ESL Listening Activity: Dominican Republic


English (ESL) Listening Activity on the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. The island that both the Dominican Republic and Haiti share is names Hispaniola. About 2/3 of the island is the Dominican Republic ad 1/3 is Haiti. It is located between Cuba on the west and Puerto Rico in the east.

Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ Hispaniola in 1492 but there were indigenous people there before that. The Taino and Ciboney people were already living their when the Spaniards arrived.

The Dominican Republic seems to have it all. It has large cities, beautiful beaches, winding rivers and vast mountain ranges. The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo. Pico Duarte is the highest point in the Caribbean. The three largest and most populous cities in the Dominican Republic are Santo Domingo in the South, Santiago in the center of the country and Puerto Plata on the North coast. The president, as of 2012 is Danilo Medina. The Dominican Republic has population of more than 10 million people.

The Dominican Republic has a hot tropical climate. Rain and dry seasons divide the year. The average rainfall a year is 60 inches. Hurricanes and tropical storms do occasionally hit the Dominican Republic.

What is the Dominican Republic known for? There is large tourism industry in the Dominican Republic. In the last years the Dominican Republic has welcomed approximately 4 million of tourists each year from the United States, Canada, Western Europe and most recently the Americas.

The Dominican Republic produces large amounts of sugar, rice, coffee, sugarcane, rum and cacoa and they export many of these agricultural goods to other countries.

The infrastructure of the Dominican Republic is subpar compared to other Latin American countries. There are often long periods of outages without electricity and no running water and the countries public education system is dismal. The corruption and overall apathy of the Dominican people could be a source of miserable organization.

Despite the problems of the country’s infrastructure, the majority of Dominican people have a positive outlook on life. Dominicans enjoy music and dancing. Bachata, Merengue, Salsa and Reggeaton are the most popular types of music in the Dominican Republic. The most popular sport is baseball. Dominoes are also played very often as well.

Dominicans eat a lot of rice, pink beans and chicken. Plantains and yucca are also a favorite food. Dominicans also eat a wide variety of fruits that often grow in their own backyards.

Test your English listening comprehension on the Dominican Republic. 

Dominican Republic

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ESL Listening Activity: Tornadoes

English (ESL) Listening Activity on Tornadoes

The United States has an average of 1000 tornadoes every year- more than any other nation. The central states of the United States are at more of a risk for tornadoes. Twisters is a nickname for tornadoes. Compared to hurricanes tornadoes are not very big. On average a tornado is 130 to 170 meters (400 to 500 feet) wide. Tornadoes can produce very powerful winds. Tornadoes usually form when the weather is warm and humid. They can occur at any time of day but most develop between 3 and 9pm. Tornado Alley is the part of the United States that has the most tornadoes. Parts of the following U.S. states are in Tornado Alley: South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. A tornado usually stays on the ground for less than 20 minutes. Tornadoes move at a speed of 20 to 50 miles (or 30 to 90 kilometers) per hour. For tornadoes to keep moving that need warm, moist air. More than one tornado can hit the same area in a day or week. Tornadoes are very powerful and can destroy most natural and man-made objects (such as houses, buildings and cars). The strong winds from a tornado can rip trees up from the ground and destroy and move house and cars hundreds of feet away. The strength of tornadoes is calculated on the Fujita (F) or the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale. The categories on the scale vary from EF0 which is light damage to an EF5 which means incredible damage. Tornadoes can cause such horrible destruction because they form very quickly and people often do not have time to protect themselves and get to a safe place. Most people, businesses and schools have safety plans on where to go when a tornado is about to hit. It is recommended that people do into storm shelters, basements, bathrooms and interior hallways to stay safe from the storm.

Ready to test your listening comprehension on Tornadoes? Take the quiz!

Tornadoes

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ESL Listening Activity: Mississippi River

Listening Activity Audio:

Text about the Mississippi River:

The Mississippi River is part of the longest river system in the United States. The Mississippi River starts at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota. At the headwaters in Minnesota, the Mississippi River flows at 1.2 miles an hour. The Mississippi River is about 2,320 miles (or 3,730 kilometers) long. The Mississippi and Missouri Rivers combine and form the longest river system in North America. It is also the fourth longest river system in the world.

