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What a nightmare!

Dream Wave series. Arrangement of human face and colorful fractal clouds on the subject of dreams mind spirituality imagination and inner world

Dear fellow English teachers,
Dreams are sometimes crazy, right? Take a listen to this dialogue and find out how a lavish six-star hotel in Dubai, a dark alley and some suspicious individuals came together in this bizarre and surreal nightmare … This is a complete Lesson Plan you can use with your B2 level students. Enjoy!

Sleep & Dreaming – Pre-listening questions:

  1. Do you usually remember your dreams? Have you ever had a “crazy dream”?
  2. How often do you have nightmares?
  3. Does watching horror movies or thrillers at night affect your sleep?

Click the link below to listen to the dialogue “What a nightmare!”


Dialogue Comprehension – What a nightmare! 

  1. Things don´t seem to make much sense in Murray´s dream. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___
  2. The young couple at the hotel thought Murray was the doorman. True ___ False ___ I don´t know _
  3. The three guys from the dark alley followed Murray into the hotel. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___
  4. Stuart can´t usually remember his dreams. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___
  5. Murray jumped off the 150th floor as he thought he could fly. True ___ False ___ I don´t know ___

Find words or expressions in the dialogue with the following similar meanings:

a. Reached you: _____________________
b. Attack someone and steal their money: ___________________
c. Luxurious: _______________________
d. Suddenly: _______________________
e. Gotten free from: __________________
f. Enter in a furtive way: _______________
g. Strange; weird: ___________________
h. Breathing quickly and loudly: __________
i. A sense; an intuition: ________________
j. Very small lumps that appear on someone´s skin when they are cold, excited or scared: ____
k. Unite as a group against someone: _________________
l. Doing or planning to do something wrong or bad: _______________

Fill in the blanks below with a word or expression highlighted in the dialogue:

  1. “That´s really ______________. Has it ever happened before?” Joey asked Clive.
  2. “That salesman was very persuasive, but I managed to _________________ him after a little while.” Robby told Keith.
  3. To everyone´s surprise Joe stormed out of the room ____________________.
  4. “I get bad vibes from that guy. I think he´s ___________________.” Dylan told Mick.
  5. “I had the __________________ that our boss might not show up today. I guess intuition does work after all!” said Carol to a coworker.

Discussion & Conversation 1

  1. What time do you usually go to bed? How many hours of sleep do you need every night?
  2. Are you an early-riser? How difficult is it for you to get up in the morning?
  3. How often do you fall asleep while watching television at night?
  4. Have you ever overslept and missed an important appointment? If so, what happened?
  5. Can you sleep anywhere (ex. in other people´s homes; on airplanes; on the sofa/floor; etc.)? Explain your answer.

Sleep & Dreaming – Additional Vocabulary & Expressions

Fast asleep: sleeping deeply  Ex. “By the time I got back home Nathalie was fast asleep, so I couldn´t talk to her.” explained

Snore/snored/snored: breathe noisily while you are sleeping  Ex. “My older brother snores so loudly that he often wakes me up.” said David to a friend.

Yawn/yawned/yawned: open one´s mouth wide and take a long deep breath due to tiredness  Ex. “Sorry, I can´t help yawning, I didn´t get much sleep last night.” Celine told Jake.

Sleepwalker: someone who gets out of bed and walks around while they are sleeping  Ex. “Why didn´t you tell me you were a sleepwalker? You spooked me!.” said Barry to his roommate.

Nightmare: a very bad dream  Ex. “I had a terrible nightmare last night. I really shouldn´t have watched that horror movie.” Elaine told her roommate.

Wake-up call: a phone call that you get to wake you up at a certain time, especially one requested by a hotel guest  Ex. “I was so tired that I slept through my wake-up call and missed breakfast.” Ralph told William.

Bedtime story: a story read or told to a child at bedtime  Ex. “I miss my father´s bedtime stories. I really did have a great childhood.” Nicole told a friend.

Fill in the sentences or short dialogues below with words or expressions presented in Additional Vocabulary & Expressions:

  1. “I can´t share a room with someone who _____________. I´m a light sleeper.” said Frederick to a friend.
  2. Hotel guest: Do you have a ________________ service? Front desk clerk: We sure do ma´am! What time would you like to wake up? 
  1. “My mother often told me a ___________________ when I was little. It helped me sleep peacefully.” Deborah told Marcy.
  2. “I´m usually __________________ around 10 pm. I like to go to sleep early.” Gary told a coworker.
  3. “I can´t seem to stop __________________. I do need to catch up on my sleep.” Theresa told Nancy. 

Discussion & Conversation 2 

  1. Are you a heavy or light sleeper? What keeps you awake at night? (ex. noise; too much caffeine; stress; etc.)
  2. Do you usually feel well-rested when you wake up? Explain your answer.
  3. Do you snore? Does snoring bother you?
  4. Are you an early bird (morning person) or a night owl (night person)? Explain your answer.
  5. Do you ever take power naps during your workday? If so, how helpful are they?

