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       Aethelflaed and the Missing Trophy (Book for English Learners), p.1

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Aethelflaed and the Missing Trophy (Book for English Learners)

  Thank you for reading this story...

  There are many storybooks aimed specifically at students of English, but I have noticed most do not use their full potential. They are basically stories adapted in order to be more easily understood, but do not give the reader activities and exercises where they can put the language to use. I have tried to correct this.

  This book includes:

  Conversational English of the type that is used in everyday life.

  Written notes in every section, explaining different words and expressions.

  21 picture activities in the story, focusing on different aspects of vocabulary, grammar or functions.

  Extra exercises at the end of the story to teach grammatical structures, phrasal verbs and extending vocabulary.

  Extra articles focusing on aspects related to the story.

  A link to an audio file to listen to the whole story.

  Above all, I have tried to write a story which is entertaining as well as educational. This is my first book and I hope that you enjoy it. If you find it useful, please let others know. If it is successful I will be able to dedicate more time to writing stories like this!

  The second Aethelflaed book: 'Aethelflaed & the Rock Star' is now for sale on Amazon.

  Would you like a preview of the next book? Subscribe to the monthly newsletter from, and get the first chapter for free!

  Finally, if you have any question related to this book, or to English in general, please do not hesitate to write to me on the following web page:

  Profesor Nativo Gratis – Ask!


  Would you like to hear the story? For the AUDIOBOOK, go to:

  To see all the activities IN COLOUR, go to:

  For all the ANSWERS to the activities and exercises, go to:

  Aethelflaed and the Missing Trophy

  Story & Language Activities

  Saturday: The Big Match 5

  Sunday: The Missing Trophy 19

  Monday: Aethelflaed Sorts It Out 39

  Grammar & Vocabulary Explanation & Exercises

  Understanding Language (1) 52

  Understanding Language 2: In Depth 53

  Vocabulary Builder 1: Synonyms 58

  Vocabulary Builder 2: Definitions 59

  Extra Articles

  The Saxon Kings and Queens: Alfred, Aethelflaed and Athelstan. 61

  The Royal National Lifeboat Institution 69

  Saturday: The Big Match

  In Davingstock nothing ever happened, so people were always excited when it did.

  On the day of the big match Aethelflaed was having lunch with her brother and father in their cramped1 little terraced2 house, and Athelstan was explaining to his father what all the fuss3 was about. Alfred Jones made a point4 of ignoring the news, and generally knew much more about events twelve centuries earlier than those of the previous week.

  Athelflaed was not usually interested in football either, although now that her friend Samantha's brother was the local team's goalkeeper she was happy to make an exception. In fact, she had planned to meet up with5 her after lunch to get the best seats for the game. If Samantha found Aethelflaed's sudden interest in football surprising, she made no mention of it.

  “I'm off.” Aethelflaed said “I'm picking up Sam and Nat on the way to the stadium. Are you coming Stan?” She asked her brother.

  “No, you go ahead. I haven't finished eating. I'll see you there.”

  Aethelflaed lived only about a five minute walk from the stadium, but her friends Natalia and Samantha lived at different points of Davingstock, so she had to leave early, not that she was bothered6. Aethelflaed didn't mind walking.

  No sooner had she7 stepped out of the front door when she bumped into her next-door neighbour, Rodney, who was a tough-looking twenty-year old. Beside him was his friend Gary, as always with his cowboy hat and clothes, cigarette, and a generally dodgy8 look about him.

  Aethelflaed didn't know so much about Gary, apart from the fact that he was old Scroogey's son. In a town full of oddballs9, Scoogey stood out from10 all the rest, living in a boat on the water, surrounded by piles of junk he fished up from the river. Apart from Gary, nobody had spoken to Scroogey for years.

  Activity 1: Which of the following are not in the kitchen? ANSWERS:






  Kitchen Glove





  Washing Machine










  Frying Pan

  Tea Towel



  Cup and Saucer

  As far as she knew, Rodney was Gary's only friend. People steered clear of11 Gary. If the father was strange, then his son must be too. Rodney was generally seen as a bit dodgy too, but to be fair, Aethelflaed knew all about being the talk of the town. She was well aware that, due to her own learning problems, she was considered the dunce12 of the town. Logically, she made a point of ignoring the local gossips.

  Activity 2: Which are the best answers? ANSWERS:

  No problem, Rodney!

  Might do!

  Not yet – later.

  No, what about you?

  Not at all, thanks!

  I'm doing great!

  Aethelflaed walked towards the town centre, past the library where her father worked. Rather than walking into the town square she turned left at the roundabout and carried on to the traffic lights at the end of the road.

  She could have hooked right at this point, but instead decided to cross the footbridge over the railway and go around the back of the station turning left to stop in front of Natalia's house.

