Adele- Hello: Listening and vocabulary activities


A collection of listening and vocabulary activities. Students can use this to study alone or teachers can exploit the material more fully in the classroom. This song has so many lexical chunks and collocations it’s hard not to do!

If you like or enjoy these materials, leave a comment or share them.

You can also like the facebook page:

Lesson and materials with answer key: ADELE Vocabulary Listening with Answer Key


IELTS Listening: Short Answer Questions


Hi everyone!

Here’s another IELTS type listening practice for you. This time, it is based around the US Elections and how they actually work. I hope this is as informative about that as it is about IELTS.

Awareness raising tasks and answer keys are provided. Hope you enjoy it!


Download the lesson: IELTS Listening US ELECTIONS


5 things you need to know to learn new vocabulary effectively


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“How can I remember it all?”

“I write down the words but never remember them”

These are typical things I hear my students say. If you have ever said or thought the same thing, then you should read below.

The most obvious thing that I still have to say to some students is “If you don’t write something down, you’re more likely to forget it in the long-term”.

If you’re not writing new vocabulary down, you’re making life harder for yourself and you are slowing down your learning by weeks, months or even years. Writing with a pen in a vocabulary notebook is better than writing on a tablet / computer too.

Writing down is not enough, though. What does it mean to know a word? It’s not just writing words on paper, is it!

  1. The principle of cognitive depth (deeper thinking) 

“The more one manipulates, thinks about, and uses mental information, the more likely it is that one will retain that information. In the case of vocabulary, the more one engages with a word (deeper processing), the more likely the word will be remembered for later use” (Schmitt 2000: 120)

What does this mean? Well, anything! It can be sorting, identifying, classifying, matching. Make choices about the words. Here are some ideas:

Do I like the word?

When would I use this word?

Is it something I / my friend / my husband  likes / does / hates?

Is it something men do? Is it something women do?

This is why you need to have a good vocabulary notebook that you don’t have in class. After a class you should go home and put the new words in your vocabulary notebook.

So what does this mean? Well, anything! It can be sorting, identifying, classifying, matching etc.

The principle of associations (connections) 

“The human lexicon is believed to be a network of associations, a web-like structure of interconnected links. When students are asked to manipulate words, relate them to other words and to their own experiences, and then to justify their choices, these word associations are reinforced” (Sökmen 1997: 241-2).

What does this mean? Well, simply that you need to make connections between words.

A good way of doing this is by organising your vocabulary notebook by topic. Have a few pages for ‘Sport’ words and phrases and a different page for ‘Love and romance’.

Remember by choosing where to put a new word and phrases, you are using principle 1, too!

  1. The principle of Multiple Encounters (meetings) 

“Due to the incremental nature of vocabulary acquisition, repeated exposures are necessary to consolidate a new word in the learner’s mind” (Schmitt & Carter 2000: 4)

Language learning can be slow and difficult. Any teacher or school promising to make you fluent in English in 3 months is trying to get your money, nothing more.

What this principle says is that you need to see the words over and over again in order to remember them. Common sense, right?

So, what can you do? Well, you can simply test yourself from your lexical notebook when you are on the train, bus or metro.

You can also make some flashcards online using programmes like Quizlet. Quizlet prepares games for you to help you too!

  1. The principle of Re-Contextualisation (different situations) 

“When words are met in reading and listening or used in speaking and writing, the generativeness of the context will influence learning. That is, if the words occur in new sentence contexts in the reading text, learning will be helped. Similarly, having to use the word to say new things will add to learning”  (Nation 2001: 80).

This is obvious. You need to hear the words in different contexts, different sentences and types of conversations. How can you do this? Well, lots and lots of listening. Your teacher should provide you with lots of listening and the audioscripts of what you heard.

You can also watch TV series and films to help you. After that, try to use the word in a sentence. If you get your new word wrong, don’t worry! You’ve just learnt something new about the word!


  1. The principle of Retrieval (Remembering) 

“The act of successfully recalling an item increases the chance that the item will be remembered. It appears that the retrieval route to that item is in some way strengthened by being successfully used” (Baddeley 1997: 112).

Simply trying to remember a word helps you to remember it. I’m sure most of you know your phone number, right? Some of you are able to say it straight off the top of your head. Why? Because you remembered it lots and lots of times!

So, read your vocabulary book and then try to remember what was written. In a pair, test each other. For example: “How many phrases of complaining can you remember?”

