Click on our logo to return to home Learn English
TV Guide
Ways to Watch
Learning English
Sports Lounge
About Us
connecting people and ideas

English Bites - Vodcast
You can now download full episodes of English Bites.
Download video now »

streaming video
Real Video real player >
Windows Video windows media >
Wednesday, 15 March  2006  Circus School

The children in today's story are learning how to perform some of the tricks you see in the circus.

LYNDAL BROADBENT: I went to see a circus in the middle of the year and I thought that's so cool, I want to do that.
I've learnt heaps of skills that I wouldn't have learnt if I didn't do this.

EMILY NEVILLE: We have learnt to juggle, hat tricks, the trapeze, different moves and on the ribbon we have learnt how to climb, how to twist ourselves around it and come down safely and on the floor we have learnt how to do acrobalance and that is where you balance on other people's body.

BEC JONES, CIRCA HEAD TRAINER: And what you're going to do is go upside down in a straddle and wrap your legs around the tissue like that okay and then you're going to slide your hands down and cross the tissue behind your back.

LYNDAL BROADBENT: It's been heaps of fun and I'd like to do more of it.

BEC JONES: So you take your legs through the tissue Lyndal, take your legs through and straddle. And you can just hang in that position, that's fairly comfortable.

EMILY NEVILLE: I can do stuff now that I didn't think I'd do.

BEC JONES: Okay, you're going to take your right shoulder behind the rope, transfer your left hand across, that's it.

EMILY NEVILLE: And the scariest thing I've ever learnt is standing up on the bar and then jumping and stretching your arms out and stretching your feet out against the rope that way about this high.

BEC JONES, CIRCA HEAD TRAINER: For the really little kids we teach lots of coordination and strength and flexibility skills. A lot of the little ones have short concentration spans so you just have to adapt what you're teaching to how old they are. We teach tumbling, hula hoops, juggling, acrobatics, trapeze, tissue, handstands, group bike, hat-juggling, and tight wire; quite a lot of skills.

CIRCUS STUDENT: I've been to see a couple of circuses and I've always really wanted to do what they can do.

MEGAN MAGILL: Have you gone to see the circus before?


MEGAN MAGILL: And what did you think?

STUDENT: I thought it was very good.

MEGAN MAGILL: And when you see people twirling in the air, what does it make you think?

STUDENT: It makes me think 'wow, I wish I could do that'.

MEGAN MAGILL: What would you like to do if you joined the circus?

Student 2: The trapeze

MEGAN MAGILL: How does it make you feel when you're on the trapeze? Why do you like it?"

STUDENT 2: Because it feels like you're on air.

STUDENT 3: I felt really amazed that I was actually on the trapeze.

MEGAN MAGILL: Does it make you want to join the circus?

STUDENT 3: Not really. I've already got a lifetime job.

MEGAN MAGILL: What's that?

STUDENT 3: Being a monkey. There's nothing else. I'm already one.

KIRRIN McKECHNIE: And you can find out more about those circus courses by visiting the circa company's website, at

multiple choice quiz
story spotlight
print friendly

English Bites - Circus School
story notes

Went is the past tense of the irregular verb go. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: go

Here thought is the past tense of the irregular verb think. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: think

Here learnt is the past participle of the irregular verb learn. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: learn

A skill is the ability to do a job well, because you’ve practised it.

Coordination means being able to control your body and the way it moves.

Strength refers to the ability to do things that require a lot of physical effort.

Flexibility describes the state of being able to bend easily. The adjective is flexible.Gymnasts need to be very flexible.

 concentration spans
Concentration is the ability to think carefully and focus on what you are doing. So concentration span is the amount of time a person can keep their thoughts focussed on one thing. A similar term is attention span.

To adapt means to change to suit different conditions.

Tumbling refers to rolling or falling.

 hula hoops
Hula hoops are large rings that can be made to spin around your waist.

Juggling is the skill of keeping a number of objects in the air at once.

An acrobat is someone who performs acts requiring skill and coordination. Acrobats often perform dangerous tricks high in the air. So acrobatics refers to the skills and moves preformed by acrobats, for example trapeze.

A trapeze is a swing used by acrobats to perform tricks.
  Australia Network Home    Contact Us    Help    Legals    © ABC 2011