Exercise 1

A. Listen to Andrew, Rachel, and Layla talking about their experiences abroad. Answer the questions.

1   What helped each of them get used to their new living situation?

2   What did each person find difficult to adjust to?

B. Listen again. Did Andrew (A), Rachel (R), or Layla (L) do these things? Write the correct letter.

___ 1  felt homesick

___ 2  had fun playing a sport

___ 3  enjoyed food with friends

___ 4  didn’t feel connected to others at first

___ 5  ate dinner late at night

___ 6  thought people talked about themselves too much

___ 7  enjoyed the old buildings

___ 8  watched comedy shows on TV

___ 9  tried to talk about herself

Answers & Audioscripts


1   Andrew tried to listen more and not be so assertive.

     Going out for tapas with other people helped Rachel.

     Feeling more confident about her English and meeting Americans/local people helped Layla.

2   Andrew had trouble getting used to the rainy weather.

     Rachel wasn’t used to eating dinner so late.

     Layla found it hard to get used to the way Americans talked so much about themselves.


1 R   2 A   3 R   4 L   5 R

6 L   7 A   8 A   9 L


1   Andrew

When I was in college, I spent a semester studying in London. And even though we speak the same language, English people and people from the U.S. are very different. I guess I felt that people from the U.S. have a . . . a bad reputation. Some people think we’re loud, and that we speak our minds too much.

So I tried to listen a bit more and not be so assertive, if that makes sense. I wanted to make a good impression. I suppose I shouldn’t have worried about it, but I did. And, you know, I think it worked somehow.

I loved the lifestyle in London. During my free time, I had a lot of fun playing soccer with my British friends – of course they call it football over there. And I really loved the old buildings. I mean, they’re really old. We don’t have anything that old in the U.S., so that part was pretty amazing! Another thing was TV. The British have a different sense of humor . . . very dry. I really like it. Their comedy shows are really funny!

I’d have to say my experience was a positive one overall, except for the rainy weather, of course. I had trouble getting used to that.

2   Rachel

I lived in Madrid for a whole year. And I have to be honest and say that at first, well, I wasn’t very happy. You see, I was homesick. I missed my family, and I just wanted to go home. Part of the problem was my Spanish. I couldn’t communicate very well.

But I love to eat! And that’s what really saved me. I tried tapas, those small plates of food with bite-sized portions that they serve in places all over the city. There were so many kinds! Fried squid, sausages, olives, all kinds of meat and seafood in sauces . . . Oh! It makes me hungry just thinking about it! And of course, tapas are meant to be shared with other people, so it’s really fun. I made some Spanish friends, and we’d go out for tapas all the time. So, I got to eat a lot of delicious food, and, of course, my Spanish improved dramatically as well. But there was one thing that was difficult to adjust to, and that was that dinner was always served at a late hour. I wasn’t used to eating at eleven o’clock at night!

3   Layla

I came to the U.S. from the Middle East. My family opened up a restaurant here. At first, I found it difficult. Everything seemed so different. Just using public transportation, for example, or going to a doctor, was so different. I was pretty overwhelmed. And I guess because I wasn’t feeling comfortable, I tended to make friends only with people from my country. I felt like I was living in a bubble, separated from the rest of the people all around me. But once I started feeling more confident about my English, I started meeting local people. I found them very friendly and open, and it turned out to be very easy to make friends.

But there was one thing about people from the U.S. that bothered me at first. I found it hard to get used to the way they talked so much about themselves. It took me a long time to understand that you were supposed to talk about yourself, too, because that is how people get to know one another. It’s still hard for me to talk a lot about myself, but I’m getting better at it.

Exercise 2

A. Listen to Cindy and Scott talking about their travel problems. What happened to each person?

B. Listen again. Choose the statements you think are probably true. Give reasons.

1   Cindy has a unique, easy-to-see name tag on her luggage.

2   Cindy travels frequently.

3   Scott likes peace and quiet when he travels.

4   Scott slept soundly all the way to Panama City.

Answers & Audioscripts


1   Cindy mistakenly picked up someone else’s suitcase and took it to her hotel. When she realized what she’d done, she went back to the airport, picked up her suitcase, returned the other one, and apologized.

2   Scott’s connecting flight was delayed. He moved away from the departure gate, fell asleep, and missed his flight. He had to stay in Panama City overnight and catch a flight the next morning.


 Probably false; Otherwise, she wouldn’t have taken the wrong bag.

