II. Listening Skills
How to Overcome Fears of Flying
If you are afraid of flying, there are specialists who can teach you how to deal with your fears and finally get rid of them.
They will find out if a nearby airport has special training programs for people who are afraid to fly. Many airports do. How would such a program work?
First, a specialist will take your group to the airport to watch the planes take off and land. A representative from one of the airlines will explain how an airplane flies. Then your group will sit in an airplane that stays on the ground. At a later time, you will go up in a plane for a short flight and then land. Gradually the time you spend in the air will increase. When you are prepares for it, the group will take a trip to another city.
How to overcome
fears of flying Special training programs at an airport
Step 1 Watch the planes take off and land
Step 2 A representative from an airline will explain how a plane flies
Step 3 sit in an airplane that stays on the ground
Step 4 a short flight
Step 5 the time in the air will increase
Step 6 to another city
III. Listening In
Task 1: Fear of Heights
Tony: Hey, Mary, some of us in the Outdoor Club are going camping this weekend. You interested?
Mary: Gee, I don’t know… where’re you planning to go?
Tony: Up into the mountains… We want to take advantage of the nice weather while it lasts.
Mary: The mountains… you mean climbing them?
Tony: Sure, many places have interesting mountains, but the ones here are the most beautiful I have seen—and only a few hours’ drive from here.
Mary: If I were to go, I wouldn’t appreciate the view. I’d have my eyes shut tight all the time. I’m
Scares stiff of heights.
Tony: You’ll be missing out on a lot of wonderful views.
Mary: Oh, Tony, I really prefer to stay at the foot of the mountain.
Tony: That’s Ok, Mary. Come anyway. You can skip the climbing—just stay in the camp and cook
and clean up for us.
Mary: That doesn’t sound like much fun. Maybe I should learn to overcome my fear of heights.
camping the weekend planning to go go up into the mountains
climbing the most beautiful seen drive tight shut
Scares stiff wonderful views the foot of the mountain skip the climbing
camp cook and clean up fun overcome her fear of heights
Task 2: Scared Sleeping
Steven went to a psychiatrist. “ Doctor,” he said, “ I’ve got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I
think there’s somebody under it. I get under the bed; then I think there’s somebody on top of it.
Top , under, top, under. You’ve got to help me! I’m going crazy!”
“ Just put yourself in my hands for two years,” said the doctor. “Come to me three times a week,
and I’ll cure your fears.”
“ How much do you charge?”
“ A hundred dollars a visit.”
“ I’ll think about it,” said Steven.
Six months later the doctor met Steven on the street. “ Why didn’t you ever come to see me
again?” asked the psychiatrist.
“ For a hundred bucks a visit? A carpenter cured me for ten dollars.”
“ Is that so? How?”
“ He told me to cut the legs off the bed!”
T F F T F
Task 3: No More Fear
Hi, my name’s Matthew, and I want to talk about my love of water. I had a fear of water when I
was young. That fear kept me away from water. That was because once I was pushed into the
swimming pool by a classmate when I was eight and first arrived in Australia from Vietnam. That
experience was horrible. I was down at the deep end, struggling, and I thought I was going to
drown. It was a big fear. The next thing that happened was my teacher, dressed in full clothes,
jumped in, and rescued me. Then I started to like that teacher who happened to be my English
teacher. My English was broken as English was my second language. I didn’t want to learn
English or speak English. Then I changed. I find it to be an amazing experience. Now my fear
Of water has gone. I just actually love water now, and I’m interested in English as well. I’m a
Bit more, let’s say, a bit more confident in speaking English now, I think. I’m no longer worried
about my broken English. I don’t care if people laugh. I just find it fun to speak English. And I
don’t feel ashamed of myself when other people correct the mistakes in my English.
C) Vietnam 2. D) All of the above. 3. B) He jumped into the pool to save the speaker.
A) English was not his native language.
A) Because his English teacher saved him from drowning, he came to like both water and
water The speaker had a fear of water. He just actually loves it now.
English His English was broken. He is more confident in speaking English and
Is not ashamed of / worried about his mistakes.
IV. Speaking Out
Model 1 Shake off your fear of darkness!
