Listening Worksheet: Reported Speech – Harmful Social Media Content (Upper Intermediate-Advanced)

In this worksheet about Harmful Social Media Content, you are going to find ESL listening comprehension exercises that will help students to expand their vocabulary on the topic and revise reported speech and its use when reporting news. The exercises are tailored to upper intermediate-advanced (B2-C1) students.

Preparation Notes for the Teacher

Required time: 45 min

To prepare: Discuss social media safety with your students: How much they think of the safety of content they post on social media, do they read the rules and regulations of social media companies when creating an account, do they know how to protect themselves from cyber crime, can they share examples of risks of using social media and unpleasant stories of users?

Revise the grammar basics of reported speech, then instruct students to answer the vocabulary and grammar questions in warm-up Exercise A.

Play the video/ audio and instruct students to answer the questions in Exercise B, C and D. 

Give Exercise E as homework.

Social Media Companies & Harmful Illegal Content 

In this listening comprehension technology worksheet, you are going to listen to a 3-minute audio of BBC news on the topic – Social Media Companies and Harmful Illegal Content. 

The news report on the new laws proposed by the UK government regarding social media companies that will face huge fines if they fail to remove and limit the spread of illegal content.

Do the warm-up Exercise A first, then answer the questions in Exercise B, C and D.

Read the questions before answering to make sure you understand them.

Link to the audio/video:

A. Warm-up (Vocabulary)

1. Match the words and the expressions to their definitions/meanings.

to abide

online grooming

to face up to something

to outline


criminal prosecution


a consensus

to campaign

urging on
to confront and deal with a difficult situation

to trick or force a young person into doing something sexual

​​comply with

the institution and conducting of legal proceedings against someone

a general agreement

laws, considered collectively

work in an organized and active way towards a particular goal

to seek to influence on an issue


to give a summary of

B. Warm-up (Reported Speech)

2. Match the reporting verbs (1-12) to the correct structures; write the numbers in the gaps accordingly. There may be more than one correct structure for each reporting verb. 


1) warn2) advice3) notify4) threaten
5) argue6) admit7) forbid8) urge
9) wonder10) demand11) refuse12) remind


somebody that – Verbs: _____________

somebody to – Verbs: _____________

that – Verbs: _____________

who, where, whether, etc. – Verbs: _____________

to – Verbs: _____________

+ing – Verbs: _____________

3. Write the correct words and time expressions (a – l) according to the change by rule in reported speech.

a) now →

b) immediately today →

c) yesterday →

d) tomorrow →

e) this week →

f) last week →

g) next week →

h) ago →

i) here →

j) come →

k) come →

l) bring →

C. True or False?

Listen to the audio, then answer the questions.

Are the statements True or False?

1. Social media companies received fines for spreading illegal content. _____

2. Big-tech firms will legally have to provide safety of social media. _____

3. Frida wonders how long will the legal process take.  _____

4. Frida urges that she is the only one who is dealing with her case. _____

5. According to the secretary, YouTube will ban terrorist ideologies. _____

6. The UK government proposes prosecution of all managers of social media companies. _____

7. Free speech will be protected by news websites. _____

8. Ian Russel argues that UK government should have imposed stricter sanctions. _____

D. Direct to Reported Speech 

Listen to the audio, then rewrite the sentences in direct speech into reported speech. Do not use “tell” or “say” as reporting verbs.

1. “These proposals are largely untried and still face huge practical challenges.”


2. “Social media companies will face very significant fines if they fail to remove spread of illegal content.”


3. ”Big-tech firms will have to abide by a legal duty of care to protect children.”


4. “I added him, because you are 13 and just trying to be seen on Facebook, that you’ve got loads of friends and stuff.”


5. “Who is taking responsibility for this?”


6. “I’m the only one facing up to what’s happened.”


7. ”Anti-Semitic hate crime will need to be removed without delay.“


8. “They could have included sanctions to senior managers upfront and that would have imposed to bring about change.”


 E. Writing 

Find more news on cybercrime, cyberbullying, or social media safety, then report it to the class.

Download this worksheet (including key) in Word and PDF doc format (zipped)

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