One by U2: a listening comprehension exercise


Listen to the song One by U2 and fill the gaps in the lyrics.

Feel free to stop or rewind the video whenever you feel it’s necessary but ideally you should play it once from start to finish and then for the second time only stop it once after every line.

This task is about B2 level on the CEFR scale.

There will be some more tasks later based on this song — including a text reconstruction listening comprehension exercise, a reading comprehension exercise on the background of the song and also some vocabulary tasks to help you learn the words in the song.

Space Oddity by David Bowie — a listening comprehension exercise


This is one of the most famous songs ever recorded. Space Oddity by David Bowie features practically on every Top Songs list and is also found on Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

This listening comprehension exercise is at B2 level since the rhythm of the song is fairly slow and Bowie sings clearly enough to understand. The vocabulary is not very difficult, either, but you can alway ask for hints if you get stuck.

Listen to the song and enter the words you hear; feel free to stop the video whenever you like.

No Ordinary Love by Sade — a listening comprehension exercise


This is probably not even B2 level as the vocabulary of the song is not difficult at all and Sade is quite easy to understand too.

Listen to the song and enter the words you hear; feel free to stop the video whenever you like.

The River — the background story: a reading comprehension exercise


A few days ago we published a listening comprehension task on the song The River by Bruce Springsteen. The reading comprehension task below tells the background story of this song.

You have to put the sentence parts in the correct order to create the text.

Text source (with modifications).

John Lennon: Jealous Guy – a listening comprehension exercise


An easier exercise this time — Jealous Guy by John Lennon. Watch the video, listen carefully to try and understand the lyrics, then write the words you hear in the box under the video player, where it says ‘Guess’.

Two words have been added to help you a bit; also, the asterisks show how many letters the words have. When you enter a correct word, it will be added everywhere it appears in the lyrics so you don’t have to type it multiple times.

A literary quiz


books in libraryThis is for those interested in advanced level vocabulary and literature. All the words in this quiz are at least C1 level but most of them are even higher and belong to a special register – literature. Still, they are useful to know but be careful when you want to use them in everyday conversation so as not to seem posh. However, if you use them in writing (in the right context!)  they should improve the quality of your text.

So, go ahead and see how many of them you get right – don’t worry, we won’t call you nescient if you make too many mistakes.