Reading aloud is shown to improve confidence and understanding. These activities have been designed to help you practise your reading and speaking skills in an authentic way. In this section you will practise leaving an answerphone message.
You can either do the activities in this section online, or you can download the worksheet and do the activities on paper.
You can read the transcript of the answerphone message near the bottom of the page or download it here and print it.
Take a few minutes to think about the following questions:
• Have you ever left an answerphone message?
• How did you feel?
• Did you say everything you needed to say?
It may be easier to leave an answerphone message if you write down what you want to say before you make the call. It might help you feel more confident.
If you would like to develop your ability to leave confident and clear answerphone messages, now complete the following activities.
Listen to Mrs Simmons leaving her answerphone message. Download the transcript so you can read the message as you listen.
Answerphone message by ESOL Nexus
Why is Mrs Simmons leaving an answerphone message?
Check in the Answer section below.
In this activity, you will study the different stages of Mrs Simmons’ answerphone message and put them in the correct order.
Repeat the phrases after Mrs Simmons.
Answerphone messages may be formal or informal.
If you were leaving a message for a business or somebody you didn't know well, your language would be more formal.
e.g. “Good afternoon. This is Mrs. Simmons speaking.”
If you were leaving a message for a friend, your language would be more informal.
e.g. “Hi! It’s Jill here.”
In this activity, decide whether the phrases are formal (like Mrs. Simmons’ message) or informal.
In spoken English, we often add extra sounds between words to link our speech together. As a result, when you listen to a continuous stream of sound of English, it can be very difficult to identify the individual words.
These extra linking sounds are:
Listen to these phrases:
Linking sounds by ESOL Nexus
Now listen to phrases which come from typical formal and informal answerphone messages. Identify the linking sounds between the words.
In this activity you will put phrases and sentences from Mrs Simmons’ answerphone message into the correct order.
Practise reading aloud as you complete the activity.
Finally, In this activity you will reconstruct Mrs Simmons’ answerphone message by putting it into the correct order.
You can use the transcript you downloaded earlier to help you.
When you have finished, practise reading the message aloud again. Pay attention to linking sounds and pronunciation.
Good afternoon. This is Mrs Simmons speaking.
I’ll spell that for you – it’s S-I-M-M-O-N-S.
I’m calling with regard to my booking.
My reference number is 90210.
My address is 46, Bluebell Walk, Preston, and my telephone number is 02784561453.
Unfortunately, I need to cancel my booking because of a family emergency.
In accordance with the terms and conditions of the hotel, I would be grateful if you could provide me with a full refund.
Please could you return my call, email or write to me to inform me about how the matter will be resolved.
I do apologise for the inconvenience, and thank you for your assistance with this matter. Goodbye.
Task 1 - listening to the answerphone message Mrs Simmons is leaving an answerphone message to cancel a hotel reservation.
Over to you:
Think of a situation when you would need to leave an answerphone message. Try writing down what you are going to say and then read it aloud.
Listening to yourself speaking aloud can really help improve your pronunciation. It allows you to notice how you really speak so that you can identify your individual strengths and weaknesses.
You can record your answerphone message here: http://Vocaroo.com - listen and re-record your message until you are happy with your speaking.
My biggest problem are the phone calls. It is very usefull.
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