Listening Activity – Jane Austen

This is a listening activity based on The School of Life’s short video (about 7 minutes long) “LITERATURE – Jane Austen”. This activity is aimed at students who have an English level between B2 and C1 (Upper Intermediate and Advanced).

I suggest that you read the following vocabulary list before watching the video. Under the video, there are two exercises (with answers) and a writing practice suggestion. 

VOCABULARY 

  • AMBITIOUS: having a desire to be successful, powerful, or famous; having ambition.
    Ex. She was ambitious enough to aim for the company’s presidency.
     
  • STERN: very serious; severe.
    Ex. Journalists received a stern warning not to go anywhere near the battleship.
     
  • CONSCIOUS: awake, thinking, and knowing what is happening around you.
    Ex. When I took the exam, I was conscious that my parents were expecting a lot of me.

  • DIGNIFIED: serious and somewhat formal; having or showing dignity.
    Ex. Even when very old, he was very dignified in appearance.

  • WELL OFF: moderately rich.
    Ex. They must be well off if they can afford to buy a house there!
     
  • TEMPTED: to want something or to want to do something.
    Ex. “Would you like some more pie?” “I’m tempted, but no thank you.”

  • STRUGGLE: a long effort to do, achieve, or deal with something that is difficult or that causes problems.
    Ex. The people of this country will continue in their struggle for independence.
     
  • TO CONDEMN: to say in a strong and definite way that someone or something is bad or wrong.
    Ex. We strongly condemn this attack against our allies.
     
  • TO OVERCOME: to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount.
    Ex. To overcome one’s weaknesses.

  • INCOME: money that is earned from work, investments, business, etc.
    Ex. He has a very high annual income.
     
  • TO FELL APART: to break into pieces (often used figuratively).
    Ex. I feel as if my family is falling apart.
     
  • TO SUPPLY: to furnish or provide (something wanting or requisite).
    Ex. To supply a community with electricity.
     
  • WEALTH: a large amount of money or valuable possessions that someone has.
    Ex. The wealth of a city. 
  • ELUSIVE: hard to find or capture.
    Ex. Police are trying to track down the elusive criminal, who has so far avoided all their attempts to capture him.

  • SNOBBISH: like a snob (a person who respects and likes only people who are of a high social class).
    Ex. He’s a snobbish rich kid.

  • GREED: a selfish desire to have more of something (especially money).
    Ex. He was a ruthless businessman, motivated by naked ambition and greed.

Downloadable PDF version: JANE AUSTEN – Vocabulary

Watch the video and answer the following questions

  1. Austen wanted to change people with her novels. How did she want them to become?
  2. When is Jane Austen born and where?
  3. How was the writer’s family social status?
  4. Did she get married?
  5. What’s Jane’s sister name?
  6. How many novels did Jane complete?
  7. What are the titles of the novels she completed?
  8. What are the four main things Jane Austen wanted to teach us?
  9. In Jane Austen’s opinion marriage depends on two factors, do you remember them?
  10. Name the two mistakes people make around money according to Jane Austen.

Writing practice suggestion

  1. Write Jane Austen’s main opinions concerning love, marriage, judging people, money, and being snobbish. Do you agree or disagree with the writer?
    Justify your answer.

Downloadable PDF version: Jane Austen – Listening comprehension

Downloadable PDF version: Jane Austen – Listening comprehension with answers

Watch the video then fill in the gaps in the following sentences

  1. Jane Austen is loved mainly as a guide to fashionable life in the _____________ period, but her own vision of her task was radically different.
  2. She was an ambitious and ______________ moralist.
  3. Born in _____________, Austen grew up in a small village in Hampshire, where her father was the Anglican _________________.
  4. She did much of her writing at a ______________ octagonal table.
  5. The _______________ was her chosen weapon in the struggle to reform humanity.
  6. ________________ starts of feeling superior because he has more money and higher status.
  7. The story ______________ them because they have developed well.
  8. ______________________________ starts when quiet, shy Fanny Price goes to live with her much richer cousins, the Bertrams.
  9. In Pride and Prejudice, she explains that Mr. _________________ has an income of _________________ pounds a year –that’s rather a lot- while Darcy has more than twice that.
  10. At one point in _______________________________, it looks like Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars who are otherwise well suited won’t be able to get married.
  11. In Emma, the heroine –Emma herself- takes ______________________ -a pretty girl from the village- under her wing.

Downloadable PDF version: Jane Austen – Fill in the gaps exercise

Downloadable PDF version: Jane Austen – Fill in the gaps exercise answers

 

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Helena Christensen & Portrait Photographer Mary Ellen Mark Capture™ – Episode 7 LISTENING ACTIVITY

I suggest that you read the vocabulary list below before watching the video.

