiting for your beard to (whistle)," said the barber.


At the Barber's

Once a boy of fifteen, who wanted very much to grow up, went into a barber's shop. He sat down in the chair and asked the barber to shave him. The barber lathered his chin and then went to speak to a friend. The boy waited a long time, and then he called the barber and said, "What are you waiting for?" "I'm waiting for your beard to grow," said the barber.

(the idea is taken from Dictation by P. Davis & M. Rinvolucri)

Information Transfer

What have you drawn?

Students listen to the description and draw a picture.

e.g. There are three rectangles and there are short lines between them. There are two small circles under each rectangle. The first rectangle on the right has two smaller rectangles on the top, just above its upper right-hand corner. The first rectangle is touching the big rectangle with its wider side. The second small rectangle is touching the first small rectangle with its narrow side. There is a set of small circles above the upper small rectangle

(the idea is taken from The Great Preposition Mystery by L. Lougheed)

Where are you now?

Students listen to the directions and try to follow the route on the map.

e.g. Listen to your partner’s directions and guess which place you can get to if now you are at the hotel. Go along North Avenue as far as Center Street. Turn right at the corner and walk past the Post Office. Go along Center Street to the bank. Cross the road and go straight on. It is in front of the park, next to the department store. You can’t miss it. (Answer: Art gallery)

Picture dictation.

The teacher talks about the picture, which the students can not see, and asks them to draw it while he/she is talking. The students are free to ask questions about anything they don't understand.

e.g. Look at the drawing in the book. You are going to draw а picture that is like it, but a bit different. First, draw a rectangle like the one in the book. Draw that now. (pause) Now, you're going to draw the two boots. In the book, the bigger boot is on the left. The smaller boot is on the right. In your picture, the smaller boot's on the left, and the bigger boot on the right. Draw that now ... (pause) Now you're going to draw the line of the horizon. That's the line that goes from left to right, over the boots. BUT your line is higher than in the book. Draw your line higher than in the picture. Draw your line quite close to the top of the picture. (pause) Now you're going to draw the two trees. There isn't much space in your drawing, so the trees are much smaller than in the book. Draw the trees now. (pause) Now, you're going to draw the cloud. Your cloud is much bigger than in the book. It fills a lot of the sky to the left of the trees. Draw the cloud now. (pause) Now you're going to draw the path. The path is much wider at the bottom of the picture than it is in the book. In the book, only the boot on the left is on the path. In your picture, the path is wider. The smaller boot is on it, and part of the bigger boot is on it too. Draw the path now. ... (pause) Now your picture is complete. Show it to the other students in the class. Are your drawings the same? (taken from Double Take-2 by J. Collie)


Free note-taking.

Students listen to the conversation and note down the necessary information.

Debatable points.

Students listen to their fellow students' reports and write down the debatable points they'd like to argue with.


Labelling pictures.

Students are to label the parts of the picture in accordance with the information the have listened to.


While listening to the conversation students label the position of the shops on the map.

Fiona: OK Judy. I've got the list here. Erm... now, d'you think there's anything else you need?

Judy: No that’s everything actually. You don't mind going, Fiona, do you?

Fiona: No! I like shopping, and anyway, I'd like to find my way around here a little bit.

Judy: Oh. That’s tremendous then. Well, shall we just run through the shopping list to make sure you know where all the shops are?

Fiona: Good idea. Fine. OK, here goes. Er, the first thing I've got is one large white loaf. Now, where shall I get that from?

Judy: Yes, if you get that from the baker's... so that it's nice and fresh.

Fiona: Yes, OK. erm...how do I get there from here?

Judy: Well. it's not very far. You just go down New Street, which is where we are and it's on the other side of the road on the corner of High Street and New Street, so it's on the left.

Fiona: Good. Fine. Got that... and er... a pound of apples. Now, where d'you usually buy your apples?

Judy: At the greengrocer's you know the one. It's very very close. It's next to the baker's... actually before you get to the baker's.

Fiona: On the left-hand side of New Street?

Judy: Right. It's on the same side of the road as the baker's.

Fiona: OK. erm... a pound of cheese.

Judy: Yes, you get that from the Co-op, where there's plenty of choice.

Fiona: From the Go-op. Mm-mm.

Judy: And again that's quite easy to get to. You go right the way down New Street until you get to the High Street.

