Reading classic literature is a great way to improve your English language skills. Not only will you be exposed to a wide range of vocabulary, but you'll also gain a deeper understanding of English culture and history. The Britlish Library offers a variety of activities that are designed to help students understand and appreciate classic literature in English. Whether you prefer to sit back and listen to an audiobook or dive into the text itself, these activities will provide a fun and engaging way to improve your listening and reading skills. So, if you're looking to take your English language skills to the next level, consider exploring the world of classic literature with the Britlish Library.
The Absurdity of English Spelling and Pronunciation. English spelling and pronunciation appears to have been devised by a lunatic. The absurdity of English spelling has inspired many teachers and writers to demonstrate just how ridiculously complicated it is. Chief among these was Gerard Nolst Trenité, who wrote the oft-quoted poem, The Chaos. I first transcribed the entire poem into IPA symbols, double checking the accuracy of the IPA transcript, then fed the IPA transcript through an AI speech synthesis program to produce the most accurate rendition of the poem possible.Support Us
Visited 21 hrs, 57 mins, 16 secs ago
The Vagabond is one of the poems from Robert Louis Stevenson's Songs of Travel and Other Verses published in 1896. In this lesson you will learn some of the vocabulary in the poem, as well as improving your pronunciation skills and your knowledge of the British English IPA chart and symbols. Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was a Scottish travel writer, poet, essayist, and novelist. He is best known for Treasure Island, the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and Kidnapped. He is the 26th most translated author in the world.Popular Poetry CourseSupport Us
Visited 15 hrs, 57 mins, 42 secs ago
Written sometime between 1790 and 1792, Blake's The Tyger is one of the most famous of English poems much loved by children and adults alike. The poem asks questions about what sort of creator would come up with something as fearful as a tiger. This lesson will teach you the poem, some background details about the poet, the vocabulary in the poem, and the IPA symbols used to represent the pronunciation of the poem. There is much debate today about the pronunciation of the words eye and symmetry and whether in Blake's time they rhymed or not.Popular Poetry CourseSupport Us
Visited 52 mins, 25 secs ago
Perhaps one of the most famous World War I poems, The Soldier, by Rupert Brooke is known at least in part by most British people as it is often used on military memorials. The poem is one of a series of 5 sonnets that Brooke wrote on themes from the war published as 1914. This evocative and poignant poem romanticises the war rather than focussing on the grim realities. At the time Brooke wrote the poem, in the early years of the war, bodies of the dead were buried near where they fell and there are vast graveyards of British soldiers in foreign fields. Using patriotic language, the poem represents the idealism of the early days of the war which would be replaced by the horror of mechanised warfare as the war dragged on. Brooke would himself lie buried in a corner of a foreign field in 1915.Popular Poetry CourseSupport Us
Visited 18 hrs, 29 mins, 42 secs ago
The most famous and well-known of Shakespeare's 154 sonnets is undoubtedly Sonnet 18 which begins, Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? This lesson looks at the pronunciation of the sonnet as well as providing a modern English translation of the sonnet to make it easier to understand. The lesson also looks at some of the old, obsolete language of Shakespeare, in particular the thee, thy, thou which appear in this sonnet. There is a full British English IPA phonetic transcript of the sonnet, too, to help students improve their knowledge and use of the 44 IPA symbols in British English.Popular Poetry CourseSupport Us
Visited 13 hrs, 55 mins, 10 secs ago
Learn English with the most innovative and engaging English lessons available anywhere on the Internet and all completely free of charge! To personalise your experience in the Britlish Library and to keep track of the lessons you have studied, sign up for a free account today.