TEDxIELTS: Ideas for Listening Practice

TED x IELTS Listening Practice 2

TED x IELTS Listening Practice 2: The World’s English Mania

Try these IELTS listening practice questions based on a popular TED talk about English as a global language. Take one minute first to read through the questions. You can also download these questions as a PDF.

Questions 1-4 (Short-answer questions) Write no more than three words and/or a number for each answer.

1. What can be positive, worrying or life-threatening? ___________________________

2. How do Chinese students practice English? ___________________________

3. How many English learners are there in the world? ___________________________

4. Which country will have most speakers of English? ___________________________

Questions 5-7 (Multiple choice, multiple answer)

What THREE reasons for learning English in China are given by the lecturer?

  • A. To belong in a single world
  • B. To have a better career
  • C. To pay for education
  • D. To support children in the future
  • E. To order food in restaurants
  • F. To perform well in a test
  • G. To live in another country

Questions 8-10 (Multiple choice, single answer)

8. What does the lecturer consider to be the main effect of the world learning English?

  • A. Other languages will become extinct.
  • B. Discussions are possible at the global level.
  • C. Global problems can easily be solved.

9. What does the lecturer say English will become?

  • A. One of the world’s common languages
  • B. The world’s universal language
  • C. As important as mathematics or music

10. Why is the spread of English a positive development?

  • A. It will help spread technological advances.
  • B. It will help unite countries and cultures.
  • C. It will help people resolve their disputes.

Make sure you check spelling carefully before you check the answers.

Teacher’s Note

This is the kind of talk you might hear in Section 4 of the IELTS Listening test, a lecture on an abstract or academic topic. Note that most of the questions this time are multiple choice. Use common sense to eliminate unlikely answers before and while listening. For example, we know that global problems cannot easily be solved, so that rules out Answer C in Question 8. However, just be sure you don’t take this process too far and start basing answers on your own opinions rather than the speaker’s words!

Further Practice

Want more IELTS Listening practice? Check out similar posts here.

Using this IELTS Listening practice in a real classroom? You may want to try these follow-up questions with your students.

This is an unofficial educational use of a TED talk. For official learning materials based around TED content, please visit the TED-ed website.