Free English Listening
Audio file: 1:42 min
Story length: 247 words
Here is the listening file for this lesson.
The Finger Pointing to the Moon
Each afternoon, an English teacher enjoyed walking with his dog in the park. The teacher would throw a stick. His dog loved to run and catch it.
One day, a student from the English class joined the teacher.
The student asked many detailed questions. She wanted to know the best methods for learning English as fast as possible. The teacher listened, but didn’t speak for several minutes.
Then the teacher answered, “Try not to focus on the methods. Teaching methods are like signs on a road. They are useful because they point you in a direction that helps you understand and use the language.
However, they aren’t the most important thing for learning a language. If you really want to improve, think about your goal, which is being able to speak easily with others.”
The student said, “I really don’t understand. I thought studying words and rules was enough?”
“Look at this,” the teacher said.
The teacher raised his hand and pointed to the moon with his finger. Then he said to his dog, “Get the moon.”
“What’s the dog looking at?” the teacher asked the student.
“It’s looking at your finger,” the student replied.
The teacher said, “That’s right. My poor dog can’t look beyond my finger. He might believe it’s the moon, but he’d be wrong, of course. My finger is kind of like studying methods.
If students don’t look beyond the finger, they’ll never have an opportunity to experience the big and wonderful moon.”
Here’s a gap fill exercise. Download Finger Pointing to the Moon printable worksheet (pdf file). Listen to the story and fill in the blanks.
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