Choose the alternative that best explains the meaning of the words in bold in the sentences below.

  1. “Can´t you see from the look on his face that he´s up to no good?” Jerry told Neil.
    a) he has bad intentions
    b) he´s completely lost
    c) he has good intentions
    d) he´s desperate
  2. “Something odd happened in the office the other day.” Beverly told Ingrid.
    a) unbelievable
    b) weird
    c) unforgettable
    d) annoying
  1. “That´s a bad neighborhood. Some people have been mugged there.” Charlie told a friend.
    a) kidnapped
    b) swindled
    c) robbed violently
    d) murdered
  1. “Eerie places like this always give me goose bumps. Let´s get out of here!” Josh told his friends.
    a) make me feel blue
    b) make me feel scared
    c) make me feel embarrassed
    d) make me feel happy
  1. “We all wondered what had happened when all of a sudden an alarm went off.” Dennis told Bill.
    a) as previously arranged
    b) indefinitely
    c) unconditionally
    d) suddenly

Complete the sentences below with your own words.

  1. Sharon gets goose bumps when ………………………………………………………..
  2. Don´t you think it´s odd that ………….. ..………………………………………………?
  3. ………………………………………………………………………………… when he snores.
  4. All of a sudden …………………………………………………………………………………..
  5. ……………………………………… bedtime stories when I was ……………………….

Discussion & Conversation 3

  1. Can you remember any weird dreams that you´ve had recently? Have you ever dreamed in English?
  2. Do you trust your biological clock to wake you up in the morning or do you need an alarm clock?
  3. “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Do you agree with this saying? Explain your answer.
  4. Do you ever have insomnia? If so, do you take sleeping pills?
  5. How important is a good night´s sleep in your opinion?

Dialogue Script – What a Nightmare!

Stuart: Morning Murray! Hey, are you okay?
Murray: Man, I had the worst nightmare ever! You see, I get goose bumps from just remembering it.
Stuart: Wow, you do look like you´ve seen a ghost or something. Would you care to tell me about your nightmare?
Murray: It was really odd. I was crossing this dark alley when I noticed three guys coming towards me. I thought to myself, Gosh these guys are up to no good. I had the sneaky feeling they were going to gang up on me and mug me.
Stuart: And did they?
Murray: I think they may have tried to, I mean, the next thing I knew I was running like a mad man for my life. I kept looking back and saw them running after me.
Stuart: Don´t tell me they caught up with you, did they?
Murray: Fortunately not. All of a sudden I was at the lobby of this lavish six-star hotel in Dubai.
Stuart: Hey, wait a minute, what´s Dubai got to do with anything?
Murray: I don´t have a clue! You know dreams, they don´t seem to make much sense, do they?
Stuart: Ok, keep going.
Murray: Like I said, I was at the lobby of this luxurious hotel when I saw this young couple going into the elevator. I don´t know why, but I ran towards them and somehow managed to sneak myself into the elevator.
Stuart: Really? What happened then?
Murray: Well, I must have been looking pretty desperate because they kept asking me if I was all right as we went up.
Stuart: Did you tell them you were running away from those guys?
Murray: No, I didn´t. They got out of the elevator on the 131st floor and I kept going up.
Stuart: You kept going up?
Murray: Yeah, I forgot to tell you, the couple told me I should definitely check out the view from the penthouse on the 150th floor. I remember they said the view was breathtaking!
Stuart: So that´s what you did? You took their tip and went up to the top floor?
Murray: That´s right, and you won´t believe what happened when I got there.
Stuart: Ok, the suspense is killing me. What happened when you got there?
Murray: Those three guys from the dark alley? They were standing at the elevator hall waiting for me.
Stuart: No kidding? What did you do then?
Murray: I don´t really know, I just remember I was free falling from the 150th floor thinking I had finally gotten rid of those guys. And then I woke up panting in a cold sweat.
Stuart: Gee, Murray, what a nightmare!


LET´S TALK ABOUT IT! – The Ultimate ELT Conversation Book, now available on the Amazon stores of the following countries:


If you´re based in Brazil the paperback is available at a discount price on UICLAP!
240 pages – 31 QR-CODES for the audio tracks (dialogues) “even the paperback comes with built-in technology”


Let's Talk About It!: The Ultimate ELT Conversation Book (English Edition) por [Jose Roberto A. Igreja]

José Roberto A. Igreja is the author and co-author of several ELT books, including:

600 Phrasal Verbs (with Jonathan T. Hogan)

Talking Business

How do you say … in English?

Fluent Business English (with Robert C. Young)

What to say when …?

False Friends

English for Job Interviews (with Robert C. Young)

Essential American Idioms! (with Joe Bailey Noble III)

<a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/nightmare-text-effect-editable-dark-night-text-style_37623436.htm”>Image by NACreative</a> on Freepik