A2 - Lesson 02

Part 1 : Video Lesson & Transcript

Part : Listening & Reading comprehension

Part 3 : Use of English

Part 4 : Grammar lesson

Part 5 : Writing an essay & corrections

Part 6 : Speaking, interaction, & explanations.


Please make sure you unfold each content for each part of the lesson.  Merci de déplier chaque contenu pour chaque partie de cette leçon.



See instructions beneath the video.


Mentalism mind reading and the art of getting inside your head.


Mentalism mind reading and the art of getting inside your head.

"Magic is a great analogy for how we edit reality and form a story -- and then mistake that story for the truth," says psychological illusionist Derren Brown. In a clever talk wrapped around a dazzling mind-reading performance, Brown explores the seductive appeal of finding simple answers to life's complex and subtle questions.




1) Listen to the video without reading the text / transcript

2) Then Listen to the video again reading the transcript as you listen.

3) Then listen to the video again without reading the transcript.



We are all trapped inside our own heads, and our beliefs and our understandings about the world are limited by that perspective, which means we tell ourselves stories. 

Right? So here we are in this infinite data source. There's an infinite number of things that we could think about, but we edit and delete. We choose what to think about, what to pay attention to. We make up a story ... to make sense of what's going on, and we all get it wrong. Because we're all trying to navigate with our own skewed compasses, and we all have our own baggage, but the stories themselves are utterly convincing. And we all do this, and a lot of the stories that we live by aren't even our own. The first ones we inherit at a young age from our parents, who of course have their own skewed beliefs, their own frustrations, their own unlived lives. And for better or worse, we take all that on-board, and then we go out into the world thinking maybe we have to be successful to be loved; or that we always have to put other people's needs first; or that we have some big terrible secret we couldn't possible tell people. And it's just fiction, it's just stories, and we'd worry a lot less about what other people think of us if we realized how seldom they do.


So I feel that magic is a great analogy for how we edit reality and form a story and then mistake that story for the truth, and I've had a 20-year career in the UK staging big psychological experiments on TV, and now that's on Netflix. I also have a stage show. I've got my first Broadway show actually coming up, called "Secret." Just throwing that out there. No pressure. 

That should be this year. 


And I try to do something new with mentalism, mentalism, which is the dubious art of getting inside your head. 


So there was a heyday for this kind of stage mind-reading, which was the 1930s. That's why I'm dressed like this, in my most un-TED-like garb. And there was an act, an act known as the Oracle Act. And in the Oracle Act, members of the audience, as I know you have done, would write down secret questions, the sort of questions you might ask a psychic, seal that question into an envelope, and on the outside of the envelope they would write their initials and then roughly where they sat in the audience. And then the Oracle, the mind reader, would take an envelope one at a time, he wouldn't open it, but he would attempt to divine what question was sealed inside. And if he got that right, he would try and answer the question for the person too. And the act spread like wildfire. It's a testament, I think, to the seductive appeal of some powerful figure offering you easy, simple answers to life's complex and subtle questions and anxieties. 

So thank you all of you that wrote questions. I haven't seen these. I know somebody's guarding them. Thank you so much. I will take those now. Thank you all of you that did this. 

I should say, probably, a couple of things before I start. In absolute honesty, first of all I can't see through these envelopes. They are sealed. They are thick black envelopes. You'll know if you wrote one. I can't see through them. Secondly, importantly, I don't know any of you and nobody is playing along. That's not what this is. Thirdly ... I don't believe for a second that I have any special psychological gifts, let alone any psychic ones. 


So let's begin. Nope. 


OK, this -- Oh, nice. OK, this one's interesting. There's a couple here. I will start with maybe this one. This one's interesting, because the writing undulates. There's a sort of an up and down thing, which normally -- not always -- normally means that the person doesn't know the answer to the question themselves, so it's normally a question about the future, right? That sort of suggests uncertainty. So I would say it's a lady, age-wise it's a little difficult to tell from this minimal handwriting, but I would expect maybe 30s, maybe 40s, but let's find out. It says -- and a question about the future -- it says, "JN, center." So it's going to be somebody in this big central section here. If you think this is you, if you wrote one, could you make a fuss? It's a bit difficult for me to see in the center. Hi, give us a wave. So J ... Jane? Jessica?


Jessica: Yes.


Derren Brown: Which one?

Jessica: Jessica. 

