Exercise 1

Why the world needs introverts

Mahatma Gandhi was an introvert, as were Van Gosh and Albert Einstein

‘It’s good to be sociable! It’s good to be confident! It’s good to be loud!’ In her book Quiet, Susan Cain points out how deeply this belief is held by society. Very often the qualities of extroverts – being active and lively, making quick decisions and working well in a team or group, for example – are valued more than the shy, serious and sensitive qualities of introverts. Susan Cain calls this attitude the ‘Extrovert Ideal’. In her book she looks at the way society places such value on the Extrovert Ideal that many modern schools and workplaces are built around it. Desks in classrooms are pushed together so that students can work in groups more easily. In Europe and the USA, employees are frequently put in shared offices so that they can work in teams. Students and employees are also expected to be confident and talkative.

Why are the needs of introverts ignored in this way when introverts have so much to offer? Introverts need less excitement around them than extroverts, it’s true, but that doesn’t make them less exciting people. Many of the world’s greatest ideas, art and inventions have been produced by introverts. The Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi was an introvert, as were the artist Vincent Van Gosh and the physicist Albert Einstein.

Then there was Rosa Parks, who started the US civil rights movement in 1955 by bravely and quietly saying ‘no’ when a white passenger wanted to sit in her seat on a bus.

Famous introverts in modern times include Angelina Jolie and Mark Zuckerberg. Jolie, a hugely successful actor, supports charities that help people in war zones. She describes herself as an introvert, saying she loves to spend time alone or with small groups of people because it helps her develop as a person.

And despite the huge success of his social networking site, co-founder of Facebook Zuckerberg remains a private person who doesn’t like speaking in public.

But let’s not forget that we need extroverts too. Because of course, introverts can come up with great ideas, but they also need help in communicating those ideas to the world. Songwriters need singers. Designers need sales people. In other words, extroverts and introverts need each other.

A. Read the article and answer the questions.

1   What is the attitude that Susan Cain calls the ‘Extrovert Ideal’?

2   How do people organise classrooms and offices to make them better for extroverts?

3   How are extroverts useful to introverts?

B. Complete the definitions with the personality adjectives in bold in the article.

1   ………… people talk a lot.

2   ………… people are easily upset and feel emotions deeply.

3   ………… people like spending time with other people.

4   ………… people do a lot of things or move around a lot.

5   ………… people are full of energy and enthusiasm.

6   ………… people are not confident, especially with new people.



1   The attitude is that the qualities of extroverts are valued more than the qualities of introverts.

2   So students can work in groups more easily and put employees in shared offices so they can work in teams.

3   Extroverts can communicate introverts’ ideas to the world.


1 Talkative   2 Sensitive   3 Sociable   4 Active

5 Lively   6 Shy

Exercise 2


1   North India and the Himalayas – come and join us in October!

      Hi there,

2   We’re planning a trip to North India and the Himalayas this October and we’re looking for people to join us. We’ll be doing some climbing (not too much!) and also travelling around in North India. We’re meeting up in Delhi in mid-October and spending about four weeks on the road.

3   We’re looking for one or two people, make or female, under 30, reasonably fit and able to live cheaply. Climbing experience preferred (and experience of India would be good too). Ideally you should be sociable and not too serious (like us).

4   If this sounds like the trip for you, send a reply plus a photo and we’ll get back to you!

      Cristina, Matt and Rob

b   VC   Volunteer Community Project

Volunteer needed

Duties include teaching English, art, maths, etc., as well as leading educational play groups. Support will be given by local teachers or project staff. Occasionally, volunteers will be asked to help with domestic duties such as preparing meals and keeping the classrooms and gardens clean to help create a happy and healthy atmosphere for the children.

Volunteers should be available to start work next month. No qualifications required, but candidates should have a positive and outgoing personality and be good with young children.

Please send a CV and a short personal profile.


Wanted – help with garden and house

We’re a big family (three small children) and we need help with work on our garden and house for two weeks.

Jobs that need doing include general work in the garden, painting in the house, fixing electrical problems.

