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  • 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".

  • So, moustache.

  • Right? Everyone knows what that is there.

  • And: "Mrs. Dursley"-Mr. Dursley's wife-

  • "spent so much of her time craning over the garden fences, spying on her neighbours."

  • So, here is a picture of a fence.

  • In your backyard you have a fence that separates your house from your neighbour's house, and

  • here is a picture of Mrs. Dursley craning her neck.

  • So, "to crane your neck" is to stretch it almost to the maximum point, and she's spying

  • on her neighbours.

  • So Mrs. Dursley is a very curious woman.

  • "The Dursleys had everything they wanted"

  • -I'm going to step off camera for this-

  • "but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it.

  • They didn't think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters."

  • So, they're a very happy family, they have everything they need, but they have a secret,

  • a family secret: They are ashamed of part of their family, and that part of the family

  • is the Potters.

  • Now, here: "They didn't think they could bear it",

  • so if you can bear something or you can't bear something

  • it means that you can't handle it, support it, survive it.

  • So they would not be able to handle it if someone, if their neighbours found out about

  • the Potters, part of their family.

  • So the Dursleys have a very clean image that they want their neighbours to follow.

  • All right?

  • Let's keep going.

  • And we're back.

  • So, continuing with page seven:

  • "Mrs. Dursley pretended she didn't have a sister",

  • so she has a sister and she doesn't like her sister, but she pretended, she acted like

  • she didn't have a sister because...

  • Excuse me.

  • I like magic.

  • "...because her sister and her good-for-nothing husband were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be."

  • First, some excellent vocabulary, here.

  • A good-for-nothing person is someone who is good for nothing.

  • So, this is an insult, a negative, very negative thing to say about someone.

  • So: "Your good-for-nothing son", "Your good-for nothing sister", etc.

  • Her good-for-nothing husband, he had no value, no use,

  • were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be.

  • You will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever use this word outside of this book.

  • So, Dursley is the last name of the family, and I guess, you know, if you act in a specific

  • way you are Dursleyish.

  • "Dursleyish" is kind of an adjective that

  • J.K. Rowling made here.

  • And if you are unDursleyish, you are not acting like a Dursley acts.

  • Next: "The Dursleys shuttered to think what the neighbours would say if the Potters had

  • a small son too, but they had never seen him."

  • So, they shuttered to think.

  • If you shutter to think, it means you are just very afraid of what other people would

  • say about you.

  • They didn't want to think: What would happen if their neighbours discovered that their,

  • you know, Mrs. Dursley's sister had a son, and they had never seen Mrs. Dursley's son,

  • Mr. Dursley's sister's son.

  • It's a mouthful. Sorry.

  • Moving on to page eight: "Mr. Dursley hummed as he picked out his most boring tie"

  • -I'll get off screen, here-

  • "for work and Mrs. Dursley gossiped away happily as she wrestled a screaming

  • Dudley into his highchair."

  • So this is the morning routine of the Dursleys.

  • Mr. Dursley hummed: "Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm",

  • this is humming, so he hummed as he picked out his most boring tie for work, and Mrs. Dursley gossiped...

  • Phrasal verb: "to gossip away".

  • So, "to gossip" is to tell secret information or kind of talk about people when they are not there.

  • Say: -"Hey, did you hear that [mumbles]?"

  • -"Oh!

  • Did you hear that [mumbles]?"

  • This is gossiping.

  • So she gossiped away happily as she wrestled...

  • "To wrestle", think of wrestling.

  • She has a small child, his name is Dudley, into his highchair.

  • So, a highchair is what you put babies in or young toddlers in to feed them.

  • So in this book, their son, you know, Dudley, is very, very small.

  • He's just a baby.

  • All right. Let's keep going.

  • Okay, to continue:

  • "None of them noticed a large tawny owl flutter past the window."

  • So, "tawny" is a colour.

  • It means light brown, or a mix of brown and orange.

  • Okay? So a light brown, brown-orange owl flutter past the window.

  • So, when you think of a bird and the wings going...

  • Just swinging back and forth, the wings are fluttering.

