A story to teach language learners how to communicate with others

English Level: B1 🇨🇦

Full Transcript

Paul had always been a worrier. He was hesitant to take on new challenges, preferring to stick to what he knew. This led him to be a very poor steam train. He would stop every few meters, making sure that everything was in order before proceeding. “Do I have enough coal? Is it too hot? Am I carrying too much of a load?” He never got very far because of his hesitation.

One day, an engineer came to the trainyard where Paul was stationed and took notice of his reluctance. The engineer offered to help Paul deal with his uncertainties and together they created a plan. They went through a checklist of items that needed to be prepared and then set off on their journey.

At first, Paul was extremely nervous, but the engineer reassured him that they would make it to their destination if he kept moving forward. And so Paul trusted the engineer and followed his lead. They reached a crossroads where Paul began braking again, but the engineer encouraged him once more. “We can do this. Just keep moving forward.” With renewed confidence, Paul continued on their journey and before they knew it, they had arrived at their destination!

A lot of my students are hesitant when speaking English. They stop every other sentence to ask if they’ve mispronounced something. “Did I say it correctly? Was that ok?” I tell them, be a steam train. Once you start moving, don’t stop. If you don’t know a word, try to say it differently. If that doesn’t work, use your hands and feet. Worst case scenario, pull out your phone and google it. There is always a way to communicate.

It is possible to improve your English at any age. So what are you waiting for? Send me a message today for one-on-one lessons.


  1. Proceed (verb): verfahren
  2. Hesitation (noun): Zögern
  3. Reluctance (noun): Widerwillen
  4. Uncertainty (noun): Unsicherheit
  5. Reassure (verb): beruhigen
  6. Destination (noun): Reiseziel
  7. Encourage (verb): ermutigen
  8. Mispronounce (verb): falsch aussprechen


  1. stick to something: to continue doing or using (something) especially when it is difficult to do so.
  2. Set off on: begin a journey.
  3. Follow someone’s lead: to do the same thing that someone else has done.
  4. Worst case scenario: the most unpleasant or serious thing that could happen in a situation.

Question to consider

How nervous do you get when you speak English with new people?


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