English Listening Lesson: Life as an Astronaut

English Listening Lesson: Life as an Astronaut Espresso EnglishThis is a FREE SAMPLE LESSON from the English Listening Course. You can register to get the course, with 45 lessons!

Course information


How to take this lesson

Rule #1 – It’s very important to do ALL the steps in order – do NOT read ahead, because then you will already know the answers.

Rule #2 – It’s totally OK if you need to listen several times to complete an activity. The tasks may be challenging, but don’t get frustrated – do your best!

The first activity is a little warm-up/introduction to the topic. Take a minute to think about your answer to the question, and then write it down or say it aloud. This helps get your brain into “English mode” and prepare you for the listening.

Then, study Activity 1 – Pre-Learn Vocabulary. It will introduce you to a few of the words you’ll hear in the audio. Some of them you might already know, but others might be new. The objective of this step is to help you learn some new vocabulary before hearing the audio, so that the words won’t confuse you while you’re listening.

Okay, now it’s time to listen! Activity 2 – Listen for General Ideas will have you listen and complete a simple task. Don’t worry about understanding everything – just focus on trying to do the task.

In Activity 3 – Listen for Specific Details, you’ll work on understanding the finer points of the audio. Make sure to read over the questions before you start listening – this is important so that you know what to listen for.

You’ll need to download the lesson document and either print it out or keep it open in Microsoft Word to complete Activity 4 – Listen for Specific Words. This task may require you to listen again in order to get all the words.

Finally, you can read the complete transcript to check your answers. There is also some extra vocabulary explained at the end of the lesson document.
Ready? Good luck!


English Listening Lesson: Life as an Astronaut Espresso EnglishAn astronaut is a person who goes up into space on a shuttle. Some astronauts work on the International Space Station.

Think about what an astronaut’s life is like – how is life in space different from life on earth? What do you think astronauts do with their time?

Activity 1 – Pre-Learn Vocabulary

claustrophobia (n.) = fear of small, limited spaces. “Claustrophobia” describes the condition, and “claustrophobic” (adj.) describes a person who feels scared and uncomfortable in small spaces

Ex) My sister doesn’t like to ride elevators because she’s claustrophobic.

bulky (adj.) = large and inconvenient, something that takes up too much space

Ex) In the past, cell phones were so bulky that they couldn’t fit in your pocket easily.

disembark (v.) = get off of a ship, plane, or train

Ex) After three days at sea, the passengers disembarked from the cruise ship.

dehydrated (adj.) = without water (for example, food after being dried out and the water removed)

Ex) Dehydrated foods can last for many months without needing to be refrigerated.

sip (v.) = to drink something slowly, in small portions.

Ex) He sipped a glass of wine as he relaxed after work.

germs (n.) = bacteria, tiny organisms that make you sick

Ex) You should cover your mouth when you sneeze, to avoid spreading germs.

conundrums (n.) = complex problems or difficulties

Ex) The issue of illegal immigration is a real conundrum; politicians have tried to solve it for years without success.

filter (v.) = make something (like air or water) pure and clean by removing dirt and contaminants

Ex) The water here is of poor quality; you must filter it before drinking.

onboard (adj.) = on a ship, plane, or train

Ex) All airplanes must have an onboard first aid kit.

susceptible (adj.) = vulnerable, unprotected (especially against disease – if you are “susceptible” to a disease, you are likely to become sick)

Ex) If not properly cleaned and covered, cuts are susceptible to infection.

treadmill (n.) = a type of exercise machine where you walk/run on a moving belt

Ex) It was raining, so I stayed inside and ran ten miles on the treadmill.

Activity 2 – Listen for General Ideas

Speaker: Amanda – British

This audio discusses various aspects of life as an astronaut.
Listen and put the topics in the correct order from 1 to 7:

Slower Audio

Faster Audio


  • Fitness
  • Hygiene
  • Work
  • Amount of space
  • Free time
  • Waste
  • Food

(answers in the lesson document)

Activity 3 – Listen for Specific Details

Slower Audio

Faster Audio

Listening Quiz - Life as an Astronaut

IMPORTANT: Read through the questions first, before clicking "play" on the audio. Be sure you understand each question, and look up any words you don't know in the dictionary. Then, listen and choose the best answer to each question!
Congratulations - you have completed Listening Quiz - Life as an Astronaut. You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.

Activity 4 – Listen for Specific Words

Download the Word document and go to page 4.

You can fill in the words in the document as you listen (or print it out and use a pencil).

If you need to, you can pause the audio in order to have time to write the words.

In this activity, it is very common to need to listen several times – so if you miss a word, don’t worry – you can go back in the audio, or listen again.

Slower Audio

Faster Audio

Check Your Answers – Complete Transcript

Download the Word document and go to page 6.

There is also explanation of additional vocabulary at the end of the Word document.

Download links:

This is a free sample lesson from the
English Listening Course

English Listening Lesson: Life as an Astronaut Espresso English

Click here for course information

Click here to buy the course now

45 Lessons – $45