KA WORDCAST: Listen and Learn LESSON FIVE: The Great Exhibition

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LESSON FIVE HERE!

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Today you’ll be listening to a passage entitled The Great Exhibition about how a Victorian-age exposition event in London set the precedence for the future of World’s Fairs. Listen carefully to the passage and then answer the questions that follow.  It’s always a good idea to take notes as you listen, but remember: don’t let your note-taking distract you from your listening. 

 

 

The Great Exhibition

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Lesson Five PASSAGE ONLY track:

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Princess Victoria Alexandria was just eighteen years old when, on June 20, 1837, she was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom.  Though the young Victoria had little idea of how to govern a nation (and manage a growing global empire!), she was determined to be a good queen and to restore the people’s faith in the monarchy.  And she deftly accomplished what she set out to do.  Her long reign, which lasted until her death in 1901, was a period of unprecedented peace and prosperity for Great Britain—a time of tremendous industrial expansion and of great scientific, humanitarian, and cultural advances.

The event that most saliently symbolized the era’s energy and progress was the Great Exhibition of 1851. Considered the first modern International Exposition, or World’s Fair, the exhibition was the brainchild of Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, and a civil servant named Henry Cole.  The two wanted to create a platform that would demonstrate to the rest of the world Great Britain’s inventiveness in industrial designs, products, and ideas.  An impressive iron-and-glass, greenhouse-like structure, nicknamed the Crystal Palace and designed by the famous architect Joseph Paxton, housed the Great Exhibition in London’s Hyde Park.

From May to October, more than 15,000 exhibitors from scores of different countries displayed over 100,000 objects.  Six million visitors thronged the exhibition hall and marveled at the latest scientific and technological inventions of the Industrial Revolution, including a sophisticated printing press, carriages that predated the automobile, early versions of the bicycle, and steam engines for every manufacturing, transportation, and agricultural purpose and use.  The money raised from the event eventually went to set up the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, some of London’s most beloved and enduring attractions.

The overwhelming commercial and popular success of the Great Exhibition soon prompted other cities to put on similar World’s Fair events.  The period between 1851 and the onset of World War I in 1914 has been called the “Golden Age of Fairs.”  Dozens of international expositions were held in locations as varied and far-flung as New York City, Melbourne, Kyoto, Cape Town, and Paris.  Many notable inventions, including the telephone, Ferris wheel, diesel engine, and even the ice-cream cone, were introduced at World’s Fairs during this golden era.

Today, World’s Fairs—or Expos—are held every few years in different countries, lasting anywhere from three weeks to six months. Although the exhibitions vary in theme and character, they all continue to embody the essence of Victoria and Albert’s Great Exhibition of 1851.  They continue to give scientists and innovators everywhere the opportunity to show off new technologies and to present new ideas to the world, while facilitating cultural exchange and promoting global goodwill.

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LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

Listen to Listen and Learn Lesson Five LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS ONLY track:

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Today’s listening comprehension questions will be MULTIPLE CHOICE or TRUE-FALSE and based on FACTUAL CONTENT and LOGICAL INFERENCE.  Listen to the questions carefully and mark your answer.  Feel free to pause the recording if you need a moment or two to think about the question.

 

1. How old was Princess Victoria when she was crowned the Queen of the United Kingdom in 1837?

a) She was only eight years old.

b) She was eighteen years old.

c) She was in her early twenties.

d) Her age is not specified in the passage.

 

2.  Decide if this statement is true or false.

According to the passage, the period of Victoria’s reign was a time of global peace and prosperity.

a) TRUE

b) FALSE

 

3. Why did Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, and a civil servant named Henry Cole decide to hold the Great Exhibition in London in 1851?  

a) They wanted to be the first European country to hold a World’s Fair.

b) They wanted to hold an event that would draw international tourists to London’s many historical attractions.

c) They wanted to create a platform that would demonstrate Great Britain’s inventiveness in industrial designs and products to the rest of the world.

d) They thought it would be a good way to raise the money they needed to set up museums in London.

 

4. Decide if this statement is true or false.

The Great Exhibition was held in London’s Hyde Park for a period of six months.

a) TRUE

b) FALSE

 

5. What was the nickname given to the iron-and-glass, greenhouse-like structure that housed The Great Exhibition?

a) It was nicknamed “Paxton Palace.”

b) It was called “Victoria Hall.”

c) It was dubbed “Albert Park.”

d) It was nicknamed the “Crystal Palace.”

 

6. Decide if this statement is true or false.

More than 100,000 exhibitors from scores of different countries displayed 15,000 products at The Great Exhibition.

a) TRUE

b) FALSE

 

7.  Six million visitors thronged the exhibition hall in Hyde Park to marvel at the latest technological and scientific inventions, including

a) a Ferris wheel and printing press.

b) early versions of the bicycle.

c) the first telephone and steam engine.

d) none of the above.