  • Okay?

  • So the owl flutter...

  • Fluttered, past tense, past the window.

  • All right.

  • "At half-past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up"

  • -phrasal verb, "picked up"-"his briefcase,"

  • -for work, his case for work with his papers-

  • "pecked Mrs. Dursley on the cheek and tried to kiss

  • Dudley goodbye but missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum

  • and throwing the cereal at the walls."

  • So, a lot of information here.

  • So, Mr. Dursley is getting ready to go to work.

  • He pecked Mrs. Dursley on the cheek.

  • So this is your cheek, a peck can be a quick kiss, like:

  • "[Kisses]", that's a peck.

  • Also think of birds eating seeds, they peck, peck, peck, peck, peck, peck, peck.

  • Okay?

  • So this action is quick movement of the mouth, is a quick peck.

  • All right?

  • On the cheek.

  • He tried to kiss Dudley, but Dudley was throwing cereal at the walls.

  • So, a tantrum is like an emotional episode, a period where a child or an adult sometimes

  • is acting really, really emotionally and angrily, like: "Ah."

  • If you go to a department store and you see a child lying on the floor crying, and the

  • parents are saying: "Come on, let's go, let's go", the child is having a tantrum.

  • It's not a nice scene.

  • And: "There was a tabby cat standing on the corner of Privet Drive.

  • What could he have been thinking of?"

  • So before this line it is important to note that now Mr. Dursley has left his house, he's

  • in his car, he has left his driveway, and before this line he thinks he sees a cat reading

  • a map.

  • Okay? So he's like: "There's a cat reading a map. Wait, wait?"

  • So he sees the cat reading a map, he does what he keeps doing, he looks back and then

  • he says:

  • "Okay, there was a tabby cat standing on the corner of Privet Drive."

  • This is the street the Dursleys live on.

  • "Ah, what could he have been thinking of?"

  • What could Mr. Dursley have been thinking of?

  • He couldn't have seen a cat reading a map, could he?

  • So a tabby cat...

  • Tabby refers to kind of like the fur of the cat.

  • Any cat that has a lot of stripes of different colours, and usually an "M" pattern on their

  • forehead is a tabby.

  • Many native speakers only think of orange cats as being tabby cats, but it's actually

  • all cats, so we learned something new today.

  • Yeah, I love this book, too.

  • Okay, we'll talk later.

  • Okay, see ya.

  • All right.

  • So: "Mr. Dursley couldn't bear people who dressed in funny clothes - the get-ups you saw on young people!"

  • So before this, Mr. Dursley is driving to work and he sees lots of people dressed in

  • really bright cloaks, which are these kind of long robes. Okay?

  • So he couldn't bear...

  • He couldn't handle people who dressed in funny clothes.

  • The get-ups you saw on young people today.

  • So, a get-up is kind of like a costume.

  • Okay?

  • Or a funny uniform.

  • So if I say: "That's a nice get-up", that's a nice kind of uniform or costume, or something

  • that is different than a regular set of clothes.

  • So he's saying: "These people are dressed weird on the street today.

  • I think I saw a cat reading a map.

  • There are people running around. There's an owl."

  • And then: "Mr. Dursley was enraged to see that a couple of them"

  • -a couple of the people on the street-"weren't young at all.

  • Why, that man had to be older than he was, and he was wearing an emerald-green cloak!"

  • So he thinks: "Hah, these young people today with their weird clothes."

  • But he said: "No!

  • This guy is as old as I am or older, so what's going on here?"

  • And finally: "Mr. Dursley"...

  • After getting to work.

  • Now he's at work, he's at Grunnings.

  • He's in his office, he said: "Mr. Dursley always sat with his back to the window"...

  • I'll move out so you can read this completely.

  • So he: "...always sat with his back to the window in his office on the ninth floor.

  • If he hadn't, he might have found it harder to concentrate on drills that morning.

  • He didn't see the owls swooping past in broad daylight, though people down in the street did."

  • So here we have a conditional, so: "If he hadn't sat with his back to the window, he