Fiona: Oh, so it's opposite.

Judy: That's right, and the Co-op is on the other side of the road just opposite New Street and you can't miss it.

Fiona: Yes. OK. So, that's er... cheese at the Co-op, er... box of tissues. Now, where would you like me to get those from?

Judy: Probably the chemist is best, I should think, It's usually cheaper there. And that's on this side of the road, so you just go down New Street and it's on the right. It's on... again on the corner of High Street and New Street, just opposite the baker's.

Fiona: Oh yes. Yes, I remember. Yes. Fine. Erm...and a large tube of toothpaste. Er... shall I get that from the chemist as well?

Judy: Probably best to, yes. It'll save you time too.

Fiona: OK. Fine. And er... oh, the...yes, the local newspaper.

Judy: Yes. get that from the newsagent's.

Fiona: Yes, right.

Judy: Now, that is in the High Street on the opposite corner to the Co-op. There's a very small street in between.

Fiona: Oh, I think I've seen it. Yes, it's actually on the corner.

Judy: It's on the corner opposite the Co-op – quite a small shop.

Fiona: Fine. And last of all airmail letter.

Judy: Ah. yes. Now if you get that from the Post Office which is next to the Co-op the other side.

Fiona: Next to the Co-op...

Judy: Yes, so it's on High Street and it's... there's the Post Office, then the Co-op, and then over the road are the newsagents. So there's those three shops in the High Street.

Fiona: Right then. Well, I'll be off now.

Judy: That's lovely. Thanks very much.

Fiona: OK. See you in half an hour or so.

Judy: OK. See you later.

Fiona: Bye.

Judy: Bye.

(taken from Task Listening by L. Blundell & J. Stokes)


Labeling diagrams/graphs.

Students are asked to label the diagram/graph according to the information they have listened to.





(possible title – The changing role of the police in Great Britain)

(taken from Britain Explored by P. Harvey & R. Jones)


Picture completion


Policeman: Well, now. We're looking for three people. Two young men and a woman. One of the men is black, the other is white. The woman is also white. The black man is about twenty-five. He has short, curly black hair. Very short, actually. And a very thin moustache. We understand that he sometimes wears a small, plain gold earring in his right ear and that he often wears dark glasses, er, you know, sunglasses. He was the driver of the car, we think. Now the second man we're looking for - he's white and about twenty-five to thirty years old. Er, now he's also got curly hair, but it's rather long and ifs light brown. Not blond, but not dark, either ... you know, fair yes, that's it fair. He has a full moustache but no beard. We think he has a small scar, it's half-moon shaped, on his forehead, just above his left eye ... er ... we think his name might be John or Jock or Jack... something like that. And now the third person we're looking for. Well. She's about thirty years old. She's got blonde, wavy, shoulder-length hair. She wears glasses, we think, er rather square, heavy-looking glasses and she sometimes seems to be wearing a silver chain around her neck, with some sort of medallion on it, you know, a St Christopher, or something like that...

(taken from Listening in Action, unit 5)


Outlining the text.

Students read / listen to the text and make its outline.


The long hiccup by our medical reporter, Mary Lawson For many people the subject of hiccups is a joke, but for Harry Mendis, a fifteen-year-old schoolboy from Birmingham, it was something quite different. His hiccups began one Sunday lunchtime and continued day and night for two weeks. After the first week, Harry was desperate and his parents took him to hospital, but it took another week for the doctors to cure his attack. Harry, who is now back at school, described what happened to him. “I began to hiccup after eating a curry from my local takeaway. I drank a glass of water but that didn't do any good. That evening I had hiccups every four seconds. We tried everything to stop them. I held my breath and drank cold drinks. My father even tried to give me a shock but that didn't work either.” After a week of sleepless nights, he went to hospital. The doctors took an X-ray of his chest but they couldn't find anything wrong. “They gave me some tablets and my hiccups slowed down, but it was another week before the tablets worked completely and my hiccups stopped.” Harry was very lucky. The world record holder is the unfortunate American farmer Charles Osborne, who hiccupped constantly for sixty-eight years. He eventually stopped in 1990, but nobody knows why.

The outline:

1) Harry Mendis, a fifteen-year-old schoolboy.

2) Harry suffered from hiccup for a long time.

