English Listening Lesson

This English listening lesson is based on a beautiful photographic slide show produced by the BBC. It documents the making of a series called 'The Human Planet', which shows how humans interact with the natural world around them, drawing from some very unusual sources. During the making of the series, the BBC employed a dedicated photographer, Timothy Allen, to travel with the film crew, and document their experiences. He has produced a slideshow from the best photographs with a commentary about the intriguing stories that he encountered.

The photographs are outstanding, and the stories fascinating. The video clip shows how honey is collected from the tallest trees in the Congo, how eagles are taught to hunt in Mongolia, and how sea gypsies in Borneo never step foot on land. Other countries documented include Laos, Niger, Greenland and Mombasa.

You can also supplement this lesson plan with my Photography Vocabulary list. You could cut up the tables with the vocabulary and get the students to match the words to the definitions, or you could remove the words, and the students need to try and work out what they are from the definitions.

Free Downloadable Lesson Plan


This English listening lesson can be used for upper intermediate, advanced and proficiency levels (B1 to C2).

Language Focus

The lesson starts off with a discussion on how to take good photographs. The students then take a look at Kodak’s ‘Top 10 tips for taking good photos’, to see if they have missed anything. After watching the video clip, they choose their favourite photographs and discuss their choices. Thereafter, the students need to watch the clip again, in order to summarize the various stories mentioned. The lesson then finishes off with a look at some of the new vocabulary the students would have come across in the video.

This free English listening lesson plan can be used as the basis for an English conversation class, a vocabulary lesson, in group classes or for one on one lessons. My free printable worksheets come in pdf format with both teacher’s and students’ notes. Just print them off and you are ready for your next lesson!

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