This lesson is designed to build your critical-thinking skills in English as you read, listen, and answer different types of comprehension and discussion questions.
Although these questions are related to classroom instruction, independent learners can reflect on the ideas and topic to prepare for the listening portion of the lesson.
Listen and read the story and answer the questions. Key vocabulary words are marked in bold.
Jenny always wanted to become an actress, and she joined a famous acting school in town to start off her career. But soon, she realized that acting was like a balancing act. She had to learn the basic acting skills while also juggling her part-time job at a fancy restaurant.
Jenny was originally from a small town and didn’t know much about the big city. One day, while working at the restaurant, a high-and-mighty customer ordered a dish that Jenny had never heard of before. She didn’t want to look dumb, so she pretended to know what it was and wrote it down.
As she was serving the dish to the customer, she realized that she had messed it up. The customer got angry and said, “Don’t you know how to do your job?”
Jenny felt embarrassed but tried to stay calm. She knew that being an actress was tough, but she never thought that her part-time job would be too. She continued to work hard and rehearse her lines every day.
One day, while in class, her phone rang. It was her boss asking her to come to work immediately. Jenny knew that it was going to be tough, but she couldn’t say no.
When she arrived at the restaurant, the same high-and-mighty customer from before was there. The customer sneered at her and said, “What are you doing here? I thought you were a fancy actress.”
Jenny smiled and replied, “Yes, but being a waitress is just another form of acting. It’s all about balancing the needs of the customers with my own needs.”
The customer looked surprised but didn’t say anything else. In the end, Jenny managed to pull off the balancing act, both at acting school and at her part-time job. She knew that being an actress was going to be tough, but she was determined to make it work.
1. Why did Jenny pretend to know the dish the customer ordered at the restaurant?
A) She was too shy to ask.
B) She didn’t want to look dumb.
C) She didn’t care about her job.
D) She thought it was a fun game.
2. How did the customer react when Jenny served the wrong dish?
A) He laughed.
B) He said nothing.
C) He got angry.
D) He left the restaurant.
3. What did Jenny do when her boss called her to work while she was in class?
A) She refused to go to work
B) She left class immediately
C) She ignored the call
D) She went to work
4. What did the high-and-mighty customer say to Jenny when she arrived at work?
A) “You’re fired!”
B) “What are you doing here? I thought you were an actress.”
C) “You’re late!”
D) “I need to speak to your manager.”
5. What did Jenny say to the customer when he questioned her about her job at the restaurant?
A) “I’m not really an actress.”
B) “Being a waitress is just another form of acting.”
C) “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
D) “I quit acting school.”
Easy (Recall and Comprehend):
Intermediate (Analyze and Interpret):
Advanced (Analyze and Interpret):
Because people learn and process language differently, a number of different activities have been prepared to accommodate a variety of learning styles (or modalities).
Visual Activity (Seeing):
Auditory Activity (Listening):
2. Radio Drama: Divide students into small groups and assign each group a scene from the story. Instruct them to create a radio drama adaptation of their assigned scene, focusing on using only sound effects and voice acting to convey the story. Afterward, have the groups perform their radio dramas for the class.
Kinesthetic Activity (Moving):
3. Roleplay: Divide students into pairs or small groups and assign each group a role from the story (e.g., Jenny, the customer, the boss). Instruct them to create a short roleplay scenario based on a specific situation from the story. Encourage them to act out the dialogue and emotions of the characters.
Tactile Activity (Touching):
4. Object Collage: Prepare a collection of various objects that represent different aspects of the story (e.g., a notepad, a menu, a phone). Divide students into small groups and provide each group with a set of objects. Instruct them to create a tactile collage using the objects to depict key moments or themes from the story. Afterward, have the groups present their collages and explain their choices.
Here are more ideas:
Discussion Circles: Divide the class into small groups and ask them to discuss various themes presented in the story, such as the value of honesty, the importance of hard work, or the consequences of lying. Encourage them to analyze the actions and decisions of the characters and draw parallels to real life.
Critical Analysis: Ask students to write a critical analysis of the story, focusing on themes, character development, and plot structure. Encourage them to identify the author’s message and consider the story’s impact on the reader.
Ethical Dilemmas: Present the class with various ethical dilemmas related to the story and ask them to consider what they would do in those situations. Encourage them to think about the impact of their decisions on themselves and others.
Role-Play Scenarios: Create various role-play scenarios based on the story, such as a customer complaining about the wrong order, or a boss calling an employee to work during their class. Encourage students to act out the scenarios and consider the consequences of their actions.
Character Analysis: Ask students to analyze the motivations and actions of the characters in the story, and consider how their decisions affected the plot. Encourage them to draw connections to real life and consider how their actions can have a ripple effect.