Most of us who have flown in an aeroplane have experienced the odd moment or two of disquiet. But for some people the prospect of flying is so terrifying that they cannot set foot in a plane. Yet, according to Maurice Yaffé, senior clinical psychologist at Guy’s hospital, it is possible to control a fear of flying so that air travel becomes not merely possible but, in some cases, positively enjoyable.
Mr. Yaffé organizes special “air anxiety” seminars. When people sign for the course, they are sent a book about flying and two cassette tapes about relaxation and flight stress control. The first morning of the course is spent on group discussion and a lecture about the principles of flight. Then they are shown different ways of coping with anxiety. In the afternoon, small groups take it in turns to go on the flight simulator. A TV screen shows a video of a Boeing 757 flight to Paris. The effect is quite realistic, complete with turbulence, engine noise and air-hostess announcements.
The next day the group go to Heathrow airport where the group can watch take-offs and landings and then they go to the air traffic control tower where they can see planes approaching on the radar. Mr Yaffé says that it is very important for the group to see how everything works and how “in control” the staff look. Seeing planes trundling in and out with monotonous regularity and with as much drama as buses going into a bus garage is very important for the success of the seminar.
1. Write a summary of the text in English, including the most important points, using your own words whenever possible (maximum 50 words).
2. Explain in English the meaning of the following expressions as used in the text.
a) fear of flying: When people are afraid of flying in airplanes / aeroplanes.
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one.
a) It is possible to control a fear of flying
- A fear of flying can be controlled.b) Mr.Yaffé said: “When people sign for the course they are sent a book about flying”
- Mr. Yaffé said that when people signed for the course they were sent a book about flying.c) For some people the prospect of flying is so terrifying that they can’t set a foot on a plane.d) Mr. Yaffé organizes special “air anxiety” seminars.
4. Answer the following questions in your own words.
a) According to the text, how can people control their fear of flying? People can control their fear of flying by going on a special course, in which, for example, they read books and listen to tapes about relaxing and controlling flight stress. They discuss their fear in groups, and listen to lectures about flight. They watch videos and practise flying in a realistic flight simulator. Also, they can go to a real airport and control tower, where they watch planes taking off and landing.
b) Why do people sign for a seminar like this? People go to these seminars because they want to fly in airplanes. Instead of staying at home or suffering a lot, they prefer to overcome their fear.
5. Write a conversation between a person who has a fear of flying and another who is trying to calm her / him. (Approximately 120 words)
Begin in the following way:
A: What can I do? I have to fly to Berlin next week.
B: Don’t worry. I felt the same when I flew for the first time. It’s not so bad. Now I really enjoy flying.