DB: Thank you. Just a guess. Little murmur of approval, thank you? 

I'll take it. Alright, so Jessica, I won't ask your age, but is it a question essentially about the future? 


Jessica: Mhm?


DB: Yes? 


Jessica: Yes.


DB: Yes. OK. Alright. So what did we ask? What did Jessica ask about the future? So am I OK with late-30s, early-40s? 


Jessica: I'll take it. I'm taking it. 


DB: OK, so it's important, because we ask different questions depending how old we are. Just say, "I'll take it" again. 


Jessica: I'll take it. 


DB: Virginia? You're from Virginia?


Jessica: Yes, I am. 


DB: Yeah. So --

I think this is a lady, I think this is a lady who wants to leave Virginia. I think you're looking at plans, it's whether or not things are going to come together to get out. Just show me your hands. Other sides so I can see fingernails? OK, I think you have a farm and it's whether or not you're going to sell your farm and get out of Virginia? Is this right?


Jessica: Absolutely, that's the question. 


DB: Alright. Great. Thank you. It's a great question! What was the actual question? What did you put? 


Jessica: "Will I sell the farm in Virginia?" 


DB: Will you sell the farm? Alright, so look, it's a great question if you are pretending to be psychic, because it's about the future, which means I can give you a yes or no on this. It means nothing. You have no way of verifying it. And a dangerous thing to do -- and if I say yes or no, it'll just stick in the back of your mind, and it can't not start to affect decisions you make. So a dangerous thing to do. However -- 

Yes, I think you will sell the farm, because I think you're the sort of person that in the nicest way will get what you want. I think when there are things you want, you tend to focus on them at the expense of other things that you know you probably should be focusing on more, would you agree? Educated, you spent a few years in -- 

Say yes again, the word "yes" quickly?


Jessica: Yes. 


DB: No?


Jessica: No. 


DB: California? Berkeley? A bit of a guess, but ... 


Jessica: I went to Berkeley, yes. Stop doing this! 


DB: So it's a yes. Oh, and you've been to India recently as well. There's just a tiny, tiny little thing going on there. Yes? No? 


Jessica: Yes, I just got back from India. 


DB: It's a yes from me, I just don't want to say it like it's written in the stars because it isn't, and you need to take responsibility for it. 

Have a seat. Thank you. Let's do another one. 


AH, also in the center? AH. This will be a man, a little older, maybe late 40s, I would say from this. AH, center, stand up for me if you think this is you. AH. Hi, let's get a microphone to the sky. Quick as we can, on camera would be amazing. Oh, look at that! Freeze. Don't move. Don't move. Keep absolutely still. Are you standing? Where are you? 


Man: I am standing. I'm not that short. 


DB: OK. Alright, now you changed that. There was just something you did as you got up. Yes or no, have you put something on here -- you're not doing it now, but you did it as you stood up -- to do with your left or your left leg or your left foot, yes or no? 


Man: Yes. 


DB: Alright. He was giving us a nice clear signal as he stood up. Put your weight on your left-hand side and say "yes." 


Man: Yes. 


DB: Take your hand out of that pocket, put your weight on the other side, change hands with the mic and say "yes" again. 


Man: Yes. 


DB: You have a dislocation in the big toe on your left-hand side? 


Man: Yes. 


DB: Thank you so much. Great. Good one! Take a seat. Take a seat. Can I get the microphone? I'm going to change microphone for this. Can I grab a mic up? Thank you. Thank you so much. That would be great there. I'm going to change mic because, hopefully you can now still hear me? So I'm going to blindfold myself. And I'm doing this now so I don't have the clues as you stand up. I can't see where you put your hands. I can't see how you respond to what I'm saying. I can't see what the people next to you are doing either. If they know the answers to the question, that's always very helpful. I won't have those advantages, but strangely, this frees me up, and I want this to free you up as well, so if you didn't write a question but you wish that you had done, you can still take part. The point of writing the question is only that it just kind of gets a nice, clear, succinct wording in your head. So if you can just find a question in your head, make it clear and succinct, just send it to me, and I'll try and do this now without anything written down. So just start to form questions but send me your name as well. "My name is," whatever that last guy was, and "what's strange about my feet," or whatever the question was. So name and question. There is somebody already, I'm guessing you're quite near the front, because your name is quite clear. Feels like you're in the center at the front. OK, let me just ... Allan? Feels like there's an Allan. And you're going to be quite near the front, vaguely central, I think. Feels like it's coming from right there. There's like a man, maybe early 60s, something like that. 


