Notting Hill Scene 1

Ashlie is preparing her costume for the Notting Hill Carnival and Stephen learns some new dance moves.

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.


Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Are there any carnivals in your country?
  • When do you have to prepare special clothes and learn a new dance?

Now, watch Stephen and Ashlie as they get ready for the Notting Hill Carnival.



Stephen: Wow, these are amazing. This one’s really nice. You’d look great in that.

Ashlie: No, I think I’d prefer something like this. This is much more colourful.

Stephen: We’re here in East London planning our costumes for next week’s Notting Hill Carnival. There's lots of work to do before the big day.

Ashlie: Yeah, here at the Mas-Camp, they're busy making all of their own costumes. And today, I'm here to help. So while I'm busy with that, Stephen's going to be picking up some dance moves. Yeah, come on.


Ashlie: Wow, this looks really complicated – what’s it going to be? 

Costume maker: It’s called ‘Pollination’ and it’s going to be a butterfly on a flower.

Ashlie: Oh, it’s beautiful. But it must take you hours and hours to work on this.

Costume maker: Actually, we started about three months ago. So yes, hours and hours.

Ashlie: So do you all compete, then, to see who’s got the best costume?

Costume maker: Yes, actually we have the competition in about four days at Alexander Palace.

Ashlie: Wow, you must be nervous.

Costume maker: Yeah, really.

Ashlie: Good luck for this year - I'm sure you'll do brilliantly.

Costume maker: Thank you very much.


Ashlie: Stephen, can you just help me with this?

Stephen: Yes, what do you need me to do?

Ashlie: Can you hold this piece down while I glue this on?

Stephen: Yeah. What is it?

Ashlie: This is going to be part of my head-piece.

Stephen: Wow! That's going to look absolutely amazing. Shall I put my finger here?

Ashlie: Yes, right that’s it. Thank you, I just need to glue this piece down. There we go. Right, shouldn’t you be learning some dance moves? Stephen! You're glued to my hat!


Stephen: Excuse me, mate. Is this the dance lesson?

Man: Yes, I'm the dance teacher. Do you want to join in?

Stephen: Yes, please!

Man: Alright, come on, let me show you what to do. Alright, so, let's see what we're going to do. We’re going to do a criss-cross to the right and kick with our left foot at the same time. 

Stephen: I'll do it with you, go on.

Stephen: Criss-cross, kick, kick. OK, I can do that.

Man: Ready?

Stephen: Yep.

Man: Sure? OK, lets go, listen to this, 5,6,7,8...


Stephen: Wow! The costume looks great. What do you think of mine?

Ashlie: Er, well it’s nice, but mine is better. I mean it’s more, more glamorous. And do you know what? I helped make it myself! So how did the dancing lesson go?

Stephen: It was excellent! I had a really good teacher - really hard work though – I’m exhausted already.

Ashlie: Come on then – show me your moves! Yeah, I think you’re going to need a little more practice.

Stephen: Ha – maybe. C’mon you need to practise some moves too, if we're going to win a prize for the best carnival dancers.

Ashlie: I can’t wait. I’m really excited. It’s going to be fab! Come on then.

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Language level

Submitted by nikoslado on Mon, 02/03/2020 - 22:00

Dear Team, Ι can't stop thanking you and appreciate the hard work you are doing for us. I'd like, although, to mention something about the English there are spoken in some cases, where the text is completely simple, whereas the live speaking and the pronunciation seem to be like another strange language with the half or more less words or syllables.I I'm referring-for example- to this extract: ''Man: Alright, come on, let me show you what to do. Alright, so, let's see what we're going to do. We’re going to do a criss-cross to the right and kick with our left foot at the same time.'' I'm feeling that I wouldn't understand anything even if If had been in Notting Hill for ages.Note, that my son- who studies medicine in England - could barely understand half of what the dancer said. What do you think about it? Ever thankful, nicoslado

Hi nikoslado,

That particular speaker is rather hard to understand, isn't he? On LearnEnglish we think that it's important to show our users real language as it is used in real situations, so that when people encounter natural language use they won't be surprised. It's better to encounter speech like this in a recording with a transcript first, I think!



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by xu711 on Thu, 13/09/2018 - 16:41

dear teacher, can you please answer what the word "glamorous" mean? many thanks!
They all are very useful, thanks for all your help!!!

Submitted by Nguyen thi Hai Huyen on Sat, 05/05/2018 - 15:56

Could you help me to use two word as below for native speaker: Neither either I always confuse to use it

Hello Nguyen thi Hai Huyen,

Either means A or B but not both.

Neither means not A and not B.


Thus, if I say Bob went to either the library or the bookshop then I mean that he went to one of the places and not the other one.

If I say Bob went to neither the library nor the bookshop then I mean he did not go to the library and he did not go to the bookshop.


