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Listening skills lesson plans: Talking about your family

Level: Elementary Type: Teaching notes Print material

Listening for specific information, listening for details and recognising context.


AccentsSpeedActivity typeTime
Chinese female, British femaleSlowordering, completing notes40 minutes


Theme:Talking about your family
Skills:Listening for specific information, listening for details, recognising context
Grammar focus:Present simple, Wh- questions
Vocabulary:family, sister, brother, father, mother, grandfather, accountant, mechanic, professor, airline, birthday, office, big, love, enjoy, difficult, next to, university, photo.
Preparation:Download the worksheet and make one copy for every two students. Cut each copy as shown by the lines.


  1. Tell students they are going to hear a telephone conversation between two women. Write these questions on the board: What are their names? What are they doing? When students are ready, play the recording.

Yu Ling and Kate
Yu Ling is telling Kate about her family.

  1. Write sister on the board, then put students into pairs and tell them to make a list of all the other words for different family members and relatives they know. Give them a time limit of one minute, then have one pair write their list on the board, while the others check spelling and add any additional words. If you wish, model the pronunciation of each word as students repeat in a choral drill.
    Ask students if they can remember which of the words on the board they heard on the recording. Point to the list on the board and tell them to listen again and number any of the words they hear in the correct order. Play the recording, then put students into pairs to check their answers.

(in order) sister, brother, father, mother, grandfather

  1. Put students into pairs and give one student a copy of Student A text and the other student a copy of Student B text. Tell them not to look at each other’s paper. Explain they each have a summary of Yu Ling’s family and they must listen carefully and complete the gaps. Play the recording.
    Tell students to swap their texts. Again, tell them not to look at each other’s worksheets. Explain they must listen once more and check their partner’s answers. Play the recording, then check students’ answers.

Yu Ling’s sister is an accountant. It’s a difficult job but she really enjoys it. She works in a big office in Hong Kong. Her brother is a mechanic. He works for an airline. Yu Ling’s father is a professor. He works at Hong Kong University. He loves his job.

Post-listening tasks

  1. Put students into pairs and give each pair a copy of the recording script. Tell them to practice the conversation with their partner.
  2. Put students into pairs and tell them to talk about their own family. Their partner should listen carefully and make notes. When they finish, tell students to swap partners. Explain they should use their notes to talk about their previous partner’s family.

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Readers' comments (6)

  • Hi Paulinho,

    To download the audio, right click on the title of the audio 'Talking about family - recording' then choose the 'Save link as' option and save the audio on to your computer. Please let us know if this does not help you.

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  • So, it's been some time people are asking for audio and still can't be save. I like this plan, but will need audio recording to take away.

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  • When you click on 'Talking about family - recording' you should be given the opportunity to click 'Save' to save the file to your computer. This is an mp3 file and can therefore be transferred from your computer to an mp3 player. If you are still having difficulty saving this file, please scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on 'Contact us' and explain the problem in detail on the form.

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  • Hi same Qs can the audio be saved? I teach in companies where I don't have wifi access.
    Also, is there any material suitable for the vision impaired?

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  • Please let me know how I can download this audio recording?

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  • I like this resource but how can I save the audio recording?
    Many thanks

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