Allan: Yes. 


DB: You've got a mic? Great, thank you. Allan, just say "stop" when I get to you so that I know where you are, where to face. 


Allan: Stop. 


DB: You a Capricorn?


Allan: Yes. 


DB: So Allan has something in his head. Now, did you hear it, hear the reserve in his voice? It's going to be something really tricky. I think with you ... Just say "yes" again for me? 


Allan: Yes. 


DB: It's going to be either -- no it's not. It's access, it's a password or access to something. Have you got something, just yes or no, with a password in your head? 


Allan: Yes. 


DB: A computer password, that sort of thing? 


Allan: Yes. 


DB: Excellent! 

In that case, I'm going to finish on this one. Let me --- If I get this right, they're all going to know what it is, and millions of people potentially. You will change it, won't you? 


Allan: Of course. 


DB: Just say "of course" again?


Allan: Of course. 


DB: Alright. If it's a word -- I imagine it's a word, right -- just see the password written in front of you, big clear block capital letters, and as you look at it, think for me of a letter somewhere in the middle, don't say it out loud, just get a letter in your head that's in the middle. 

Have you got one?


Allan: Yeah. 


DB: OK, stick with that for me. Ah, you changed it, OK. You changed your mind there. I think you settled on a -- I think that's a "B", yes? 


Allan: No. I didn't. 


DB: Then it's an "I"?


Allan: Correct. 

DB: But you had a B.


Allan: Yes. 

So see it written there. Just keep saying it to yourself in your head. Oh, you play drums, don't you. 


Allan: I do. 


DB: Just get that out of your head, get that out of your head, just focus on this one thing for me. 

My job is to sell you a story, right? I try and do this to all of you, to get you to pay attention to one thing that I want you to find important, ignore other things that I want you to ignore, and then join up those narrative dots to tell yourself a certain story about what I'm doing, and this only works because we are story-forming creatures, which means we do this every day. We go out into this complex and subtle world full of a complex and subtle people like you and me, Allan, and we reduce them to these neat characters that fit whatever story we're telling ourselves, and we say, "She's insecure," "He's arrogant," "They can't be trusted." And these are just stories like the story that I can somehow read your mind. You're thinking of selling your company as well, aren't you, at the moment. 


Allan: Correct. 


DB: Which is something to do with skin? 


Allan: Yes. 


DB: Skin care or something like this. 


Allan: Uh, yes. 


DB: And I think the reason why I love doing this is that it reminds me at least to try and be more alive and alert to the complexity and the subtlety of what's real, that there's always other stuff going on that we don't know about, and it means we can get less stuck, we can be kinder to people because we can recognize there's always fear behind their stress, so we don't need to meet it as defensively, and we can start to see the stories for what they are and recognize that life isn't all about us. 

Oh! Your password, where are you? Where are you? Where is he? 


Allan: Right here.


DB: Stand up for me. Your password is "ariboy." A-r-i-b-o-y? Is that right?


Allan: That's correct.


DB: Then thank you so much. Thank you very much indeed. 

Thank you. 


  1. Listen to the video and answer all questions below  without reading the transcript /text of the video.
  2. Then read the transcript of the video and check your answers, before looking at the corrections.




According to the video, are these statements true or false?

  1. The speaker, Derren Brown, thinks we start our lives living up by the stories of our parents.
  2. DB thinks we never edit our reality or perspectives.
  3. Magic is for him a way of abstraction from reality.
  4. DB finds the first handwriting sloppy.
  5. The speaker things that we, as humans, have a great capacity to make up histories.
  6. DB thinks that understanding the whole picture of the human behaviour makes us more empathic.
  7. All his guesses in the Oracle Act were correct.




According to the video, are these statements true or false?

  1.  (T)
  2.  (F)
  3.  (F)
  4.  (F)
  5.  (T)
  6. . (T)
  7.   (F - he misses the the first guess on the letter of the “password” )




In English, just as in your own language, there are a lot of idioms.

Can you find 2 in this text and tell what they mean?









  1. Written in the stars: if you believe that something is written in the stars, you believe that it will be made to happen by a force that controls the future.
  2. Spread like wildfire: If disease or news spreads like wildfire, it quickly affects or becomes known by more and more people.


