Session 1

Celebrities throughout the ages have made London their home. But how much do you know about them? Alice takes us on a tour of the houses of some of the city's most famous and important former residents. Watch the video to find out about Londoners who've had a big impact on the world of technology, art and science. You'll hear some examples of relative clauses.

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Activity 1

Blue Plaques around London

London is a place where many famous people have lived

Welcome to Unit 15! We're starting this time with a tour around the capital. Alice is going to show us some of the places which have been home to some very famous and important people.

But first a couple of questions: Have you ever been to London? And have you noticed the blue plaques you can find in some of the streets? If you don't know that much about them, don't worry! Watch this video and learn about them. Try to work out what the blue plaques are for.

Watch the video and try the activity

Barreeffama agarsiisi Barreeffama dhoksi

Alice
Hi, it's Alice. Do you know about the London Blue Plaques? Well, they're part of a scheme that started here in 1866! The plaques are special blue signs that are put up in honour of famous people. And there are a few of them dotted around that you can see as you walk the streets of London. Come on - let's see who we can find!

Just half a mile from Broadcasting House and we've found a Blue Plaque! This is the house where Virginia Woolf lived from 1907 to 1911. Woolf was a famous novelist and was the subject of the 2002 biopic The Hours. In the film she was played by Nicole Kidman, who won an Oscar for her performance.

We're now in Soho and this is the place where television was first demonstrated. How many of us have a TV? And who did this? Well, it was John Logie Baird in 1926. Logie Baird was a Scottish engineer and inventor who was voted as one of the 100 Greatest Britons in a 2002 public vote.

And what about this street? This is where Isaac Newton lived from 1642 to 1727. Newton was a scientist and he came up with a theory of gravity - the invisible force that keeps us on the earth - apparently when he saw an apple fall from a tree. Can you see? The place where Newton lived is now full of shops!

Do you know who Florence Nightingale was? Well, she's probably the most famous English nurse ever! She's considered to be the founder of modern nursing after she set up a nursing school in St Thomas's Hospital. This modern building stands on the site where her house would have been.

Now, the last stop on our Blue Plaque tour and I'm on a street that was home to a world-famous musician. Can you guess who he was? He wasn't British like our other famous Blue Plaque people. He came to London from another country and had a big influence on other musicians in his time and after his death. His surname begins with the letter 'H'... If you are thinking of the classical composer Handel, then well done - you are right! If you're thinking, "Wait a minute! It's the home of rock guitar legend Jimi Hendrix," then you are also right!

Yes, it's unbelievable but true. On the very same street that Handel lived in the 18th century, Jimi Hendrix also lived for a short time in the 1960s. So, what famous people have lived near you?

Did you work it out? The plaques are special signs which you can see in places where famous people have lived or done important things.

To do

How much can you remember from the video? Try the quiz and see how good your memory is!

Who's who?

4 Questions

Match the descriptions to the famous Londoners

Baga gammadde! Qormaata xumurteetta
Excellent! Great job! Carraa badaa! Qabxii argatte:
x / y

Who's who?

4 Questions

Match the descriptions to the famous Londoners

Baga gammadde! Qormaata xumurteetta
Excellent! Great job! Carraa badaa! Qabxii argatte:
x / y

Next

Now you've met some of the famous people who lived and worked in London it's time for a quick vocabulary recap! Go to the next activity and see how much you can remember.

Session Vocabulary

  • plaque
    (here) a special sign that honours a person or event and is fixed to the wall of a building

    dotted around
    (here) spread in lots of different places in an area, for example, throughout the streets of London

    novelist
    someone who writes novels for a job

    biopic
    a film that tells the story of someone's life

    founder
    a person who starts an organisation

    composer
    a person who writes music  

    legend
    (here) a very famous person