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!
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.
Match the names of countries to the descriptions.
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.
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.
From art to architecture, from film to fashion, British talent leads the world. Richard goes in search of the sources of British creativity, and meets Batman, Queen Elizabeth, and Puss in Boots along the way.
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'.
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.