Watch and Listen

1. Complete the paragraph with the words in the box. Then, watch the video and check your answers.

busiest     business     closer     commercial     larger     smaller

In the past 50 years, we’ve made the world 1__________. Cities and continents are 2__________ than ever before. Many 3__________ people travel great distances every week. Some 4__________ planes are bigger than houses. The airspace above London is one of the 5__________ in the world. The number of people travelling by plane grows 6__________ every year.

2. Watch the video again. Circle the words which you hear.

1   Today we can travel from continent to continent in time / in no time.

2   South America and Africa / Asia are less than a day away from each other.

3   Military planes travel faster than the speed of sound / light.

4   Every day 350 / 3,500 flights take place overhead.

5   In 2015 / 2016, about 3.7 billion people travelled by plane.

6   Right now, around the world, over / under a million people are travelling in the air.



1 smaller   2 closer   3 business   4 commercial

5 busiest   6 larger


1 in no time   2 Asia   3 sound   4 3,500   5 2016   6 over


The air travel revolution

Narrator:   In the past 50 years we’ve done the impossible – we’ve made the world smaller. Today we can travel from continent to continent in no time.

Paris and London are closer than ever before.

North America and Europe are almost neighbours. And South America and Asia are less than a day away from each other.

Trips that used to happen once in a lifetime now happen weekly for many business people.

How have we done this? By taking to the air.

Aeroplanes have clearly revolutionized transportation.

Military planes travel faster than the speed of sound.

Commercial planes, like the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747, are much bigger than houses. More people travel by air than ever in history.

The airspace over London, for example, is among the busiest and most crowded in the world.

Every day 3,500 flights take place overhead. And that’s just one city.

In 2016, about 3.7 billion people travelled by plane. And that number will likely continue to grow.

The sky has become a place for us to work, rest and play.

And right now, around the world, over a million people are traveling in the air above us.

Listening 1

1. Listen to the first part of a radio programme and circle the correct answer.

1   What is the main idea of the programme?

      a   the history of aeroplanes

      b   the fear of flying and how to reduce it

      c   plane crash investigations

2   What did Mark use to be?

      a   He was a flight attendant.

      b   He was a psychologist.

      c   He was a pilot.

3   What did Mark do to help himself?

      a   He searched for advice on the internet.

      b   He talked to his friends.

      c   He studied air safety.

4   Can a fear of flying be cured?

      a   Yes, but not always.

      b   Yes, anyone can get rid of the fear of flying.

      c   No, it can’t

2. Listen to the second part of the radio programme. Complete the notes using the words in the box.

avoid     damaged     driving     engines     flying     normal     reduce     wings

Steps you can take to 1__________ the fear of flying:

–   Learn how a plane works – helps you understand planes can fly without the 2__________ because the 3__________ push against the air + keep plane flying

–   Turbulence is 4__________ and can only cause an accident if plane is already 5__________ or during a storm

–   Learn where things are on a plane

–   6__________ disaster movies

–   Be realistic – remember 7__________ is much safer than 8__________

3. Listen to the second part of the radio programme again and tick the tips below which Mark mentions.

 Learn how aeroplanes work.

 Imagine you are on a bus or train.

 Take something to help you sleep on the plane.

 Learn the layout of the plane before takeoff.

 Go to a psychologist.

 Don’t watch movies or TV shows about air disasters.



1 b   2 a   3 a   4 a


1 reduce   2 engines   3 wings   4 normal   5 damaged

6 Avoid   7 flying   8 driving


1   4   6



Host:   Have you ever been afraid of flying? Do you feel scared when you sit on a plane? Are you stressed when there’s turbulence? If so, you may have aerophobia. The word aerophobia comes from the Greek and it consists of two parts: aero, which means ‘flight’ or ‘air’, and phobia, which means ‘fear’. People with aerophobia experience extreme fear or panic when they sit on a plane. In today’s programme, we’ll discuss some steps which you can take to reduce this fear. With me today is Mark Knowling. Mark used to be a flight attendant who was afraid of flying. He has written a book about his experience and often gives presentations to help other people deal with their phobias. Can you tell us more about your experience, Mark?

Mark:   Yes, sure. So I took a flight attendant’s course right after college. My goal was to see the world and I thought it would be a good job for me. I learned a lot more than I expected from the course. During the training, we studied a lot about air safety, but there were also lectures about plane crashes. The instructors would tell us horrible stories of serious problems – broken engines, birds hitting the aircraft, hijackings and even stories of planes crashing in the middle of the desert or in the ocean.

Host:   That’s terrible!

Mark:   No, I don’t think so. They were trying to make us take the job seriously. They would also discuss the research done by air crash investigators to help us understand the reasons behind air crashes. There’s a detailed record of each crash, which investigators check carefully.

Host:   But for you, I suppose this training had the opposite effect. How did it influence you? Did it make you afraid of flying?

Mark:   Uh-huh, the course had a strong impact on me. I actually became very scared of being on a plane. When I told my colleagues about it, they just laughed. They couldn’t believe that I had completed the flight attendant training and now I was afraid to get on a plane. What was I supposed to do? I decided to research it online and I read stories about people who managed to control their fear of flying.

Host:   Can it be cured?

Mark:   Actually, like any phobia, there’s not always a cure for it, but you can decrease its effects on your life. You need to have the right attitude. You can achieve anything if you concentrate and stay positive. The advice I got was very useful, but it was a challenge and it took me a long time to get over my fear.


2 3

Host:   Can you share some advice with our listeners?

