How do you know that you’re not dreaming at the moment? Is the question relevant? Are dreams simply a swirl of random images or important messages to be decoded? These are the big questions we ask in today’s class, along with an innovative homework excuse and a story about the origins of the Ingocio logo. Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a journey beyond reality.

Dream, Dream, Dream                                                          Notes & Ideas

Hi, welcome to our advanced English listening class – the class which looks for connections between different aspects of culture. Our theme this week is dreams, so we’re going to spend the next ten minutes looking at four connections that will take us from the mysteries of Native American religion to the successes of a well-known Hollywood studio.

Advanced English Listening 1

Dreamcatchers are cheap bits of plastic and imitation feathers that are a good example of Chinese culture. They are supposed to keep bad dreams away. Why a piece of plastic with imitation feathers manufactured in batches of ten million units in the Guangzhou province is supposed to keep bad dreams away, I don’t know. Ok… ok… I know… I’m being sarcastic… but do you see my point of view? Because it’s a point of view shared by many Native American groups who regard it as cultural appropriation – the commercialisation of something that is sacred to the Ojibwe and other Indian nations.

Advanced English Listening 2

Dreamworks is a Hollywood movie studio… the one with the logo of a Peter Pan style figure sitting on a moon, fishing. Underneath it says ‘Dreamworks studio SKG.’ Well, folks, this is turning out to be the theme of the semester because guess what: the ‘SK’ and ‘G’ are the initials of the three owners, Steven Spielberg – who we all know, Jefferey Katzenberg, the ex CEO of Disney and the media mogul, David Geffen. Curiously, though, Paul allen – who contributed far much more money to the founding of the company – doesn’t appear. Between 1999 y 2001 DreamWorks won three Best Picture Oscars for American Beauty, A Beautiful Mind and Gladiator. They are also creators of the Shrek films.  

Advanced English Listening 3

‘Dream…dream…dream…’ Teenage Dream  by Katy Perry. In my considered opinion, Teenage Dream, is one of the greatest pop albums of the twenty-first century. Released in 2010 it immediately debuted at number 1 on the American billboard charts. Teenage Dream is the 2nd album in the history of music to have five number ones from one album (Bad by Michael Jackson was the other). This of course is the album with the great tune… California Girls… and I should say, great video. Katy Perry looks stunning in it. And as far as I’m concerned she’s the living proof that the girl next door is always sexier than the artificial model; I don’t know what it is about Katy but even though she’s not classically good looking she’s sexy with a capital ‘S.’

Advanced English Listening 4

‘Dream team’ is one of those great phrases that can be translated into any language, but every culture has their own interpretation. In my opinion ‘Dream team’ refers to the England team of 1966 those greats that beat Germany to win the world cup. Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst. Gordon Banks. However, if you talk to someone from the US they think Dream team refers to the US Olympic basketball team at the Barcelona games with legends like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Or, if we go out onto the street now and talk to someone from Barcelona I think they’ll have a pretty good idea what the dream team is for them… and it would be hard to argue wouldn’t it. 



  1. In what sense is the narrator being sarcastic in the first part of the audio?
  2. What is Peter Pan’s relation with Dreamworks?
  3. What record did Bad achieve? 
  4. What is the difference between a linguistic and cultural interpretation of ‘dream team’?

Listening answers

  1. He’s saying something he doesn’t believe and knows isn’t true.
  2. There is a Peter Pan style figure in the logo.
  3. Five number ones from the same album.
  4. It is easy to translate into another language but every culture has its own interpretation.



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