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.

Task 1

Task 2


Language level

Average: 2.5 (2 votes)
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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
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 07:46

In reply to by nikoslado


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