Bolognese sauce – a listening activity

Here’s a listening activity designed to make you hungry!

Spaghetti Bolognese is one of Italy’s most famous dishes. You may have made a bolognese sauce yourself. If you haven’t, you must have eaten one or simply heard about it.

Step one

Write a list of ingredients you put in your recipe or write the ingredients you think may be in it

Step two

Watch the following video and compare your list of ingredients with the “authentic ingredients”.

What were the differences? Make notes.

Step three

Watch the video again and get the general idea of the content. Here are some guide questions to help you.

  • Why is the Italian chef concerned?
  • Do most people know what is in the sauce?
  • What do the other people put in their bognese sauce?
  • Is the sauce normally eaten with spaghetti?
  • What is the reporter’s opinion of the dish?


Step four

(You can do this exercise with any online video or DVD you have)

Choose a sentence in the video that you don’t understand.

  1. Count the number of words that you think you hear.
  1. Write spaces in your notebook to represent the words, e.g:

___  ___ ___  ___ ___  ___

  1. Listen to the sentence again and try to fill in the spaces.
  1. Listen to it as many times as you need to build up the sentence.
  1. Do you understand more each time you listen?
  1. If you can’t understand everything, email the link to your teacher. Ask your teacher to do it in class and help you.

Step five

Listen to the clip again. Do you understand it better this time?

Step six

(an optional extra) Make some spaghetti bolognese!

3 Responses to Bolognese sauce – a listening activity

  1. Tasha says:

    I love this idea, I often give my students recipes of traditional British food- but making it a listening exercise is even better!

    • Thanks Tasha!
      Of course, you don’t need to stop with recipes. is a site of video showing you ‘How to…’ on thousands of skills, techniques, etc. You could encourage your students to either choose a video about something they’d like to learn how to do, or as with the bolognese lesson, find a video on something they already know how to do and compare the ‘expert’s’ way of doing it with their way.

    • orlando says:

      I also think this idea is great, because It is a practical exercise and a useful listening activity. On my part, I would look forward to following the instructions of the recipe when I go home after class to prepare the dish. In general I feel that practical activities are more interesting and stimulating for students.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s