3) How it all began.

a) trying to stop it;

b) two-weeks long hiccup;

c) at the hospital.

4) All is well that ends well.

5) Other examples.

Asking/Answering Questions

Questions to the text.

Students listen to text and answer questions.


What jobs do these people do?

a Donald Agnus c Neil Allinson b Anne Barnett d Eddie Hibbert


Post-listening activities


Listening skit.

The teacher composes a short skit; a group of students is selected to be the characters of the skit. They listen to the detailed instructions and follow them.


The waiter, hold a pad of paper in your left hand and a pencil in your right hand. Adjust your apron. Ask in a nervous voice: May I take your order?

Dramatizing a dialogue.

Students act out a conversation.


An Interesting Film.

Mrs. Kim: Hello, Bill. Hello, Lynn.
Bill: Hi, Mrs. Kim. Is Jim in?
Lynn: Is he coming with us to the film?
Mrs. Kim: Oh, Jim's sick.
Bill: Here he is! Hi, Jim.
Lynn: Are you sick, Jim?
Jim: Is it an interesting film?
Lynn: It's Billy the Kid.
Bill: And it begins in six minutes.
Mrs. Kim: Jim, if you're sick…
Jim: Quick! Or we'll miss the beginning of the film!

(taken from Ship or Sheep? by A. Baker)

Dramatizing a scene.

Students look at the script of a video and act it out.



Chris What's a house assembly? What does that mean? John A whole range of subjects. I would think that ours is very similar to most other schools. English and maths are seen to be the two most important subjects,…science, languages, art, design, drama, humanities subjects.
John Well, my main job at school is as a housemaster. I'm responsible for 150 pupils of ages at school, and they will come over and meet in the house block.  
Chris What subjects do the children do? Chris What do you teach?
John I have a degree in history and I teach in the history department.

(from People and Places by Bob Marsden and Nick Mclver, BBC English)



Act out a situation.

Students are to role play the situation.


Role card A:You are a customer in a cake shop. You want a birthday cake for a friend. He / she is very fond of chocolate.   Role card B: You are a shop assistant in a cake shop. You have many kinds of cakes, but not chocolate cake.




Teacher gives out the role cards at random and asks students to find out someone to spend the evening with them.



(taken from Classroom Dynamics by J. Hadfield)


Completing the story.

Class is divided into groups of four or five. Each group is given the opening of a story. Using it as a starting point, the groups work out a short story.


Possible openings.

1. One dollar and eight-seven cents. Mila lost everything: her job, her love, her family, her friends. It happened so unexpectedly that she still didn’t believe it herself. And yet nothing could be changed. And the next day would be Christmas…

2. It was not early. Miss Natalie lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling on which there were funny ornaments of different people and even short stories about them. She wondered who had painted all this. Her room smelted of flowers from the garden and the sun shone so brightly through the window. She was in this room for the first time in her life…

Expanding / Extending

Extending brief notes.

At post-listening stage students add to the text the missing information (from one sentence to long pieces of prose).


e.g. Listen to the story of Mary's life. With your partner retell her life story. Use these notes to help you.


Marsha: I'm 15 years old. I was born in Australia. My parents moved to Britain when I was five years old. We lived in Glasgow – that was great – then in London. I went to the Macintosh school in Glasgow, and now I'm at Fairfield Secondary School in South London. I'm studying for my GCSE exams. I'm no good at English or French but I'm brilliant at maths. I like pop music, disco dancing, scuba diving and walking in the mountains. Oh, and I'm on the school basketball team. There, how was that?

Tim: Brilliant! I couldn't write it all ... but maybe we can meet again.

Marsha: Uh-oh, Mum's getting impatient. Must go ... See you.

(taken from Double Take-1. Listening and Speaking by J.Collie)



Students fill in the timetable of their typical weekday. The table can be used later as the basis of written description of their daily routine.


    8:00 8:15 8:30 11:00   17:00  
Monday get up         have lunch   go to bed
Tuesday             watch TV  

True / False Statements

Interactional true/false.

After listening to a dialogue students work in pairs. They should distribute the roles and, in their roles, agree or disagree with the given statements.



1.Musicals are more interesting then classical plays.

2.Serious plays are not very popular.

3.Matinee performances are more convenient.


