Oprah Winfrey

Listening Diary 5 — Learn English Through Story


  • Date and Time: I began the listening activity at 8.11 pm and finished at 8.53 pm on Sunday 14th March 2021.
  • Kind of Material: Biography Story entitled Oprah Winfrey (Level 3_B1 + Intermediate)


“I will never, never, as long as I’m black, I will never give up my power to another person” — Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey had come from a needy family and she had a difficult childhood. She was also sexually abused at an early age. Since Winfrey entered Tennessee State University in 1971, she became interested in journalism and media and got her first job as a news anchor for a local TV station.

In 1976, she hosted the TV chat show People Are Talking and the show became a hit. Afterward, she was recruited by a Chicago TV station to host her morning show. Oprah’s show was so successful and it was an immediate hit so people have loved her so much.

Her chance came when she got a call from Steven Spielberg. She was offered to play in The Color Purple film and she wanted to be in the film so much and asked the TV station to give her a break of several weeks to work on The Color Purple, but she saw that there were some problems with her present contract. Winfrey started to negotiate with the TV station, she made them change the name of the program to The Oprah Winfrey Show and asked for a share of the money from sales of her show to other TV stations. Her decision made her rich and taught her: control was needed for real success.

In 1986 she began her own company, Harpo Productions. Oprah started to negotiate with the boss of the Chicago TV Station in 1988 to buy The Oprah Winfrey Show. In recent years Oprah’s business has continued to expand in many different areas of the entertainment industry.

In 1994, with talk shows becoming increasingly trashy and exploitative, Winfrey pledged to keep her show free of tabloid topics. Although ratings initially fell, she earned the respect of her viewers and was soon rewarded with an upsurge in popularity.

My listening strategies, reaction, and question


First, I listened and I repeated some parts that I didn’t understand. While listening, I also summarized and wrote the words that I didn’t know what the meaning of. Then, I listened again while reading the summary I have made and put some words and sentences in my summary.


I didn’t know about Oprah Winfrey before. She is such an Influential talk show host. I think Oprah Winfrey has played a key role in modern American life and shaping cultural trends. Through her talk shows, she has focused on many issues facing American women. She has been an important role model for black American women, and breaking down many invisible barriers.

What I learned from listening:

As usual, I learned more about how pronounced some words (again), gain many vocabularies and I tried to imitate to stress and pay intonation of the speaker.

What the difficulties I face while listening:

The speaker spoke too fast and I need to change the speed slowly but so far so good. To be honest, there are some words that I didn’t know the meaning but I do not try to understand all the words.




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