as published in the SATEFL Newsletter, September 2001, Vol.21 No.1
and Gromit in A Close Shave
Viney and Karen Viney
Oxford English Video; OUP 2000)
on from their adaptation of The Wrong Trousers,
the authors have brought out A Close shave,
aimed at a slightly higher level. It covers a wide variety
of tenses, structures and functions at Pre-Intermediate level.
It has been adapted from the original film by the addition of a
voice-over narrator, who unobtrusively comments on and encourages
exercises are contextualised and extremely varied, covering vocabulary,
stress, intonation and grammar. Students are encouraged to
listen to background noises and draw inferences, comment and predict
on the actions and emotions of the characters.
visual and verbal humour are on several levels and lend themselves
to repeated viewing, without the danger of boredom ever setting
in. My pre-intermediate class were totally absorbed by the
story, the tongue-in-cheek in-jokes and take-offs of cinema conventions.
They were enthusiastic about doing the exercises because
they could see that they really added to their grasp of vocabulary
and understanding of the story.
can say with all honesty it was a wonderful teaching and learning
experience for the whole class, including me. Proof of their
enjoyment is that they kept making references to the film and the
jokes days later. As for me, Shaun the sheep has won my heart
and we're even thinking of cutting a lamb-flap in our front door.