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English is GREAT - Part 1

The story of English starts more than a thousand years ago. Richard goes to the British Library to hear – and see – how the language has changed over the years.

Task 1

Which of these things do Richard and Roger discuss at the British Library?


Task 2

Type in the missing words or numbers.


Task 3

Can you turn these SMS messages into correct English?


Task 4

Choose the best phrasal verb to complete the sentence.




Language level

Advanced: C1
Upper intermediate: B2


Chinese characters are really interesting, I learned from history books of its story. And one can guess the meaning of the character though you may don't know how to pronounce it in a right way. And that's why sometimes we make mistakes on rare use characters. In terms of English, I am confident in its use around the world. Just as it said in the video, it will definitely influenced by new technology. Besides, I guess it will surely influenced by different cultures as well, since intercultural communication happened strongly now, and people interact with each other by language, mostly English. What's more, during the interacting with cultures of other nations, English will become better in the future.

Hi Annie, I have heard that even Chinese people do not know their all characters, though.One of my friend who studies in Shangai told me that Chinese had many characters that even their people do not know.It is really interesting to hear that.I have been meaning to learn Chinese.However, after having heard of this, I got cold feet about learning Chinese, though :D

What makes English so great? Colonial conquest around the world in the past, of course... All great empires of all time is built by wars... And Great Britain is no exception ))) But among all the conquerors of the past (France, Spain, Portugal, etc.), England was more humane. The British have more respect for the unique culture of other peoples than other Europeans.

I used to be able to watch the videos, but not any more!!!

Hello houterman,

It sounds as if you may need to install the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player on your device. You could also try viewing the page in a different browser. If neither of these ideas works, please let us know what browser version you're using and we'll look into it.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I couldn't play the video on my computer. I don't know why? Anyone can give some help?

Hello Monkey King,

I'm sorry to hear that you're having some problems with the video. I have checked the video and it is working correctly, so I suspect that this is a compatibility issue with your device or your local settings. Do you have problems with other videos on the site or is it only this page? Please try accessing the site via a different device to see if this helps, and let us know the result.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I couldn't play the videos on my computer, too. Then, I tried accessing the site via my phone, it still isn't working. It shows "Connection Error".

Hello anhnguyenvu,

A 'connection error' usually indicates a temporary problem – could you try again? I've just been able to play this and other videos on my computer with no problem. You might need to install the Adobe Flash Player again on your computer for the video to play. Another option would be to try a different browser.

If it's still not working for you, please let us know what browsers and browser versions you've used to try to see the video and we'll look into it a bit more.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I am not able to see link for videos for most of the Sessions.?