English Listening Activity: Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley is one of the biggest celebrities of rock ‘n’ roll music of all time. He was a very popular musician and actor. In fact, even today rock artists look up to him for inspiration. Elvis Presley was born on January 8th, 1935 in Mississippi in the United States.

When he was younger, Elvis did odd jobs but continued to stay interested in music and practiced singing. He finally signed with a recording company in 1955. Elvis Presley brought the traditional Blues into the modern mainstream and produced early rock and roll music.

Elvis Presley’s personality and ability to perform helped him reach the top. His charming personality and looks made girls drool over him.

In 1956, he started his career as an actor. He acted in many movies and came back to do live music performances in the 1970’s. Billions of his records have been sold worldwide.

However, trouble soon entered his life with a divorce and extensive hours of work for which he resorted to using drugs. In August of 1977, Elvis died of heart failure in Tennessee. It is believed that he died due to his drug addiction. His death certainly shocked all his fans worldwide, but he will always remain a rock star forever for his music and charming personality.

Even to this day, Elvis continues to be an iconic figure of American history.

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Elvis Photo Credit

ESL Listening Activity: Brazil

English (ESL) Listening Activity on Brazil 

Brazil is the largest country in South America. It borders with every country in South American except Chile and Ecuador. Most of Brazil’s largest and most populous cities are close the coast. However, the capital of Brazil is Brasilia which is not located on the coast. More than 200 million people live in Brazil. It is the world’s fifth most populated country. The three largest cities in Brazil are Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador.

Many of the ancestors of the Brazilian people come from Portugal, Spain, Germany and other western European Countries. Some Brazilians have ancestors that were brought to Brazil as slaves. There are also large populations of Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Jewish people.

There is a vast variety in the landscapes of Brazil because it is such a large country. There are mountains, the Amazon rain forest, amazing beaches, broad plains and dry plains. The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest. Many native people still live in the Amazon. It is hot and rainy in the Amazon rainforest.

Most Brazilians live in medium to large cities that are full of buildings and modern amenities. The poor people live in large cities live in shantytowns called favelas.

Most Brazilians work in the service sector; for schools, governments, offices, hospitals, banks, and the tourism industry. There is also a large farming and manufacturing sector in Brazil.

Soccer is the most popular sport in Brazil. Soccer is very popular and Brazil is the only country that has played in every World Cup tournament. A lot of Brazilians enjoy watching popular soap operas on TV. Brazilians also enjoy music. Popular types of music are bossa nova, samba, lambada and hip-hop.

Overall Brazilians enjoy eating natural foods and tend to have balanced diets; with fruit, vegetables, meats and grains.

Brazil is famous for is carnival that it holds each year. The biggest and most world-renowned one is in Rio de Janiero and it attracts visitors and attention from around the world every year.

ESL Listening Activity: Penguins

English (ESL) Listening Activity on Penguins

Penguins cannot fly but they are great swimmers. The penguins use their flippers (or wings) to move their bodies through the water. They can swim for many miles, chase small animals and fish in the water. Penguins like to eat krill, anchovies, sardines and squid. Emperor penguins can stay under the water for 20 minutes. They cannot breathe in the water but they use oxygen that they stored in their body to stay under. Penguins can see very well under the water. Sometimes Penguins run into predators, such as leopard seals and killer whales while swimming.

Penguins live in the southern hemisphere. Most penguins live close to Antarctica but some live close to the equator. Penguins can live to be 15 to 20 years old.
All of the penguins nest is the same place. Rookery is where penguins lay their eggs. Some penguins lay their eggs in nests and other balance their egg on their feet.
There are anywhere from 15 to 20 species of penguins. Emperors are the largest penguins. Emperor penguins can be four feet tall and weigh about 65 pounds. Emperor penguins live in the Artic and swim fast. They can swim around 13 miles per hour.
Little Blues are the smallest penguins. They are usually one foot tall and weigh only two pounds. Little Blues live in Australia and New Zealand.
Penguins are marine sentinels. Sentinel means lookout or guard. They warn each other when something is wrong. This is often because every year they mate and lay their eggs in the same place as they have all of the other years. This means that predators know they are coming. Penguins sense when danger is coming and alert the other birds.
The two biggest threats to penguins are large oil companies (and oil spills) and global warming.


Take a quiz and test your English listening comprehension on Penguins. 

ESL Listening Activity: Philippines

English (ESL) Listening Activity: Philippines

The Philippines is an island nation in the southwest Pacific Ocean. The Philippines form a chain of more than seven thousand islands. The capital of the Philippines is Manila. The Philippines have a population of more than 95 million people. Of this 95 million only about 2 million live in the capital city of Manila. The Philippines is located near China and Malaysia.

The Philippines is known for its beautiful beaches. In land on some of the islands you will find hills and steep mountains. On the island of Luzon, there is an active volcano. Millions of years ago the islands that now make up the Philippines were all under water. After earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, they eventually immerged from the sea. There are still earthquakes every year in the Philippines.

The weather in the Philippines is tropical. Most days the average temperature is 80F (or 27C). There is also a long rainy season every year from May to November.

Different groups of people live in the Philippines. The Aeta and Malay are the main ethnic groups but there are more than eighty represented in this island nation. People that live in the Philippines are called Filipinos. In the Philippines, people speak more than 80 languages. Filipino is a language that is based on Tagalog. It is one of the official languages. English is the other official language of the Philippines.

Filipino families are usually pretty large. It is not uncommon for grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins to live together. They often live in a compound; which is a group of houses that are close together. In a ‘typical’ Filipino family that father goes to work while the mother stays home and takes care of the children, home and shopping.

Manila, is a large city. It has many skyscrapers, cars and people. Is the city you can find both very rich people and people living in absolute poverty in little shacks made out of cardboard and metal.

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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