Shakespeare Scene 2 Language Focus

Rob guides us through some of the most important English tenses.

English
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Task

Put the names and descriptions of the tenses with the right sentence.

Exercise

Choose the past simple or present perfect form of the verb, and type it into the box.

Exercise

Task 2

Type the present simple or present continuous form of the verb into the gap.

Exercise

Task 4

Decide whether going to for future plans or will for sudden decisions is best for each sentence.

Exercise

1 Article: 

London’s TheatreLand

Amandeep journeys to London's famous West End to go backstage at one of the world's most popular musicals: Mamma Mia!. She meets cast and crew, and finds out about the history of this long-running show.

English
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Transcript

This is London’s West End, where theatre is centre stage. Over 40 playhouses can be found in the largest theatrical district in the world.

The Prince of Wales Theatre is home to the hit show Mamma Mia!. And I’m getting a sneak peek backstage.

Mamma Mia! has been playing at the Prince of Wales Theatre since 2004. It’s a love story set on a Greek island. The show features hit songs by the band ABBA. It’s been a worldwide hit, winning many awards.

This is the warm up, when the actors get ready for the show. I can’t wait to see them in their full costumes in the actual performance.

I think this is the way to the dressing room.

Ah, now this one is so me.

.......

I’ve come backstage to meet one of the stars of the show.

Amandeep: Craig, which character do you play?

Craig: I play Sky who is getting married to Sophie, who is Donna’s daughter, who runs the taverna on the island.

Amandeep: Tell me about the costumes.

Craig: I’m mainly in a wetsuit or swimming trunks and everyone else is in normal clothes throughout - except right at the end, when we do the big finale, everyone gets dressed up in big, glittery, loud colour costumes.

Amandeep: What’s the best thing about working on Mamma Mia!?

Craig: The crew and cast are great. And the music’s great.

.......

There are a lot more people involved in putting on a show than just the actors. Without the backstage crew, the show can’t go on.

Clare Whitfield is a stage manager and has worked on Mamma Mia! since 1999.

Amandeep: So Clare, tell me about what you do.

Clare: My job is to look after the show from the set and the props and the furniture to ensure the safe and clean running of the production every night.

Amandeep: Can you explain what a prop is?

Clare: Yes, a prop is just an everyday object that the actors use. In our show we use a lot of luggage, a diary, letters, a hairbrush. It can be anything, but the fact that the actor picks it up and takes it on stage makes it a prop.

Amandeep: Why do people enjoy Mamma Mia!?

Clare: Everyone loves ABBA. People of all ages can relate to it. And it’s such a great, uplifting story.

.......

It’s almost time for the show to start. I’d better go and find my seat.

Task

Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Do you know any ABBA songs?
  • Have you seen the movie or stage version of Mamma Mia!?
  • Are musicals popular in your country?

Now, listen and watch as Amandeep interviews crew and cast of the musical, Mamma Mia!.

Choose the right ending for the sentences.

Exercise

We use get in a lot of different ways in English. Drag the expressions with get to complete the sentences.

Exercise

Task 2

Put the right words or numbers in the gaps.

Exercise

Task 4

It's a good idea to keep lists of related vocabulary. Read the conversation with Craig Fletcher, and add new words to the THEATRE list.

Exercise

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Britain is Great!

Tab: 
Great Videos
Chinese, Simplified

我们新创作的一套系列短片,以较快的节奏展示了很多英国很棒的元素。观看视频,完成练习,还可以给我们留言。

每周都有新一集上线,所以请常回来看看,多学习一些吧。

我们新创作的一套系列短片,以较快的节奏展示了很多英国很棒的元素。观看视频,完成练习,还可以给我们留言。

每周都有新一集上线,所以请常回来看看,多学习一些吧。

Britain is Great!

Tab: 
Great Videos
English

Our new, fast-moving video series is about the things that make Britain great. Watch the videos, do the exercises and leave your comments!

A new episode is coming out every week, so keep coming back to learn more.

Our new, fast-moving video series is about the things that make Britain great. Watch the videos, do the exercises and leave your comments!

