B2 Listening Part 3 – The meaning of happiness

Happiness is one of the feelings that we all understand a bit differently. Listen to five speakers talking about happiness, and discuss what it means to you. Is it being with your family, making everyone else around you happy, or being by yourself?

Occasionally, I like to look at Cambridge sample papers and oftentimes find some inspiration over there. This time I was wondering if there is anything that could be used as Valentine’s Day-themed or Love-themed lesson and found an FCE Listening Part 3 about happiness. Maybe not an exact match, but it gave me the motivation to craft this short lesson plan on happiness and its meaning.

At the end of the post, you can find the worksheet with the lesson plan and all the answers. You can also download the whole exam directly from the website (B2 Sample Paper 2).

Introduce the topic by writing HAPPINESS on the whiteboard. Students say words that come to their minds when they hear it. Some of them may include, family, love, home, friends, work, etc. Write all the ideas around the word. Proceed by reading the Cambridge definition of happiness (the feeling of being happy). Do students agree with this definition, or do they feel like it isn’t complete? If not, ask them to rewrite this definition and elicit some answers.


It’s time to introduce the language found in the exam task. If needed, explain any new words. Read the statements about happiness and put students into pairs or small groups. Students go over all the statements and discuss if they agree or disagree with them. Listen to the conversations and monitor their language. Finish this activity with short speaking feedback.

In case this is the first time you do this kind of task in class, explain the rules of FCE Listening Part 3. If you’ve done it before, proceed with the next task. Students look at the transcript while listening to speaker 1 talking about happiness. Say that they need to match the speaker to one of the statements from the previous task. Underline the part of the recording which gives the answer, so students get into the habit of justifying their choices and eliminating any distractors.

Now, that students understand the task, play the rest of the recording and match speakers 2-5 with the rest of the sentences (A-H). Point out that there are only five speakers and eight sentences, which means that three of them will not be used. Just like before, go over the answers while justifying each one. If needed, print out the transcript and underline the parts of the recording that give the answers.


I thought it may be interesting to finish this lesson with an abstract task. Hand out coloured pencils and/or markers, and ask students to draw happiness. Give some time to think about it and draw what happiness looks like to them. Students finish by showing and explaining drawings to the rest of the group. If they’re keen, you can also display their creations in the classroom.

So, what does happiness mean to you? Share your answers and download the lesson plan + the worksheet by clicking the link below.


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