Creativity is GREAT - Part 2

English

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.

Topics: 
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Task 2

Choose the true sentences for each question.

Exercise

Task 3

Complete the phrases from the video.

Exercise

Task 4

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.

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

Exercise

Northern Ireland Scene 1

English

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

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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!

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.

Northern Ireland Scene 1 Language Focus

English

First, Rob talks about ordering instructions in English, and then he talks about keen on.

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Task 3

Northern Ireland Scene 2

English

Once they've dried off, Ashlie and Stephen explore a bit more of Northern Ireland's heritage and, like so many places in the UK, that means... ghosts!

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Task 3

Stephen says to Ashlie: "I had your room changed.
Stephen didn’t change Ash’s room himself, but he asked someone else (the hotel receptionist) to do it.
We use this structure (have + object + past participle) to talk about asking other people to do things for us.

Exercise

Task 4

Transcript

Ashlie: Right, we can have a couple of hours here before we have to head off to our hotel.

Stephen: We’re here in Northern Ireland to learn how to surf and Ashlie’s insisting we also take time to see the sights.

Ashlie: We are at Dunluce Castle. It’s famous because it’s supposed to have its own ghosts.

Stephen: Come on – let’s go see if we can find a ghost.

.....

Ashlie: Stephen, look! It says here that part of the castle fell into the sea during a terrible storm. All the cooks drowned except for a young kitchen boy who survived.

Stephen: Scary story, but what an interesting place. Here, give me that book. What’s the name of our hotel?

Ashlie: It’s the Ballygally Castle Hotel.

Stephen: The Ballygally Castle Hotel? Ballygally Castle is said to be one of the most haunted places in the area.

Ashlie: Come on, Stephen. We’ll be fine!

…..

Ashlie: Hi there. We have a reservation for two rooms. The name is Walker.

Receptionist: Ah yes. How are you enjoying Northern Ireland? 

Stephen: Oh, it’s great. We’ve been surfing today and we went to a haunted castle, Dunluce. We didn’t see any ghosts, though.

Receptionist: Did you know we have ghosts here in the hotel?

Ashlie: Really?

Receptionist: Yes, we even have a Ghost Room you can visit. The man who built the castle here trapped his wife in one of the rooms and she escaped by jumping out of the window. People who visit the hotel say they hear strange noises and things move by themselves.

Ashlie: A Ghost Room! How do we get there?

Receptionist: You go down the corridor, turn left and up the spiral staircase.

Stephen: I thought the receptionist was joking when she said the hotel had a ghost. But they really do have a haunted room. How scary is that?

Ashlie: Oh Stephen, you’ll believe anything. But I do want to see this Ghost Room. Let’s have a look.

Stephen: I’m not sure about this, Ash.

Ashlie: Come on, you big baby!

Stephen: Hmm. I don’t like the look of this.

Ashlie: Look, it’s just an ordinary room. It’s a bit gloomy and the bed’s hard, but I would be happy to spend the night in here.

Stephen: Well, I wouldn’t! It’s cold and it’s creepy. Anyway, I’m going to my room to change before we eat.

Stephen: Whoooo!

Ashlie: Come on, Stephen, we don’t want to be late for dinner.

Stephen: Oh Ash! You’re so sensible sometimes.

Stephen: Oi! Wait for me...

…..

Ashlie: Wasn’t that a lovely meal, Stephen? I am ready for bed – all that surfing. I’m exhausted. I’m going to sleep well tonight.

Stephen: Me too. But I’ve found all the ghost stories a bit scary. I feel a bit nervous about spending the night in this haunted hotel, don’t you?

Ashlie: All these ghost stories are absolute nonsense! I don’t believe in ghosts. How could you possibly believe that rubbish? Now, go to bed. 

Stephen: Ashlie – actually, your room isn’t that way.

Ashlie: What? 

Stephen: I had your room changed. You’re in the Ghost Room. I had all your stuff sent up there.

Ashlie: What?

Stephen: Well, you said all these stories were nonsense. You said you didn’t believe in ghosts. Go on, Ash – spend a night in the Ghost Room. You’re not scared, are you?

