Free English Lessons

Building A Website – Listening Lesson (B2)

Have you ever tried to set up your own website? If you had a website, what kind of website would it be? In this free English listening lesson from Oxford Online English, you can listen to a man asking questions about websites and web development. You can learn and practise useful English vocabulary to talk about websites, IT problems and technology. This lesson is for upper intermediate learners.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Man: Hey, you work in web development, right?
Woman: Yeah, that’s right. Can I help you with something?
Man: I’m thinking of starting an online shop, just as a side project.
Woman: Mm hm. Okay, so, what have you done so far?
Man: I have a friend who’s going to make the logos and do all the graphic design work. I’m just not sure what else I need to think about.
Woman: Well, first of all, get a good web developer to make your website for you. Don’t skimp – ‘cos you get what you pay for!
Man: Right, if you say so.
Woman: Security is also important, especially if you’re selling things through your site. Your site will get targeted by hackers, so make sure all your software is up-to-date and secure.
Man: And how would I…
Woman: And then there are spammers. So, if you don’t have an efficient anti-spam system, you’ll get fake comments, fake users, and so on.
Man: Wow, I really haven’t…
Woman: Finally, make sure you test everything. There are always some bugs in a new website. So, if you can’t find any bugs, you haven’t tested enough.
Man: It’s very complicated! I don’t even know where to start.
Woman: Yeah, it can be tough when you’re just getting into it. So, be prepared to spend quite a lot of time or quite a lot of money to get it right.
Man: Er … maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew…

Building a Website – exercise 1
Comprehension: multiple-choice questions

This is one of the most common types of question in listening exams. Choose the correct answer to each question, from four possible options.

It is a good idea to read the questions before you listen. If you want to simulate exam conditions, spend about one minute doing this, then listen just once or twice.

Building a Website – exercise 2
Vocabulary: finding words to fit the meaning

There’s a lot of vocabulary in the conversation related to computers and technology, but there are also some non-technical words and phrases that you might not know.

Listen again and find words from the dialogue to complete the sentences.

Building a Website – exercise 3
Grammar and Vocabulary: giving advice

If you’ve ever had a lesson about giving advice, you’ve probably learned the word ‘should’. However, in this dialogue, the woman is giving advice all the time, but never uses that word!

Listen to five pieces of advice from the dialogue and identify the grammatical structure or phrase used.

Building a Website – exercise 4
Pronunciation: weak forms of auxiliary and modal verbs

When you say the word ‘the’ before a consonant, the vowel you make is /ə/. You pronounce this with your lips relaxed and your tongue in the middle of your mouth. Native English speakers make this sound more than any other – it’s the sound of the vowel in the unstressed, weak forms of prepositions, pronouns and auxiliary verbs.

Listen to five sentences from the dialogue and write the weak forms used by the speakers. You only need to write one word each time.

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