Elena Kislenkova Elena Kislenkova

Listening lesson: Dreams
A2/Pre-Intermediate level


In this lesson the students will work on their listening skills in the context of dreams interpretation, to be followed with a freer speaking activity on interpreting dreams, aimed at developing fluency.


Abc English File: Dreams. Handout 1
Abc English File: Dreams. Handout 2
Abc English File: Dreams. Handout 3.
Abc English File: Dreams. Recording 3.12 Track 55.
Abc English File: Dreams. Recording 3.13 Track 56.
Abc English File: Dreams. Handout 4 ab

Main Aims

  • To practise listening for gist, for specific information and for details in the context of dreams and interpreting them.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide fluency practice in a form of a role play, with free practice feedback.


Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • Connect the lesson to the previoius lesson and set the context.

You have been talking about promises. People who keep their promises usually sleep well;), and what about you? Do you sleep well? Do you remember your dreams when you wake up? Do you think it is important what your dream is about? Do you believe that dreams can say anything about you?

Listening 1 - Gist (5-7 minutes) • To practice listening for gist in the context of a conversation between a psychoanalyst and a patient

Who can tell you what your dreams mean? Show the handout with the coloured pictures. Explain the task: sts are going to listen to a patient talking to a psychoanalyst about his dreams. Listen and number the pictures 1-6 in the correct order. Check in pairs, then with the whole class. (The pictures may be a bit confusing visually and some words may be unknown to some of the students so peer-checking in pairs might be useful.) Potentially problematic vocab: owl, violine, champaigne (pronunciation); freezing. Elicit and explain if necessary.

Listening 1 - Specific information (8-10 minutes) • To provide students with a more detailed task of listening for the missing words in the dialogue about describing dreams

- Show the dialogue, explain they will listen again to fill the gaps with a word or phrase. - Distribute the handout with the dialogue. - Let students predict the answers in pairs - decide if it is necessary on the basis os students' understanding. - Students listen and complete the gaps individually. - Check in pairs, then whole class.

Pre-Listening 2 (3-5 minutes) • Students move to the second part of Listening trying to predict the information they will hear about the symptoms they have just listened about.

What do you think the patient's dream means? Match the things in his dreams with interpretations. Sts work in pairs. Leave the WC feedback untill after the Listening.

Listening 2 - Gist (5-7 minutes) • Listen to check their predictions for dreams interpretations and to get the general idea of Listening 2.

Listening 2 is basically the continuation of the same dialogue. Sts listen to check their answers in ex. d. Feedback with the whole class.

Listening 2 - Details (7-10 minutes) • Listening for details about the symbols in Part 1.

Tell the students to look at the pictures again. Tell them they will listen to the doctor again and get as much information as possible about the interpretations for the patient's dreams. They can take notes. Peer-check in pairs, feedback with the whole class.

Freer Practice (10-12 minutes) • Practice speaking for fluency in the context of dreams interpretation.

Explain the task, paying special attention to swapping the roles. Tell sts t0 choose only 3 dreams oout of 5. Ask ICQs. Sts work in pairs. Monitor, check they are doing the task properly, listen for typcial mistakes. Tell early finishers to share their own dreams and try to interpret their partner's dreams. As a group feed back, ask if any of the students have ever dreamt about the things on their cards. If there is time left, write some mistakes on the board for WC correction.

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