Learning English Listening Workbook

This 112-page preparation guide has been specially developed to help you
improve your English listening abilities. The workbook is structured so that you
can listen to each passage as it is read, and follow along. After each passage,
you will find a series of exercises that need to be completed. Beside most
questions you will see “Click HERE to listen”. When you click the bolded text, you
will hear the text of the question being read aloud. Once you’ve listened to the
exercise, answer the questions that apply to the text that you’ve just heard. The
correct answers are available at the end of the workbook.

Concepts covered include:
Main Idea: In some conversations, you might recognize a few words. But do you
understand the main focus of the discussion?
Meaning: This type of exercise will have one speaker say something to another
speaker, and afterward you will be asked to explain what the speaker was
saying.
Action: This section develops your ability to identify the action in a conversation:
What have the speakers done? What are they doing? What are they planning to
do?
Inference: An inference is the act of making a conclusion based on factual
information. In some conversations, speakers will suggest something but not
state it outright. This section will help you to draw a conclusion from hints in the
conversation.
Tone of Voice: People often give clues to what they mean by their tone of voice.
Most often they do this by raising the pitch of their voice to emphasize a certain
word, letting other people know what words are the most important in a sentence.
Words that Sound the Same: This workbook will test how well you understand
a conversation by assessing your ability to differentiate between similar-sounding
words.
Vocabulary: This workbook includes tables and verb conjugations of the most
commonly used English words. Definitions are included for flying terms, irregular
verbs, past participles, slang, compound words, word pairs, confusing words, and
more.
Idioms: Idioms are phrases that are not to be taken literally; they are
expressions that mean something different than the meanings of the words that
make it up. This workbook includes a handy table of alphabetically organized
idioms.
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Learning English Listening Workbook
Table of Contents
Concepts Covered in this Workbook: ...............................................................4
Main Idea ..........................................................................................................4
Meaning ............................................................................................................6
Action ................................................................................................................8
Inference .........................................................................................................10
Tone of Voice...................................................................................................12
Order ...............................................................................................................16
Categorization .................................................................................................17
Words that Sound the Same ...........................................................................18
Idioms..............................................................................................................21
Exercises ...........................................................................................................30
Main Idea ........................................................................................................30
Meaning ..........................................................................................................35
Action ..............................................................................................................40
Inference .........................................................................................................44
Tone of Voice ..................................................................................................48
Order ...............................................................................................................51
Categorization .................................................................................................54
Words that Sound the Same ...........................................................................56
Vocabulary ......................................................................................................63
Idioms..............................................................................................................65
Practice Test .....................................................................................................70
Part 1 - Short Conversations ...........................................................................70
Part 2 - Longer Conversations.........................................................................76
Part 3 - Lectures..............................................................................................80
Answers.............................................................................................................88
Exercises.........................................................................................................88
Main Idea .....................................................................................................88
Meaning .......................................................................................................88
Action...........................................................................................................88
Inference......................................................................................................89
Tone of Voice...............................................................................................89
Order ...........................................................................................................89
Categorization..............................................................................................90
Words That Sound the Same.......................................................................90
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Vocabulary...................................................................................................92
Idioms ..........................................................................................................92
Practice Test ..................................................................................................92
Short Conversations ....................................................................................92
Longer Conversation 1 ................................................................................93
Longer Conversation 2 ................................................................................93
Longer Conversation 3 ................................................................................93
Longer Conversation 4 ................................................................................93
Longer Conversation 5 ................................................................................93
Lecture 1......................................................................................................93
Lecture 2......................................................................................................93
Lecture 3......................................................................................................94
Lecture 4......................................................................................................94
Appendix I – Vocabulary Words ......................................................................95
Phrases with come ..........................................................................................95
Phrases with be...............................................................................................95
Irregular Past Participles .................................................................................97
Compound words and Word pairs ...................................................................98
English words ..................................................................................................99
Slang words ..................................................................................................100
Confusing words............................................................................................101
Airplane words...............................................................................................102
Christmas words............................................................................................103
Skiing words ..................................................................................................105
Time words....................................................................................................106
Dating words .................................................................................................107
Restaurant words ..........................................................................................108

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Concepts Covered in this Workbook:
Main Idea
In some conversations, you might recognize a few words. But do you understand
the main point of the discussion? Main idea exercises help you to develop your
ability to recognize and identify what a conversation is mainly about.
Examples of main idea questions:
What is the professor mainly discussing?
What is the purpose of the instructor’s talk?
What is the purpose of the talk?
What is the main purpose of the talk?
What is the main topic of the talk?
EXAMPLE:
Click HERE to listen.
Lily: Hey Brian. Are you coming to the concert tonight?
Brian: I’d really like to but I need to finish an essay for history class tomorrow.
Lily: The one on ancient Egyptian civilizations?
Brian: Yeah, I haven’t finished it yet.
Lily: But haven’t you heard? The professor gave us an extension until next
Monday.
Brian: Really? That’s excellent!
Lily: So I’ll pick you up at 8 p.m.?
Brian: You’re on!
QUESTION 1
Click HERE to listen.
What is the discussion mainly about?
Whether Brian can come to a concert.
An essay about ancient Egyptian civilizations.
Asking the professor for an extension.
What time the concert starts.
The correct answer is: Whether Brian can come to a concert. An essay about
ancient Egyptian civilizations is incorrect because, although they mentioned that
the essay was on ancient Egyptian civilizations, it was not what the discussion
was mostly about. The conversation was about whether Brian could come to the
concert. Asking the professor for an extension is wrong because the professor
has already given an extension - they don’t need to ask for one. What time the
concert starts is also incorrect.
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QUESTION 2
Click HERE to listen.
Which two things were the speakers discussing? Select both.
Finishing homework for class.
The history of ancient Egyptian civilizations.
Going to a concert.
Asking the professor for an extension.
The correct answers are: Finishing homework for class and Going to a concert.
The history of ancient Egyptian civilizations is incorrect -- they just mentioned the
essay was on ancient Egyptian civilizations; they were not discussing Egyptian
history. Asking the professor for an extension is also wrong because the
professor has already granted an extension.