We use or after either and nor after neither.

We use singular verbs after etther (either option is good) and neither (neither option is good)



The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks so much. But i confuse as below: A: I like reading B: If B like reading, B can say: Me neither or either?

Hello Nguyen thi Hai Huyen,

There are several possible choices here:


If both like reading:

I like reading.

So do I.


If neither likes reading:

I don't like reading.

Neither do I.


If one likes reading and the other does not:

I like reading.

I don't.


I don't like reading.

I do.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SonuKumar on Wed, 06/09/2017 - 08:06

Sir, Ashlie says "it must take you hours and hours to work on this" does she mean that it will definitely take you hours and hours to work on this or it probably or definitely takes you hours and hours to work on this ? I mean is saying for one event which will take place in future or for one event that takes place daily in present and if she says for future for one event so Could we use 'Must' for one event that takes place daily in present and someone else does that but we are not sure that how time that event probably takes daily like it must take you hours and hours daliy to work on this or should we only say that I imagine or probably it takes you hours and hours to work on it ?

Hello SonuKumar,

In this case, Ashlie uses 'must' to show that she is making a deduction or conclusion based on what she is seeing. In other words, since what she sees is a process that looks like it takes a long time to complete, but which Ashlie hasn't actually witnessed taking a long time to complete, she supposes that it takes a long time to complete. She could say 'I suppose it must take', but 'must' is used quite often to express the same idea.

'must' doesn't include the idea of daily work here -- it's more general than that.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by simizuh on Sat, 08/07/2017 - 15:08

Hi, I met this program yesterday, and I thought this is very good. By the way, I would like to ask this program : Where is " Preparation task" because I read introduction;Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Thank you from Yokohama,Japan

Hello simizuh,

I'm glad you enjoyed the video! In all the Word on the Street pages, the Preparation task is just above the video. But it's not an exercise (like Task 1, Task 2, etc.), it's just some written instructions to help you prepare for watching the video. On other pages on our site, there is an actual exercise that you can do in Preparation, but not here in Word on the Street.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Adriancatanescu on Tue, 06/06/2017 - 12:01

Hello everyone in my country there are few carnivals in difference parts of the year most of them are in December and some of them are in Spring when people plant seeds in the ground. And some of them occur in the summer when it's going to be a nice weather for all the people and for the nature. But I never was to a carnival I would like to be part of the carnival but unfortunately I never go there I saw most of them on TV actually I heard most of them in the newspaper I read actually on the radio but anyway I would like to go to a Carnaval who knows maybe to be part of it. Actually I didn't decided yet when I'm going to a carnival but I might go in this summer and if I go I'll have to start to think about it and maybe who knows to take some lesson of dancing and preparing some clothes some stuff to put on and anyway this subject is looks really interesting for me actually more new because I really like it, but it's a shame because I didn't make part of them yet.

Submitted by Akbar Safi on Fri, 07/04/2017 - 03:54

Hi venerated teachers! If you allow me Can I make a summary of the transcript in my own words in a continuous form and present it here to you for a proof reading?

Hi Akbar Safi,

I'm afraid we don't check or correct or users' writing. We are asked about this often but it is simply not possible for our small team to provide this service for the many thousands of users we have.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Akbar Safi on Fri, 07/04/2017 - 03:26

Hi teachers! In the sentence 'Stephen's going to be picking up some dance moves', pick up here means to learn? Sir, what would be the other form of the sentence?

Hello Akbar Safi,

Yes, 'pick up' means to learn here. It's often used in contexts where the learning is in a sense natural, such as picking up a language while living in another country.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by duggixx on Fri, 27/01/2017 - 09:09

Yes in my town, on February, there is always a carnival party along the central street. For this day mothers and kids do their best to find special clothes as Batman, Spiderman, Violetta or other characters

Submitted by Vartica Singh on Mon, 23/01/2017 - 06:42

Could it be like if we want to win prize for the best carnival dancers in place of if we're going to win..What's the difference and which one's more appropriate?

Hello Vartica Singh,

Both of these are fine and the meaning is essentially the same. You could also express the same idea in other ways, such as 'If we are planning to win...' or 'If the plan is to win...'


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nizam Balinese on Fri, 13/01/2017 - 05:23

Hi Team. In Stephen's question sentence : 'Shell I put my finger here?" Is it possible if I switch shell with will? If yes, what's the difference between them? What about, Subject in the sentence is She/He? - Does it still use shell or it will be changed? Thank you.

Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 13/01/2017 - 08:59

In reply to by Nizam Balinese


Hi Nizam Balinese,

The meaning of 'shall' here is rather like 'should' - it is asking if it is acceptable, appropriate or desired. Using 'will' would make it a question about what is likely or expected.

'Shall' can be used with other subjects than 'I' but this is unusual.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team