Free English Lessons

Working In An Office – Listening Lesson (B1-B2)

Do you work in an office? What’s it like? Are offices generally good places to work? In this free English listening lesson from Oxford Online English, listen to two people who work in very different companies talk about their jobs and where they work. You can learn useful new vocabulary to talk about working in an office in English. This lesson is for intermediate to upper intermediate learners.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Man: So this is your office? Wow, it’s really nice!
Woman: Yeah, typical tech company office, right?
Man: Is that a pool table?
Woman: Yeah. We have table tennis, too. Want a game?
Man: I can’t believe this. Do you ever do any work?
Woman: Sure, we do a lot of work! Sometimes you just need to take a break and clear your head, you know?
Man: You’re so lucky… You should see where I work.
Woman: You don’t like it?
Man: It’s just a cubicle farm. We all sit there in rows, no one talking to each other… It’s miserable, actually.
Woman: So why not move? With your background I’m sure you wouldn’t have to look too hard to find something better.
Man: I’ve thought about it, but I think if I put a couple more years in, I could move up in the company. If I leave now, the time I spent will have been for nothing.
Woman: If that’s how you feel about it, why would you want to stay? You really think being a manager would be any better?
Man: I hope so… Anyway, I don’t want to think about it any more. How about that game of table tennis?
Woman: Alright, but I should warn you, I’ve been practising a lot…

Working in an Office – exercise 1
Vocabulary and listening skill: work-related words

Listening for individual words is a task that you’ll need to do in many official English exams.

Practise this by filling in the gaps in a transcript.

Working in an Office – exercise 2
Listening comprehension: deciding from context

One big challenge in listening is guessing the meaning of something, using your previous knowledge of the context and the other things that you hear. This guessing is called inferring.

Read five words and phrases used in the dialogue and use the context to infer their meaning.

Working in an Office – exercise 3
Grammar: talking about a hypothetical future

In the second half of the dialogue, the speakers are considering options for the future. To do this, they use conditional sentences – where one thing is the consequence of another thing.

Listen to five excerpts from the conversation and decide what the speaker means.

Working in an Office – exercise 4
Pronunciation: American and British English

There are many accents in English. The two speakers in this dialogue have North American accents.

Listen to excerpts from the dialogue and a speaker with a standard British accent saying the same things. Then, create two statements comparing features of American and British pronunciation.

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