In our Madrid Teacher series this week two teachers tell us about a scary situation when they were walking home late at night.
This gives us the opportunity to see the way they talk about past situations and the way they combine the use of the past continuous (for longer, background situations) and the past simple (shorter actions that interrupt the action in the past continuous).
Listen to the two teachers telling their anecdotes. Try to take some (telegraphic) notes of the main ideas in their anecdotes.
Listen as often as necessary until you feel you've got the grasp of what really happened to them.
Then retell the teachers' anecdotes in their own words. Make a point of using the past simple and past continuous all the time, and don't jump to the present.
Finally, can you think about a scary situation in your life? Retell the anecdote using the past continuous and past simple.
The activity is suitable for Intermediate 1 students.
So, something really strange happened to me yesterday.
I was walking home, and it was quite late, and it was a bit dark, it was like eight o’clock and it gets dark now. And I was walking through from the train station to my house and there is like this forest, a mini forest, that I had to walk through and it was a bit scary. Ah, sometimes, you know, you see shadows and you think you see people.
And I was walking through and suddenly saw the figure of this woman between the trees. And…
Yeah, a little bit. It was like a woman in ah, she was wearing like white, white clothes it was a bit strange. I wasn’t expecting to see anyone at that time. And then she started coming towards me and but it was like she was walking, it was like she was floating or something.
And I got a bit scared. And I… anyway started running, and I was running and I fell down and then when I looked up she was standing above me. She had a really strange white face, it was like she was a ghost or something. And she just said… “Don’t come in here again.” And I just jumped up and ran home. I was just like really scared. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. And I’ve been in that forest again, and I‘ve never seen her again.
Don’t know who she was or what she was doing… She might have been just a drunk who lived in the forest, but I don’t want to have to go through there again.
Is there any other way you can get home or?
Yeah, but it would have to be a bit longer, and I was thinking of leaving my bicycle in the train station, but I heard that if you leave your bike there people might steal it, or a friend of mine did leave his bike there and they slashed his tyres, so…
So, anything strange has happen to you before or any interesting stories?
Well, one day… similar. I was walking home. I was walking home, but… er… not through a forest. No, no. I was just walking on the sidewalk, and I was just walking and it was getting dark. It was bit earlier than in your case. It was getting dark, and suddenly yes I saw a group of teenagers, you know, a group of teenagers.
They can be very dangerous.
Well, let’s just say it was uncomfortable to pass next to them.
Did they say anything to you?
Well, it wasn’t so much what they said… it was just you know it was a group. It was group of five or six so it was the way they looked. So, it wasn’t… yeah… they didn’t really say but they looked very strangely. So, well I had nowhere to go let’s say so, I had to go straight and they were on the right. I had just to keep walking, but you got the sensation.
Yeah, but nothing happened.
No, no again, this was just one time. I guess they were coming back from a late class or something but it was uncomfortable.
Yeah, you have to be careful walking home at night.