  Natalia's parents were at their restaurant, and she was at home alone. They walked together through the back garden and turned right, under the tunnel and carried straight on along the alleys, past the theatre until reaching the square. Here they turned left, and then right at the roundabout. Samantha was waiting for them outside her house. Aethelflaed was never too sure what Samantha's parents did for a living, but they had one of the best houses in Davingstock, with a garden next to the water, where their boat was moored13.

  Athelflaed considered Natalia and Samantha the worst friends any girl could have, and wasn't shy to tell them so. She wasn't the only one to think that she was plain14 in

  Activity 3: Follow the route. What are points 1 – 4? ANSWERS:

  Read the rest of the route, and fill in the blanks with the words below:

  “... From Sam's house they walked 1. _______ the river and around a 2. ________ until they 3. ________ to some 4._______ lights. 5.______ the crossroads they went 6._______ on, taking the footpath in front of the church until they 7._______ the stadium...”









  comparison. People suspected that they only hung out with Aethelflaed just to lookeven more stunning15. Samantha's beauty spot and Natalia's lovely cu
rls was Nature's way of rubbing it in16.

  In any case Aethelflaed considered that the opposite was also true, and that after ten minutes' conversation with Natalia and Samantha any boy would sigh with relief17 to see Athelflaed's arrival, knowing she would liven things up immediately. That's what she liked to think, anyway.

  Samantha had wavy blonde hair, but often chose to wear it in a ponytail, braids, or pigtails. Today she had her hair loose back behind a long blue blouse - patterned at the base - and some cream shorts. A casually wrapped neck scarf and belt around the waist were the finishing touches.

  Apart from her beauty, Natalia was the opposite to Samantha in almost every sense. With a Spanish mother and Brazilian father, she had dark curly hair and a permanent tan. Athelflaed had known both of them since nursery18, and the three were inseparable.

  When they arrived, the whole area around the stadium had a festival atmosphere, full of food stalls19, music, flags and the round and cheerful face of the captain in a Che Guevara pose: 'Yes, we can!' screamed one giant poster, and another: 'Now is the time!'. Everyone was talking, no-one was listening, and hardly anyone noticed.

  And all for a good reason! For weeks the Davingstock Times had spoken of 'Davingstock's Greatest Moment of Sporting Glory', or in other words, the North Kent Football Cup Final. As Athelstan had breathlessly explained to his father: “Davingstock will be famous for more than 50 miles around!!”

  Not that this was a golden generation of footballers, though. In one match the rival team had a perfectly decent goal disallowed by the referee20. In the next Davingstock Rovers FC spent the full 120 minutes desperately defending before winning on penalties. The last match had only been won when the rival team got two players sent off, but who cared? They were in the final, and against the champions, Maidstone!

  The girls had to push their way through the crowd to get in. The stadium was already filling up. Samantha stopped in front of the halfway line, looking for three empty seats.

  “Why don't we sit nearer the goal?” suggested Aethelflaed “So you can support your brother, I mean.”

  Activity 4: Which one is Samantha? ANSWERS:

  Natalia giggled21, but Samantha made no sign of surprise. “We're better off here in the middle.” she replied “Remember the goalkeepers switch sides at half-time.”

  “Oh, do they?” Aethelflaed realised she knew nothing about football. She needed to catch on22 quick.

  “Tell us who the players are.” asked Natalia “That's Bob the captain.....”

  “He looks bit old and chunky23 to be playing football.....” commented Aethelflaed “He must play really well!”

  “He's hopeless.” Samantha laughed “but he gets on well with everybody in the team, and he's always cheerful, so that's why he was chosen to be captain – and a captain has to play.......”

  “I suppose so, but it's a strange sort of logic.”

  “...In fact, the only players who are any good are Ayaan and my brother. The rest are awful. If it wasn't for Dean's saves, we wouldn't have passed the first round.” Samantha beamed24. She was incredibly proud of her brother. They got on very well.

  “And Ayaan?” exclaimed Natalia “Where's Ayaan? He scores all the goals.....”

  “He's not playing. He had to go out with the RNLI25” Samantha replied calmly.


  “You knew he was a lifeboat volunteer.....”

  “Well, it was nice when it lasted......” sighed Natalia “we can stop dreaming now. If Ayaan's not playing, forget it!”

  Not all of you are keen on26 football, so I'll get to the point27 as quickly as possible. From the starting whistle28 on practically the only player from Davingstock Rovers to touch the ball was Dean. He made saves in the 3rd, 8th, 9th and 13th minutes, and then again in the 17th, 18th and 20th (with a double save). Maidstone finally scored in 22nd minute, with a goal that left the fans open-mouthed.

  “But where on earth have this lot come from!!” shouted Bill the butcher. “They must be Chelsea youth players in disguise!”

  When the ball hit the post in the 36th minute it was too much for Bill. He looked like he was going to explode. “Do something you ninnies29!” He roared, jumping from one foot to another “Don't just stand there – you're not in a museum!”

  Yet there was no sign of any retaliation from the locals. The Maidstone players had moved back into their half of the pitch, not wanting to take risks, and for the first time the Davingstock players began to touch the ball.

