Listening for details and listening for specific information.


Accents Speed Activity type Time
American female, Japanese female Slow Story telling, true or false 30 minutes


Theme: Talking about first dates.
Skills: Listening for details, listening for specific information
Level: Pre-intermediate
Grammar focus: Past continuous, simple past tense.
Vocabulary: bistro, boyfriend, date, department store, downtown, movie, nice, restaurant, waitress, wallet.
Preparation: Download the worksheet and make one copy for every 4 students. Cut each copy as shown by the lines.


  1. Put students into groups of four and give each group a set of Story cards from Worksheet 5. Be sure to mix the cards thoroughly before you hand them out. Tell students that they are going to listen to a conversation between two friends, Sandy and Mariko. Write their names on the board. Explain that Mariko is talking about how she met her boyfriend. Tell students to look at the words on the cards and say that all the words are taken from Mariko’s story. Tell students to use the words on the cards to try to predict how Mariko and her boyfriend met. Give students time to discuss, then have each group explain their ideas to the class.
  2. When students are ready, tell them you are going to play the recording. Explain they should listen and see if their ideas of how Mariko and her boyfriend met were correct. Play the recording.
  3. Tell students to identify any differences they heard between their predictions and Mariko’s story. Then ask students these two bonus questions: Where is Ben’s Bistro? What kind of store is Jackson’s?
    Answers: Ben’s Bistro is on Bridge Street / Jackson’s is a department store.
  4. In the same groups of four, give each student two True or false statements from Worksheet 5. Make sure they do not show their statements to each other. Explain they must take turns reading their statements aloud while their classmates listen and try to guess if each statement is true or false. Explain that the first person to correctly answer true or false should keep the statement, and that the winner is the person with the most statements at the end of the game. For any statements that are false, students should give the correct information. To demonstrate the activity, write on the board Mariko’s friend is called Sandy and then read the statement aloud and say False, Mariko’s friend is called Sandra. Tell students to play the game and monitor providing help where necessary.

Post-listening tasks

  1. Put students into pairs and tell them to write a summary of Mariko’s story. Explain they should include four mistakes in their summary. As an example, write on the board Mariko was working in a restaurant called Dan’s Bistro. Explain that the mistake here is Dan’s Bistro. Give students time to write their summaries, while you monitor and help with grammar and spelling. When they have finished, tell each pair to read aloud their summaries to the class. Whenever students hear a mistake, encourage them to shout ‘Stop!’ and provide the correct information.
  2. Put students into pairs and give each pair a copy of the recording script. Tell them to practice the conversation with their partner.
  3. Put students into groups and tell them to talk about their own first dates. Perhaps start them off by talking about your first date!


Click link to download and view these files