Phobias conversation questions

From Teflpedia


Some people have phobias about flying, spiders and so on. Such people may suffer anxiety or panic attacks under certain circumstances. Phobias are, in principle, irrational fears of a situation or thing that isn’t dangerous and which most people don’t find frightening. Do you, or anyone you know, have any of the following phobias:


  • How do you feel about flying?
  • Have you ever had a bad experience flying? What happened?
  • Do you have to "prepare" yourself before a flight? What do you do?
  • Are you more worried about taking off, the actual flight or landing?
  • When the wheels come up into the body of the plane after take-off they often make a noise. How do you feel when you hear this?
  • Have you ever done anything to get rid of your fear of flying? What sort of things do you think you could do?


  • What are your reactions to spiders?
  • Are there any poisonous spiders in your country?
  • Do big spiders "frighten" you more than small ones?
  • What do you do if you find a big spider in you house - help it outside; kill it instantly; scream until somebody comes to get rid of it; something else?


  • Have you ever seen a snake up close?
  • Are there any poisonous snakes in your country?
  • Can you tell the difference between the different species?
  • Do you know what to do if you are bitten by a snake?


  • Have you, or anyone you know, ever been attacked and/or bitten by a dog? What happened? What happened to the dog?
  • There's an English expression that goes "His bark is worse than his bite". What do you think this means and do you think it is generally true?


  • Have you ever been at the top of a skyscraper? Of a mountain?
  • If you don't like heights, does it make a difference if you're inside or outside?

Open spaces

Some people have a fear of public places and open spaces. Agoraphobia, which according to the National Phobics Society is an anxiety disorder commonly - and wrongly - linked to fear of open spaces, but which often manifests itself as a fear of feeling trapped, and a need to escape.

  • Do you feel uncomfortable in crowds? In crowded shops? On crowded streets?

Closed spaces

Some people prefer to take the stairs rather than risk getting stuck in a lift.

  • Have you ever got stuck in a lift? How long for? Were you alone or with other people?

See also