A new episode is coming out every week, so keep coming back to learn more.

Elementary 1

First part of a course for elementary learners. Topics include: People, Work and study, Places, Free time, Travel.

Each level of our LearnEnglish Pathways course includes interactive games, audio and video, as well as a grammar reference.

Elementary 1 (CEFR level A1) 

Topics include:

  • People
  • Work and study
  • Places
  • Free time
  • Travel

This course will help you with your listening, reading, vocabulary and grammar.

Coming soon!

Music is Great - Part 1

Some of the greatest music in the world comes from Britain, and British music is still topping the charts today. Richard visits The Premises recording studio, where many world-famous artists have made music.

English
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Which of the following sentences are true?

Exercise

Who has recorded at The Premises?

Exercise

Put the parts of the sentences together.

Exercise

Put the two parts of the phrases together.

Exercise

From hip hop to jazz… From dance to the blues: it’s music, and there’s a style for everyone. Some of the greatest music in the world comes from Britain, and British music is still topping the charts today.

The Premises recording studios are big players in the music industry. Everyone from Lana del Rey to the Arctic Monkeys come here. Let’s find out more.

If you’ve heard of them, they’ve probably played here. The Premises has been one of London’s most popular studios for over 25 years. It has space for rehearsing, recording and mixing some of the best music in the world.

Viv Broughton is the studio boss.

Richard: Viv, tell me about The Premises.

Viv: Well, The Premises is a complex of recording studios and I don’t really think there’s anything quite like it anywhere in the country. It's a mixture of rehearsal studios, recording studios, a lively café, storage facilities, so it's a really busy place. Hundreds of people passing through all the time.

Richard: What sort of artists come here?

Viv: Oh, a mixture of people. I mean, we've been going for 26 years so almost everybody you can think of has passed through the doors one way or another, so I think in the last couple of years people like Rihanna and Adele and Lana Del Rey. Last month we had Ronnie Wood in from the Rolling Stones, so it's quite a mixture of people.

Richard: What is it about Britain that creates such musical talent?

Viv: Ah, that's a good question. It's a bit of a mystery but there just must be something in the water or in the air. Britain produces just so many amazing bands, from The Beatles and the Rolling Stones onwards and it's a melting pot of great recording and writing talent.

Britain has some of the world’s greatest music festivals. This is Bestival in the Isle of Wight. For 4 days every year, thousands of people come to this award-winning event to listen to and watch some of the greatest music acts around. There’s music here for everyone…

Series 03 Episode 18

Adam reads your comments about families and we find out if Carolina is feeling any better.

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

Did Carolina or Emily say these sentences from the podcast?

Exercise

English

Move the words into the gaps to complete the sentences from the podcast.

Exercise

Match the signs to the places where you would see the signs.

Exercise

Put the words in the right order to make rules for an English language classroom.

Exercise

Put the words in the right spaces to make some British superstitions.

Exercise

Match the two halves of the sentences to make a present perfect continuous sentence.

Exercise

Put the words in the right spaces.

Exercise

Leave a comment below!

  • Where do you go and what do you do to cheer yourself up when you feel sad?
  • Can you visit the countryside and nature easily where you live?
  • What contact do you have with nature in your day-to-day life?
Series: 

Shopping is Great - Part 1

London has some of the world’s most famous department stores: Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and many others. Our presenter Richard visits them and also samples a smaller shop for a range of shopping experiences.

English
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In what order did Richard look at the following products?

Exercise

What's special about each shop or area?

Exercise

Match the beginnings and ends of these phrases.

Exercise

Richard said "If only they had it in my size". Type the correct form of the verb in the gap. Make it negative if necessary. 

We have a page on LearnEnglish about the use of 'if only'.

Exercise

London is the shopping capital of the world. Every year millions of overseas visitors shop here. But what makes shopping here so great? There’s only one way to find out. I’m off to do some shopping – follow me!

At Harrods

Knightsbridge is famous for upmarket shopping. This is where the rich and famous come to buy… their socks. And this is the one and only Harrods… the ultimate in luxury. Even royalty shop here. If I’m lucky, I might see someone famous.

