Britlish
Responsive image

Free Account Level Test Dictionary

Britlish Library - Listening Skills Lessons

Activate your English listening skills with these Listening Activation Packs. Each pack has been designed to help you improve your English listening skills by providing you with authentic material to listen to and a series of tasks designed to test your complete understanding of the material you have heard.

37 Listening Skills Lessons

Alphabetical Categories

Responsive image

For the entire duration of the universe you did not exist. Then, one day, you came into existence at the moment of your birth. Now, you are growing older and one day you will die. It’s the one thing in this world that we can be 100% certain about. Is it morbid to think about death? I don’t think so. In fact, I often contemplate my own demise. There is no point in hiding from the fac...

Responsive image

In this lesson: We will look at how to distinguish between teen and ty numbers. We will look at the stress patterns in words. We will look at stress shifts in English words. We will look at making syllables prominent for effect. Whether it's thirty or thirteen, forty or fourteen, fifty or fifteen, or anywhere up to nine...

Responsive image

Say the words soft and drinks in isolation and we hear the /t/ at the end of soft. We rarely hear the two words in isolation, however, and when we bring them together as soft drinks, we no longer hear the /t/ sound. This is an example of elision, or deletion of sounds at word boundaries. This lesson will help you to use this elision to sound more natural when you spea...

Responsive image

There is a set of words in English which end in the letters age and which cause pronunciation problems for students. Students see the letter combination age and try to pronounced the ends of these words as the word age. Few of these words do end with age and most end in / ɪdʒ /. This lesson will help you to make sure you always pronounce the words correctly.

Responsive image

An introduction to linking consonants in British English. Linking consonants occur when a consonant at the end of a word is followed by a vowel sound during the unbroken sound stream within a speech segment. This lesson explains how linking consonants work, gives examples of sentences containing linking consonants and examines why each linking consonant happens, and then moves on to activate yo...

Responsive image

Prepositions are difficult for students of English and when they are used with two very similar expressions they can be especially difficult. This lesson will show you how we use the two expressions attracted to and attracted by and will give you practice using both. I have selected real examples of the expressions from the British National Corpus, and have included several ac...

Responsive image

The two words fur and fir are homophones in English and cause a lot of pronunciation confusion for students. I mean, how can two words that are radically different have exactly the same sound? There are many homophones in English and this lesson is designed to help you master these two. Not only does it deal with the words fir and fur, but it also deals with words like fur...

Responsive image

-ism is a suffix appended to the end of many English words. It means taking sides with or imitation of. Pronunciation-wise, -ism has a syllabic consonant /m/ at the end. In this lesson, we’ll look at how we pronounce some common isms. The -isms include, ageism, asceticism, atheism, Buddhism, capitalism, communism, Cubism, Druidism, dualism,...

Responsive image

This lesson will tell you what a glottal stop is and then tell you how to use it. A glottal stop is also known as the voiceless glottal plosive and it’s used in many languages besides English. In fact, you probably use it without being aware of it. The glottal stop is called the glottal stop because the sound is made when the vocal cords close and stop the flow of air. The gap between the...

Responsive image

A syllabic consonant is a consonant that is pronounced as a syllable. The two main syllabic consonants in English are /l/ or /n/ sounds. The /n/ in the final syllable of words occurs in words like listen, while the /l/ syllabic consonant occurs at the end of word such as bottle. Syllabic consonants occur mainly in the final syllable of words but can also occur at the beginning or within words, too...

Responsive image

A syllabic consonant is a consonant that is pronounced as a syllable. The two main syllabic consonants in English are /l/ or /n/ sounds. The /l/ syllabic consonant occurs at the end of the word bottle, while the /n/ occurs in words like listen. Syllabic consonants occur mainly in the final syllable of words. In this lesson, we will look at the 11 possible letter combinations that can result in ...

Responsive image

This is my retelling of Aesop’s fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper. It tells the tale of the hardworking ant and the apparently lazy grasshopper and presents the moral message that we ought to enjoy our lives while we can. The lesson is also packed with vocabulary which you can test yourself on in the two activators in the lesson. There are lots of useful vocabulary items to lear...

Responsive image

The sea covers two thirds of our planet. The sea has always been an important source of food. Any food that we take from the sea is called seafood. There are various types of seafood and many idioms related to seafood in English. In this lesson, I will introduce you to idioms like blue around the gills, loan shark, a find kettle of fish, holy mackerel, a beached whale, red herring, hook, line and ...

Responsive image

The Fisherman and the Little Fish tells the moral that it's better to accept what you have than to gamble on what you might not get. I have rewritten the Aesop's fable using as many phrasal verbs as I could come up with. If you are interested in learning some new phrasal verbs, this video is not to be sniffed at. Don't let your interest fizzle out and see what phrasal...

Responsive image

When do we use the /s/ sound and when do we use the /z/ sound, and what’s the difference? Let’s find out… The two sounds /s/ and /z/ are very close and cause endless confusion for students. There are some rules and the rules are normally to do with the voiced and unvoiced sounds. A voiced sound is that made when we use our vocal cords. /z/ is the voiced form of the sound /s/,...

Responsive image

This vegetable idioms activation pack will help you to learn remembers and use some common English idioms related to vegetables. The idioms include, spill the beans, veg out, couch potato, without a bean, carrot and stick, know your onions, in a pickle, hot potato, two peas in a pod, red as a beetroot, and as cool as a cucumber.

Responsive image

Question tags are short questions placed at the end of statements in informal writing and normal speech, and they are used to indicate that we want some information or that we want confirmation of something we believe to be the case. Usually we use positive question tags with negative statements and negative question tags with positive statement. We can, however, use positive with positive in s...

