Visitors

English
Tab: 
Visitors

All the language you need to watch the Olympic and Paralympic Games at home or in the UK! Useful language in Situations. Visitor handbooks - read online or download the pdf.

Readers

English
Tab: 
Readers

Four readers which provide extended reading and listening practice on Olympic and Paralympic themes. Four levels: elementary to upper intermediate.

Hallowe'en

It's autumn in England, and for Ashlie and Stephen that means Hallowe'en! They're holding a fancy dress party for their friends, so first they have to choose their costumes. But will Stephen's magic tricks really be treats?

Meanwhile, Joe finds out about another autumn celebration in the UK - and sees some amazing fireworks!

English
1 Article: 

Series 03 Episode 19

Tess and Ravi talk about a scary monster. But there's something worse than monsters; Adam and Rob say goodbye!

While you listen

Elementary Podcasts are suitable for learners with different levels of English. Here are some ways to make them easier (if you have a lower level of English) or more difficult (if you have a higher level of English). You can choose one or two of these suggestions - you don't have to do all of them!

Making it easier

  • Read all the exercises before you listen to the podcast.
  • Look up the words in the exercises that you don't know in a dictionary.
  • Play the podcast as many times as you need.
  • Play each part of the podcast separately.
  • Read the transcript after you have listened to the podcast.

Making it harder

  • Listen to the podcast before you read the exercises.
  • Only play the podcast once before answering the questions.
  • Play the whole podcast without a break.
  • Don't read the transcript.

Now, listen to the podcast and do the exercises on the following tabs.

Choose all the sentences that are true according to what you heard in the podcast.

Exercise

Put the words in the correct order to make sentences from the podcast.

Exercise

English

Put the words in the correct gaps, but don't look back at activity 2!

Exercise

Put the verbs in the right gaps.

Exercise

Type the past simple forms of these verbs. Don't look back at Activity 4!

Exercise

Match the start and the end of the sentences.

Exercise

Put the verbs in the correct gaps.

Exercise

Match the names of countries to the descriptions.

Exercise

Leave a comment below!

  • Do you believe that the Loch Ness monster really exists?
  • Have you ever visited Loch Ness? Would you like to go?
  • Tell us about any stories of strange monsters that you know about from your country, in the water or on the land.
Series: 

Creativity is Great - Part 1

From Wallace and Gromit to Ewan McGregor, Britain's cinema is great. Richard visits the London Film Museum and finds out about the facilities for making film in the UK.

English
Downloads
1 Article: 

Which of these things do you see in the London Film Museum?

Exercise

Watch the video again, and select the best answer.

Exercise

Can you make sentences from the video using these words?

Exercise

Can you complete these sentences with the right words? Use of with which, whose or whom.

Exercise

Britain is a creative nation ... Art, music, gaming and film-making – you’ll find it all here.

But why is it that Great Britain has more creative people, per head of population, than anywhere else in the world?

Let’s find out …

This is the London Film Museum. Here you’ll find original costumes and props from some of the world’s greatest films.

This museum has it all. Iconic monsters, robots, fantasy and so much more...

Ahhh - one of my boyhood heroes, Batman.

Jonathan Sands founded and created the museum, and over half of the collection is from his own private archive.

.....

Richard: Jonathan, I'm a huge fan of movies so I'm very excited to be here. What's the idea behind the London Film Museum?

Jonathan: The Film Museum primarily promotes the British film industry through a number of mediums, including original artefacts and costumes and sets. A lot of our friends, who we've accumulated over the years, have donated material to the museum and it is the only film museum like it in the UK.

Richard: And how did it come about?

Jonathan: Well, it came about because originally we ourselves are from the film industry. We owned a prop company, a prop being an artefact or an item that is used on the film, many of which you'll see here.

Richard: Why do you think it is that Britain leads the world when it comes to film-making?

Jonathan: I think primarily for two reasons. One, we have fantastic facilities, like the Pinewoods, Sheppertons and soon to be the Leavesdens, and we also have the best and the most creative talent, whether it's in front of camera or behind the camera, really.

.....

From creativity on the small screen to creativity on the big stage … the UK has a thriving theatrical tradition. London’s West End is the largest theatrical district in the world.

And it’s not only happening in London. Great Britain hosts one of the world’s largest cultural events – this is the Edinburgh Festival. The Festival takes place each year in August and attracts acts and visitors from around the world.

Creativity is Great - Part 2

Richard looks back at past masters of British creativity at Tate Britain and then comes right up to date with an introduction to Britain's great computer gaming scene.

English
Downloads
1 Article: 

Put Richard's actions in the order he does them.

Exercise

Choose the true sentences for each question.

Exercise

Complete the phrases from the video.

Exercise

Find another way to say the first sentence. You have to use the word in brackets at the end of the second sentence and you also have to use a phrase with an -ing word, like 'taking' or 'having'.

Exercise

Another side of British culture that attracts tourists is the range of visual arts on show.

There are over 300 world-class museums and art galleries just in London. This is Tate Britain - right here, in Millbank. It’s the home of British art from the 1500s right up to the present day - let’s go take a look.

Tate Britain is the world centre for British art. Some of the greatest artists of all time are British and this gallery has them all under one roof.

Tate Britain is one of four Tate galleries across the country, and the oldest. Over the years, it’s been threatened by bombing in the war and flooding from the Thames. There are hundreds of works of art here.

These are some of the earliest paintings in the gallery, including this portrait of Queen Elizabeth the First.

Penelope Curtis is the director of Tate Britain. It’s her job to decide which art pieces are exhibited.

Richard: Penelope, tell me about Tate Britain.

Penelope: Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art. It was founded by Henry Tate about a hundred years ago.

Richard: And what does your role involve?

