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29 Literature British English Lessons

Some students like to sit back and listen to some interesting English. It doesn't get much more interesting than some of the old classics from English literature. These lessons have been created to help you get the best from the vocabulary found in some of the old classics. As you listen and read your way through these lessons, you also broaden your understanding of English culture.

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10 of our 29 Literature British English Lessons

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A Nice Cup of Tea

In 1946, George Orwell wrote an article giving his 11 golden rules for making the perfect cup of tea. This English lesson looks at the following vocabulary from the essay: cauldron, china teapot, silver teapot, enamel teapot, pewter teapot, golden rule, heaped teaspoon, hob, infuse, kettle, misguided, quart, rationing, sickly, sketchy, spout, swill out, teapot, urn, vulgar, and wring out.


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Bookshop Memories by George Orwell

An essay by George Orwell which will help you improve your reading while developing your vocabulary. This essay is from one of my favourite English authors, George Orwell. Eric Arthur Blair, as Orwell was christened, was born in British India in 1903, and sadly died terribly young in 1950 in London. He died of tuberculosis, back then, an untreatable infection of the lungs. Orwell gave us such works as Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) My favourite Orwell novel is Down and Out in Paris and London (1933). Orwell wrote many essays on different subjects and each is an insightful look into a bygone age. I recommend the following strategy for doing this English lesson: Listen to the essay on the next page. After listening to the essay, listen to it again while following the text, which is also available in the resources at the top left. After you have listened to the essay at least twice, and have read through the text, move on to the exercises.


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Cupboard Love

Listen to a short story to improve your listening skills and develop your vocabulary. Listening Activator - Cupboard Love. A romantic fiction story. An attempt to stop the lecherous attention of a colleague results in unexpected consequences for two young girls working on a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) in a nursing home in England. This story originally appeared in 1988 in the women's romantic fiction magazine Loving. It was the first story that they published with from a male writer and they started a new section in the magazine called Something Different. Richard spent a couple of years in the 1980s writing romantic fiction.    


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Decline of the English Murder

This lesson uses Orwell's Decline of the English Murder essay to introduce you to the following vocabulary items: Acquit, Armchair, Blissful, Cause célèbre, Cherish, Cleft chin, Culprit, Cunning, Forfeit, Fretful, Hypocrisy, Legacy, Pipe, Re-hash, Scandal, Sofa, Sordid, Spectacles, V1 and V2, and Wanton.


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Flowers of the Grass

A short lesson using a video I made of a beautiful haiku poem some years ago. The lesson will help you to learn, remember, and use some vocabulary and expressions in English. I hope you enjoy both the poem and the lesson, as well as the video, as much as I enjoyed making them for you.


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Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was written by Mary Shelley (1797–1851), an English author, and tells the story of Victor Frankenstein. Victor is a young scientist who creates a creature in a scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. Her name first appeared on the second edition, published in 1823. The Vocabulary Activation Pack is designed to help students learn, remember, and use 1,257 items of vocabulary taken from the novel. Sit back and listen to the entire book read by the Britlish AI in British English. NOTE: CHAPTER 15 Audio is here. The link in the lesson is broken, but you can click this link instead.


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Futility

Futility is one of the most famous poems by one of the most famous poets of World War I, Wilfred Owen, 1893-1918. This poem tells us of an incident where a group of soldiers try to revive an unconscious soldier by dragging him into the sun on a snowy day, but their efforts are in vain because the soldier is already dead. I use this poem in this lesson to help you with your pronunciation, your vocabulary, your understanding of the British English IPA chart symbols, and to introduce you to this most beautiful of poems. Poems are a great way to enrich many aspects of your English and I hope that you enjoy the poem and the exercises included in the lesson.


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High Flight

This most famous of poems about flying is mostly known and remembered for the first and last lines: Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God. I use this poem in this lesson to help you with your pronunciation, your vocabulary, your understanding of the British English IPA chart symbols, and to introduce you to this most beautiful of poems. Poems are a great way to enrich many aspects of your English and I hope that you enjoy the poem and the exercises included in the lesson.


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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

The lyric poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, also commonly known as Daffodils, is Wordsworth’s most famous poem. I have designed this lesson as a way of showing you the rhythm of English. Because of their structure, poems like this one are a very useful way of demonstrating the typical rhythm of the English language. In this lesson you will first listen to the poem, then read it, and then explore the phonetic transcription. It also includes a biography of William Wordsworth, the poet, as well as the background to the writing of the poem. Finally, you will have the chance to test how much you have learned about stress patterns and rhymes in some interactive exercises.


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If-

The poem, If-, by Rudyard Kipling was written around 1895, shortly after the birth of Kipling’s son, John. The poem is an example of Victorian stoicism and takes the form of the author’s paternal advice to his son. John Kipling was reported as wounded and missing in 1915 while serving as a Lieutenant during World War I, a post his father had secured him thanks to his social connections and despite his son’s severe myopia. His grave was not identified until 1992. You can read this poem in Latin script and in IPA script as well as listen to me read it for you.


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10 of our 29 Literature British English Lessons


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