No experience needed but you should be good at fixing things and happy to work hard. Payment to be arranged.

Reply to: Mel and Nick

A. Read adverts a—c. Which of these topics does each advert mention?

dates or times  –  money  –  travelling  –  types of people  –  work

B. Read the adverts again and answer the questions.

Advert a

1   Where is the trip?

2   How many people are they looking for?

3   What kind of person are they looking for?

Advert b

1   What are the main responsibilities of the job?

2   When does the work start?

3   What kind of person are they looking for?

Advert c

1   What does the job involve?

2   What experience is needed?

3   How long is it for?



Advert a:   dates or times, money, travelling, types of people

Advert b:   dates or times, types of people, work

Advert c:   dates or times, money, types of people, work


Advert a:

1   North India and the Himalayas

2   one or two

3   male or female under 30, sociable and not too serious, reasonably fit, able to live cheaply

Advert b:

1   teaching, leading educational play groups

2   next month

3   positive and outgoing, good with young children

Advert c:

1   general work in the garden, painting, fixing electrical problems

2   none

3   two weeks

Exercise 3

BOOK Reviews


by Oliver Burkeman

Is your life disappointing? Does that make you feel depressed? If you answered ‘yes’ to those two questions, what can you do to find happiness? The answers to these questions can be worth their weight in gold – last year, people spent almost $11 billion on ‘self-help’ books. These books promise to make us more confident, more sociable and more successful. They tell us that all we really need to find love and achieve our goals is a positive attitude.

If you are amused by promises like these, then Oliver Burkeman’s book The Antidote might just be for you. Burkeman has travelled the world in search of happiness and he has found it in some very unusual places. For example, he meets poor people in Africa who seem to be happier than some wealthy people he knows in London. For Burkeman, this shows us that people who do not own very much cannot worry about losing it. In other words, having a lot of things can add a lot of stress to our lives. Of course he is not saying that poor people in Africa have an easy life. Instead, Burkeman uses this example to talk about ‘negative paths’.

A ‘negative path’ is important for a satisfying life. He suggests that we need to remind ourselves that bad things happen and that we should learn to live with them. True happiness – if it exists – must include both positive and negative experiences. A complete life should be one that knows hate as well as love and illness as well as health.

In my favourite part of the book, Burkeman takes us to a small village in Mexico on the Day of the Dead. The Day of the Dead is a festival that celebrates everyone who has died. However, it is not a sad festival at all, but a colourful party for friends and family. According to Burkeman, we need events like this to remember why we should be happy more often. The Antidote is an interesting book that has the ability to make you feel that happiness really is possible.

A. Read the text and tick () the correct answer.

1   Where might you usually see this kind of text?

      a   in a newspaper

      b   in an email from a friend

      c   on the back of a book

2   According to the reviewer, ‘self-help’ books …

      a   are usually very expensive

      b   have a large number of readers

      c   help readers earn more money

3   Where did Burkeman go to collect information for the book?

      a   capital cities in Europe

      b   countries in North and South America

      c   many different places

4   The reviewer enjoys a description of …

      a   a family party

      b   a funeral in a small town

      c   a traditional festival

B. Read the text again. Are the sentences true or false?

1   The phrase ‘worth their weight in gold’ in the first paragraph means ‘valuable’.

2   Burkeman’s book The Antidote is a typical example of a ‘self-help’ book.

3   Burkeman did not expect to find happiness in some of the places he visited.

4   Burkeman discovers that life is more difficult for people when they have a lot of money.

5   Burkeman says we cannot understand happiness unless we also have bad experiences.

6   People are often happy and enjoy themselves during the Day of the Dead.

7   Although there are some good parts, the reviewer does not recommend this book.

C. Write a review of a non-fiction book you have enjoyed reading. Include the following:

•   the name of the author and the title of the book

•   a paragraph describing the general topic of the book

•   a paragraph describing the main ideas in the book

•   a paragraph describing the best part(s) of the book

•   a recommendation which explains why other people should read the book



1 a   2 b   3 c   4 c


True: 1, 3, 5, 6; False: 2, 4, 7

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