Free Resources for Students and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China - by Paul Sparks

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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Nanning.

Lesson Plans for "Watch, Listen & Speak", Semester 2



Listening & Speaking, British Movie:



Iris The Movie: The film follows the 40-year relationship between literary critic John Bayley and his wife, British author and lecturer Iris Murdoch, who eventually died from Alzheimer's disease at the age of 80.

Iris The Book: This film is based on “Elegy for Iris”, literary critic John Bayley's biography of his late wife, the brilliant writer and philosopher Iris Murdoch

Iris Plot Outline: True story of the lifelong romance between novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley, from their student days through her battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Iris Location: England: London, Oxford & Suffolk.
Could you understand the accents?
Did the actors & actresses speak clearly?

Iris Genre: Adaptation / Biopic / Drama / Romance

Iris Cast:  Where the actors suitable for the movie?

Iris Synopsis: Iris Murdoch, Professor of Philosophy and celebrated author and her husband, Professor of Literature John Bayley, are guests-of-honour at a banquet at Somerville College. Iris Murdoch gives a brilliantly witty speech and finishes with an Irish folk song, "The Lark in the Clear Air". As she begins to sing, John Bayley's thoughts wander back to the evening when Iris was first introduced to him at a dinner and he was so taken with her that he choked on his wine.                                                 

Even back then, she always had a ready wit. Over the next few weeks, John is often reminded of the past, because of Iris' health, which is beginning to worry him. A medical examination reveals that Iris Murdoch is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Iris' condition worsens and before long, she doesn't even recognise John any more. Although her illness is sometimes too much of a strain, even for John, the memory of their powerful love for each other nevertheless remains unforgettable.

Iris Music: Was the music suitable for the movie?

Iris Issues - Age:
The man was much older than the woman.
Do you think that is good or bad?
Would you have a boyfriend or girlfriend who was older or younger than you?

Iris Issues - Stuttering:
The man s-s-stuttered when he spoke.
Do you know anyone who stutters? How would you treat someone who stuttered?

Iris Issues – Drinking & Smoking:
In England smoking used to be very common, especially for young women. Has that attitude changed now? Why?
Is it acceptable in China for a woman to smoke and drink?

Iris Issues – Fashion:
In England fashion changes over time. We can identify the decade according to the fashion. Is that the same in China?

Iris Issues – Sex:
The characters had sex before they were married. Do you think that is a good thing or a bad thing?

Iris Issues – Secrets:
The characters had secrets, should relationships have secrets or should you tell your partner everything?

Iris Issues – Old people:
Who should take care of old people if they have no family?

Movie: “Iris”:
Did you like the movie?
What did you like about it?
What did you not like about it?





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