Ashlie: No. I’ll sleep like a log. Goodnight.

Stephen: Goodnight. Don’t get scared!

Ashlie: All this talk about ghosts has got me thinking the hotel is haunted! I’m as bad as Stephen! I hope he’s OK.

Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Do you believe in ghosts?
  • Are ghost stories popular in your country?
  • What kinds of places do ghosts live?

Now, watch Stephen and Ashlie as they go in search of Northern Irish ghosts.

Northern Ireland Scene 2 Language Focus

English

Rob tells us about He said, She said, and then gives us a bit of information about the word 'bit'.

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We can use 'a bit' to make an adjective weaker, e.g. 'a bit nervous'. We can also use 'a little bit' and 'slightly' in the same way, e.g. 'a little bit nervous', 'slightly nervous'.

Exercise

Northern Ireland's Street Art

English

Amandeep visits Belfast, Northern Ireland's capital city, to find out how street art shows the city's difficult history and promises a brighter future.

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Transcript

Belfast is a lively and exciting city known for its music, nightlife and university.

But it was once famous for something which made headlines around the world. Years of conflict known as the Troubles left thousands dead.

One community, who are mostly Protestant Christians, wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. The other community, who are mostly Catholic Christians, wanted it to join up with the Irish Republic. People on the extremes of both sides used violence.

Fortunately, those days are over. But these murals are a reminder of the past. They can be found all over Belfast, painted on walls and houses.

The art showed support for one side or the other and symbolised a divided community. But now many murals are being preserved as an important part of the city’s history. I’ve come to meet Tim McCarthy.

Amandeep: Hi there, Tim. Hello, thanks so much for meeting me.

He has studied the murals and what they can tell us about the history of conflict here.

Amandeep: Tim, can you tell me about images like this?

Tim: Images like this are very common in working-class areas in Northern Ireland.

Amandeep: And what does it tell us about the history of the area?

Tim: Well, this particular community will have felt as if they were under pressure from the other community and therefore it contains a lot of defensive, militaristic kind of imagery.

Amandeep: And what about images from the other community?

Tim: You will find similar imagery, but the symbolism is very slightly different - a different use of colour but the content will be very similar.

Amandeep: And what is Belfast city like now?

Tim: Belfast is very different in the last few years. We’ve had a lot of investment, everyone feels better, feels more relaxed and a lot of the murals that are going up actually reflect this.

.....

New murals are appearing in the city. Many people feel these new images are more appropriate for a community which wants to leave the violent past behind.

People have been working hard to achieve a lasting peace in Northern Ireland. Many projects try to bring both sides closer together. Here at the Conway Community Centre, Tim is helping young people develop their skills and produce new artworks.

Young Woman: In Northern Ireland it’s very important for there to be an arts scene. Because instead of violence, instead of expressing yourself through alcohol or drugs, you can turn to the arts scene. It’s safe and it’s a good form of expression.

Young Man 1: I think street art is important for any city because it gives the city a kind of character.

Young Man 2: Without art in a country it would be very dull.

Tim gave me a lesson in his style of street art.

Amandeep: Tim, how significant is the street art scene in Belfast today?

Tim: Well, it is quite small, but it’s growing all the time with the help of the internet obviously. People can see what’s happening globally and they want a little piece of that on their doorstep.

There is a saying that art reflects society. People here are glad that the new art murals reflect a more prosperous and peaceful Northern Ireland.

Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Why do people draw graffiti?
  • Does it ever have a place in the city?

Watch Amandeep as she goes to Belfast to see its famous murals.

Northern Ireland

English
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 

Ashlie and Stephen are off to Northern Ireland, the smallest part of the United Kingdom. They visit the famous Giant's Causeway, learn to surf and chase ghosts in some of Northern Ireland's romantic ruined castles.

Meanwhile, Amandeep finds out a little more about the recent history of this area - and meets the young artists who are changing Belfast's look.

Countryside is GREAT - Part 2

English

Richard continues his exploration of Britain's great countryside. He sees the lakes and mountains of Scotland and two of the world's natural wonders: the Giant's Causeway in Ireland and the magnificent Durdle Door in Dorset.

