Exercise 1   

What is happening in these pictures? Listen and number the pictures

Answer & Transcript


A:   Are you sure you don’t want to me to drive? Look at the traffic!

B:   Hey, don’t worry. I’m fine. Whoops!

A:   Careful. Not so fast.

B:   Don’t worry. I’m fine. Now what’s this thing again?

A:   The brake! I said. “Brake!”

B:   Oh, yeah


A:   I think there’s someone in the house.

B:   Are you sure?

A:   Yes, the lights were off when we left.

B:   That’s funny. Oh, I’m sure it’s okay.

A:   Be careful.


A:   Look – over there in the garden.

B:   Where?

A:   There. Oh, do something quick. Oh, I’m so frightened of those things.

B:   It’s okay. I’ve got it. Are you really frightened of this? It’s the garden hose.


A:   Quick! Look in the kitchen.

B:   Where?

A:   There, behind the door. Oh, I hate those things. Can you do something?

B:   It’s just a little mouse. Nothing to be afraid of.

A:   Oh, I can’t stand mice. Do something!

B:   Go get it, Fluffy.


A:   I’m sure I saw a big, black spider under the bed.

B:   A spider? Are you sure? Let me check.

A:   Did you get it?

B:   Ah, yes, here it is. The missing button from my coat. I’ve been looking for it for days.


A:   Listen. I can hear someone downstairs.

B:   Are you sure?

A:   Yes, listen to that noise.

B:   Let me check.

A:   Be careful!

B:   Don’t worry. Everything is all right. We forgot to turn off the TV.

Exercise 2

Task 1

People are describing fears. Has each speaker’s fear decreased over the years? Listen and check the correct answer.

1.    yes


2.    yes


3.    yes


4.    yes


5.    yes


6.    yes


Task 2

Listen again. Circle the correct statement.

1.  a.  She learned to fly a plane.

     b.  An airplane engineer explained how planes stay in the air.

2.  a.  A snake tried to bite her while she was hiking.

     b.  A snake bit her at the zoo.

3.  a.  His friend hated spiders.

     b.  He studied spiders in college.

4.  a.  He learned how to swim.

     b.  He went to the beach often when he was a kid.

5.  a.  His friend was in a car accident.

     b.  He was in a car accident.

6.  a.  She loved going to the zoo when she was a kid.

     b.  She was given a puppy for her birthday.

Answer & Transcript


The first time I got on an airplane, I was terrified. I just couldn’t understand how a big, heavy thing like a plane could stay up in the air. After we were in the air for a while, I spoke to the man next to me. He was an airplane engineer and explained how airplanes stay in the air. That really helped because I understand how planes work. I was still a little nervous on the next few flights, but now I really love flying.


I was afraid of snakes when I was a kid. I remember going to the zoo and seeing them there and I thought they were kind of cute. But once, when I was out hiking, I nearly stepped on one and it tried to bite me. It was really ugly and I’m sure it was poisonous. Since then, I’ve been pretty terrified of them. I could never touch one now!


Some people hate spiders. They think they’re really creepy. I guess I felt like that when I was a kid. I used to scream if I saw a spider on the wall. My friend had a pet spider and I couldn’t go near it. Then when I went to college, we had a spider collection in our biology lab. When we studied them, I decided they were interesting and intelligent, too. I kind of like them now.


I was always afraid of the water as a kid. I would never go into the pool or swim at the beach. I was sure I would drown. Then I took swimming lessons in high school. Once I learned how to swim, I felt different. Now I love the water and especially the beach. I feel totally safe because now I know how to take care of myself in the water.


I don’t really like driving on the freeway. I guess it’s because the traffic moves so fast. I didn’t use to be so nervous. I used to travel all over using the freeways. But one day, I was in a car accident and I lost all my confidence. So nowadays, I only use the freeway when it’s really necessary.


I was so afraid of animals when I was younger – all kinds of animals – dogs, cats, even horses. I didn’t like the way they felt when I touched them, and I was sure they were going to bite me. I even hated going to the zoo. That all changed when I turned 13, and my mom gave me a puppy for my birthday. He was so cute and friendly that I realized an animal can be really be your best friend.

Exercise 3

Task 1

People are talking about their fears. Is each statement true or false? Listen and check the correct answer.







a.  He has never had bad experiences in elevators.

b.  He doesn’t like the feeling of not being able to get out.


a.  She is afraid of waves.

b.  She likes pools because there are lots of people around.


a.  She is afraid of dogs and cats.

b.  She has been bitten by a dog.


a.  He doesn’t mind looking out of windows on high floors.

b.  He doesn’t like flying.

Task 2

Listen again. What problem does the fear cause for each person? Circle the correct answer.

1.  a.  He can never use elevators.

      b.  He hates using stairs.

      c.  He has to use the elevator with someone else.

2.  a.  She can’t swim in a pool.

      b.  She can’t swim in the ocean.

      c.  She can’t be in crowds.

3.  a.  She can’t visit people with big dogs.

      b.  She can’t visit people with any animals.

      c.  She can’t visit people with any dogs.

4.  a.  He can’t work in a tall building.

      b.  He never travels.

      c.  He can’t do some fun things with his kids.

