Want to improve your English by reading? In this reading lesson, we'll go to Hogwarts to look at the story and vocabulary from chapter 1 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Learn English with me, as I read and explain actual passages from the book. If you want to improve your vocabulary, and your overall English comprehension, reading books is a great way to do it! Even if you don't care about Harry Potter, you should still watch this video to learn some good vocabulary and expressions.
Take the quiz on this lesson at http://www.engvid.com/english-books-harry-potter/
You can buy the book or ebook of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone here: http://www.engvid.com/out/amz_harry . For a more interactive experience, you can sign up for a trial account with Audible and download the FREE audiobook version of Harry Potter:
I recommend the audiobook, because you will be able to hear how all the words are pronounced. Learn English with Harry Potter, and see how studying a new language can be magical!
Hey, everyone. I'm Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this important lesson on: "The Secret to Mastering English!" And the secret is... -"Where am I? And who are you?" -"You're in Hogwarts, Alex. And I'm Dumbledore." -"No you're not. Dumbledore looks different." -"I shaved. Listen, Alex. I have an important job for you. Can you do it?" -"Anything for you, Dumbledore. What is it?" -"Your engVid students want you to do a lesson on Harry Potter. Here, take this and teach them." -"Thank you." -"You're a wizard, Alex. Now, go."
We're back. So, today we are going to talk about Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, chapter one. Now, I know for many of you, Harry Potter was the first book you read in English. And the reason it's a really, really good book for you guys to read is that it is the most popular book series ever, which means that you can find it in many languages, there have been movies made about it, and you can find a lot of discussion about the characters, the dialogue, the story. So everyone knows pretty much what happens in a lot of these stories.
Now, if you don't have a copy of the book, what you can do is get a print version or an e-book version on Amazon attached to this video. What I recommend, though, if you want a more interactive experience with Harry Potter is that you get the free audio book. Now, you can get a free audio book of Harry Potter, not just this one, the entire series, by signing up for the free trial at www.audible.com, which is attached to this video. When you click on the link, you will have to go through a couple of different pages and signups, but at the end you do get the book for free. So go through it, sign up, get the book for free, and it's an excellent audio book. Highly recommend it.
Now, why should we read Harry Potter? Well, it has interesting characters; Harry, Ron, Hermione, the Dursleys, Dumbledore who I met today. How cool was that? It has great dialogue, great plot, and the language is pretty easy to follow, but of course, it still has a ton of useful vocabulary. Not just for non-native English speakers, but even for, you know, kids who are already native speakers of English. And finally, it's just magical. It's a magical story, a magical book. I love it. It's one of my all-time favourites, so let's start looking at chapter one.
So what I'm going to do is look at the actual text from chapter one. Not every line, of course, but I'm going to pick some very specific lines that tell us important details about the story or that tell us some important vocabulary that I think is going to be useful for English students. Now, you notice I gave a page number to start this. I am going to be looking at this hard cover version of the book. This was published by Raincoast Books in Vancouver, so this was published in Canada. Maybe your version is this one, maybe it's not. Maybe you're listening to the audio version, in which case page numbers are not important. But if you want to follow with a physical copy, this is the version that I am using. Okay? Let me put this down.
Here we go. Page seven. So we start Harry Potter by learning about the Dursleys, Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, and their son, Dudley. First we have this line: "Mr. Dursley was the director of a firm named Grunnings, which made drills." So, a firm is a company, and Mr. Dursley was the director of this company, and they made drills. Now, drills are a power tool. Think of the tool that allows you to put screws into things, like: "[Drilling noise]". That's a drill. Okay? So he was a director of a firm named Grunnings, which made drills.
Now, we have a description of him: "He was a big beefy man", "beefy", think of beef. So he was a little bit fat, and: "...with hardly any neck". Now, "hardly any" means almost zero. So, he was so big and round that you couldn't see his neck. Okay? Hardly any neck. "...although he did have a very large moustache".