1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Grammar: 
Task 2

Match the descriptions you heard about the places. Each place has two descriptions.

Exercise

Task 3

Complete the phrases.

Exercise

Task 4

Select the four adjectives that are possible in the gap, but don't select the one that isn't possible.

Exercise

Next we’re heading north.

I’ve come to Cairngorm National Park in Scotland, home to 5 out of 6 of the tallest mountains in Britain, and what’s more, I'm going to get to the top of that mountain without losing my breath!

If you don’t fancy the hour and a half walk to the top, like me, you can ride the Cairngorm Mountain Railway. 

Richard: Hiya. One ticket for the funicular, please.

The journey is 2km long, which makes this the highest railway journey in Great Britain. The train takes us to the top of the mountain – nearly 2000 metres above sea level. Now this is what I call mountain climbing… 

It only takes about 7 minutes to get to the top and it’s the best way to experience the peaks in all weather conditions. 

And here we are right at the top. It might be very windy, but just look at the views – absolutely incredible.

The views across Cairngorm National Park are stunning and you can see why this is Britain’s largest nature reserve.

Colin Kirkwood knows the Cairngorms better than most and works at the Mountain Railway.

Richard: What can we see at the top of Cairngorm mountain?

Colin: Well, you get a wonderful view from here. Looking down you can see over Loch Morlich, which is a famous beauty spot in this area, but you also get wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. You can see Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain, to the west, and to the north, some eighty miles away, you can see Ben Hope.

Richard: Great Britain has a lot of mountains. What makes this one stand out?

Colin: Well, this is the sixth highest mountain in Britain. It's also a wonderful place for people to come to walk, to climb and, of course, to enjoy snow sports.

Richard: What kind of wildlife can we see?

Colin: Well, if you're lucky, you may see ptarmigan on the mountain, it's kind of like an iconic bird for this area, and also a dotterel, which is a rare and protected species, and you might well see some mountain hare as well.

Richard: What do you love most about it?

Colin: Well, I think it's a very special place to work. To me, it's a real privilege to be able to work in this kind of mountain environment and to enthuse about it to other people and attract them to coming here.

.....

Another one of Scotland’s famous landmarks is Loch Ness. It’s 37km long and 239m deep at the deepest point, and some say it has its own monster!

The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland is just a short trip across the water. This world heritage site is the most popular tourist attraction in the area. 

Around 40 thousand rock columns were formed by the eruption of a volcano here, thousands of years ago. The tallest of the columns are around 12 metres high. 

.....

The British coastline offers both beauty and variety.

This is the Jurassic coast in Dorset. It could be as old as a quarter of a billion years and that amazing arch is called Durdle Door, and it’s one of the most photographed landmarks along this coast.

Durdle Door is a huge natural limestone arch near to Lulworth Cove on the south coast of England and is owned by the Lulworth Estate.

This area is part of 153km of natural World Heritage coastline. It’s a geological or rock formation walk through time.

Looking after this countryside is an important job.

Sarah Spurling is a countryside ranger.

Richard: Wow! A beautiful sunset, Sarah. Is this the best time to see Durdle Door?

Sarah: It's a lovely time to see it. It's lovely every time of day, but it's pretty beautiful, isn't it?

Richard: Yeah, absolutely. Tell me about the actual rock itself.

Sarah: Well, Durdle Door is a beautiful limestone arch, carved out with the power of the sea. It could be at least a thousand years old and it's one of the most magnificent features in Britain.

Richard: How exactly did it form?

Sarah: Well, Durdle Door used to be part of a big wall of rock that joins up with rocks you see in the water. That would have been the old coastline many thousands of years ago. The sea's worn it down over many years, leaving behind the rocks that you see now. The softer rocks behind it were eroded much more quickly, leaving Durdle Door sticking out into the water.

Richard: This whole coastline is really special, isn't it?

Sarah: Yeah, it is. I mean, it's special because of wonderful natural features like Durdle Door, also the sheer variety of landscapes and environments you can enjoy.

Richard: And it's quite environmentally sensitive.