If only they had it in my size. Lovely! Thank you!

Done quite well there – what’s next? Taxi! Harvey Nichols, please.

At Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols – or ‘Harvey Nicks’ for short – is a great place for designer fashion.

Well, I had to buy couple of things… What?

At Hamleys

The biggest toy shop in the world – now you’re talking!

So cute… err… it’s not for me.

Oxford Street

London’s Oxford Street is retail heaven. It’s got over 2 kilometres of shops to choose from… and, of course, Selfridges for shopping with style. Taxi!

Could you drop all this off home for me, please? I’m off to explore a different sort of shopping in Britain.

If you like shopping all under one roof, then there are big shopping centres all over Britain. The Olympic-sized shopping centre at Westfield, Stratford, is huge. With over 300 shops, it’s one of the largest shopping centres in Europe. 

At Lock's

Great shopping isn’t just about big shops. Smaller shops can offer something special too. Tucked away in the heart of Piccadilly is a great shopping gem. Lock’s sell that must-have in gentlemen’s fashion: the hat! Lock’s opened in London in 1679. Their hats can be seen across the world. They pride themselves on their personal service.

Richard: Sue Simpson is a hat specialist. Hi Sue.

Sue: Oh, hi Richard.

Richard: Wow, a bowler hat, you don’t see many of those these days, do you?

Sue: Well, we don’t call it a ‘bowler’ here at Lock’s, we call it a ‘coke hat’ because it was invented in 1850 for Thomas Coke…

Richard: …by this very shop.

Sue: …by this very shop and we still call it a ‘coke’ to this day.

Richard: Ah, the classic top hat. When would I wear that?

Sue: That’s a beautiful silk top hat. You would wear that for a society wedding, or the time you see most of them is at Ascot, which is the famous race meeting in June.

Richard: So what’s your best-seller here at Lock’s?

Sue: Our best-seller would be a classic tweed cap or this trilby here, which is called a ‘Voyager’, and the novelty of this one…

Richard: …is it folds up so you can pop it into your luggage.

Sue: …pop it into your luggage.

Richard: Excellent. Is that a deerstalker?

Sue: Similar to a deerstalker, but this is a country cap with a fastening that goes over the top. And this was invented originally for wearing in open-top cars, but now it’s more commonly worn on the hills out shooting and this keeps the ears warm and stops it blowing away.

Richard: I like it; I’ll take this one.

Powerlifting

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English

Powerlifting is the Paralympic equivalent of the Olympic sport of weightlifting. There is only one type of lift – the bench press. Athletes lie on their back before lifting the weight. It is one of the Paralympic sports in which athletes with different disabilities compete together. Have you ever tried to do a bench press? How much could you lift? An athlete at the 2008 Paralympics lifted 265 kg!

1 Article: 
Task 2
Task 3
Spotting

If you looked up ‘spotting’ in the dictionary, you would usually see explanations connected with ‘seeing’ and ‘raining’. However, ‘spotting’ in weightlifting is different and it means supporting another person during a weightlifting exercise. It is particularly common, and recommended, when doing the bench press, which is the type of weightlifting done in Powerlifting. This is because of the risks of lifting a heavy weight while lying on your back.

Spotting takes place during both training and competition. In training, the emphasis is on helping the athlete lift more than he could normally do. Correct spotting involves knowing when to help with a lift, and encouraging your training partner.

In competition, the role of the spotter is very important. The athlete may request the help of the spotters when removing the bar from the racks. Of course there is the obvious role of catching the bar in the event of an accident to prevent injury.

But the spotter cannot help the athlete in any way to lift the weight. From the moment the referee gives the signal ‘start’, to the moment he gives the signal ‘rack’, the competitor will be disqualified if the spotter touches the bar.

In both training and competition, good spotting involves knowing exactly when you should or should not intervene.

To understand this sport better, first look at the illustration and read about the rules and classification system. Then do the vocabulary exercise. The second reading is all about the importance of 'spotting'!

Teachers: the lesson plan is coming soon. Meanwhile why not check out the other sports lesson plans available from the English for the Games section of the Teaching English website?

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