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Literature is GREAT - Part 2

Modern-day authors cast their own spells, too, and Richard visits a very magical place to find out about contemporary English writers.

Task 1

Which is the best summary of the video?


Task 2

Watch the video again, and choose the best answer.


Task 3

Drag and drop the words to complete the sentences.


Task 4

Complete the paragraph about Philip Pullman by typing the missing words into the spaces.




Language level

Advanced: C1
Upper intermediate: B2


Thank you very much for this great opportunity to learn English! Fantastic!

I think the Harry Potter books are so popular because of their colourful but simple, immediate language and for the originality of the story. The author has been very clever in mixing up magic and reality in a proper balance. When I finished the books, I was able to see magic here and there in the real world. I think every act of kindness can bring some sort of magic, in the end.
I did not read the books mentioned by Richard in the video, except for the Harry Potter's saga. Actually I do not like fantasy books such as Tolkien's etc. I watched "How to train a dragon 2" at the cinema and I liked it. I didn't know it had been adapted from a book. I think I could try and read it.
I don't think I would be able to write a story, I'm very fond of books but I'm not so good at writing down things... I prefer to tell them, instead.

wow! such many new phrases! " such a breeding ground for writing talent", "get sb to draw upon", "shivers up their spine". Would you mind explaining these phrases (i think) for me?

Hello kristina26,

Have you tried using the Cambridge Dictionaries Online search window for this?  You can find the information you need for these phrases there.  Try typing into the window (on the right) each of these:

'breeding ground'

'draw on'

'shiver up your spine'

As you can see, you can get definitions and examples using the search tool.  You can also get example pronunciation of the phrases, which is something we can't do for you in the comments here.

I hope that helps you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Could you please explain ".. sit on the edge of their seats..." (at 03:22)? Does it mean 'these novels make people silent and enjoy reading' with the meaning of 'sit on'? If so, what about 'edge'? I mean, for example, 'that novel makes her sit on her seat' is possible?

Hello Aung Thet Naing,
If you are on the edge of your seat then you are extremely excited and can't wait to find out what is going to happen next.  We often use it when we're talking about films, stories, or even anecdotes:
'And what happened next?  Come on, tell me, I'm on the edge of my seat here!'
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

amazing video but unfortunately i can't understand everything they said....

Hello widad widi,
I'm glad you like the video but it is quite challenging and perhaps some of the other videos on the site might be a little easier for you to start with.  Remember also that there are some things you can do to make videos, including this one, easier.  For example, you might try using the transcript to help you?  You can find it just below the video window and it you can try listening and reading at the same time, or read the transcript first, looking up some of the vocabulary if necessary, and then try listening.
 Let us know if these suggestions help you, and keep going with your English studies!
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. I come from Portugal.
I Discovered this site in the last Sunday, and I love it. Now i hope improve my english, essentially the listening, the speanking and the writing. Thank for all!
I am not harry potter fan, but its incredible  its success. I never read any books that you mentioned, because I prefer Portuguese literature like Fernando Pessoa, Luís de Camões or more recently Virgilio Ferreira ou José Luís Peixoto.
I couldn't write a novel because i have no capacity to write big texts :S

Hello Adam,
Could you please explain the meaning of "as has" in the sentence "...The Lord of the Rings have also been turned into movies as has that other icon of British fiction..."?
Looking forward your reply,
Aung Thet Naing