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ESL Conversation Topic — Phobias

Posted by Robert August 26, 2008 ESL Conversation Topics

Level: Beginner to Advanced

The ESL conversation topic of phobias should produce an interesting discussion. Remind your students that everyone, whether they know it or not, has some sort of fear of something.

Warmup: Tell your students about something that you are afraid of doing or seeing. This will help them to discuss their fears later on.

Give your students a list of phobias from this website. Depending on time constraints, you do not need to give them every phobia; you can choose the ones you think are most interesting or relevant to your class. Ask them to discuss some of the phobias amongst themselves.

Discussion Questions:
1. What do you think is the worst phobia on this list?
2. Do you have any phobias? If so, which one?
3. Do you think that everyone has phobias of something?
4. Why do think people have phobias?
5. What are the most common phobias in China?
6. What do you think is the best way to deal with a phobia? Get rid of it? Live with it?
7. Can you think of other phobias that are not on this list?
8. Name one positive aspect of having a phobia and one negative aspect.

Talking about fear

There are many words and expressions you can use to talk about fear.

Questions:

· How did you feel?

· How did you react?

· What was your reaction?

· were you afraid of...?

· Were you scared of...?

· Were you terrified of...?

Responses:

I was terrified, spooked, petrified ...
afraid of ... frightened of ... scared of ...
It was a terrifying ordeal.
It scared the hell out of me. sent shivers out of me. frightened the life out of me. gave me goosebumps.
I jumped out of my skin. shook with fear.

Short dialogue:

Latifa is talking about her fear when she saw the criminal

Nancy: How did you feel when you saw the criminal?
Latifa: I jumped out of my skin.

 

 

ESL Worksheets: Fear Idioms     Ask your students how they would feel if they:
  • saw a raccoon munching on food leftovers inside a garbage can in their garage?
  • heard a knock at their door at night?
  • accidentally touched a big jellyfish while swimming in the sea or ocean
Accept answers such as: scared, afraid, frightened, terrified, horrified. Tell students that afraid or scared are general words to describe fear, frightened expresses a sudden fear, terrifieddescribes intense overpowering fear while horrified involves a state of shock.   How does a person look when s/he is scared? Elicit phrases such as:   eyes wide open raised/furrowed eyebrows flared nostrils rapid breathing clammy palms heart pounds/beats faster   Tell students there is a plenty of idiomatic expressions in English to describe fear. Have students work in pairs on exercise A of the worksheet. Students read the idioms and decide whether the listed idioms describe the way a frightened person looks or feels.   Student Handout   Exercise A: The following idioms describe fear. Which idioms describe the way a frightened person looks (you can say a person is frightened by his/her facial expression or body movements)? Which ones are pointing to the way a frightened person feels (this is an inner feeling that is always not obvious to the naked eye)? Which expression/expressions can mean both?   have goose bumps jump out of skin be scared to death turn as white as a ghost shake like a leaf hair stands on end someone/something sends chills down one’s spine look like a deer caught in headlights break into cold sweat blood turns cold  
looking frightened feeling frightened looking or feeling frightened
have goose bumps hair stands on end  
     
     
     
     

Exercise B: Fill in the blanks with the missing part of the idiom.




Additional Work:

Talk to your partner and describe a frightening experience you’ve had.

What was your reaction to this experience?
How did you look and feel?
What was your posture, body movements or facial expressions like?
Were the people around you able to tell you were scared?


Answer Key:

Exercise A:

looking frightened: have goose bumps, turn as white as a ghost, shake like a leaf, look like a deer caught in headlights

feeling frightened: break into cold sweat, jump out of skin, hair stands on end, blood turns cold, someone/something sends chills down one’s spine

looking or feeling frightened: scared to death

Exercise B:

1. scared to death

2. goose bumps

3. broke into cold sweat

4. blood turned cold

5. send chills down my spine

6. jump out of skin

7. shaking like a leaf

8. looked like a deer caught in headlights

9. as white as a ghost

10. hair stood on end

 

ESL Worksheet: Fear Idioms

  • down my spine
  • of my skin
  • a ghost
  • a leaf
  • bumps
  • death
  • cold sweat
  • turned cold
  • on end
  • a deer caught in headlights

1. I got scared to select down my spine of my skin a ghost a leaf bumps death cold sweat turned cold on end a deer caught in headlights when a stranger with his hands inside the pockets of his coat approached me.

2. I saw a white flying object hanging in the sky yesterday. It was neither a plane nor a bird. Could it have been a UFO (unidentified flying object)? I get goose select down my spine of my skin a ghost a leaf bumps death cold sweat turned cold on end a deer caught in headlights every time I tell people about it.

3. Melanie broke into select down my spine of my skin a ghost a leaf bumps death cold sweat turned cold on end a deer caught in headlights when she realized she left her passport at home. Her plane was about to take off in an hour.

4. My blood select down my spine of my skin a ghost a leaf bumps death cold sweat turned cold on end a deer caught in headlights when I heard about a shooting in a local school.

5. Just the sound of the dental drill was enough to send chills select down my spine of my skin a ghost a leaf bumps death cold sweat turned cold on end a deer caught in headlights .

6. Someone’s heavy breathing and loud footsteps made me jump out select down my spine of my skin a ghost a leaf bumps death cold sweat turned cold on end a deer caught in headlights .

7. Jami is afraid of heights. She was shaking like select down my spine of my skin a ghost a leaf bumps death cold sweat turned cold on end a deer caught in headlights when she was crossing the bridge a hundred meters up from the river.

8. He looked like select down my spine of my skin a ghost a leaf bumps death cold sweat turned cold on end a deer caught in headlights when the policeman asked him about his whereabouts on that day.

9. The accused turned as white as select down my spine of my skin a ghost a leaf bumps death cold sweat turned cold on end a deer caught in headlights and was really shaking when the witness was giving her testimony.

10. My hair stood select down my spine of my skin a ghost a leaf bumps death cold sweat turned cold on end a deer caught in headlights when I realized this huge bulldog was unleashed!

 

 


Date: 2015-01-29; view: 1788


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