Real Life Listening Lesson 1

Level: Intermediate
Time Commitment: 30-45 minutes

This 3 minute story from National Public Radio (NPR) discusses why the trend of eating alone (versus eating with others) is increasing.

The presenter interviews a market research firm and people she finds eating at Washington DC's Union Station. The title of this story is Party Of 1: We Are Eating A Lot Of Meals Alone.

Here are instructions about how to complete the Real Life Listening Lessons.
View this guide in pdf format.


Step 1: Before Listening Questions

What meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) do you eat alone?

What meals do you eat with others?

Do you snack (eat small things like fruit or energy bars) during the day?

Do you like eating alone? What things do you like doing alone (by yourself)?

Step 2: Review the Vocabulary

Here are some vocabulary words from this story. Review them before listening.

Step 3: Read the After Listening Questions (Step 6)

Step 4: Listen

While listening to this segment, write the new words that you hear.
Follow this link to listen to the story on the NPR website. Click the play button.

Step 5: Review the Transcript

Follow this link to read the text of this story.
If you would like to, you can listen to the story again and read the transcript at the same time.
Try to find the new words that you wrote down in Step 4 in the transcript.

Step 6: After Listening Questions

1.) What's one possibility mentioned about why people may eat alone?

a) people are unfriendly b) food is expensive c) more people live alone

2.) What reason does the mother and daughter interviewed in Union Station give for having a quick meal?

a) They are hungry. b) They missed lunch. c) They overslept.

3.) What were the group of twenty something business consultants eating?

a) sushi b) burgers and hot dogs c) shrimp

4.) In the phrase “twenty somethings” does twenty refer to their age or the number of people?

5.) What are the different meanings of the words party?
The title of this segment is Party Of 1: We Are Eating A Lot Of Meals Alone.
Does party mean a celebration or the number of people dining together (as a group) at a restaurant?

Check your answers by looking at the comments or by looking at the bottom of page 2 on the pdf

What do you think about the information presented in this story?
What new words did you learn?

Share your ideas, words and questions in the comment section. I look forward to hearing your ideas!

Photo taken by me at Wildflour Bakery and Cafe in Agoura Hills, CA