Getting advice

Getting advice

Listen to someone getting advice from a friend to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.



Clara: Hi, how are you? I haven't seen you in class for a while.

Ben: Good, thanks. You? 

Clara: Great, as long as I don't think too hard about all the essays I have to write this term!

Ben: Yeah … 

Clara: Hey, are you OK?

Ben: I have to admit, I'm struggling a bit. Maybe even a lot. I've not been sleeping well at all and then I can't concentrate. And all these things are just going around and around in my head.

Clara: Mmm … that doesn't sound good. So, you're sleeping badly and you can't concentrate. Is that all it is, do you think?

Ben: Well, if I'm honest, it's more than that. I'm starting to dread going outside. I find myself worrying about stupid things like what if I forget the way home. Or, what if I go to class thinking it's Monday but actually it's Friday and I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time. It sounds even more stupid when I say it out loud. It took me two hours to leave the house today.

Clara: It doesn't sound stupid at all. It actually sounds a lot like me last year.

Ben: Really? But you're so together!

Clara: I've learned to be, but even I still have bad days. I used to have panic attacks and everything. When you were trying to leave the house today, how did you feel?

Ben: Like I couldn't breathe. And my heart was going way too fast.

Clara: Hmm … that sounds like a panic attack to me.

Ben: I thought I was going to die.

Clara: You'd be surprised how common they are. Loads of people have them, they just don't talk about it.

Ben: How did you get over them?

Clara: I actually talked to a doctor about it, and you should too. But I learned some practical things as well. Though they're easier said than done, and they're going to sound weird, so hear me out, OK?

Ben: OK …

Clara: So, one thing I did was to try to reduce the power of the anxiety and the panic attacks when they came. So – and this may sound strange – at a time when you're feeling safe and OK, you literally do things that make your heart start racing faster and your breathing speed up. Like spinning around on a chair until you're dizzy or hyperventilating so you're short of breath.

Ben: That sounds awful!

Clara: It is, but it means you get used to the symptoms, so they feel less scary. 

Ben: Right. 

Clara: Then you have to deliberately do the things that usually make you feel panic. So, if it's going to class on Monday and being scared you've got the wrong day, on Monday you go to class. If you let the anxiety control you by making you stay at home, it just makes it worse the next time you really do have to go out.

Ben: And what did you do if a panic attack came anyway?

Clara: I had a distraction plan. So, I walked everywhere instead of taking the bus because the exercise helped, but also I did things like count trees or red cars or something. Whatever it was didn't matter, as long as I had something else to focus on.

Ben: I can't tell you how much I appreciate this. I thought … 


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Language level


Average: 4.2 (44 votes)

Submitted by wafaa Ali on Tue, 05/11/2019 - 11:23

I had to admit that I have this problem also, but I tried to reduce it and I succeed. I think the best way to reduce this problem is Ignoring it

Submitted by Irina07 on Sun, 13/10/2019 - 12:19

I have to admit that I experienced these feelings when I started learning English. All the time I have felt anxious and I didn t succeed in finding a way to remove this powerful anxiety. I was scared that I will not be able to speak and comprehend this language... At the beginning all the time is hard and I would describe this experience as a thought-provoking and challenging one. we have to learn how to control all these feelings and try to be positive.
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Submitted by Caterina Siligardi on Mon, 07/10/2019 - 10:10

Yes, I often feel anxious; like, for example, when I listen to an audio and a task like these that are still out of my comprehension. I especially talk about the second task. Thank you. See you next.

Submitted by lyly32 on Mon, 07/10/2019 - 03:08

Hi teacher! Can you explain for me why the answer of question ''What does Ben do at the beginning of the conversation?' is ''he makes the problem sound less than it is'' .I thought that the answer in this question is ''He makes the problem sound more than it is'' . Thank you for your support!

Hello lyly32

The first thing that Ben says is that he is fine ('Good, thanks'). He then admits that he's struggling 'a bit', but then it later becomes clear that he is actually having a very difficult time. So really he minimises the problem at first and gradually reveals how serious it is.

Does that make sense?

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by nikisyazwani on Wed, 02/10/2019 - 18:28

I have completed the lesson 'Getting Advice'. The level I chose was Upper Intermediate B2.
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Submitted by kamicounciler on Thu, 26/09/2019 - 16:40

i get anxious most of the times when i see people or animal rights are being really hurts me ,specially when i feel not brave enough to stop it.

Submitted by anitaf on Sun, 25/08/2019 - 21:12

I feel anxious when I'm surrounded by people I don't know yet, because it is difficult for me to start a conversation.

Submitted by nikoslado on Mon, 22/07/2019 - 19:38

Dear Team, I think, in Task2, p.6, it could be correct the first choice, because in the dialogue Clara says, ''they're going to sound weird, so hear me out'',and '' this may sound strange''.What do you think? Many thanks to all of you.