Christopher Sanders Christopher Sanders

While Listening Lesson
Upper-Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will have an opportunity to practice their while-listening skills with a conversation between a professor and a student about the idea of "acceptable risk". The lesson will begin with some lead-in questions and then a reading that will introduce the vocabulary they'll encounter and a real-world example of the concept. Then they will answer detail-oriented questions. Finally they will engage in a free speaking activity about the topic.


Abc M&Ms
Abc Speakers
Abc Whiteboard

Main Aims

  • By the end of the lesson, students will have had an opportunity to practice their listening-for-specific information skills with a while-listening conversation.

Subsidiary Aims

  • By the end of the lesson, the students will have been exposed to and have had a chance to learn lexis related to risks.
  • The students will have a chance to practice group discussion about a specific topic (acceptable risks).


Warmer/Lead-in (10-12 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

Students will be grouped together and given 5 photos and asked to organize them in order from least risky to most risky. The teacher will ask them about some of their choices. Next the groups will be given a bag of M&Ms. One student, the leader, will select 3 candies and secretly mark one with a felt tip pen. That one is the "poisoned" one. The others in the group will be asked if they would or would not eat one of them. This task will be repeated with 5, 10, and all the M&Ms. With each iteration, the leader will record the results whether people would or would not eat them. Finally, the results will be shared with the class. Teacher will ask them what they conclude about risk and risk-taking. At what point would they consider the risk acceptable?

Pre-Reading/Listening (10-12 minutes) • To prepare students for the text and make it accessible

Students, in groups, will be given vocab cards with the needed vocabulary on them. They will take turns either explaining the card's meaning or trying to guess what it means. Then, they'll take the definition cards and match them. Then, the students will read a text about the Ford Pinto. From the article, they will try to verify whether or not their matches are correct or not. Finally, the teacher will ask a few concept check questions.

While-Reading/Listening #1 (3-4 minutes) • To provide students with less challenging gist and specific information reading/listening tasks

Students will listen to the first part of the audio file. As they listen and for a brief period after, they will answer a few true-false questions.

While-Reading/Listening #2 (7-10 minutes) • To provide students with more challenging detailed, deduction and inference reading/listening tasks

The students will listen to the second part of the audio and answer more detailed questions. Afterwards, students will check their answers with their partners.

Post-Reading/Listening (7-9 minutes) • To provide with an opportunity to respond to the text and expand on what they've learned

Students will be divided into groups and they will speak about acceptable risk based on the prompts given on the worksheet. They will use their 'group discussion' format language that they've been studying.

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