Bob: People are frightened of lots and lots of different things. Are you frightened of anything in particular?
Laura: Well, I’m afraid of walking alone in an open field at night.
Bob: What are you afraid of?
Laura: I don’t know exactly. Sometimes a shadow ahead scares me stiff. Sometimes the sudden cry of a bird or something startles me.
Bob: What are you staying by yourself in a dark room?
Laura: That can be even worse. When it’s absolutely dark and silent, I wouldn’t dare walk anywhere. And I wouldn’t dare make a sound. I just want to hide under a blanket.
Bob: If you are scared of the dark, you’ll miss a lot of interesting experiences.
Laura: I guess so.
Bob: To get the most out of life, you should find a doctor to help you shake off your fear of the dark.
Laura: Yeah, that’s good advice.
A: People are frightened of lots and lots of different things. Are you frightened of anything in particular?
B: Well, I’m scared of dogs.
A: Really? What are you afraid of?
B: I don’t know exactly. They just make me nervous, and I’m scares to death when a dog barks at
A: If you’re scared of dogs, you’ll miss a lot of fun. They are our good friends.
B: Maybe you are right.
A: To overcome this fear, you could find a doctor to help you get rid of that fear of dogs.
B: That’s a good idea. Thank you.
Model 2 I’m afraid I’ll fail
Laura: John, What’s the matter with you? You look so down.
John: We will have a big exam tomorrow in Physics, and I’m afraid I’ll fail.
Laura: Have you been studying?
John: You know me. I study all the time. And I know the material until I step into the exam room.
Laura: What happens then?
John: It’s like I’m two people. Once I pick up the exam paper, all my knowledge is gone.
Laura: That’s hard to believe.
John: But it’s true. My head is filled with a buzzing noise, the words blur on the page, and I can’t think. And…
Laura: And what?
John: And I break into a cold sweat.
Laura: Oh, I feel for you.
A: Oh, what’s the matter with you? You look so glum.
B: We will have an English oral test tomorrow, and I’m worried I’ll fail.
A: Did you practice?
B: You know me. I have been practicing all the time. And I can speak fluently I see the
A: I can hardly believe it.
B: It’s like I’m two people. I open my mouth but my mind goes blank. I simply can’t think. And…
A: And what?
B: And I stammer.
A: Oh, you have my sympathy.
Model 3 Going to the dentist really unnerves me!
Laura: Ouch! This tooth is really bugging me.
John: Maybe you have a cavity. Have you seen the dentist?
Laura: No. I haven’t. Going to the dentist really unnerves me. I try to avoid it like the plague.
John: Come on. Don’t be a chicken! It can’t be that bad!
Laura: I’m not a chicken! But I’ll do anything to stay out of the dentist’s chair.
John: Even when your face is swollen with the bad tooth?
Laura: You bet!
A: I have a bad cold, and I’ve had a low fever for several days.
B: Have you seen the doctor? Maybe you should take an injection.
A: No. I lose courage at the idea of taking an injection. I’ll try to avoid it as much as possible.
B: Come on. Don’t be like a child! It’s all in your mind.
A: I’m not like a child! But I’ll do everything to avoid injections.
B: Even when your cold last for several more days?
V. Let’s Talk
I’m Helen. Well, it happened a few years ago. I was living in a house with my parents. One
evening I had to prepare myself for an examination at school. I was working in the basement at
my table when my parents went to the city to go shopping. Suddenly, I heard steps on the floor
above me. I knew there was actually nobody in the house besides me. What could I do? I was
terribly frightened because I knew that it must a burglar. We had the windows open to air the
room, so it must be burglar. What could I do? I remembered that I had a toy gun in my cupboard,
so I decide to take the toy gun and go upstairs. Well, I took the toy gun, went out of my room, and
shouted as if there was another person, “ George, take the dog and go outside.” On my way
upstairs, I turned on lights. The burglar must have heard me, and he rushed out of the window the
way he came in.
Well, I was relieved, and then I tried to phone my parents, but I was so terribly frightened that I
wasn’t able to dial the number.
Helen prepared herself for an examination.
was working in the basement.
Her parents went shopping.