 Probably true; She talks about how she usually doesn’t have problems when she travels.

 Probably true; Scott says that he hates crowds.

 Probably false; Otherwise, he wouldn’t have gotten tired during his layover.


1   Cindy

You’ll probably be surprised to hear what I did! I was on a business trip. The flight was a long one, and when I arrived at my destination, I was eager to get my bags and get to my hotel to relax. Well, you know, they always tell you to be careful to get the right bag, but I was in a hurry. You can guess what happened: My black suitcase looked just like every other one, so I picked up someone else’s. I didn’t realize my mistake until I got to the hotel. Well, I immediately called the airport, and fortunately, it all worked out. I had to go back to the airport, though, to pick up my suitcase and return the other one. And of course, I also had to apologize. If only I’d checked the name tag more carefully! It’s funny, this sort of thing almost never happens to me when I travel.

2   Scott

This is kind of a funny story. I was in Panama City and had a layover between flights. I’d arrived at about 6:00 p.m., and my flight out wasn’t until about 8:30. Well, my flight was delayed . . . and delayed. It got really crowded at the departure gate. I was getting tired, and there were so many people around – I hate crowds – so I went to sit away from the departure gate to escape the crowds. I was reading and feeling drowsy. I wish I’d slept on the flight to Panama. Anyway, the next thing I know, I wake up and there’s no one around! The crowd is gone! I’d fallen asleep and missed my flight! They must have made lots of announcements, and I missed them all! Boy, did I feel stupid. I had to stay in Panama City overnight and catch a flight out the next morning.a

Exercise 3

A. Listen to a training workshop. What job are the trainees going to do?

B. Listen again. Are these statements true or false? Choose the correct answer.




1  Sammy would try to get the customer on a flight the same day.

2  Andrea says the customer should have left more time between flights.

3  Ricardo says the customer should be ashamed for being late.

4  Hannah would direct the customer to a place where she could get refreshed.

Answers & Audioscripts


They’re going to work at an airport information desk.


1 False   2 True   3 False   4 True


Trainer:   It’s great to see all of you. Welcome to the training workshop. This time next week, you’ll be dealing with real customers. Working at the airport information desk is a great job, but it can be a tough job. You need to know all about the airport, the airlines, and the facilities. You also need to be sensitive, and you need to be resilient because people who are traveling are often very tired and can be difficult. So, let’s go through a few “what-if ” situations and find out what you’d do.

OK, customer number 1 walks up to the desk and says that he missed his flight and there isn’t another flight until tomorrow night. What would you do? Sammy?

Sammy:   I’d offer to call the airport hotel and make a reservation for him. I’d also check whether he had a frequent flyer number or was entitled to any special deals or discounts.

Trainer:   Fine. Luckily, customer number 1 is reasonable. I’m afraid we can’t say that about customer number 2. Customer number 2 has missed his connecting flight. He gets agitated and blames the airport. He says he never would have missed the flight if the airport weren’t so big and confusing. What would you do in that case? Andrea?

Andrea:   Well, I’d explain that there is an interactive map on the website so people can plan everything before they arrive at the airport. I’d say that we advise people to allow plenty of time between connecting flights. I’d tell him that if he’d left a little more time, he wouldn’t have missed his flight. And I’d probably say that the information desk attendants are ready and willing to help passengers find their way and tell him he should have asked them for directions.

Trainer:   Hmm. That might not work. You might need to show a little more compassion. We’ll try this one again in a role play. Before we do that, though, we’ve got customer number 3. Customer number 3 comes up to the desk. She is angry because her flight has been delayed by bad weather. She’s sure that by the time she gets to the meeting she is on her way to, they’ll have been discussing the issues for an hour and all the key decisions will have been made. What are you going to do about it? Ricardo?

Ricardo:   I’d explain to her that it’s a shame that her flight is delayed, but that, really, the weather is nobody’s fault.

Trainer:   That is true, but it usually isn’t a very popular response. In fact, it usually infuriates people. Does anyone else have an idea? Hannah?

Hannah:   Well, I’d probably say I know what she means. It’s so frustrating. Depending on which airline she’s flying with, I’d try to get her into one of the business lounges. That’s if she hadn’t already been directed there by the airline. She could get a bite to eat and something to drink, use the Wi-Fi, or just relax for a while in peace and quiet. That should improve her mood.

Trainer:   Nice one. OK, let’s try some of these role plays . . .

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