 

8. Decide if this statement is true or false.

The Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum were set up using money raised from The Great Exhibition of 1851.

a) TRUE

b) FALSE

 

9. The “Golden Age of Fairs” refers to the period between 1851 and

a) the onset of World War I in 1914.

b) the end of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1901.

c) the end of Great Britain’s Industrial Revolution.

d) the beginning of the 19th century.

 

10.  Decide if this statement is true or false.

Today, World’s Fairs, or Expos, are held every four years in different countries.

a) TRUE

b) FALSE

 

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Now that you have completed today’s listening comprehension exercise, it’s time to check your answers and see how well you did.  The correct answers will follow immediately after the closing jingle, so stay tuned.  Answers are also available on the KA Wordcast website as a separate track.   You can also download the lesson in PDF format and keep it for your reference.    And be sure to listen to the Key Vocabulary bonus track.   This will improve your understanding of the passage itself and give you a bigger, better active vocabulary.

LISTENING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS and ANSWERS HERE!:

 

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You may also download the lesson in PDF format to keep for your reference.

PDF DOWNLOAD:  KA WORDCAST Listen and Learn Lesson Five THE GREAT EXHIBITION

 

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KA WORDCAST:  Listen and Learn!  Lesson FIVE

KEY VOCABULARY

Be sure to listen to the Key Vocabulary bonus track.   This will help you improve your understanding of the passage itself and give your vocabulary a big boost.

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1.   INDUSTRIAL

Her long reign, which lasted until her death in 1901, was a period of unprecedented peace and prosperity for Great Britain—a time of tremendous INDUSTRIAL expansion and of great scientific, humanitarian, and cultural advances.

Before we look at the adjective INDUSTRIAL from above, let’s first talk about the noun from which it is derived.  INDUSTRY refers to the production of products and goods in a factory as well as the people and activities involved in producing a particular thing or providing a particular service.

How long has your dad worked in the automotive INDUSTRY?

Most INDUSTRIES in Seattle are located near the shipping docks, just south of the city’s main business district.

Ideally, I’d love a career in the film INDUSTRY, but unless you know people in Hollywood, it’s really difficult to get your foot in the door.

INDUSTRIAL is an adjective that describes anything having to do with industry or the manufacturing of goods and products.

As long as the INDUSTRIAL nations of the world are dependent on oil, unrest in the Middle East will continue.

Housing costs are almost always cheaper in the more INDUSTRIAL areas of a city.

Scientists have now proven that there is a direct link between INDUSTRIAL pollution and the increase in respiratory diseases.

Don’t confuse INDUSTRIAL with INDUSTRIOUS, by the way, which means hard-working, as in:

Though not my brightest student, Oscar is the most INDUSTRIOUS, whose hard work and determination always put him at the top of the class.

 

Why don’t you start an online blog as a PLATFORM to express your views?

2.    PLATFORM

The two wanted to create a PLATFORM that would demonstrate to the rest of the world Great Britain’s inventiveness in industrial designs, products, and ideas. 

In the sentence above, PLATFORM is synonymous with opportunity.  It refers to a kind of metaphorical stage on which you can stand to present your ideas or beliefs to the public.  Look at the following samples for clarification.

By canceling our research grant, the university is denying us the PLATFORM to present the results of our study.  

Hannah used her online blog as a PLATFORM to express her views about gender equality and fairness.

Life Drink, the beverage company, plans to use the upcoming health and fitness show as a PLATFORM to launch its latest sports drink. 

In politics, a PLATFORM refers to the stated aims of a political party and the things the party will do if its member candidates are elected.  Policy, manifesto, objectives, and plan of action are some near synonyms.

The Green Party is campaigning on an environmental PLATFORM that calls for stricter emission controls.

I’m not a member of the party, but its candidate will get my vote because I agree with the party’s PLATFORM on educational issues. 

The Hogwart’s Express departs from PLATFORM 9 3/4 at nine a.m. sharp.

In its most common usage, of course, a PLATFORM is a raised surface or stage with many purposes.

The Hogwarts Express departs from PLATFORM 9 ¾ at nine a.m. sharp.

Many of the houses in the Philippines and other parts of South East Asia are built on raised PLATFORMS to protect them seasonal floods.

The 450-meter-high, upper-deck PLATFORM of the Tokyo Sky Tree offers spectacular, unobstructed views of Tokyo and much of the Kanto region. 

At the center of the stage was a rising PLATFORM, from which the superstar emerged to perform the final number.