Mrs. Miller: Do you like musicals, Monica? I adore them!
Monica: I prefer classical plays. But why?
Mrs. Miller: Well, there is a new one at the Prince of Wales. It's had very good reviews.
Monica: It sounds quite good but I think I'd rather see something more serious. But nowadays serious play are not a success.
Mrs. Miller: How about one by Agatha Christie? It must be good.
Monica: Ah! That sounds better. Is it a matinee performance?
Mrs. Miller: No, they have no matinees on Tuesdays.
Monica: What a pity!
Mrs. Miller: But I'm always busy in the afternoon.



Ranking qualities.

Students are to rank the qualities (e.g. the ones a good teacher should possess) in the order of importance.



keeps in contact with the parents of his or her pupils and lets them participate in the life of the school (in a primary or secondary school)
  is able to maintain discipline and order
  lets the students share his or her own life with all its ups and downs
  works hard to maintain up-to-date in his or her subject
openly admits when he or she has made a mistake or doesn't know something
is interested is his or her students, asks them about their homes and tries to help where possible
  makes the students work hard and sets high standards
  is friendly and helpful to his or her colleagues
uses a lot of different materials, equipment and teaching methods and attempts to make his or her lessons interesting
  helps the students become independent and organize their own learning

(taken from Keep Talking by F. Klippel)


How often?

Students work in pairs. They ask each other the questions and fill in the chart for their partners.


How often do you: very often often sometimes rarely never
cry laugh quarrel forget things get angry do silly things make mistakes tell jokes do morning exercises complement somebody ______________________________________________________________________        


When they have finished they can be asked to write 3-5 sentences about their partners. The information can be collected and placed on the wall-poster.


Ana never forgets things!

Felix never cries! Etc.

(taken from Classroom Dynamics by J. Hadfield)


Comparing transcripts.

After listening students are given the transcript of the text they have just heard. Students read it circling places that are different from what they have heard.

Communicative games

Crazy compliments.

Teacher puts a card on the back of each student. They are not allowed to see their own cards. They mill around freely obeying the instructions on each other’s backs. Teacher puts the time limit and the winner is the one who guesses the first what the card on his/her back tells.


(the idea is taken from Classroom Dynamics by J. Hadfield)

Interrupting game.

Teacher (or a volunteer student) starts to talk on a topic. Anyone in the classroom can interrupt him/her using phrases like: “Excuse me for interrupting…”, “May I ask a question…”, etc. The speaker must respond and then get back to the topic. The class members’ aim is to sidetrack the speaker whilst his/her aim is to finish the narrative despite of all the interruptions.


Describing qualities.

Students are asked to enumerate the qualities which help them in their studies. After that they join into pairs/groups and work out an advertisement of the Perfect Student.


Wanted !!! The perfect Student   Busy but affectionate teacher seeks ideal student to join hardworking group. The job is challenging, rewarding, and enjoyable. The successful applicant will be adventurous, sensitive, generous, talkative, uninhibited, punctual, tolerant, warm-hearted, witty, extremely hard-working, amusing, friendly, and willing to buy the drinks at Friday Lunchtimes.   hours of work: 9am-1am, Mondays to Sundays pay: None

( taken from Classroom Dynamics by Hadfield Jill)

Maze description.


Students look at the scheme and describe the appearance of an imaginary person. They start at the top and move along the lines in any direction without skipping over.




Film review.

Students are to give critical evaluation of the film they saw.


“Miracle on the 34th street” is a family feature film

produced by John Hughes at “Twentieth Century

Fox” studio. It is based on the famous 1947 film

classic. A little girl dis-

covers dreams can come

true if you really believe.

Six-year-old Susan has

doubts about childhood’s

most enduring miracle –

Santa Claus. Her mother

told her the “secret” about

Santa a long time ago, so

Susan doesn’t expect to receive the most

important gift on her Christmas list. But after meeting a special department store Santa who’s convinced he’s the real thing, Susan is given the most precious gift of all – something to believe in.

Starring Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott and Mara Wilson as Susan, this uplifting and joyous film will make believers out of the entire family. This is the best family feature the world has ever seen.




Group interview.

Variation 1.

Having gathered information about a famous person any student acts as this person. The other classmates interview him as if at a press conference.


How many children have you got?

In what films have you starred?

What do you prefer for breakfast? Etc.

Variation 2.

One person interviews several people (e.g. two or more close friends).