Sarah: The nature of the landscape round here means that the area has escaped much of the development and modern farming that you see in other areas, and so the features and the wildlife that remain are good examples of what once may have been common.

Richard: Thanks, Sarah. Shall we enjoy the view?

Sarah: Let's enjoy the view.

Do you know what? I’ve truly discovered the most amazing countryside, and it’s all here in Great Britain.

In what order do these things get mentioned in the video?

Exercise

Shakespeare Scene 1

English

Stephen's got a job as an actor, and he and Ashlie go to the Globe Theatre in London to pick up his costume – and to find out about England's most famous writer, William Shakespeare.

Topics: 
1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Task 2
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Task 4

Transcript

Ashlie: You are late!

Stephen: I’m sorry, Ashlie. I’ve got great news. I’ve been offered a real acting job.

Ashlie: Well, that’s fantastic. What’s the job?

Stephen: I’m going to be playing Shakespeare. His plays are amazing.

Ashlie: Oh Stephen, I’m so pleased, that is great news.

Stephen: I know. I’ve got to go and collect my costume from the Globe Theatre now. It’s just round the corner.

Ashlie: The Globe! That is where Shakespeare’s plays were performed in London. I have always wanted to go to the Globe. I’ll come with you.

Stephen: This is my big chance. Every actor wants to be in a Shakespeare play.

Ashlie: I can’t believe you got a proper job as an actor.

Stephen: Can’t believe it? Really?

Ashlie: No, honestly. It’s great. I’m really impressed.

Stephen: Well, I think theatre people can recognise real talent when they see it.

Ashlie: Real talent, eh?

Stephen: It’s all about characters. Shakespeare created great characters. Kings, princes, heroes like Hamlet. I’d make a great Hamlet. To be or not to be. That is the question.

Ashlie: To be or not to be – late. Come on Stephen, get a move on!

......

Stephen: Wow – this is amazing!

Ashlie: I know. Can you imagine life here in Shakespeare’s time?

Stephen: Yes – no mobile phones, no computers, no Facebook. How would we survive?

Tour Guide: Hello. Welcome to the Globe Theatre. This is where the tour begins.

Ashlie: Great.

Tour Guide: So the original Globe was built not far from here in the late 1500s. Shakespeare was one of the owners of the theatre and his plays were performed there for many years.

Ashlie: So what happened to the first Globe?

Tour Guide: The first Globe Theatre actually burnt down in 1613. It was during a performance of Henry VIII and a stage cannon accidentally set fire to the roof.

Tour Guide: OK, it’s this way to the costume exhibition.

Stephen: You can really get a sense of what history was like in a place like this. The whole world’s a stage and all men and women are mere players.

Ashlie: Come on, Stephen, you’re not on stage now. We’re going.

Stephen: Is this really what the actors would have worn?

Tour Guide: Yes, these are copies of traditional costumes as they would have been in Shakespeare’s day.

Ashlie: Can I ask a question? Did they have women in the acting troupe or was it just men?

Tour Guide: No, men and boys acted out all of the female roles so these costumes would all have been worn by men. OK, so moving on...

Ashlie: What’s wrong?

Stephen: I’m not really into history. I’m going to pick up my costume and I’ll see you later.

Ashlie: OK. See you in a bit.

......

Stephen: So, Ash, what do you think of this?

Ashlie: It’s fantastic. I love the hat.

Stephen: I know, it’s a pretty amazing costume. I must be playing a prince or a king or someone really important.

Ashlie: That’s great, Stephen. Maybe you have the lead role?

Stephen: That’s it – you’re right. The director must have seen my star qualities.

Ashlie: Star qualities, eh?

Stephen: Yeah. I was born to be a star. I’ve got so much talent!

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:

  • Do you ever go to the theatre?
  • Have you ever been in a play?
  • Do you ever wear costumes? When and why?

Now, watch Stephen and Ashlie as they go to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

Shakespeare Scene 1 Language Focus

English

Rob talks about good ways to learn vocabulary and the uses of 'into'.

1 Article (OLD SITE STRUCTURE): 
Task 2
Task 3

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