VOCABULARY

 

Hitch – hiking: to get a ride in a passing vehicle by holding out your arm with your thumb up as you stand on the side of the road.hitchhiking.gif


Scope:
the area or amount covered, reached, or viewed.
Ex. Romance questions are beyond the scope of the language forum.

Standstill: a condition in which all movement or activity has stopped.
Ex. This is an emergency, but the negotiations are at a virtual standstill.

Creepy:   strange or scary : causing people to feel nervous and afraid.
Ex. This is the creepy stalker woman from the surveillance video.

 To broom: to sweep the floor with a broom.

to broom meaning.jpg

To kick in: to start to have an effect or to happen.
Ex. The effects of the tranquilizer should begin to kick in within a few minutes.

Harsh: cruel or unkind.
Ex. She was quite harsh with the kids. She should be nicer to them.

Guarded: very careful about giving information, showing feelings, etc.

Vocal: expressing opinions and complaints in a public and forceful way.
Ex. Residents became vocal in their opposition to the plan.

To blow up: to make a photographic enlargement of.

Dull: boring, not exciting or interesting.

To tear up: to damage, remove, or effect an opening in.

Mind-blowing: extremely exciting or surprising.
Ex. The special effects in this film are pretty mind-blowing.

Goosebumps: small bumps on your skin that are caused by cold, fear, or a sudden feeling of excitement.

Downloadable PDF file: Helena Christensen & Portrait Photographer Mary Ellen Mark Capture™ Ep. 7 – VOCABULARY

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences:

  1. Helena Christensen: I ____________________ around the world when I was about 18-19 years old and I think my interest and passion for photography probably started on that trip. And then almost immediately that trip ended my _______________ _________________ started and so then I got to see the world.
  2. Voice-over: I’ve had the rare opportunity to meet many amazing photographers who moved through the different _________________ to create powerful images.
  3. Mark Seliger: I’m here with Mary Ellen Mark photojournalist and portrait photographer ___________ work has changed, I think, the _________ of modern photography.
  4. Mark Seliger: It was very ________________ to me because there was photojournalism but there was also this very ____________ and creative way that images were presented.
  5. Mary Ellen Mark: Magazines were like ______________ for me, they gave me this amazing opportunity to do my own work.
  6. Helena Christensen: When I’m behind the camera I seem to stop breathing because I get so ______________ by the moment. It’s almost like everything just came to a standstill.
  7. Mary Ellen Mark: The guy that ran the ______________ … We called him doctor death.
  8. Helena Christensen: You know what is strange about this photo? I don’t even know where I took it and the negative was ______________ together with a piece of paper so when I _______ it ____________ obviously all that white stuff which looks like ice on a window […].
  9. Helena Christensen: We don’t live in these areas so we are not ______________ the same ways. When you are in it, you feel it in a way that’s inexplicable.
  10. Helena Christensen: And it was one of those moments when you are like … your adrenaline … just … you know … __________ ________, because you’re like … oh, this is one of those.
  11. HelenaChristensen: It’s very harsh as Mary Ellen was saying. People are very ______________, more and more.
  12. Helena Christensen: That’s kind of what I feel you do with your portraits. You get the ___________ essence of these people no matter of how they are dressed up, no matter how they’re made up. You go right through to the _____________ of them.
  13. Mary Ellen Mark: When you are working with an actor you have to __________ control.
  14. Mary Ellen Mark: I think I have so much stronger pictures. For some reason, that picture became an ____________ picture.
  15. Helena Christensen: It’s very important and I feel with contact sheets which we are now losing because no one ever get contact sheets back anymore and sits with 24 or 26 images. But now that I _______ __ _____ at my old contact sheets, I see something completely different in some of the photographs that I would have never even … you know … been the least excited about maybe fifteen years ago …I’m now … Why didn’t I __________ this up?!?
  16. Mary Ellen Mark: Right when I was taking that picture the ____________ of the high school walked in … I thought he was gonna like throw me out … But he didn’t.

Downloadable PDF file (without answers):Helena Christensen & Portrait Photographer Mary Ellen Mark Capture™ – Episode 7 FILL IN THE GAPS

Downloadable PDF file (ANSWERS):Helena Christensen & Portrait Photographer Mary Ellen Mark Capture™ – Episode 7 ANSWERS

iSLCollective

iSLCollective (Internet Second Language Collective) is a website where you can find useful resources. You must register in order to download the handouts, but it’s for free. For example, this is a poster on daily activities:

My day

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This one is on action verbs:

action verbs

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This one is on Indirect/Reported Speech:

Reported speech1

Reported Speech 2

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On this website, you can also find this kind of printable handouts:

Worksheet on Past Simple vs Continuous Correct answers worksheet past simple vs continuous

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As you can see, there are grammar rules for a quick review, then exercises with answer keys.