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What’s up?
works like a
charm

What is happening?
What’s going on?

Hi Nadine. What’s up?

works well

This new tennis racket works like a
charm.

Exercises
Main Idea
Select the correct answer by checking the corresponding box.
The correct answers can be found in the Answers Section.
1. Click HERE to listen.
Woman: I can’t believe my computer crashed while I was writing my essay!
Man: That’s terrible! Did you lose all your work?
Woman: Yes – ten pages. I don’t know what I’m going to do.
Man: My friend works in the computer department. Often he salvages work from
broken computers. I’ll take it in for you tomorrow; maybe he can fix it.
What is the main topic of this conversation?
The woman’s computer broke.
The woman crashed her car.
The woman’s essay is terrible and needs editing.
The woman’s computer is too slow.
2. Click HERE to listen.
Janice: You will not believe what happened to me yesterday! I was driving down
Fourth Avenue when a man ran in front of my car! I was able to stop just in time.
I wanted to get out and make sure that he was all right, but before I could, three
police officers came out of nowhere and pushed him to the ground and
handcuffed him. I later found out that he had just held up a gas station and was
getting away with three thousand dollars! If I hadn't almost hit him, he might
have gotten away with it! The police officers thanked me and said that I was an
outstanding citizen! Imagine, becoming a hero for almost running over a
criminal. Nothing like that ever happens to me!
What is the main point of this story?
Janice almost hit someone with her car.
Police officers caught a thief.
Janice helped catch a thief.
There was a robbery yesterday.

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3. Click HERE to listen.
Professor: Many people feel tired and lazy during the winter months. They might
feel sad, or eat and sleep more than usual. About 10 percent of people in
northern areas suffer from what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
SAD is a temporary period of depression caused by a lack of exposure to natural
sunlight. The result is a disruption of the body's daily cycles. The symptoms of
SAD can be softened by regular exercise and exposure to bright light.
What is the main point of this lecture?
Bright light can soften your skin.
Many people overeat and are lazy.
SAD is a common winter depression.
Everyone who feels lazy and depressed in the winter has SAD.
4. Click HERE to listen.
Christopher: I have a friend with an amazing pet parrot. The parrot is eight
years old. Do you know that parrots can live longer than humans? Anyway, this
parrot is named Neelu. Neelu is quite intelligent and has a very good sense of
humour. My friend, Ryan, has been teaching it to speak since he bought it six
years ago. It now has the vocabulary of a four year old! Neelu enjoys speaking
so much that when the phone rings he tries to pick it up and talk into it. Ryan
thinks this is hilarious, and lets him talk on the phone when telemarketers call.
Neelu can also mimic other animals, and when he gets on the phone he likes to
bark like a dog so that the callers get confused. Neelu also plays jokes on Ryan.
On Saturday mornings he sometimes wakes Ryan up by mimicking the sound of
Ryan's alarm clock and yelling, "you’re late! You’re late for school!" Ryan doesn't
fall for that anymore.
What is the main point of this story?
Christopher has a friend name Ryan.
Ryan's parrot has a sense of humour.
Christopher likes Neelu.
Ryan doesn't fall for Neelu's tricks anymore.

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5. Click HERE to listen.
Professor: At the end of the twentieth century, astronomers began to discover
planets orbiting stars other than our sun. Planets are much harder to detect
because they are so much smaller and fainter than stars. How do scientists find
them? They measure tiny wobbles in a star’s orbit, which are caused by the
gravitational pull of a planet. Scientists have yet to discover a planet like Earth
that can sustain human life, but many are convinced it’s just a matter of time.
What is the main point of this lecture?
Scientists have discovered planets orbiting other stars.
Scientists have found stars with strong gravitational pull.
Many scientific breakthroughs came in the twentieth century.
Plants can be sustained with proper care.
6. Click HERE to listen.
Angela: Excuse me, Professor?
Professor: Yes Angela, what is it?
Angela: I thought that I should tell you that I believe I saw another student
cheating on today's exam.
Professor: Are you sure? How was the person cheating?
Angela: She kept looking at the bottom of her shoe. I saw something written on
it. It looked like it might have been notes or answers.
Professor: Are you willing to fill out a form stating what you witnessed? She
doesn't need to know that it was you who talked to me.
Angela: I can do that. What will happen to her?
Professor: I’ll submit the form to the Dean of Economics and request that she
rewrites the exam immediately. Next time, if you witness someone cheating in
the exam, come up and tell me right away. At this point, all that we can really do
is have her rewrite. If I’d caught her myself, I could’ve had her expelled from
school for cheating.
Angela: I will, thank you. I just don't think that it would be fair for her to receive a
good grade without studying hard and earning it like the rest of us.
Professor: I agree. Thank you for your honesty Angela.
What is the main point of this story?
Angela wants to know what grade she received on the exam.
Angela's professor suspects her of cheating on the exam.
Angela suspects another student of cheating.
Angela has studied hard and feels that she has earned a good grade.

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