This is a fun listening activity that can be used with adults and secondary groups. It exploits the Big City Small World audio soap from LearnEnglish.

There is a lead-in activity that students do individually (listening and deciding whether statements are true or false) and then a follow on task where students write their own true or false worksheet based on a second listening.

Activity type: Pair work/listening

Level: up to B1

Age: Adults or senior YLs


  • On the board write Big City Small World. Explain that this is the name of a audio series, or audio soap. Tell students that they are going to meet one of the characters. His name is Harry. 
  • Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Give students a few minutes to read through the statements and to ask any questions about unknown language.


  • Students listen to Harry Wakefield in the 'Meet the Cast' section of the series. You can see links to 'Meet the Cast' on this page:
  • Students complete the worksheet during or after listening.
  • Check students’ answers as a whole class. 
  • Divide students into pairs; A and B. Tell them to choose another character from the series (each pair choose two different characters).
  • Students should listen to their chosen character’s introduction and make notes. Allow students to listen as many times as they can but set a limited time (about 10 minutes).
  • Students should use their notes to make a new worksheet (worksheet 2). They write 10 statements about their character (5 false and 5 true). Note: Make sure students keep a record of the true and false statements.
  • Students exchange worksheets with the partners, listen to the corresponding character and decide whether the statements are true or false.
  • Students correct each other’s worksheets. 


As a follow up activity get students to write a short biography of one of the characters they have listened to.

Answers to worksheet 1

1 True; 2 True; 3 False; 4 True; 5 True; 6 False; 7 False; 8 False; 9 True; 10 True

Katherine Bilsborough


Great ideas for using the Big City Small World content.Big City Small World is also available for iPhone and Android phone users - great for informal out-of-class learning. Students can download the listening materials and cartoons and listen to them anywhere any time.More details at Ballantyne (for the LearnEnglish Mobile team) 

That's wonderful. I want to have this lesson with my students but I couldn't find the Meet the Cast section. 

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