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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.

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The Pig

The poem by Roald Dahl is written with 8 syllables per line, and a rhyming word at the end of a pair of lines. oOoOoOoO is the stress pattern and this is a good poem with which to practice the rhythm of English. You can listen to the poem and match the IPA transcriptions with the original Latin script. There are also exercises to help you practice some of the new vocabulary and expressions from in the poem. Poems are a great way of learning about the rhythm of English, and this poem is particularly amusing.      

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Visited 2 days, 47 mins, 17 secs ago

Categories: Literature | Pronunciation | IPA Symbols | Poetry | Vocabulary | Speaking | Listenings


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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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Visited 8 hrs, 30 mins, 42 secs ago

Categories: Literature | Listenings | Vocabulary


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The Chaos

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.  

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Visited 21 hrs, 1 min, 41 secs ago

Categories: Vocabulary | Poetry | Literature | IPA Symbols | Listenings


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The Monk, a Romance

Matthew Gregory Lewis (9 July 1775 – 14 or 16 May 1818) was an English novelist and dramatist, who wrote Gothic horror stories. He was often called Monk Lewis, due to the success of The Monk, a Romance, his 1796 Gothic novel. The book, The Monk, a Romance, was first published in 1796 and has become required reading in many literature courses. I have edited the text to modernise some of the spellings to British English, as well as removing most of the strangely capitalised words that are scattered through the original text. 

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Visited 1 day, 15 hrs, 47 mins, 23 secs ago

Categories: Literature | Listenings | Vocabulary


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Socrates - Famous Men of Ancient Times

In 1843, a man by the name of Samuel Griswold Goodrich wrote and published a book called Famous Men of Ancient Times. In the book, Goodrich looked at the lives of Mohammed, Belisarius, Attila, Nero, Seneca, Virgil, Cicero, Julius Cæsar, Hannibal, Alexander, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Apelles, Diogenes, Plato, Socrates, Alcibiades, Democritus, Pericles, Aristides, Æsop, Solon, Lycurgus, Homer, and Confucius. I chose to make his chapter on Socrates the subject of the video English lesson and Vocabulary Activation Pack here.

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Visited 23 hrs, 22 mins, 45 secs ago

Categories: Literature | Listenings | Vocabulary | Spelling


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