 3. Keep still: to remain quiet, without moving



Traduire les phrases suivantes en anglais, issues du texte, puis retrouver ces phrases dans les deux premiers paragraphes du texte en anglais:

1. Nous sommes tous coincés dans nos propres têtes, et nos croyances et comprehensions du mondes sont limités par cette perspective, ce qui veux dire que nous nous racontons des histoires.


2. Car nous essayons tous de nous diriger à l'aide nos compas tordus, et nous avons tous notre passé, mais les histoires elle meme sont réellement convinquantes.





Essential Grammar in use p 181-182

Unit 87  older than .....                 more expensive than......



Complete the sentences. Use than .

  1. He isn't tall.    You 're taller than him.
  2. She isn't very old. You're ......
  3. I don't work very hard . You work .....
  4. He doesn't watch TV very much. You ......
  5. I'm not a very good cook. You .......
  6. We don't know many people.  You .......
  7. They haven't got much money. You .....
  8. I can't run very fast. You can ........
  9. She hasn't been here very long. You .......
  10. They didn't get up very early. You .......
  11. He wasn't very surrpised. You .....


  1. You''re taller than him /.... than he is
  2. You're older than she is / .......than her
  3. You work harder than me/ ..... than I do.
  4. You watch TV more than him. / ....... more than he does.
  5. You're a better cook than me. / .... than I am . or  You cook better Than me / .... than I do.
  6. You know more people than us . / .... than we do.
  7. You've got more mobney than them. / ..... than they have.
  8. You can run faster than me. / ..... than I can.
  9. You've been here longer than her. / .... than she has.
  10. You got up earlier than them. / ... than they did.
  11. You were more surprised than he was. / ..... than him.




(please note that this definitions are according to the context)






Verb - past simple of to trap

to be unableto move or escape

make up

Phrasal verb with make

to invent something, such as an excuse or a story, often in order todeceive

“What is going on”


what is happening



not accurate or exact



completely and without qualification; absolutely



derive (a quality, characteristic, or predisposition) genetically from one's parents or ancestors

we take all that on-board


we take all that with us/in our lives



not to be relied upon; suspect



the period of a person's or thing's greatest success, popularity, activity, or vigour



clothing, especially of a distinctive or special kind.



fasten or close securely






discover (something) by guesswork or intuition



a large, destructive fire that spreads quickly over woodland or brush



a serious, urgent, or heartfelt request


noun - informal

an indefinite small number

to play along

phrasal verb

to do what someone asks you to do, for a limited period of time

let alone


used to indicate that something is far less likely or suitable than something else already mentioned



go with a smooth up-and-down motion

sort of


to some extent; in some way or other.

make a fuss


make her presence be noticed



a gesture or signal made by moving one's hand



a low continuous background noise

to come together

Phrasal verb

to start working successfully with each other

At the expense of


resulting in the loss of something



stop moving



deprive of sight by tying a piece of cloth round the head so as to cover the eyes



(especially of something written or spoken) briefly and clearly expressed



the words used to express something; the way in which something is expressed



requiring care and skill because difficult or awkward

block capital letter


style of writing in which each letter of a word is written separately and clearlyusing the capital letters of the alphabet

say it out loud


if you say or read something out loud, you say or read it so that other people can hear you; aloud; audibly

stick with that


persevere or continue with



habitually tidy, smart, or well organized



in a difficult situation;  unable to move, or set in a particular positionplace, or way of thinking



Peseshet is a doctor and a teacher. The video describes a typical day of her life.

Now it is you turn. Write a text :

- Present yourself.

- Describe your profession.

- Tell what you did to get this job.

- Describe a typical day of your life : what usually happens when you are at work?




You can book a one to one class with a teacher who will correct your writing exercise.  One to one classes can be online, with a video call, anytime of the day. 

This gives you full flexibility for your timetable.

Please send us an email at afterschool at afterschoollyon.com.




You can book a one to one class with a teacher for the speaking.  One to one classes can be online, with a video call, anytime of the day. 

This gives you full flexibility for your timetable.

Please send us an email at afterschool at afterschoollyon.com.

Our online classes range from A1 to C2 levels, including specific class contents and online video classes.  They are designed to improve communication of spoken and written English with learner-centred lessons which help build students’ confidence, accuracy and fluency.

Our online learning classes offer an extensive level of flexibility for individual students, with comprehensive syllabus and content.