Answer & Transcript


When I was a kid, I got stuck in an elevator when the electricity went out, and since them I’ve always been afraid of elevators. I was all alone, and there was no way to get out of the elevator. I hated that feeling. Now I almost never use elevators. I take the stairs instead. If I have to take an elevator – for example, if I’m in a really tall building – I make sure there’s someone else in the elevator with me. The only problem is, sometimes I have to wait a long time until another person comes along.


I don’t like swimming in the ocean because the waves are so dangerous. They always knock me over. I also hate the way that seaweed touches me when I swim in the ocean. I always think it’s some animal that’s going to bite me – you know, like a shark or a jellyfish. That’s why I only swim in a swimming pool. The only problem is that the pool in my neighborhood is always crowded.


Dogs are the only animals I’m really afraid of. But not all dogs. Just big dogs. I don’t mind cats and birds because they don’t usually bite you. But dogs? That’s a different story. I’m sure it’s because of the time a huge dog chased me when I was a kid. It only bit me once, but I’ve been really scared of dogs ever since. I never visit anyone if they have a big dog in the house. That’s a real problem because a lot of my friends have really big dogs. So they always have to come my house.


I don’t know why, but I’m really afraid of heights. I work in a tall building, and I can’t even stand to look out my office window. Right away, I get this feeling like I’m suddenly going to fall. I’m really afraid. Of course, airplanes are the worst. I’m really nervous when I have to fly. The biggest problem is that there are some fun things I can’t do with my kids. The other weekend, I took them to an amusement park. They were excited about going on the roller coasters, but I was too afraid to take them. My kids were really disappointed. I felt terrible about letting them down.

Exercise 4

People are talking about fears. What caused each person to have the fear? Listen and circle the correct answer.

1. a.   She had a pet spider.

    b.   She was bit by a spider.

    c.   She grew up with lots of spiders.

2. a.   She often swam in the ocean.

    b.   She taught swimming lessons.

    c.   She sank to the bottom of the pool.

3. a.   He was silly.

    b.   He saw a movie.

    c.   He went to the zoo.

4. a.   She had a pet rattlesnake.

    b.   She saw a rattlesnake in a zoo.

    c.   She was almost bit by a rattlesnake.

5. a.   He was attacked by a lizard.

    b.   He lived in a city.

    c.   He was surrounded by water.

Answer & Transcript

1 c   2 c   3 b   4 c   5 a



A:   What’s that thing on the wall? Is it a spider?

B:   It sure looks like one. Why?

A:   I hate spiders. When I was growing up, our house was full of spiders. They got in my hair, in my shoes, in everything.

B:   They’re not dangerous, you know. In fact, most are very helpful. They eat annoying insects.

A:   I don’t care. I can’t stand them. Could you kill it please?

B:   No, but I’ll put it outside so it won’t bother you. There you go, little fella.


A:   Are you going to Trent’s pool party?

B:   Yes, but I won’t go near the water.

A:   Why not?

B:   I can’t swim. Water makes me really nervous.

A:   Why don’t you take swimming lessons? Then, you would be less nervous.

B:   I tried that once, but as soon as I got in the pool, I sank to the bottom, and the instructor had to rescue me. It was so embarrassing and terrifying that I never tried again.

A:   Wow, you really do have a serious problem.


A:   I know you’ll think this is silly, but the one thing that really frightens me is bats. I saw a movie once where bats attacked people at night.

B:   No, it’s not silly. I used to be afraid of bats.

A:   Really?

B:   Yeah, when I was a kid, but then I saw them asleep at the zoo, and they looked kind of cute.

A:   Really? Will you take me to the zoo?


A:   Oh my goodness, what was that?

B:   Just a garter snake. They’re harmless. Since when have you been afraid of snakes?

A:   Since I almost got bit by a rattlesnake in the Grand Canyon. Oh, I’m so scared! I need to sit down.

B:   Here you go. Take it easy now.


A:   I’ve never been afraid of anything. Not mice or snakes, or spiders or anything. Not until I lived on a little island in the Pacific. There were so many lizards.

B:   Really?

A:   Really! And they attacked people! They would crawl into people’s houses, especially at night. One time, I was sleeping and a lizard …

B:   Stop it! That’s disgusting… You’re not serious! Are you?

Exercise 5

A man is talking about his fear. Are these statements true or false? Listen and check the correct answer.




1.   He is afraid of small spaces.

2.   His fear started when he was a child.

3.   He went camping and got lost in the woods.

4.   His mother had to pull him out of his sleeping bag.

5.   He told his mother the truth.

Answer & Transcript

1 True   2 True   3 False   4 True   5 False


I know this is really strange, but I have a fear of being in small places. I think it came from one time when I was a little kid. I was camping with my family and somehow, during the night, I got turned around in my sleeping bag. I woke up in this hot, dark, small space and started trying to find the opening. No matter which way I went, I couldn’t find it. I got really scared and started crying. Then my Mom reached in and pulled me out of the bottom of the sleeping bag. She thought I just had a bad dream. I was too embarrassed to tell her the truth. Ever since then, really small, tight spaces really frighten me.

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