Helen Heard steps on the floor above.
was terribly frightened.
A burglar must have come in.
Helen took the toy gun from the cupboard,
went upstairs, and
shouted, “George, take the dog and go outside.”
turned on lights.
The burglar must have heard Helen.
rushed out of the window the way he came in.
Helen phoned her parents.
wasn’t able to dial the number.
Possible Retelling for the Teacher’s Reference
Helen is telling us about her horrible experience. One evening she was preparing for her
examination in the basement of her house. Her parents had gone out shopping. Suddenly she heard
footsteps on the floor above. Knowing that she should be the only person at home, she was scared
almost out of her wits. Obviously, a burglar had come in through the window that was left open
for fresh air. Plucking up her courage, Helen took a toy gun from the cupboard and went upstairs.
On the way she shouted, “ George, take the dog out.” Also to frighten the thief, she turned on
some lights. The burglar must have heard all the noise and rushed out of the window where he got
on. Now Helen felt somewhat relieved. She tried to phone her parents, but her trembling hand was
simply unable to dial the number.
VI. Further Listening and Speaking
Task 1: I hate flying.
Dave: Sue, I haven’t seen you for a while. Where’ve you been hiding?
Sue: Dave, I have some excellent news. I won first prize in the computer software competition.
Dave: That’s wonderful news. What’s the prize?
Sue: I’ve won a trip to Sydney.
Dave: Wow! That’s great—but how will you get there?
Sue: Fly, of course. It’s much too far to swim.
Dave: I hate flying. With just the thought of not having my feet safe on the ground, three things happen: my stomach turns, my face goes pale, and I break into a cold sweat.
Sue: But if you want to travel, you have to fly.
Dave: That’s true. But if I were to fly, I’d have to get some medicines from the doctor.
Sue: That’s must cause you a lot of trouble.
Dave: Well, I have no other choice.
1. prize software competition
2. a trip to
3. turns goes pale breaks into a cold sweat
4. some medicines the doctor
5. cause / give a lot of trouble
Task 2: Don’t be afraid of the alligators!
While enjoying fishing off the Florida coast, a tourist overturned his boat by accident. He could
swim, but he was afraid of alligators. So he just held tight on to the overturned boat. After a while
he saw a coast guard officer walking close to the shore, and he got excited. He shouted at the
officer, “Are there any alligators around here?” “No,” the man shouted back, “they haven’t been
around for years!” Feeling greatly relieved, the tourist started swimming lazily toward the shore.”
About halfway there he asked the coast guard, just out of curiosity, “How did you get rid of the
alligators?” “We didn’t do anything,” the officer answered. “Wow, how lucky I am,” said the
tourist. The officer then added, “ The sharks got them.
A) He caught hold of the boat.
C) Whether there were any alligators around.
D) No, not for the past years.
B) The sharks killed all of them.
A) A threat was replaced by a bigger threat.
Task 3: Fear of Flying
At a recent software engineering management course in the United States, the participants were given an awkward question to answer: “If you had just boarded an airliner and discovered that your team of programmers had been responsible for the flight control software, would you get off immediately? If yes, please put up your hands.” Then a forest of hands were raised, but one programmer called Smith did not put up his hand. When asked what he would do, he replied that he had no fear and would be quite happy to stay on board. “With my team’s software,” he said, “the plane was unlikely to even taxi as far as the runway, let alone take off.”
1. T 2. T 3. F 4. F 5. T
Snakes frighten me.
Tony: Oh, Nancy, I am looking for you.
Nancy: Well, Sherlock Holmes, you’ve just found me. What’s up?
Tony: The Outdoor Club is going camping this weekend. Care to join us for an adventure?
Nancy: I could be interested, but will there be snakes? I hate snakes; they make me scared stiff.
Tony: Probably not. We’ll be in the mountains, and snakes don’t care for the cold. But there are different kinds of snakes. Poisonous ones like rattlers, and friendly ones like garter snakes. You aren’t afraid of the friendly snakes, are you?
Nancy: Well, if we encounter any snakes, you’ll see how loud I can scream.
Toney: Even if they’re friendly snakes?
Nancy: Yeah, all snakes make my hair stand on end.