Learn English with The Crown

The Crown

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It was probably one of the most talked-about series over the Christmas period, you guessed it, it’s the Netflix original series The Crown. 

Shortly before Christmas of 2020, whilst most of the world was in lockdown or living under strict restrictions, the long-awaited season four of The Crown was released on Netflix. It didn’t take me long to get through all ten episodes although I was left slightly disappointed at the end.

I’d seen all of the adverts online and TV and watched multiple trailers and behind-the-scenes videos before the final season came out, so my expectations were high. Emma Corrin would finally take to the screens to portray Princess Diana, someone who is very loved by the people here in the UK. Princess Diana was a “modern royal” and I was eager to see all the actor’s costumes in the new season as well as the truly sensational populism for the royals that she brought at the beginning of her marriage to Prince Charles.

The Crown

Image: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliarodriguez/2020/08/24/the-crown-netflix-confirms-fourth-season-for-the-fall-and-here-is-all-you-need-to-know/?sh=8610b9d558f4.

When the series finally hit our screens in December there was quite a backlash in the UK. It was very hard to find a positive review and, even though I’m a huge fan of The Crown, was left slightly disappointed after the tenth episode. Perhaps I’d built up my excitement too much having been in lockdown for so long! The general feeling here was that the story of the Royal Family and British history wasn’t necessarily accurately reflected through the series. Although, I must warn this is not a documentary rather a period drama, so undoubtedly facts and scenes are changed to make the viewing more enjoyable.

Despite my own disappointment with the series, there is definitely one thing that The Crown has going for it – It’s the perfect series to learn English!

Most of the characters speak with upper received pronunciation (URP), some may know this as a really posh accent or The Queen’s English. This is actually only spoken by around 2% of the British population so don’t get too accustomed to it and expect to hear it all around you if you’re visiting the UK. However, it’s such a clear accent that it’s really great as an English learner to practise your listening skills. I always advise when watching a TV series in English to try and watch with English audio and English subtitles.

I’ve recommended this series to many of my private students now and they’ve started watching it themselves. They are so surprised by how much they actually understand, no matter what the English level.

Crown

Upper Received Pronunciation was much more common in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was most notable as the accent of the BBC newsreader each evening. It is the accent associated with the “upper class” and “aristocrats” and many educators in the 20th century, including the BBC director general, tried to promote this accent as the “correct and proper” way to speak English. At the time, it was fairly popular but regional accents, particularly from the Midlands and northern England grew and now it’s a very small minority that speak like this.

Key Vocabulary

Below are 8 key words taken from this post with definitions. Please be aware that there are sometimes many definitions for one word, it will depend on context. 

Definition: A strong negative reaction by lots of people

In our blog: When the series finally hit our screens in December there was quite a backlash in the UK.

Definition: Something is familiar because you have done it before.

In our blog: This is actually only spoken by around 2% of the British population so don’t get too accustomed to it and expect to hear it all around you if you’re visiting the UK.

Definition: To be very excited and enthusiastic about something

In our blog: I was eager to see all the actor’s costumes in the new season.

Definition: A time when you are restricted to a certain location and cannot leave.

In our blog: Shortly before Christmas of 2020 whilst most of the world was in lockdown or living under strict restrictions, the long-awaited season four of The Crown was released on Netflix.

Definition: Something that you have been waiting for for a long time

In our blog: Shortly before Christmas of 2020 whilst most of the world was in lockdown or living under strict restrictions, the long-awaited season four of The Crown was released on Netflix.

Definition: to represent

In our blog: Emma Corrin would finally take to the screens to portray Princess Diana, someone who is very loved by the people here in the UK.

Definition: A short video that provides a view of a film. This is released before the film is released.

In our blog: I’d seen all of the adverts online and TV and watched multiple trailers and behind-the-scenes videos before the final season came out, so my expectations were high.

Definition: To its advantage

In our blog: Despite my own disappointment with the series, there is definitely one thing that The Crown has going for it.

Learn how to speak like the Queen

Watch our video below to hear this blog out loud in video and (at the end of the video) learn how to speak using the URP accent.

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