Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.
Student: Hi. Excuse me.
Student B: Yes?
Student: Where's the library?
Student B: The library? It's next to the registration office.
Student: Ah ... sorry, I'm new. Where's the registration office?
Student B: No problem. See the big building over there?
Student B: OK, so that's the lecture theatre. Next to that, on the right, is the registration office. And next to that is the library.
Student: I see. Thanks!
Student: Is this the library?
Librarian: Yes, it is. Quiet, please.
Student: Oh, sorry. Thank you.
Librarian: Can I help you?
Student: Er, yes, please. I want to borrow some books. What do I need?
Librarian: You need a library card. Here's the application form. You can take up to six books maximum today.
Student: OK. Six books.
Librarian: Yes. You have two weeks to read the books. Then you bring them back.
Student: And if I'm late?
Librarian: Every day you are late there is a fee of fifty pence.
Student: OK, 50p a day. Er, anything else?
Librarian: Mobile phones must be switched off in the library. You can bring your laptop, but please use headphones to watch videos or listen to music.
Student: OK, great.
Librarian: And you can't bring food or drink.
Student: No food, no drink. And ...?
Librarian: And please speak quietly! People are working here.
Student: Oh! Oh, OK. Thank you.
Librarian: You're welcome.
It can be difficult speaking in a foreign language, can't it? We can feel a little bit silly, and think that other people might laugh at us. But is this how you feel when someone from another country tries to speak your language? Do you laugh at them? I expect you don't, and the truth is that we all react in this way. We know learning a foreign language is not an easy or quick thing, so we are encouraging and helpful. There's no reason for you to imagine that people won't be the same way with you.
Confidence is key, and the more you speak, the more confident you will be. When I learn a foreign language, I speak all the time to myself at home, or to my dog (who is very patient). I describe what I'm doing, I have 'conversations' with the radio or television, I describe what I can see in front of me and so on. In this way I learn to speak more quickly, even if my grammar is not perfect, and when I need to speak to somebody else it is much easier. I think this is the best advice I can give: speak at home and when you're alone - it really will help.
The LearnEnglish Team