A PLATFORM is also a computer system on which application systems can run.

The poll aimed to find out what are the most popular PLATFORMS for Facebook users.

 

Shall I DEMONSTRATE how this product works?

3.   DEMONSTRATE

The two wanted to create a platform that would DEMONSTRATE to the rest of the world Great Britain’s inventiveness in industrial designs, products, and ideas. 

In the above sentence, DEMONSTRATE means to show something clearly by providing proof or evidence.

Recent research has DEMONSTRATED that consuming just one tablespoon of coconut oil a day has many long-term health benefits.

Your essay DEMONSTRATES your impressive vocabulary and your thorough understanding of English grammatical structures, not to mention your grasp of the subject.

DEMONSTRATE has a couple of other everyday uses.  First, DEMONSTRATE means to show and explain how something works.

Would you like me to DEMONSTRATE the steps in the dance sequence again?

As a sales rep, it is Randy’s job to go to tradeshows and other events to DEMONSTRATE his company’s new printers’ various functions.

DEMONSTRATE can also be used to talk about feelings, emotions, or opinions.

Matt can be too aggressive when he’s on the football pitch and really needs to DEMONSTRATE more self-control. 

Rather shy in elementary and junior high school, Connie began to DEMONSTRATE more self-confidence when she reached high school and realized how clever and attractive she was.

Finally, to DEMONSTRATE means to take part in a public meeting or march as a way to show support for a particular cause or to protest against something.

Thousands of Scottish sixth-form students DEMONSTRATED against the government’s plans to begin charging tuition for university education.

My grandfather was arrested once in 1967 for DEMONSTRATING against the war in Vietnam. 

 

4.   PROMPT

The overwhelming commercial and popular success of the Great Exhibition soon PROMPTED other cities to put on similar World’s Fair events. 

In the sentence above, PROMPT is a verb that means to cause someone to take a course of action or to bring about an action or feeling.  Some synonyms include induce, motivate, encourage, inspire, and persuade.

The riot PROMPTED the city government to call in army reserve troops to help quell it.

One user’s accidental death has PROMPTED an industry-wide investigation into product safety.

Curiosity PROMPTED Susie to pick up and shake the presents under the Christmas tree to see if she could guess what was inside them.

PROMPT also means to give an actor a line he or she has forgotten during a performance on stage.  It is also a noun, as in the second sentence.

The aging actor was prone to forgetting his lines and often had to be PROMPTED.

Walter was given the wrong PROMPT, which, when he spoke the line, forced the other actors to ad lib and cover the mistake.

And don’t forget the adjective PROMPT, which means done on time or without delay.

Thank you for your PROMPT reply to my letter and request.

 

NOTABLE actors of Hollywood’s Golden Era.

5.   NOTABLE

Many NOTABLE inventions, including the telephone, Ferris wheel, diesel engine, and even the ice-cream cone, were introduced at World’s Fairs during this golden era. 

NOTABLE is an adjective that means important and worthy of attention.  Synonyms for NOTABLE include noteworthy, remarkable, significant, and outstanding.

Amy Tan has made many NOTABLE contributions not only to Chinese-American literature, but to literature in general.

NOTABLE days in the Muslim religious year include Ramadan and Hajj. 

Many NOTABLE authors, celebrities, and public speakers have visited the campus this year to give inspirational talks to the students.

NOTABLY is the adverb form of NOTABLE and is used when we want to give a good or most NOTABLE example of something.  Especially or particularly are the nearest synonyms.

Japan has produced some very recognizable international film stars in recent years, most NOTABLY, Ken Watanabe and Rinko Kikuchi.

NOTABLY also means in a way that is striking or noticeable, as in:

The oil paintings in the young artist’s collection were not as dark and somber as his charcoal sketches, but they were still NOTABLY depressing. 

The disgruntled third baseman was NOTABLY absent from the team’s first day of practice.

 

This painting EMBODIES hope and innocence.

6.   EMBODY

Although the exhibitions vary in theme and character, they all continue to EMBODY the essence of Victoria and Albert’s Great Exhibition of 1851. 

In the sentence above, EMBODY means to express or represent an idea, quality, or feeling in tangible or visible form.

Dickens’s character Uriah Heep EMBODIES hypocrisy in its most loathsome form.

I soon realized that the man sitting next to me at the banquet was a bigot who EMBODIED everything I detest, so I pretended to be ill and excused myself early.

The director of the new biopic of the late rock star claims that his film EMBODIES his subject’s true character.

EMBODY also means to contain or include something as part of a whole. Incorporate and include are the nearest equivalents.

At the Rochester School of Fine Arts, we EMBODY the required national curriculum courses of study with a special emphasis on literature and the fine arts.

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