How many times a week do you meet?

Do you celebrate holidays together?

Have you common hobbies? Etc.


Jig-saw listening.

Students may listen to different parts of one text with the help of a cassette player, and then tell them to each other.


Personality tests.

Students are given a questionnaire to see what kind of people they are.

Variation 1. Are you fashion-conscious?

Students score their results according to the suggested scale to see what sorts of people prevail in the class.


1. You are invited to a party. What would you wear?

a) Something new and fashionable.

b) A traditional suit or dress.

c) Does it matter?

2. How much time do you spend in front of the mir­ror before going out?

a) More than fifteen minutes.

b) Less than fifteen minutes.

c) About five minutes.

3. What do you usually wear?

a) Casual clothes, for example a T-shirt and jeans.

b) Whatever's in fashion.

c) What I feel like wearing.

4. Why do you like your clothes?

a) Because I feel comfortable in them.

b) Because they say something about the sort of person I am.

c) I can't say I like my clothes.

5. You pass a clothes shop and see just the dress/suit you want. It's beautiful – but you haven't got much money. What would you do?

a) I'd forget about it.

b) I wouldn't buy it, but I would dream about it.

c) I'd borrow money and buy it.

6. How often do you buy fashion magazines?

a) Very often.

b) From time to time.

c) Never.

7. The colour in fashion this year doesn't suit you. What do you do?

a) I wear it anyway —it's in fashion!

b) I don't wear it.

c) I don't care about what's in fashion.

8. How would you describe your style of dress?

a) Fashionable.

b) Not fashionable but 'me'.

c) Style? What do you mean?


Your score: Answers
a) b) c)   8 – 15: You aren't fashion-conscious at all. You think that there are more important things in life than fash­ion. But don't you think the world would be a dull place if there were no fashion! It adds spice to life. 16 – 24: Clothes aren't the most important thing in your life. However, you know what suits you and you have a personal style. But you are a little bit conserva­tive. Why not try a different style for a change? 25 – 32: You are a fashion victim! You go for the latest styles and spend a lot of money on clothes. But there are more important things in life than clothes — try speaking to people and you'll be surprised to find that they are nice, even if they are wearing old shoes.
a) b) c)  
a) b) c)  
a) b) c)  
a) b) c)  
a) b) c)  
a) b) c)  
a) b) c)  

(taken from Speak Out 1999, № 2-3)

Variation 2. Sleeping habits.

Students answer the questions and compare their answers with those of their classmates.


1 How much time do you spend on bedmaking?

a) 5 mins a day

b) 5 mins every other day

c) 5 mins a week

2 Before you go to bed do you

a) pull open the downstairs curtains

b) read

c) eat

3 After a night's sleep do you find that the covers

a) are as tidy as when you went to bed

b) are all over the floor

c) are in a heap in the middle of the bed


4 If you have trouble getting to sleep do you

a) count sheep

b) toss and turn

c) lie still and concentrate

5 If you wake up in the middle of the night is it because

a) you remember something you ought to have done

b) you're cold

c) you're hungry

6 If you hear a bump in the night do you

a) get up cautiously and investigate quietly

b) charge around the house with a weapon

c) turn over and go back to sleep

7 Do other people complain about your sleeping habits?

a) never

b) frequently

c) sometimes

8 When you have dreams are they mostly

a) dreams about work

b) nightmares

c) sweet dreams

(taken from Learning to Listen by Maley and Moulding, p. 3)

(may be done at a pre-listening stage as well)


Survey (Opinion Poll)

Class records.

Each student in the group is given one question. They are to go around the class and find out how many times everyone in the class had done these things. When they have all finished, the information can be displayed on a poster.


Find how many times people in the group have flown in a plane. Find out how many times' people in the group have broken their legs.
Find out how many times people in the group have drunk champagne. Find how many times people in the group have been to a pop concert.
Find out how many times people in the group have been in hospital. Find out how many countries people in the group have visited.
Find out how many times people in the group have travelled on board a ship. Find out how many times people in the group have won something in a competition.
Find out how many times people in the group have passed an exam. Find out how many pets people in the group have owned. What kind of pets?

(taken from Classroom Dynamics by J. Hadfield)


For or against?

Students listen to the news (e.g. about cloning people) and speak for and against it giving arguments.


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