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ELT by Peter Viney & Karen Viney Wallce & Gromit

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Using A Close Shave as supplementary material
A Close Shave can be used as a supplement to any upper-beginner / pre-intermediate course. If it is done quickly, and extra discussion generated from the Teacher’s notes it can be used at higher levels also.

Using A Close Shave on its own
A Close Shave may be used as a free-standing short course, taking anywhere between twelve and thirty classroom hours to complete. It may be useful as a short introductory course in situations where pupils have come from different schools or classes, and have differing levels of English. As a short, easy course it will help to consolidate a general body of knowledge. This means it is ideal where pupils have changed schools, say from Middle to Lower Secondary or from Lower Secondary to Upper Secondary.

It may be also useful as material to complete a year’s work.

It has proved equally popular with adults.

A Close Shave Student’s Book
The Student’s Activity Book contains for each of the six episodes:

Watching the Video
Four pages of activities for classroom exploitation. Though these could be done in a single classroom lesson, we recommend allowing a double lesson (90 to 100 minutes) for the exploitation of the video.

In general, the activities follow this format:

Viewing of the complete episode:
• Pre-tasks (Before you watch)
• Watch the whole episode
• Post-tasks (After you watch)

A Close Shave Episode 5
Before You Watch / Section 1

It is generally best to let students see the whole episode initially. If you are using the video at higher levels, you might choose to exploit it section by section without this initial global viewing.

The episode is then divided into sections (usually four) for detailed exploitation. Each section consists of:
• Pre-tasks (Before you watch)
• While you watch activity (optional)
• Watch the section
• Post-tasks (After you watch)
A Close Shave Episode 2 Section 2
A Close Shave Episode 4 Section 3
A Close Shave Episode 1 Section 4
Watch the whole episode again.

It’s most important to let students watch the whole episode again, so that they can feel how much their comprehension has increased as a result of the exploitation tasks. This may be followed by a post task.

If you simply follow the activities suggested, you will have a thorough exploitation of the materials. If you have more time with video, you can add some of the activities suggested under Teaching with video: some techniques.


The exercises and transfer will provide another one to two lessons of work based on the story of each episode.

The Exercises are related to the story of the video, but can be done after the initial exploitation, without access to video equipment. If time is short, the Exercises page can be done as homework.

1 First there is a Memory exercise to review the content of the episode.
2 This is followed by a Test yourself section which students should self-correct by reading the transcripts. This encourages students to use the transcripts in an active manner.
3 One or two structural exercises usually come third.
4 Finally there is an exercise on sounds / spelling.

Optionally, you can replay the video to check these exercises if equipment is available.
A Close Shave Episode 4 Transfer


Often, we set up a simple information gap by asking students to Change Partners after an initial paired question and answer session. They then ask and answer about their previous partners.

Structurally, this means shifting from 1st and 2nd person work (I, you) to third person work (she, he).

Communicatively, it means asking questions where they genuinely do not know the answer. One student has information to share with her or his partner.

A Close Shave Episode 2 Excercises

This section can be used at any time during work on a particular video for reference, or later as further exercises with a vocabulary bias. There are cross-references to Vocabulary where relevant.
A Close Shave Episode 2 Vocabulary pages
A complete language summary of each video for reference. There are cross-references to grammar throughout the exploitation sequences.
A Close Shave Episode 5 Grammar

We recommend that these should not be used in class, but in our experience the great majority of students wish to have a transcript to which they can refer AFTER the lesson. We have found that students make copious notes and add translations to transcripts of videos, and this is usually done at home, on their own. Such extra work can only be advantageous, even though most experienced video teachers would opt strongly for discouraging their use before viewing. They are encouraged to use the Transcripts to check the Test Yourself section in Exercises.

A Close Shave Episode 3 Transcript

Contents & Syllabus

episode grammar transfer vocabulary
episode 1
The uninvited guest
past simple: regular verbs present perfect
Something has eaten it I, me, myis / has / possessive ’scan / can’t
What did you have?Have you eaten …?
window cleaning
equipment, clothes
a bowl of … / a pair of … / a cup of …  etc
episode 2
Love at first sight
question words
past simple: irregular verbs present perfect: yetdo / did / done
present continuous (review) whose? / possessive ’syour / yours
looks + adjective
names, introductions
What do you like doing in your free time?
like + ing form
starting a conversation by asking questions.
boy, lad, chuck etc things you can knit:clothes
episode 3
The Knit-O-Matic 
going to do / doing / done past participles
present continuous future going to future imperatives
too (= also)  / too (late) much / many
Suggestions: let’s …
going to for future Suggestions
Have you (done this)yet?
When did you do it?
When are you goingto do it?
adjectives ending in-ous
Word play
invent / inventor /invention
action verbs in pastsimple (1)
episode 4
Crime and Punishment 
Imperatives (cont.)
Past continuous
will have to
for obligation someone, nothing
two word verbs
past and past participles
so (degree, conclusion)
Past continuous:
What were you doing at 9 pm?
In prison
compound nouns
Word play
In the country
episode 5
No escape 
adverbs of movement prepositions
past tense of regular verbs ’ll future for offers of help any faster
drop 200 feet v a 200foot drop
Find the sheep
(adverbs of movement, present continuous) Offers of help
any faster etc
The plane
In the factory Opposites
Road signs
action verbs in past simple (2)
episode 6
Gromit to the rescue 
sequence words in past simple
more past tense verbs
Why don’t you …/
That looks (nasty)
He looks (happy)
(It is) made of (wool) adverbs: faster, harder, closerstart doing
What’s your favourite?
opinions: likes and dislikes
best, funniest
Action verbs (3) present / past / past participle
Preston’s repairs

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