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.
- 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
- Austen wanted to change people with her novels. How did she want them to become?
- When is Jane Austen born and where?
- How was the writer’s family social status?
- Did she get married?
- What’s Jane’s sister name?
- How many novels did Jane complete?
- What are the titles of the novels she completed?
- What are the four main things Jane Austen wanted to teach us?
- In Jane Austen’s opinion marriage depends on two factors, do you remember them?
- Name the two mistakes people make around money according to Jane Austen.
Writing practice suggestion
- 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
- Jane Austen is loved mainly as a guide to fashionable life in the _____________ period, but her own vision of her task was radically different.
- She was an ambitious and ______________ moralist.
- Born in _____________, Austen grew up in a small village in Hampshire, where her father was the Anglican _________________.
- She did much of her writing at a ______________ octagonal table.
- The _______________ was her chosen weapon in the struggle to reform humanity.
- ________________ starts of feeling superior because he has more money and higher status.
- The story ______________ them because they have developed well.
- ______________________________ starts when quiet, shy Fanny Price goes to live with her much richer cousins, the Bertrams.
- 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.
- At one point in _______________________________, it looks like Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars who are otherwise well suited won’t be able to get married.
- 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