English Listening Lesson

Listening level: 1
Audio file: 1:43 min
Story length: 212 words


Here is the listening file for this lesson.



People around the world know Thomas Edison. Students learn he made things, like the light bulb. They also learn he worked alone at night. Edison worked a lot, but some stories are not true.

Edison once said he didn’t need to make new things. He could buy ideas from people. That’s what happened with the light bulb.

A man from England made it in 1845. Edison gave him some money for the idea. Then people at Edison’s company changed it. In 1879, they made a better bulb. People bought it and Edison made lots of money.

Some people think he worked alone all night. Not true. He had a team working for his company. Sometimes there were 14 people. For example, he did not make the light bulb better. He paid other people to do that.

Edison was good at starting companies. One company made electricity. Today, that company is still working. It is called General Electric.

He used companies to buy ideas. Today, big companies like Google do the same thing. They buy small companies with a good idea.

The true story about Edison helps us understand how to make a new idea. It doesn’t always come from hard work. We can sometimes find a new idea if we find an old one and change it.

More Practice

Here’s a gap fill exercise. Download the Edison printable worksheet (pdf file). Listen to the story and fill in the blanks.

Learn English Online with More Listening Practice

Ready for more online English learning? Try this free English listening comprehension lesson about Google.

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