Practice what you preach. 

Here a few picture of my notebook for learning Russian. There are a couple of mistakes in here that I have corrected since. Notice I use lots of colours.

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IELTS – Writing Part 1: Two charts

Here’s a series of IELTS Academic Writing Part 1 exercises with some explanations of why / how and practice in referencing. Please find a downloadable copy at the bottom of this page. If I have helped you with these ideas and resources, please share them.


You can also find an IELTS academic reading lesson about robotics here:



Size of the global robotics market 2000-2025 (billions of dollars)

ielts robots 1

Size of global robotics market by sector 2000-2025 (billions of dollars)

Sector 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025
Personal 0 1 2 4 7 9
Commercial 1 2 3 4 10 16
Industrial 4 5 5 11 16 26
Military 2 3 4 5 10 15


  1. Look at the data above, how are the graphs connected?


  1. What are the key features that you could talk about?


  1. What is /are the general/overall trends?




  1. Write a small paragraph plan of how you would organise your summary.


Now look at the sample answer. Highlight on the graph the features that are mentioned in the text.

Look at how the paragraphs are organised. Is it similar to your ideas?



Sample Answer:


The given data depict the growth of the world robotics market in billions of dollars from the period 2000 to 2015 and how it is predicted to continue to the year 2025. The data also provides us with a breakdown of figures by sector, such as commercial and industrial, in billions of dollars.


From the bar chart that it is possible to see that the market has become much bigger since 2000, more than trebling in size to stand at around $28 billion in 2015. This growth however, is predicted to be exceeded in the future. It is forecast that the market will increase by just under 50% its size every five years, reaching a peak of $68 billion for the period.


The table shows how the market is broken down by sector. The most striking thing about this is the fact that the industrial sector has always been the largest sector in terms of value, with $4 billion in 2000 and $11 billion in 2015. This trend is set to continue into 2025, when the value of the market will reach $46 billion, making the industrial sector not only the largest sector in each time period, but also the sector with the most growth, standing at $22 billion. Despite being the second biggest sector in the time between 2000 and 2015, with $2 billion and $5 billion respectively, it is the commercial sector that is expected to exceed these numbers by 2025, reaching $16 billion, $1 billion more than the industrial sector. The personal sector was, is, and is expected to be the smallest market throughout the period having a size of $0 in 2000 and $9 in 2025.


To sum up, it can be seen that the growth of the global robotics market has hastened over the last 15 years and is predicted to grow even further over the period, while the industrial sector is forecasted to make up the largest part, and the personal sector making up the smallest part of this growth.



Writer’s note – Text organisation


There are two ways I could have organised the information in this summary. The first is how I did it above – describing the graph and then the table. The second could have been organised like this:


  • Introduction
  • 2000-2015
  • 2015 – 2025
  • Summary statement


There is no correct way to do this, both are fine. However, you must make sure that your summary contains comparisons and contrasts of the data, if you don’t, you won’t be answering the question. Personally, I prefer the second plan to the one used in the essay. Take another look at the sample answer and find the comparisons I have made. Now think about how to write the essay using the sample plan given above.






The future


Find four phrases we can use to talk about a trend in the future instead of will.







It is better to use phrases like «is predicted to + verb», «is expected to + verb», «is forecasted to» instead of will. These are predictions, not statements of fact.


In the answer you read ‘From the bar chart that it is possible to see that the market has become much bigger since 2000, more than trebling in size to stand at around $28 billion dollars in 2015”.


Why have I used this tense? Mark the time period on the graph.







It is very important to refer back to words already mentioned in previous sentences to make your text more cohesive (stick together) so that it remains logical. You don’t necessarily have to use linking words like ‘Furthermore’ to do this. Do the activity below to find how I have referenced ideas in the text.


Find what these words refer to in the model answer:


  1. It (Paragraph 1)

2.This growth           (Paragraph 2)

  1. Its (Paragraph 2)

4.. This trend           (Paragraph 3)

  1. These numbers (Paragraph 3)


















Answer Key:


  1. The table shows data that is part of the bar graph



The future:


Is expected / predicted / set / forecasted to





  1. The growth of global markets
  2. Almost the whole of the first sentence
  3. the market
  4. the industrial sector has always been the largest sector
  5. with $2 billion and $5 billion


Data taken from:


Downloadable version: Robotics Part 1 Final