When you study English, it can be tempting to compartmentalize the different aspects of language learning. Your vocabulary lists are separate from your grammar drills, and your listening exercises are separate from your reading comprehension. In real life, though, using English is never like this. Listening, vocabulary, grammar, and the rest all mesh together. The purpose of this Vocab Jam series is to help you blend listening and vocabulary together as you learn. And, of course, the other purpose is to help you have fun as you learn English! Give me 6 minutes, and you will be on your way to learning 29 advanced English vocabulary words…and improving your English listening skills! You’ll learn vocabulary words like clutches, minion, and qualm. Whip out your English journal, and get cracking!

 

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Related: Looking for another Vocab Jam? Learn 11 new words with Aretha Franklin + George Michael ๐ŸŽต

 

 

Today’s Vocab Jam: “The Bells of Notre Dame”

 

This is the opening scene to one of my favorite Disney films, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I’ve highlighted 29 advanced vocabulary words. If any of them are new to you, click on the boxes for those words to get visual vocabulary cards with the definitions. Happy listening, Stepper! It’s time to jam!

 

Related: 7 great reasons why you should be learning English with music

 

 

CLOPIN
Morning in Paris, the city awakes
To the bells of Notre Dame.
The fisherman fishes, the bakerman bakes
To the bells of Notre Dame,
To the big bells as loud as the thunder,
To the little bells soft as a psalm.
And some say the soul of the city’s
The toll of the bells,
The bells of Notre Dame.

 

THUNDER

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PSALM

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TOLL

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You may also recognize this word from the famous poem by John Donne, which reads:

…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

 

Related: Loud as the thunder! This is so much better than saying very loud, don’t you think? Learn more about similes here. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘

 

CLOPIN (SPEAKING)
Listen, they’re beautiful, no?
So many colors of sound!
So many changing moods!
Because, you know, they don’t ring all by themselves.

PUPPET (SPEAKING)
They don’t?

CLOPIN (SPEAKING)
No, you silly boy.
Up there, high, high in the dark bell tower
Lives the mysterious bell ringer.
Who is this creature?

PUPPET (SPEAKING)
Who?

CLOPIN (SPEAKING)
What is he?

PUPPET (SPEAKING)
What?

CLOPIN (SPEAKING)
How did he come to be there?

PUPPET (SPEAKING)
How?

CLOPIN (SPEAKING)
Hush! Clopin will tell you.
It is a tale, a tale of a man
And the monster!

CLOPIN
Dark was the night when our tale was begun
On the docks near Notre Dame.

HUSH

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TALE

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DOCK

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Related: Learn 9 seafaring idioms + visual vocabulary cards!

 

GYPSY MAN (SPEAKING)
Shut it up will you?

GYPSY MAN 2 (SPEAKING)
We’ll be spotted!

GYPSY WOMAN (SPEAKING)
Hush, little one!

CLOPIN
Four frightened Gypsies slid silently under
The docks near Notre Dame.

SMUGGLER (SPEAKING)
Four guilders for safe passage into Paris.

CLOPIN
But a trap had been laid for the Gypsies,
And they gazed up in fear and alarm
At a figure whose clutches
Were iron as much as the bellsโ€”

GYPSY MAN (SPEAKING)
Judge Claude Frollo!

CLOPIN
The bells of Notre Dame!
Judge Claude Frollo longed
To purge the world
Of vice and sin.
And he saw corruption
Everywhere except within.

FROLLO (SPEAKING)
Bring these Gypsy vermin to the Palace of Justice.

 

SLIDE

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LAY A TRAP

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GAZE

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ALARM

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CLUTCHES

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Related: 18 synonyms for ‘evil’…based on Game of Thrones characters!

IRON

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LONG

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PURGE

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VICE

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VERMIN

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SOLDIER (SPEAKING)
You there! What are you hiding?

FROLLO (SPEAKING)
Stolen goods, no doubt.
Take them from her.

CLOPIN (SPEAKING)
She ran!

GYPSY WOMAN (SPEAKING)
Sanctuary! Please give us sanctuary!

 

SANCTUARY

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FROLLO (SPEAKING)
A baby?
A monster!

CLOPIN (SPEAKING)
“Stop!” cried the Archdeacon.

FROLLO (SPEAKING)
This is an unholy demon.
I’m sending it back to hell,
Where it belongs.

THE ARCHDEACON
See there the innocent blood you have spilt
On the steps of Notre Dame.

FROLLO (SPEAKING)
I am guiltless.
She ran, I pursued.

THE ARCHDEACON
Now you would add this child’s blood to your guilt
On the steps of Notre Dame?

FROLLO (SPEAKING)
My conscience is clear!

DEMON

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Related: Learn all about demons, goblins, and ghouls in this vocabulary post about 10 terrifying creatures

SPILL

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GUILTLESS

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PURSUE

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CONSCIENCE

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THE ARCHDEACON
You can lie to yourself and your minions!
You can claim that you haven’t a qualm!
But you never can run from
Nor hide what you’ve done from the eyes,
The very eyes of Notre Dame!

 

MINION

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QUALM

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CLOPIN
And for one time in his life
Of power and control,
Frollo felt a twinge of fear
For his immortal soul.

 

TWINGE

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FROLLO (SPEAKING)
What must I do?

THE ARCHDEACON (SPEAKING)
Care for the child,
And raise it as your own.

FROLLO (SPEAKING)
What? I am to be saddled with this misshapenโ€”
Very well. But let him live with you in your church.

THE ARCHDEACON (SPEAKING)
Live here? Where?

FROLLO
Anywhere.
Just so he’s kept locked away
Where no one else can see.
The bell tower perhaps.
And who knows,
Our Lord works in mysterious ways.
Even this foul creature may
Yet prove one day to be
Of use to me.

 

SADDLE WITH

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MISSHAPEN

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LOCK SOMEONE AWAY

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FOUL

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CLOPIN (SPEAKING)
And Frollo gave the child a cruel name,
A name that means “half-formed”,
Quasimodo!

CLOPIN
Now here is a riddle to guess if you can,
Sing the bells of Notre Dame.
Who is the monster and who is the man?
Sing the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells of Notre Dame!

 

Related: Get more English listening practice with these 10 short dictations using synonyms for ‘go away’

 

Quick Practice

 

Choose one of the words that was new to you and write a sentence using that word in the comments! ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿค“

 

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