Smartphone apps listening activity

This smartphone apps listening activity is based around the topic of new technologies and innovative use of smartphone apps. It works best with FCE, CAE, and upper-intermediate students. It compliments well coursebook chapters about technology and its influence on our lives, especially new technologies such as smartphone apps. I used this video published by BBC News.

The Task

Start by finding out how many smartphone apps your students use and what they use them for. Introduce the name of the app “Wakie” and try to brainstorm its possible meaning and functions. Before you watch the video, go through the vocabulary to make sure all the words are clear for the students. You should probably play the clip twice to allow answering all the questions.

Possible follow-up questions:

a) Is this app useful?

b) Is it more effective than a regular alarm?

c) Would you use it?

d) Why would people want complete strangers to wake them up?

For more ideas on how to include the topic of new technologies in English lessons check out my lesson plan on workplace robots and the lesson plan about an eco-friendly E!Bike.

Personal Experience

The topic of new and quirky smartphone apps turned out to be very relevant for the students, as we all know the perils of waking up early. Plus, it’s always interesting to see what’s new in the tech world.




  1. Great lesson! My adult advanced students really like its, lots of interesting content and vocabulary around apps and waking up. I showed an extra YouTube video of a review of the app and also scheduled a real ‘Wakie’ to call in class, was very entertaining and interactive!

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