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;
- Have you ever slept outdoors?
- Do you enjoy camping? Why / Why not?
- Have you ever been to a big festival? What activities are there to do?
Watch Stephen and Ashlie as they go to the Isle of Wight for a couple of days to participate in a big festival called Bestival.
Ashlie: Oh look, Stephen. I can see the Isle of Wight.
Stephen: Ah – you'll never guess what I've done.
Ashlie: What Stephen? I don't believe it. What have you forgotten?
Stephen: I don't have my passport!
Ashlie: Stephen, we're not leaving England. You don't need your passport.
Stephen: Oh, so you mean I don't need any foreign money after all?
Ashlie: Ha ha - very funny. We're heading to a music festival on the Isle of Wight. It's an island on the south coast of England.
Stephen: It's called Bestival, and I can't wait. There's going to be music, food and camping.
Ashlie: I love camping; fresh air, stars at night...
Stephen: Don't you mean, er, insects, cold showers and sleeping on the ground?
Ashlie: It's going to be brilliant, Stephen. I just hope the weather's good, I do not fancy camping in the rain.
Stephen: Well, you know what I always say; be prepared! So I've brought clothes for any weather. We'll be fine.
Ashlie: Well, we're almost there. So we better head to the van. Come on you.
Stephen: I'm so glad we borrowed a camper van.
Ashlie: It's cool, isn't it. Very retro!
Stephen: I know. There aren't too many of these vans still around. This one's nearly forty years old.
Ashlie: Oh, so just a bit older than you then!
Stephen: Ha-ha. Come on. I want to have a look round the festival.
Ashlie: OK, well I saw some interesting stalls over there.
Stephen: Oh, I want to go to the main stage. I want to see some live music.
Ashlie: OK, well I will meet you at the tea tent then in an hour. Have fun!
Ashlie: Oh! Hey you scared me there! You guys look great. What have you come as?
Festival Goer 1: Erm, the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland.
Ashlie: Oh wow. I've noticed a lot of people in fancy dress, actually. What's going on?
Festival Goer 2: Oh it's erm – at this festival, every year, everybody gets dressed up.
Festival Goer 1: And the theme this year is fantasy.
Ashlie: So what does fantasy mean?
Festival Goer 2: Fantasy means anything from outer space to Alice in Wonderland.
Ashlie: Well, I must say you guys look amazing. I'll have to remember that one for next year. Have a nice festival guys!
Waitress: Hi, can I help?
Ashlie: Oh yes. Can I get tea for two, please?
Waitress: Would you like a high tea?
Ashlie: That would be lovely, yes please.
Waitress: I'll just be a minute.
Ashlie: Thank you
Stephen: Hey Ash!
Ashlie: Wow Stephen!
Stephen: Did you order tea?
Ashlie: Yeah. Nice fantasy costume. But what on earth are you? You look like an alien.
Stephen: What are you talking about? This is my rain gear. I thought I felt a few drops earlier.
Waitress: High tea for two.
Ashlie: Thank you.
Ashlie: Come on then, let's set up camp.
Stephen: Are you really going to sleep in your tent, Ash?
Ashlie: Of course I am. I love sleeping under the stars, you know, getting closer to nature.
Stephen: Well, I'm staying in the camper van. I don't want to sleep on the ground.
Ashlie: Stephen you can't do that. That's not proper camping.
Stephen: Yes, but I've got running water and…even a fridge.
Ashlie: Well, I still say that that's not real camping.
Stephen: It is to me and besides, you snore.
Ashlie: I do not!
Ashlie: Where's my tent?
Stephen: There you go. We need to get everything sorted before it gets dark.
Stephen: Right, that's me done!
Stephen: Do you need a hand?
Ashlie: I think there's another pole or something somewhere.
Stephen: Are you sure you don't want any help?
Ashlie: No, I'm fine, I know what I'm doing.
Stephen: OK, if you're sure.
Ashlie: I think I've sorted it... Ta da!
Stephen: Right, I'm off to bed. See you in the morning.
Ashlie: OK, night!
first of all, I'd like to congratulate you for your comprehensive and thoughtful explanations and, secondly, the Organization of the British Council for having teachers like all of you.
I read carefully your answer and I totally agree with you on all you pointed out.
However, for my own convenience, I would like you to clarify the following practical point: Obviously, I want to learn to listen to the language like a native. So, in that Stephen's particular passage, what would I have to hear? I insist on this because I suppose I have to focus and be familiar with a range of daily English sounds, formal or informal.
Hello again Nikos,
When I listen to this fragment I hear Stephen speaking very quickly and not particularly clearly but I do hear 'There's gonna be music'. Now, how far that I my brain filling in gaps and how far it is actual phonemes articulated physically by Stephen I can't really say. As I said before, listening is a complex process which interweaves hearing and completing – but so, research has shown, are many other processes including reading and seeing (our brain completes predictively a lot of what we think we see), as well as touching, remembering and so on.
The LearnEnglish Team
I'd like to tell me, please, about the following phrase (I'm taking that as an example for the issue of listening skills).
At the audio point 0:29, Stephen is supposed to say ''There's going to be music.....'' as the script writes. Listening to the audio, do you really hear all the syllables and sounds of the written letters, or there are already omitted sounds that you are able to guess because of your fluent English? (and you have to write them down in a text?)
As for me, I can hear only something like:''there's (b)e music...''. That happens usually to me and I wonder, do I hear correctly (and therefore there is a typo) or Am I missing sounds due to the lack of fluency?
Many thanks for your help,
The short answer is yes, we are interpreting in the way you say all the time when listening.
The way we speak is not based on the way we write; rather. it is the other way round. Speaking came first and writing was an attempt to create a (more or less) permanent record of our utterances. The two systems are full of variables: spelling rules that change over time, dialectical variations in pronunciation, the influence in speech of co-text (what comes before an after a particular word or phrase) and non-verbal features like intonation and stress. In addition, we change the speed and volume of our speech depending on our mood.
All this is to say that speech is a very fluid system. The way a word is said in isolation may be quite different to how it is said in conversation; and how it is said in a formal presentation may be quite different from that. The sounds at the start of a word are influenced by the sounds before them, and the sounds at the end by those which follow as the mouth and articulation system tries to move from one shape to another, and on top of all this are the other non-verbal features mentioned above. This means that we as listeners are constantly interpreting and recognising language in context and in use. I'm not sure I'd say we're guessing missing letters as that inverts the speaking > writing direction, but rather that we know how a given thought can be expressed in all sorts of different oral contexts.
I hope that clarifies it a little for you. It's a deeply complex area, as I'm sure you can see!
The LearnEnglish Team
Hello Htain Lin,
Bestival is a name. I suppose it's a play on words, combining 'Festival' with 'Best'.
The LearnEnglish Team
Hello again fidaasiddig
This is an informal use of the word 'there' that doesn't really add much meaning to the sentence. When Ashlie says this, she's just referring to the people in their costumes, which surprised her when she suddenly saw them close to her. It's a little bit like when we say 'Hello there' -- it's just something we sometimes say in informal situations, and doesn't mean anything different.
All the best
The LearnEnglish Team