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ELT by Peter Viney & Karen Viney Wallce & Gromit

Article by Peter Viney

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A Close Shave has been designed at upper beginner / pre-intermediate level. The student’s book aims for a “neutral” interpretation so as to make it suitable for the widest possible age range. In other words, we have avoided emphasis on the “younger” aspects of the characters (such as Wallace and Gromit cuddly toys), while also avoiding any activities that excluded the younger learner in terms of sophistication of approach or using life experience.

It is an adaptation of an Academy Award-winning animated film by Nick Park, written by Nick Park and Bob Baker. The visuals, music and sound effects are identical. However, in this ELT version, the language level of the dialogue has been greatly simplified and a narrator has been added. The voices of Wallace and Wendolene are by the same actors, Peter Sallis and Anne Reid, with the same accents, as the original version. As adaptors we were aware of an awesome responsibility. The original is so well-loved and so highly-rated that it was difficult to start again from scratch. After extensive research, it was decided to keep the language level as low as we could in this version, while also providing a definitely higher level than our adaptation of The Wrong Trousers.

The video can be used at virtually all levels by amending the tasks. The tasks in this version are at upper beginner / pre-intermediate level. Students can use this independently of the lower-level ELT adaptation of The Wrong Trousers.

A great deal of work in the video naturally lends itself to the present perfect tense, and it appears from unit one. Work in The Wrong Trousers ELT adaptation includes was / were, but not the past simple tense. If you are going straight from The Wrong Trousers to A Close Shave, we assume that students will have been familiarized with the past simple before commencing A Close Shave. The pre-title first section of unit one will enable you to check knowledge of the past simple with new classes.

We have avoided much of the language of speculation which would have added interesting prediction activities. You may wish to add speculation activities at higher levels. We have, however, suggested some of the possibilities for extension in the Teacher’s Notes which follow.


Animation: Nick Park & Steve Box
Voice of Wallace: Peter Sallis
Voice of Wendolene: Anne Reid
Narrator: Stephen Tompkinson
Written by Bob Baker & Nick Park
Director: Nick Park

ELT adaptation credits
ELT Adaptation by Peter Viney & Karen Viney
Producer: Rob Maidment
Script Editor: Martyn Hobbs
Activity Book / Teacher’s Book editor: Tim Blakey
Designer: Rob Hancock

© Aardman / Wallace & Gromit Limited / BBC Worldwide 1995 / Oxford University Press 2000

Video ISBN 0-19-459240-5 VHS-PAL
Video ISBN 0-19-459241-3 VHS-SECAM
Video ISBN 0-19-459242-1 VHS-NTSC

Student’s Book ISBN 0-19-459243 X

Teacher’s Book ISBN 0-19-459244 8

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Peter Viney & Karen Viney 2004. All rights reserved.