Argument Listenings: Listening Tests

This blog provides a range of Academic Listening Tests based on TED Talks and includes a free download. The tests are designed to help students develop lecture and note-taking listening skills. The listenings range in length from 10 - 15 minutes long. The test question booklet includes a range of test types from TFNG, gap fills, table completion, mini-summaries, numbers etc.. All tests are interesting, highly-motivating and challenging.
More listening lessons: HBR, TED Talks general Listening, TED Talks 6 min listenings, BBC 6 minute Listenings, Lecture listenings (Stanford, Harvard, Oxford)

Free Download: A TED TALK Test Example

These tests can be used in a variety ways. The main idea is that students listen to the TED Talk Lecture two times and take notes. Then they are given the test question booklet and have 25 minutes to answer the questions from their notes. For lower levels they are given the test question booklet first and have 5 minutes to read the questions then listen two times and answer the questions.

N.B. Not all pages shown.

Don't insist on English - Patricia Ryan

TED TALK: The globalisation of English and its testing systems can have negative affects on students from various backgrounds. Level: ***** [B1/B2/]  /  Video [10:35]

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10x TED Talk Test PDF Worksheets

AMAZING VALUE - buy these 10+ min listening worksheets in one PDF book.


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Technology Topic

Losing control of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Sam Harris

TED Talk: An informative talk about the worries of A.I and how we fail to address the seriousness of what A.I could become. Level: ***** [C1]  /  Video [14:27]


Business Topic

Two reasons companies fail - Knut Haanaes

TED TALK: The reasons that prevent businesses from continuing to be successful, looking at two case studies and four important lessons to learn. Level: ***** [B2/C1]  /  Video [10:38]

Money Topic

How College loans exploit students - Sajay Samual

TED TALK: An investigation into the college loan system, three important truths about the process and the possibility of deceptive advertising. Level: ***** [B2/C1]  /  Video [11.48]

The World Topic

The global arms trade - Samantha Nut

TED TALK: Discussing the future fragility of society and the environment. The speaker offers possible solutions for a more focused future. Level: ***** [B2/C1]  /  Video [13:34]

Happiness Topic

What makes a good life? - Robert Waldinger

TED TALK: Lessons from the longest study on happiness by Harvard. It discusses the success of the study and what the findings were.  Level: ***** [B2/C1]  /  Video [12:46]


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Manufacturing Topics

The next manufacturing revolution - Olivier Scalabre

TED TALK: The manufacturing sector has declined but two new innovative processes hold the key to revolutionise manufacturing again. Level: ***** [B2/C1]  /  Video [12:26]

Banking Topic

The Panama papers exposed - Robert Palmer

TED TALK: April 2016 the biggest data leak exposing how the rich and powerful hide money in off-shore bank accounts. What's next?  Level: ***** [B2/C1]  /  Video [08:01]

Business Topic

Why work doesn't happen at work - Jason Fried

TED TALK: the problems with working in an office environment and highlights two main reasons and three possible improvement solutions. Level: ***** [B1/B2/C1]  /  Video [15:21]

English Topic

Texting is killing language - John McWhorter

TED TALK: How texting on smart phones is changing the way we view language and how it is a process of linguistic evolution. Level: ***** [B1/B2/C1]  /  Video [13:48]

Manufacturing Topic

What happens inside massive warehouses - Mick Mountz

TED Talk: The automation of warehouse picking and packing systems and how robots have increased productivity and efficiency. Level: ***** [B2/C1]  /  Video [12:06]

All Topics - PDF Book

10x TED Talk Test PDF Worksheets

AMAZING VALUE - buy these 10+ min listening worksheets in one PDF book.


 More listening worksheets

Comp Questions

Level: ***** [B1/B2]

The worksheets are open comprehension questions based on key points / main ideas and supporting details.


Test Questions

Level: ***** [B2/C1]

6 minute TED Talks: Question types ( T, F, NG / matching ideas / open questions / gap fills / information tables / summaries)

Test Questions

Level: ***** [B2/C1]

Well-structured talks on three or four key points. A range of questions mainly information tables and summaries.

Listening lectures

Level: ***** [B2/C1]

40-50 minute 'real' lectures from Stanford, Harvard, Oxford Universities. Click here.

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