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Session 4

Vocabulary: 7 uses of 'light'

Sit back and relax as BBC Learning English brings you our version of Charles Dickens' classic novel 'Oliver Twist', while using the word 'light' in seven different ways.

Sessions in this unit

Session 4 score

0 / 11

  • 0 / 5
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 6
    Activity 2

Activity 1

Oliver Twist part one - 5 uses of 'light'

Hope, spirit and a little bit of luck
The English word light has many meanings and uses. In this session, we bring you BBC Learning English's own version of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens - and we've found many different ways to use the word light in it. 

To do

The story is in two parts. As you watch the story, listen out for the different uses of the word light - and decide whether this summary of the story is correct or wrong:

  • Oliver is saved from a life of crime by a kind gentleman. 

Watch the video and complete the activity

Show transcript Hide transcript

Hello, I'm Mariam – and today I've got a story about a young orphan - he has a tough life but with hope, spirit and a little bit of luck, all that could change.

This young orphan is called Oliver. At the age of nine he ends up in a miserable, grim workhouse. All the children who work there are always cold and light fires to keep warm. They are also badly treated and are always so hungry. One day, Oliver bravely goes up to the manager to ask him for more food, but he is thrown out because of his insolence. And so begins Oliver's new life.

I'll jump on a bit in the story. He's in London and he gets in with the wrong crowd:  a friendly young beggar invites him to shelter in a run-down, damp building with very little light - so it is dark too. It is run by a scruffy old man called Fagin. Oliver doesn't have to pay anything to stay there but in order to earn his keep, he has to work as a pickpocket – carefully and secretly stealing money and valuable possessions from people's pockets. He knows it's wrong but what else can he do?

When he sees the other children pickpocketing Oliver isn't happy and he runs away but the police catch him, thinking he is the thief. Luckily, a kind gentleman called Mr Brownlow sees what is going on and is able to shed light on what happened to the police. He then agrees to look after poor Oliver.

All seems well - Oliver has his own big spacious room, with windows and it's painted in a light blue colour. For the first time, he even has his own big comfy bed – and it's not long before he's out like a light.

To do

How was that? The summary wasn't quite right - Oliver was rescued by a kind gentleman, but Fagin, who had forced Oliver to join a gang of pickpockets, captured Oliver again.

Now, have a go at our quiz to check you know the first 5 uses of light.

Oliver Twist - the story so far...

5 Questions

Let's check your understanding of the story - and the words and phrases with 'light'. Choose the correct answer for each question. Look at the vocabulary box if you need help.

Congratulations you completed the Quiz
Excellent! Great job! Bad luck! You scored:
x / y


It's time to find out what happens next - and to learn some more uses of light! See you on the next page.

Session Vocabulary

  • light (B1)
    start to make something burn

    light (B1)

    shed light on (C2)
    give new information to help explain a situation

    light (A1)
    pale in colour

    out like a light (C1)
    in a deep sleep


    A1 = Beginner
    A2 = Elementary
    B1 = Lower Intermediate
    B2 = Higher Intermediate
    C1 = Towards Advanced
    C2 = Advanced