Listen&Learn: The Hobbit

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • fantasy: a fiction genre that involves magic
  • protagonist: the main character of a story
  • recruit: to convince someone to help with an important task
  • quest: a journey to accomplish a specific goal
  • defeat: to beat someone in a battle
  • trilogy: a series made up of three books

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Hobbit is a classic fantasy children’s novel by English author J.R.R. Tolkien. The novel was published in 1937, and over 100 million copies have been sold since then. The protagonist of the book is named Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo is a hobbit – a small, human-like that lives underground. One day, a wizard called Gandalf recruits Bilbo to go on a quest to find some valuable treasure. This treasure once belonged to a group of dwarves, who are determined to get it back. Together, Bilbo and Gandalf set out to help the dwarves find their treasure – but first they have to defeat Smaug, the dragon who guards it. Tolkien originally wrote this story for his own children, but it quickly became a huge . This inspired Tolkien to write a sequel trilogy: the famous Lord of the Rings , which takes place 60 years after the events of The Hobbit.

Comprehension questions

1. Bilbo Baggins is a

Correct! Wrong!

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit.

2. The treasure Bilbo and Gandalf are looking for originally belonged to

Correct! Wrong!

The treasure Bilbo and Gandalf are looking for originally belonged to the dwarves.

3. J. R. R. Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings series because

Correct! Wrong!

J. R. R. Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings series because The Hobbit was extremely successful.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Many of the imaginary elements that Tolkien used in his books, such as wizards, dwarves, elves, and dragons, are common across the fantasy genre. Some fantasy books with similar elements (like the Harry Potter series) have been just as successful as Tolkien’s stories. Why do you think books with these themes are so popular?

Transcript

The Hobbit is a classic fantasy children’s novel written by English author J.R.R. Tolkien. The novel was published in 1937, and over 100 million copies have been sold since then. The protagonist of the book is named Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo is a hobbit – a small, human-like creature that lives underground. One day, a wizard called Gandalf recruits Bilbo to go on a quest to find some valuable treasure. This treasure once belonged to a group of dwarves, who are determined to get it back. Together, Bilbo and Gandalf set out to help the dwarves find their treasure – but first they have to defeat Smaug, the powerful dragon who guards it. Tolkien originally wrote this story for his own children, but it quickly became a huge success. This inspired Tolkien to write a sequel trilogy: the famous Lord of the Rings series, which takes place 60 years after the events of The Hobbit.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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