Number one for English language teachers

Cinematic listening: A ghost's guide to London

Luke and James Vyner present a series of cinematic listening lessons that will take you and your students on a fantastic adventure through London – with your guide, Lord Jeffrey, the Ghost of London. Part audio guide, part audio play, this thrilling listening experience will excite and engage your learners whilst introducing them to the vibrant city of London and the colourful language that fills its streets.

A ghost's guide to London: A cinematic experience by Luke and James Vyner

Lord Jeffrey is hundreds of years old, he’s seen London change so much during this time and he’s been there to experience it all – from the Great Fire of London in 1666 to the explosion of music and fashion on the King’s Road in the 1960s. He’s the perfect person to show you around. He can choose to either be in human form or ghost form at any time and, as you’ll hear, he often changes his form to scare people who try to cheat him!

As you journey on with your trusted companion, you’ll meet a host of colourful London characters. The language of these exchanges, often colloquial and idiomatic, becomes the main focus of each lesson. Students consolidate this new language by engaging collaborative writing tasks, discussions and speaking activities.

The following quote, taken from Jonathan Green’s Dictionary of Slang, was a great inspiration when creating the series:

“Slang is the counter language. A jackanapes lexicon of the dispossessed. The language of the rebel, the outlaw, the despised, the marginal, the young. Above all it is the language of the city – urgent, pointed, witty, cruel, capable both of excluding and including. It’s endlessly resilient, inventive and untameable. Its age is of speech itself. If there has always been a standard, inevitably, there has always been an alternative.”

The series brings into question just how common this alternative is and aims to build our learners’ awareness of this type of language and how we, as teachers, value and teach colloquialisms in the classroom.

In each episode, we are thrown back in time as Lord Jeffrey beguiles us with a brilliant tale from his past – from his first punk gig and falling in love, to meeting his best friend in a late-night sing-a-long in a Soho pub! So, we’ll leave your students in the very capable hands of Lord Jeffrey … if they listen closely to everything he says, they’ll have an amazing experience, practise their listening skills and pick up some useful new language along the way.

A ghost's guide to London: Lesson plans

  • A ghost's guide to London: Episode 1: Camden

    Author: Luke and James Vyner

    Lord Jeffrey, the Ghost of London, takes students on a thrilling audio tour of Camden. In this lesson students will: learn about Camden, past and present; practise listening for gist and reconstructing audio stories from memory; compare and contrast standard forms of English with colloquial expressions and then practise these expressions in a personalized speaking task; prepare personalized anecdotes about a favourite concert or club night.

  • A ghost's guide to London: Episode 2: King's Road

    Author: Luke and James Vyner

    Lord Jeffrey, the Ghost of London, takes students on a swinging audio tour of the King’s Road. In this lesson students will: learn about the King’s Road; practise listening for gist and reconstructing audio stories from memory; compare and contrast standard forms of English with colloquial expressions and then practise these expressions in a personalized speaking task; prepare personalized anecdotes about falling in love.

  • A ghost's guide to London: Episode 3: Notting Hill

    Author: Luke and James Vyner Staff Room

    Lord Jeffrey, the Ghost of London, takes students on an audio tour of the Notting Hill area. In this lesson students will: learn about the Notting Hill; practise listening for gist and reconstructing audio stories from memory; compare and contrast standard forms of English with colloquial expressions and then practise these expressions in a personalized speaking task; discuss national events and festivals from their own countries and practise paraphrasing each other.

  • A ghost's guide to London: Episode 4: Covent Garden

    Author: Luke and James Vyner Staff Room

    Lord Jeffrey, the Ghost of London, takes students on an audio tour of the Covent Garden area. In this lesson students will learn about Covent Garden; practise listening for gist and reconstructing audio stories from memory; compare and contrast standard forms of English with colloquial expressions and practise these expressions in a personalized speaking task; discuss attitudes to ghosts and the supernatural and practise paraphrasing each other.

  • A ghost's guide to London: Episode 5: Shoreditch

    Author: Luke and James Vyner Staff Room

    Lord Jeffrey, the Ghost of London, takes students on an audio tour of trendy Shoreditch. In this lesson students will: learn about Shoreditch; practise listening for gist and reconstructing audio stories from memory; compare and contrast standard forms of English with niche colloquial expressions and practise these expressions in a personalized speaking task; discuss and debate opinions towards the shopkeeper’s language and build awareness of the evolving nature of colloquialisms; discuss ...

  • A ghost's guide to London: Episode 6: Soho

    Author: Luke and James Vyner Staff Room

    Lord Jeffrey, the Ghost of London, takes students on an audio tour of the Soho area. In this lesson students will: learn about Soho; practise listening for gist and reconstructing audio stories from memory; compare and contrast standard forms of English with niche colloquial expressions related to British pub culture; practise these expressions in a personalized speaking task; prepare personalized anecdotes about best friends, including a focus on phrases to describe how they met.

  • A ghost's guide to London: Christmas special: Part 1

    Author: Luke and James Vyner Staff Room

    Lord Jeffrey, the Ghost of London, takes students on a thrilling audio tour of London at Christmas time. In the first part of this two-part special, students will: learn about the Christmas lights of Oxford Street; practise listening for gist and reconstructing audio stories from memory; focus on the meaning, form and use of positive and negative colloquial expressions and practise these expressions in two personalized speaking tasks.

  • A ghost's guide to London: Christmas special: Part 2

    Author: Luke and James Vyner Staff Room

    Lord Jeffrey, the Ghost of London, takes students on a thrilling audio tour of London at Christmas time. In the second and concluding part, students will: learn about Christmas traditions in Britain; practise listening for gist and reconstructing audio stories from memory; focus on the meaning, form and use of Christmas vocabulary and practise this vocabulary a personalized speaking task.

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