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Listen&Learn: Pride and Prejudice

30th September 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • anonymously: without naming or identifying the author
  • wealthy: having a lot of money
  • protagonist: the main character of a story
  • proposal: an offer of marriage
  • arrogant: conceited; overly proud
  • refuse: to make it clear that you will not do something

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel written by English author Jane Austen. The novel was originally published anonymously in 1813. At the time, women were often expected to into wealthy families. The story’s protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, is a young who feels pressured by her family to marry for money. When her sisters and friends are all starting to find , Elizabeth meets a wealthy man named Mr. Darcy. Darcy is in Elizabeth, and asks her to marry him. At first, Elizabeth has no interest in his proposal. She believes Darcy is arrogant and selfish, and she refuses to marry someone she doesn’t love. Throughout the book, however, Darcy grows into a person that Elizabeth can , and Elizabeth realizes that she judged him too harshly when they first met. The story ends with the two of them happily married.

Comprehension questions

1. Elizabeth's family pressures her to

Correct! Wrong!

Elizabeth's family pressures her to marry for money.

2. Elizabeth rejects Darcy's proposal because

Correct! Wrong!

Elizabeth rejects Darcy's proposal because she thinks he's arrogant.

3. When the story ends, Elizabeth is

Correct! Wrong!

When the story ends, Elizabeth is married to Darcy.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Although Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813, the story contains themes that are still important today. Some people see the novel as one of the earliest examples of feminism in literature. What makes Elizabeth Bennet an empowering character for women?
  2. Why do you think Jane Austen decided to publish this novel anonymously?

Transcript

Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel written by English author Jane Austen. The novel was originally published anonymously in 1813. At the time, women were often expected to marry into wealthy families. The story’s protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, is a young woman who feels pressured by her family to marry for money. When her sisters and friends are all starting to find husbands, Elizabeth meets a wealthy man named Mr. Darcy. Darcy is interested in Elizabeth, and asks her to marry him. At first, Elizabeth has no interest in his proposal. She believes Darcy is arrogant and selfish, and she refuses to marry someone she doesn’t love. Throughout the book, however, Darcy grows into a person that Elizabeth can respect, and Elizabeth realizes that she judged him too harshly when they first met. The story ends with the two of them happily married. 

William Shakespeare

20th May 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • dramatist: a person who writes plays
  • credit: to recognize someone as the creator of something
  • iconic: famous; widely known
  • comedy: a type of play that makes use of humour, and has a happy ending
  • tragedy: a type of play that has a sad endingoften the death of the main character
  • relevant: important to the time or situation

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

William Shakespeare was an English dramatist and poet, currently considered to be one of the greatest of all time. He was born in 1564 in Stratford, where he would spend the rest of his childhood. At age 18, he married a woman named Anne Hathaway, and the had three children together. After the birth of his youngest two children, Shakespeare travelled to London and helped to found an company known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. While working as an actor, Shakespeare began to write scripts. One of the first plays to be officially credited to Shakespeare was the iconic Romeo and Juliet, a story of two young lovers who come from families. During his life, Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays: 14 comedies, 12 tragedies, and 12 histories. Shakespeare died in 1616 – over 400 years ago – but his plays are still relevant today because of their influence on stories. In fact, many of today’s books, movies, and plays are based on concepts from Shakespeare’s work.

Comprehension questions

1. William Shakespeare was born in

Correct! Wrong!

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford.

2. Shakespeare began writing plays while working as

Correct! Wrong!

Shakespeare began writing plays while working as an actor.

3. Shakespeare wrote at least

Correct! Wrong!

Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you know of any modern books, movies, or plays that are based on Shakespeare’s plays?
  2. Why do you think that so much modern entertainment is inspired by these plays?

Transcript

William Shakespeare was an English dramatist and poet, currently considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time. He was born in 1564 in Stratford, where he would spend the rest of his childhood. At age 18, he married a woman named Anne Hathaway, and the couple had three children together. After the birth of his youngest two children, Shakespeare travelled to London and helped to found an acting company known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. While working as an actor, Shakespeare began to write scripts. One of the first plays to be officially credited to Shakespeare was the iconic Romeo and Juliet, a story of two young lovers who come from rival families. During his life, Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays: 14 comedies, 12 tragedies, and 12 histories. Shakespeare died in 1616 – over 400 years ago – but his plays are still relevant today because of their influence on modern stories. In fact, many of today’s books, movies, and plays are based on concepts from Shakespeare’s work.

Anne of Green Gables

13th May 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • classify: to put something into a certain category
  • fictional: created for the purpose of a story; not real
  • adopt: to take in and raise someone else’s child
  • imaginative: creative; having a big imagination
  • orphan: a child whose parents have died
  • inspire: to influence the creation of something

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Anne of Green Gables is a novel written by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. The novel was published in 1908, and is classified as children’s literature, though it is by people of all ages. The story is set on a farm in the fictional town of Avonlea, where Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert live. The siblings are hoping to adopt a young boy to help them out on the farm. Instead, they are given an imaginative orphan girl named Anne Shirley, who has never had a real home. After learning how Anne grew up, Matthew and Marilla feel sorry for her and decide to keep her. The story continues to follow Anne as she gets older and forms with other children in Avonlea. The book has sold over 50 million and has been translated into 36 languages. After writing Anne of Green Gables, Montgomery published seven additional books about Anne’s life. These novels have inspired several film and television adaptations, and Anne’s story is still loved by children and adults alike.

Comprehension questions

1. Matthew and Marilla originally wanted to adopt

Correct! Wrong!

Matthew and Marilla originally wanted to adopt a young boy.

2. Anne got to stay with Matthew and Marilla because

Correct! Wrong!

Anne got to stay with Matthew and Marilla because they heard how she'd grown up and felt sorry for her.

3. The book "Anne of Green Gables" sold

Correct! Wrong!

The book "Anne of Green Gables" sold 50 million copies.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Anne Shirley has been called “the dearest, most moving and delightful child since the immortal Alice” by author Mark Twain. If you’ve read “Anne of Green Gables”, what do you think makes Anne so lovable?

Transcript

Anne of Green Gables is a classic novel written by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. The novel was published in 1908, and is classified as children’s literature, though it is enjoyed by people of all ages. The story is set on a farm in the fictional town of Avonlea, where siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert live. The siblings are hoping to adopt a young boy to help them out on the farm. Instead, they are given an imaginative orphan girl named Anne Shirley, who has never had a real home. After learning how Anne grew up, Matthew and Marilla feel sorry for her and decide to keep her. The story continues to follow Anne as she gets older and forms friendships with other children in Avonlea. The book has sold over 50 million copies and has been translated into 36 languages. After writing Anne of Green Gables, Montgomery published seven additional books about Anne’s life. These novels have inspired several film and television adaptations, and Anne’s story is still loved by children and adults alike.