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Learn English with this claustrophobia English lesson

Date: Nov 10 2014

Themes: Health

Grammar: Imperative Form


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Try to remember the last time you were in a small elevator. Did you become short of breath? Were your hands clammy? Did you panic? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you are probably claustrophobic. People with this phobia can become sweaty, find it difficult to breathe, and want to get out right away.

If you’re afraid of small spaces, like elevators, you can always use the stairs. Most of the time, there are choices available to you that will keep you out of tight places. But not always! When there simply is no other option, staying calm is what’s most important. Remember to breathe slowly, think about relaxing things, and tell yourself that it will be over soon. It feels scary, but you will live through it.

Jessica and Marni are talking about riding in an elevator. Find out who’s claustrophobic in today’s English lesson about a common fear.


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Marni:  Oh god!

Jessica:  Marni, are you OK? Why are you short of breath?

Marni:  Oh my goodness. I was just in this really small elevator to get up here. And there were so many people. I felt like the walls were closing in on me.

Jessica:  Don’t panic. Don’t panic. It’s OK. We’re in a big space now.

Marni:  I am so claustrophobic.

Jessica:  Look at you. You’re clammy and you’re sweaty. Just breathe. It’s OK.

Marni:  Thank you.

Jessica:  Small spaces don’t worry me or scare me at all.

Marni:  You’re so lucky.

Jessica:  I know.

Marni:  I just have this phobia of small spaces. And I always have, ever since I was small. I can’t take it. You know? I just feel like I can’t breathe whenever I get in a small space.

Jessica:  Oh my goodness. Does anything help? Is there anything I can do?

Marni:  Just talking me through it.

Jessica:  OK.

Marni:  Yeah.

Jessica:  Well, we’re in a very big space now.

Marni:  Thank you.

Jessica:  I’m so glad I’m not claustrophobic.

Marni:  You’re lucky. It’s not fun.


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Marni is extremely anxious. She was just in an elevator, and the space felt very small to her. In fact, it felt like the walls were closing in on her, and she felt like there was nowhere to go. Marni has a fear of being in small spaces, and it’s even harder for her when there are other people sharing that space.

Jessica tries to make Marni feel more relaxed. She tells Marni more than once that she’s in a big space now, and that it’s important to breathe. It seems that just talking to Marni makes her calmer, and Jessica is happy to do that for her friend. Jessica feels lucky that she doesn’t have the same fear in elevators.

Are you claustrophobic? How do you feel when you are in a small space?



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10:58 PM Jun 21 2017 |

eduardosoutoSuper Member!


I’m not claustrophobic, but I really don’t enjoy being locked up in a small space!

It can bring me some discomfort, I’d rather be in an open air space <3

06:00 AM Jun 19 2017 |


Virgin Islands, British

Clammy is a completely new word for me, thank you. Can’t imagine how I would do my essay without these dialogues here. I like how easily words drop in my memory with the natural flow of conversation.

05:09 AM Jun 19 2017 |

jorgeguevara61Super Member!


I am not claustrophobic, but the elevator in special to me is very boring. 

11:53 AM Nov 30 2014 |




fortunately i amnot

01:10 AM Nov 12 2014 |



Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

I really am claustrophobic than ever !!!

11:35 AM Nov 10 2014 |

1 person likes this




Unlike Marni i am not claustrophobic but riding in an elevator, and more if it is a tight space, the ride with  strange people makes me a bit nervous , i don´t know what to say  or if i should say something to ” break the ice”  

11:06 AM Nov 10 2014 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I am not claustrophobic but  i know people that are the same with Marni,i am relaxed at amall places and it is ok for short of time but  i have problem with crowded places and  i fell like the place is clothing in on me and i fell aweful.

09:35 AM Nov 10 2014 |




every person feels discomfort when he is in a close place and when ia lone there this feeling becomes sharp.

05:53 AM Nov 10 2014 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Hi !

Claustrophobia is an anxiety disorder that can severely limit your life.

No, happily, im not .

05:41 AM Nov 10 2014 |



human being is very interesting and a complex creature..and some of them has claustrophobia..fear of being in small spaces..

this human being waits in a small,confined-special- place about 9 months before coming to earth :)) 

first human beings were living in the small caves for protecting theirselves from wild nature and animals in the Ancient times..:))

02:26 AM Nov 10 2014 |




The lesson about insectophobia speaks to me much more than this kind of phobia we discuss today :-D

Fortunately, I am not claustrophobic 

12:55 AM Nov 10 2014 |




it isn’t so bad  if you are claustrophobia but that so bad if you don’t find someone helps you…..

12:06 AM Nov 10 2014 |




I´m not claustrophobic, but sometimes I do worry in small spaces for a short period of time.

11:41 PM Nov 09 2014 |



Saudi Arabia

My father is claustrophobic like Jessica.

06:12 AM Nov 07 2014 |

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