  Activity 5: Complete the sentences with tag questions. If you need help with tag questions, go to


  Activity 6: Match the words with the parts of the body: ANSWERS:




  H__ / ___gh






  “Calm down Bill” begged30 people around him “you'll have a heart attack at this rate.”

  In fact, one player did look like he was paying attention. Fat Bob was playing as if his life depended on it, using his corpulent body to bounce4 rival players off the ball, sweating and yelling31 at his teammates until the whistle blew to finish the first half.

  The mood was quietly gloomy32. Aethelflaed tried to cheer the fans up. “Well” she said “That wasn't so bad, was it? I mean, we could be four or five goals down, but we only need to score twice and we're champions, aren't we?”

  “Such a wise comment from young Ethel, our local genius,” responded Bill bitterly33 “and as I see you're such an expert, maybe you can tell everybody how we're going to score two goals if we don't have the ball?”

  “Steady on34, Bill” replied Samantha “It's hardly her fault, is it?” Aethelflaed decided to keep quiet for the rest of the match.

  Soon there was a roar from the visiting fans, and the Maidstone players ran out of the tunnel, stretching, jumping and preparing for the final assault. They looked confident, determined. Behind them, heads down, came the Davingstock players.

  “Look at the lot of you! Is this your Gran's funeral?” yelled Bill “Are we going to have another 45 minutes of this? Pull yourselves together35! This is like boys against men!”

  But his worst fears were soon confirmed. The second half started in exactly the same way as the first had. It took just two minutes for Dean to make his first save, and then to make matters worse, a Davingstock player fell down clutching1136 his ankle.

  “He's pulled a muscle!” scoffed37 Bill, “Not that it makes much difference though. They're all a bunch of ninnies.”

  “The butcher's starting to get on my nerves.” whispered Samantha to her friends “Remind me to stay vegetarian next week.”

  As the player lay on the ground, surrounded by the medical staff, heads began to look up, and people began to hear the sound of an aircraft. Players, fans, staff – everybody was pointing and waving up at the sky as a helicopter suddenly came into view above the stadium and then slowly lowered itself onto the pitch38. With the whole stadium watching, the doors opened...and Ayaan appeared from inside the helicopter!

  Already dressed in his football kit, Ayaan gave a thumbs up at the helicopter as it took off and disappeared. Undoubtedly enjoying the moment, he waved at the fans, who had started to cheer1.

  “The RNLI!” Natalia exclaimed, eyes shining “He must have finished, and now he's asked the lifeguards to fly him into the match!”

  The Maidstone FC players were whispering nervously. Who was this player, who was so good that he had been sent for by helicopter? They quickly formed a circle and were given new instructions by their coach. Then the match started again, with Ayaan replacing the injured player.

  “OK” said Bill the butcher to the fans around him “
Let's get down to business!” Everybody sensed a change of mood.

  But the truth was that Ayaan could not do everything on his own. If he went past two players, a third would take the ball. If he passed, nobody else in the team was good enough to do anything special. The Maidstone players began to feel confident again.

  It was just at this moment when the match changed in the strangest way. Ayaan kicked a high ball into the area for Bob to run on to. Looking up as he ran, and as clumsy as always, Bob tripped over his own feet and fell face down in the area. He hadn't touched anybody, but it didn't matter. The referee did not hesitate. He put the whistle to his lips and blew – penalty!

  The Maidstone players were enraged, but the referee was adamant. After the protests and complaints had died down Ayaan came forward, took three steps and ….. scored! The fans couldn't believe it – despite everything, they were level!

  With only ten minutes left, Maidstone attacked more ferociously than ever. The Davingstock footballers were playing with all their heart, but the difference in quality was plain to see. Once again, Dean had to make three incredible saves, and the fans once again began to bite their nails and hide their heads in their hands.

  Activity 7: Ayaan, Aethelflaed, Samantha, Natalia, Rodney and Gary are wearing something that belongs to someone else. ANSWERS:

  Example: Samantha is wearing Gary's cowboy hat..... (Find 5 more.)

  “Get the ball out!” shouted Bob, who was the only player near the Maidstone goalposts “It doesn't matter where – just kick it!”

  But every time the ball was kicked out, Maidstone picked it up and attacked again. Ayaan ran out of the Davingstock half with the ball until, surrounded by opponents, it was kicked out for a throw in.

  “Just chuck39 it in!” yelled Bob “Give it here and I'll put it in the net.”

  No sooner had he finished the sentence than the ball was thrown at Ayaan, who skillfully backheeled the ball at him. Bob had no time to react. The ball bounced off his round belly, wrongfooting the defender, and – with the goalkeeper watching helplessly – landed in the back of the net. Bob had just scored his first goal for Davingstock Rovers!

  There was a second of complete silence as the fans registered what they had just seen, and then the stadium trembled with the eruption of sound. Who could have written a better ending? As any football fan knows, nothing is better than winning when you so clearly deserve to lose.

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