Mark:   Of course. Well, he first method to reduce your fear is to learn more about how planes work. For example, many people believe that without the engines, the plane will simply fall down from the sky, but that isn’t true. The plane will stay up because its wings push against the air. A plane can fly without the engines, and a well-trained pilot will be able to control it without power. All pilots learn how to fly without the engines.

Host:   What about turbulence? Whenever I fly, I get very scared during turbulence.

Mark:   Well, turbulence can be dangerous, of course. However, most turbulence is completely normal and won’t cause any trouble, so you shouldn’t be afraid of it. The only situation where it can cause problems is when the aircraft is already damaged or during a storm. But, as you know, airlines study the weather and won’t carry passengers if they think the weather conditions aren’t safe for flying.

Host:   Is there any other advice that you can give?

Mark:   Understanding where the emergency exits are may help you relax. Not knowing where an exit is and feeling that you’re in a closed space can make you afraid. Finally, to reduce the fear of flying, you should avoid watching movies about plane crashes or other accidents. Some researchers say that aerophobia is caused by people watching too many disaster movies. I think we often forget that, compared to the many forms of transport that we use every day, air transport is actually very safe.

Host:   In what way?

Mark:   Well, there’s research which compares the number of accidents per number of miles travelled on each form of transport. We can see that by far the safest form of travel is air transport, and the most dangerous is using a motorcycle. In recent years, there has been a significant decrease in the number of plane crashes. In contrast, cars are considerably more dangerous.

Host:   Really? I didn’t know that. Thank you for your advice, Mark. You can let us now what you think about air safety and share your stories by going to our website at www …

Listening 2

1. Listen to the first part of the presentation and answer the questions.

1   What is the goal of the Wheels to Work organization?


2   What three main issues with cycling to work does the speaker mention?

      a   _____________

      b   _____________

      c   _____________

2. Listen to the first part of the presentation again. Tick the problems the speaker mentions.

1   Most people don’t have bicycles.

2   There’s a lot of traffic.

3   There aren’t any cycle lanes in the city.

4   The cycle lanes are often too narrow.

5   Cars sometimes drive in the cycle lanes.

6   There’s nowhere to put your bicycle while you’re working.

7   It’s too cold.

8   There’s nowhere to shower at work.

9   Some people live far away from work.

10   People don’t want to cycle at night.

3. Listen to the second part of the presentation. What recommendations does the speaker make? What would be the results of the recommendations? Take notes.


possible results














1   to make the city more bicycle-friendly and/or to make it easier for people to cycle to work

2   a safety   b storage   c convenience


2; 4; 5; 6; 9; 10



possible results

1 give fines to drivers who drive in a cycle lane

prevent cars from hitting cyclists; save lives

2 wider cycle lanes

allows more bicycles to pass at the same time

3 add more cycle lanes

prevent cars from hitting bicycles; save lives

4 parking garages should have sections for bicycles

keep bicycles safe and dry while people are working

5 put cycle racks on buses

people wouldn’t have to cycle at night or in bad weather

people who live far from work could cycle part of the way to work and take public transport the rest of the way


1 2

Hello, everyone. Thank you for being here today. Welcome to the first meeting of Wheels to Work. As you know, the goal of this group is to make our city more bicycle-friendly. Specifically, we’d like to make it easier for people to cycle to work. Cycling to work is good for the environment and it provides great exercise. And personally, I think it’s a lot of fun!

I’m hoping that we can work together to solve the problems which can make it difficult for city residents to cycle to work. Today I’m going to talk about a few of those problems and share some ideas for solving them.

So, the biggest issue is safety. A lot of people would love to cycle to work but they’re scared – they feel that it’s just too dangerous. This is because there’s a lot of traffic during rush hour, when most people drive to or from work, and there’s very little space for cyclists. Many of the cycle lanes we have are too narrow and some of the busiest streets don’t even have cycle lanes. What’s more, many drivers don’t have respect for cyclists. Cars sometimes even drive in the cycle lanes to pass other cars. Of course, if a car hits a bicycle, it’s going to injure or even kill the cyclist.

A second issue is storage. Many people don’t have a safe place to put their bicycles while they’re at work. They worry that if they leave their bicycle outside, it’ll get stolen. Also, it’ll get wet when it rains and might get damaged over time.

A third problem is that, for some people, cycling to work isn’t convenient. Maybe they live far from their job or maybe they sometimes work late and don’t want to cycle home in the dark. And a lot of people don’t like to cycle in the rain. What if you cycle to work and then later it starts raining? From my own experience, I can tell you that it’s pretty terrible to ride home during a storm.

So, those are three of the biggest issues: safety, storage and convenience.



Now I’d like to share some possible solutions. First, to improve safety, I’d suggest that police officers give big fines to drivers who break the law by driving in a cycle lane.

Also, I’d like to see wider cycle lanes to allow more bicycles to pass at the same time. We should also add cycle lanes to busy streets which don’t have them yet. These proposals would prevent cars from hitting cyclists and would save lives.

As for the issue of storage, I think that city parking garages ought to create special parking sections for bicycles. This would keep bicycles safe and dry while people are working.

Finally, convenience. In my opinion, we should make it easier to take bicycles on public transport. For example, we could put cycle racks on the outside of buses. That way, people wouldn’t have to cycle at night or in bad weather. And people who live far from work could cycle part of the way to work and take public transport the rest of the way. As a result, more people could cycle to work.

Well, thank you again for listening to my ideas. I hope this is the beginning of a conversation about how we can make this a great city for cyclists!

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