Learn English – the Legend of Rip Van Winkle

Legends and fairy tales reveal cultural values. This tale offers the possibility of a bit of debate:  Was it a ‘good’ thing that Rip Van Winkle napped for 20 years?  For students with limited English, it’s easy enough to make 2 columns: Good/Bad.  Then solicit or ask for their ideas about what was good and bad.  One-two word answers are enough.  You can ascertain what they are trying to say and render it correctly.

Fairy Tale # 3 – Rip Van Winkle – 3 Sep 2019

Hey there. This is Maria, from ENGLISH without fear. Today I’m going to tell you a story about a man named Rip Van Winkle, so sit back, relax, listen, and just try to understand as much as you can.

(intro: ENGLISH without fear where you can learn to speak English naturally. listening to stories.)

Rip Van Winkle. What a name. We will just call him Rep. His first name was Rip and his second name, his last name, was Van Winkle.  Who was Rip Van Winkle? Rip was a man who lived in New York, a long time ago. Now you have heard of New York City, but there is also the state of New York. Rip did not live in New York City, but he lived in New York state. He lived north of the city in the mountains of New York.

When did Rip Van Winkle live in New York and the mountains? Rip Van Winkle lived in the mountains before America’s first major war, before the Revolutionary War with England.

Rip Van Winkle was a lazy man. He did not like to work. He was married and he had children. And his wife was not happy that her husband Rip did not like working.

She would say to Rip: “Rip, go to work! It is not good that you are lazy.

“Rip! Wake up! Get out of bed.You need to work.”

“Rip, when are you going to repair the roof of the house?”

Rip’s wife would nag him all the time. What is nagging? What does it mean to nag somebody? Nagging is when you tell somebody over and over again to do something. A lot of women nag their husbands. They also nag their children. I don’t think men nag women. Women nag men. Mrs. Van Winkle nagged her husband, Rip, because he was lazy. 

Did Rip like being nagged? Nope, not at all. So, one day he took his dog named Wolf. And he and Wolf went out of the house and went for a long walk in the woods. And Rip got tired. So, he laid down with his dog Wolf under a tree to take a nap.

What happened after his nap? Well, he woke up, but his dog Wolf wasn’t there and something strange had happened. He had a long beard. That was weird. That was strange.

He got up from where he had been lying under the tree and he walked back into the village. But the village looked different. He found his house, finally, but the house was different and there were people living in his house. His wife wasn’t there. He didn’t find his dog. Everything was different. Plus, he had this long beard.

Finally, he figured out what had happened. He found his children, but they were all grown up. They were adults. The children said to Rip: “Father, we haven’t seen you for 20 years. We thought you had died.”

So, what had happened was that Rip vVan Winkle had had a very long nap for twenty (20) years. His wife had died. His dog Wolf had died. The village was larger. His children were all grown up.

In addition, he heard that there had been a big war with England. He had slept through the war. And now New York was not a colony of England. New York was a state in a new country – the United States of America. So much happened while Rip Van Winkle was asleep.

I like taking naps, but I don’t sleep that long. What about you? Do you take naps? Do you take long naps? Tell me about that. Leave me a comment below this video.

And if you are a teacher of some English language learners and you would like the written transcript for this episode and every episode, go to my website, Englishwithoutfear.com where you can provide your email, signing up for a newsletter, getting a free guide. Plus, with your email, I will send you each time I produced an episode, the link to the episode and the written transcript. Well, this is Maria from ENGLISH without fear. Talk to you next time.

(outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments. Here’s my email.)



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