500 million tons of shipped goods are shipped on barges or large shipping boats on the Mississippi each year. Over 260 species of fish live in the Mississippi. Over 230 species of birds use the Mississippi river as there migratory path; which means they follow the river south when the season changes to winter in the Northern United States.

The Mississippi River lies or passes through the following ten US. States: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. The Mississippi River flows through several major cities in the United States. It flows through Minneapolis/St. Paul (or the Twin Cities) in Minnesota. It also flows through St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans.

In New Orleans, where the Mississippi ends, it flows at about 3 miles an hour. The Mississippi River ends in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read to test your listening comprehension?

Mississippi River

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How to Leave and Take Phone Messages in English

Talking on the phone in your non-native language is difficult. What’s even more difficult it taking a message in English because you need to listen, comprehend and be able to write and spell accurately.

Below you will find some tips of how to take a message and leave messages in English. You will also have the opportunity to practice writing down messages.

To take a message you can say…
1. I’m sorry ______ is not available right now. Can I take a message?
2. What is your name? (How do you spell that? OR I just want to check to see if I spelled it right…)
3. What is your phone? (Repeat number back to them)
4. When is a good time for _____ to call you back?
5. Would you like to leave any specific message for them or just that they should call you?
6. Thanks for calling. I will make sure _______ gets the message soon.

Leaving a Phone Message with a Person
1. Tell them your name
2. Phone number
3. Why are you calling?
4. If you are returning the persons call or not
5. Tell them a good time for the person to call you back

Leaving a Voicemail Message
When leaving a phone message try to keep it short. Less than 1 minute long. A standard message would be about 30 seconds. Since the person will be calling you back you do not need to include a lot of information in your voicemail message.

1. Leave your name.
2. Phone number (Say your phone number slowly)
3. Why are you calling?
4. When they call you back/Good time to reach you
5. Optional: You can repeat name, phone or message

Practice Taking Messages:
Get a Pen and Paper. Listen to each message. Write down the most important parts that you listen to. The text of the messages are below to check how good your listening comprehension is.

Phone Message 1:


Phone Message 2:

Phone Message 3:

Phone Message 4:

Ready to check your answers? Remember when you take a message you only need to write down the most important parts; not every single word the person says.

Phone Message 1:
Hi Muhammad! This is Emily Smith returning your call. We do still have spots available in the Monday/Wednesday afternoon English class. Please call me back at 612-895-7458 to set up a time to meet. Thank you.

Phone Message 2:
Hello, This is Kelly Martin. I am calling because the garbage truck did not pick up our garbage today. I was wondering if the truck could stop back tomorrow and pick it up. Please let me know. My phone number is 785-457-8991 and our address is 2389 West Broadway, Fargo 23530 is the zip code. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks.

Phone Message 3:
Hi This is Alison Campbell. I am interested in enrolling my son Peter in your summer program. Please give me a call back at 507-785-6277. Again this is Alison Campbell calling regarding your summer program for my son. Please call me back after 4pm. Thanks.

Phone Message 4:
Hello this is Liz Gomez. I would like to schedule an appointment in the next week or two to get my teeth cleaned with Dr. Adams. Could you please call me back? My number is 651-548-6145… again my number is 651-548-6145 and this is Liz Gomez and I would like to schedule an appointment.

You should now be able to successfully take and leave messages on the phone in English.

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Earth Day Listening Activity

Earth Day Audio

Text: Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd every year. U.S Senator Gaylord Nelson, is the man who thought we should celebrate the planet earth and do what we can to preserve the world’s environment. On March 21, 1971, the UN Secretary General established Earth Day as an official international holiday. Earth Day is celebrated in many countries. Reducing consumption, recycling and reusing things are ways you can help the planet Earth.

In schools in the United States, students and teachers talk about ways that they can help the earth and environment where they live. Some ways that you could make a small difference are:
– Turn off the lights when you are not in a room
– Don’t run the water when you are not using it… like while brushing your teeth or washing dishes.
– Recycle your cans, glass, paper, cardboard and other items. Check with your city to see which items and packaging you can recycle
– Plant trees and gardens
– Pick up litter (trash) off the side of road, in yards, parks or other public places
– Have a garage sale and sell your things that you do not want to use anymore or donate them to a thrift store or second-hand store.

Is Earth Day celebrated in your country? What is something you could do to help the Planet Earth or conserve the environment where you live?

Test your listening comprehension with a short quiz on Earth Day. 

Earth Day

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