Penelope: I'm the director, and that means looking after everything, but particularly the collections and the displays that you can see in the gallery.

Richard: And you have some fabulous pictures here, including this very popular one.

Penelope: They say this is our most popular painting. It's hard to know, but it certainly sells the most postcards, but that's rather an old-fashioned measure.

Richard: What is it about British art that's so exciting?

Penelope: Well, what's particular about British art is that we're an island nation, so things become very concentrated here. People travel from all over the world to be here; other people never leave at all, so things that you might see in the rest of the world become more concentrated in Britain.

Richard: What's the future of British art and creativity?

Penelope: I think the fact that we don't know is what's exciting about it. Here, we can make history speak to the present and inform what people are doing now, and that's one of our important roles.

And the future of British art is bold and exciting.

.....

Artistic creativity in Great Britain isn’t always found at museums or galleries; sometimes it’s worth taking a closer look at the walls around the city.

Street art used to be a form of protest and was often painted over by the authorities. These days it’s a celebrated art form. Some pieces are worth a fortune. 

.....

Another art form that is booming in Britain is building computer games.

The UK produces more than a quarter of the world’s computer games and independent developer Blitz Games Studios here in Leamington Spa has created some top sellers. Popular games like Puss in Boots, Karaoke Revolution and The Biggest Loser are developed here. Blitz Games Studios have a passion for games, technology and creativity.

Philip Oliver is a game developer and set up Blitz Games Studios with his brother.

Richard: Philip, how did this all start?

Philip: My twin brother and I, Andrew, started playing video games in the early eighties. We got ourselves a 8-bit computer and started writing games just as a hobby but, by the mid-eighties, we were actually able to sell games. We set up Blitz Games Studios and started employing people with the idea we would make games for a global audience, and today we have over 220 talented, creative people making video games for all the biggest publishers in the world.

Richard: What makes games development so creative?

Philip: Games are just a fantastic medium. I'm sorry, but I'm absolutely hooked, and I hope so many other people are. We are the entertainment of the twenty-first century. There are no limits.

Do you know, when it comes to computer games, I don’t think I'm very good at building them. I'm much better at playing them. Yes! Come on! Go up, up, up, up! Get the star! Go on! Go - Oh, no, no, ah.

Northern Ireland Scene 1

Stephen and Ashlie see some of Northern Ireland's sights, and then head to the Atlantic Ocean for surfing lessons.

English
Upload video
Transcript

Transcript

Stephen: Come on, Ash. You said you wanted to see the scenery and you keep looking at the guidebook.

Ashlie: Yes, it’s just really interesting finding out a bit more about all the places along this coast.

Stephen: We’re here in Northern Ireland. We both want to try surfing. And the sea you can see over there is the Atlantic Ocean.

Ashlie: This scenery is beautiful, but lots of places here also have interesting stories. There are lots of fascinating folk tales and legends.

Stephen: We’re here to visit the Giant’s Causeway, one of the most famous attractions in Northern Ireland. How far is it, Ash?

Ashlie: Not far to go now. We should be there soon. Come on.

…..

Ashlie: Don’t you think this coastline is just beautiful, Stephen? Look, it says here that the Giant’s Causeway is supposed to be a bridge that was built by a giant.

Stephen: You can see why people might say that. Anyway we’re here for the Atlantic waves – for surfing – and I want to get down to the beach as soon as possible.

…..

Stephen: Hi. We’ve got a surfing lesson booked. We don’t have any equipment so we’ll have to hire everything, if that’s alright.

Surf Shop Assistant: Don’t worry about it. We’ve got everything you need. Can you swim?

Ashlie: Yes, we’re both good swimmers. But I’m not keen on going in very cold water.

Surf Shop Assistant: Don’t worry about the cold. We’ll give you wetsuits that can keep you warm. And we’ll get you just the right size board.

Ashlie: Great, thank you!

….

Ashlie: That looks pretty hard, Stephen. I wonder if we’ll be able to stand after just one lesson?

Stephen: I might be able to, but you won’t! Here comes the instructor. We can ask him.

Ashlie: Hi there. We’re here for our first lesson. And I was just wondering – do you think that we’ll be able to stand by the end of today?

Instructor: Absolutely – no problem. We're going to start off with the basics of surfing and you guys are going to have a great time.

Stephen: That’s excellent! Shall we get straight in the water, then?

Instructor: We’re going to start off on the beach first of all, guys. 

Instructor: First of all, you need to decide which foot you naturally put to the front. That’s the foot that goes to the front of the board.

Stephen: Like this?

Instructor: Yes, that’s it. Now we need to work out how you lie on the board so that you can balance properly whenever you’re paddling. Once you learn how to lie down then you start learning how to stand up. OK?

Instructor: First of all, you guys need to put your surfboards onto the sand.

…..

Stephen: I think I’ve swallowed half of the ocean. And I’m freezing cold too. I need a hot drink to warm me up.

Ashlie: Come on then, I think there’s a café at the top of this beach.

Stephen: Where did I put my money? Oh no!

Ashlie: What’s the matter, Stephen?

Stephen: I put my wallet in my wetsuit to keep it safe... And now my money’s soaking wet!

Task

Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Have you ever been to Northern Ireland?
  • Do you know anything it is famous for?
  • Have you ever been surfing?

Now, watch Stephen and Ashlie as they travel round Northern Ireland.

Put the events in the right order after you watch the video.

Exercise

'Just' is a very common and important word in English because it has a number of different meanings. Match the meanings with the examples from the video.

Exercise

Task 2

Watch the video again, and type the missing words in the spaces.

Exercise

Task 4

Reorder the words to make the sentences with just from the last task.

Exercise

Downloads
1 Article: 

Pages

Subscribe to Learn English | British Council RSS