Responsive image

How to talk about the weather in English using a video lecture and some self-test questions to help you learn. This lesson also looks at some English idioms related to weather and will help with your listening skills and your pronunciation. If you want to learn how to talk about the weather in English, you need to do this lesson.

Responsive image

If we look at the words homophone and homonym we see that they both start with homo which means same. In the last part of homophone, phone means sound and in homonym, nym means name. Homophone means words that have the same sound but different meanings. There are several hundred homophones in Engl...

Responsive image

Lost or dropped syllables are an important feature of British English pronunciation. Every word has at least one syllable, and many have more. Some words lose a syllable when speaking in order to make it easier to keep the underlying rhythm of English. This lesson explains in detail what syllables are and shows you which words lose syllables when speaking. The exercises in the interactive quiz ...

Responsive image

Rocío from Spain asked about a lesson on how to write dates. We are spoilt for choice when writing dates, but this choice makes it seem complicated. The general rule to follow is that you are consistent in your choice of style and that you choose a style appropriate to your audience. The more complicated the style, the more formal the audience. This lesson will show you all the ways to w...

Responsive image

The lyric poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, also commonly known as Daffodils, is Wordsworth’s most famous poem. I have designed this lesson as a way of showing you the rhythm of English. Because of their structure, poems like this one are a very useful way of demonstrating the typical rhythm of the English language. In this lesson you will first listen to the poem, then read it, and the...

Responsive image

Whether you are English, Chinese, Polynesian, Russian, or any other nationality, you share the same anatomy as me. This anatomy, in terms of our vocal tract, limits the sounds that we can easily say in a sentence. Of the two types of sounds in English, consonants and vowels, we cannot easily say two vowel sounds one after the other. Linking sounds bridge the gap between such difficult-to-say co...

Responsive image

Ellipsis is the missing out of words or sounds. When writing, it is shown by the ellipsis sign of three dots … When speaking, we just don’t hear certain words in a sentence. It’s not that the words are not present, just that they are obvious and need not be spoken. Ellipsis can cause considerable problems for students of English who are used to saying every word in a sentence...

Responsive image

Normally, pronouns are used after we have mentioned something. Pronouns stand in for the nouns, compound nouns, and proper nouns in a sentence, so that we don’t have to repeat ourselves. Generally, pronouns need something to refer back to. The pronoun, it, however, is a different kettle of fish. The pronoun, it, can be used for what is sometimes called the empty pron...

Responsive image

Numbers can be difficult for students, particularly big numbers and dates. I have designed this English lesson at the request of Nataliya in Moscow who said that she was having difficulty listening to and transcribing dates and numbers. There are over 1000 audio files in this lesson. You can choose to test yourself on British English dates, small numbers, big numbers, and decimal numbers. There...

Responsive image

The poem is written with 8 syllables per line, and a rhyming word at the end of a pair of lines.oOoOoOoO is the stress pattern and this is a good poem with which to practice the rhythm of English.You can listen to the poem, then read and listen, then listen while you read the IPA transcription.There is also an English Activator at the end of the pack to give you some p...

Responsive image

An essay by George Orwell which will help you improve your reading while developing your vocabulary. This essay is from one of my favourite English authors, George Orwell. Eric Arthur Blair, as Orwell was christened, was born in British India in 1903, and sadly died terribly young in 1950 in London. He died of tuberculosis, back then, an untreatable infection of the lungs. Orwell gave us such w...

Responsive image

Any student of English will have quickly become aware that the spelling of English appears to have been devised by a lunatic. The few spelling “rules” that exist are of little use, as most have multiple exceptions. The absurdity of English spelling has inspired many teachers and writers to demonstrate just how ridiculously complicated it is. Chief among these was Gerard Nolst Trenit...

Responsive image

Matthew Gregory Lewis (9 July 1775 – 14 or 16 May 1818) was an English novelist and dramatist, who wrote Gothic horror stories. He was often called Monk Lewis, due to the success of The Monk, a Romance, his 1796 Gothic novel. The book, The Monk, a Romance, was first published in 1796 and has become required reading in many literature courses. I have edited the text to modernise some of th...

Responsive image

In 1843, a man by the name of Samuel Griswold Goodrich wrote and published a book called Famous Men of Ancient Times. In the book, Goodrich looked at the lives of Mohammed, Belisarius, Attila, Nero, Seneca, Virgil, Cicero, Julius Cæsar, Hannibal, Alexander, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Apelles, Diogenes, Plato, Socrates, Alcibiades, Democritus, Pericles, Aristides, Æsop, Solon, Lycurgus,...

Responsive image

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was written by Mary Shelley (1797–1851), an English author, and tells the story of Victor Frankenstein. Victor is a young scientist who creates a creature in a scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. Her name first...

Responsive image

The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. The play was first performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James’s Theatre in London. The Importance of Being Earnest is a comedy farce This play marked the moment that Wilde’s homosexuality became publicly known when it was revealed in a court case. Wilde was sentenced t...

Responsive image

Listen to some short and amusing clips from Creature Comforts and answer some simple questions to help with your listening skills. Creature Comforts is a British stop motion clay animation comedy mockumentary franchise originating in a 1989 British humorous animated short film of the same name. The film matched animated zoo animals with a soundtrack of people talking about their homes, making i...

Responsive image

An anecdote from Richard's time as a police officer to help improve your listening comprehension skills as well as developing your vocabulary. Listening Activator - You're in Trouble

Responsive image

Activate your listening skills with a short story, then enhance your understanding with a short video, and finally activate some phrasal verbs with a substitution exercise. Phrasal Verbs Activation Pack 4 - The Black Hole

Responsive image

Listen to a short story to improve your listening skills and develop your vocabulary. Listening Activator - Cupboard Love. A romantic fiction story.