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You are having problems with one of Dear Ashley,

your flatmates and recently you


mentioned it to your English-speaking Thanks for your message – it’s great to hear from you.
penfriend. Here is part of a letter your And sorry not to get back to you until now, but I’ve been
penfriend sent you. having a quiet weekend: out in the countryside!

So what exactly has your flatmate Unfortunately, it’s not been so relaxing at home. Far from
been doing – or not doing? Have you it. Ever since he moved in, our new flatmate Charlie has
tried speaking to them? Why do you refused to tidy up, left both the kitchen and the bathroom
think they’re behaving like that? I’ve in a terrible state, and – to cap it all – has been keeping
got lots of experience of flat sharing, me awake until all hours with some of the worst music
so is there anything I could give I’ve ever heard.
you a few tips on?
So the other week Jamie (my other flatmate) and I had a
Write your letter in 220–260 words. word with him. Charlie admitted he’d done almost no
housework, said he was sorry and explained he hadn’t
actually flat-shared before. He promised he’d make more
of an effort in future, though as yet our chat seems to
have had little effect.

I got the impression he’s a bit down. He clearly didn’t


want to talk about it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s
missing his family, both to talk to and to tidy up after him!
I also wonder whether he’s feeling slightly left out –
Jamie and I get on really well, and three’s rarely the ideal
number.

So what I’d like to ask, firstly, is whether you think there


might be something else that’s bothering him, and also
how we can make him see we want to be friends with
him. And finally, how do you suggest we get him to turn
the music down?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes
Lee
Next summer you are taking a group Dear John,
of teenagers to an English-speaking
country and you are looking for a I hope you and your family are well. It's a shame we
good place to stay. Write a letter to a haven't seen each other for a couple of years but like
friend of yours in 220-260 words in you no doubt, I've been up to my eyes in work.
an appropriate style explaining:
- the kind of place you are looking for Anyway, next year I'm planning to come over with a
- how your friend might help you with group from school so it should give us a chance to meet
other aspects of the visit up. In the meantime, I really need some advice about
- why there might be problems with where to stay. There'll be about 30 16-18-year-olds and
some members of the group. we want to stay near Oxford. What we'll need is
Write your letter. somewhere big enough to accommodate us all - not too
pricey, of course. Can you think of anywhere?

We want to do some cultural stuff of course - museums


and the like - as well as some idea of what might appeal
to the group but I really need someone who could
organise things - book group tickets, hire guides,
organise transport, all that sort of thing. Do you know
anyone? You perhaps, for a reasonable fee?!

One word of warning, some of the group have special


needs. One of the younger ones is disabled and will
need a room with special access, as well as a shower
without a step. This'll also affect how we get about.

Also, some of the girls are vegans but that shouldn't a


problem in the Oxford area, I would have though.
Anyway, they're a lovely crowd - great fun. They'll be well
behaved, no problem at all.

Here's hoping you can help.

All the best,


Sam
You have received a letter from an Dear Marian
English friend.
Great to hear from you. I hope you’re well and enjoying
I’m doing a project at college about your college course.
how people’s lives have changed
over the last few decades in different Your project sounds very interesting. I’ve just had a chat
countries. Can you tell me about the with my grandparents, to find out how their way of life
situation in your country? I’d like to has changed during their lifetime, and a few things came
hear about improvements and also up that you might like to hear about.
about anything that’s worse now.
They said their standard of living is much higher now
Write your letter in reply. You do not than it used to be, mainly because they have far more
need to include postal addresses. money to spend – even though they’re pensioners.
When they were much younger, and my grandfather
went out to work, it was a struggle to cope on the money
he earned, especially as they had several children to
bring up.

Now they can spend much more on leisure activities and


holidays, so whereas they couldn’t afford to go abroad
on holiday until they were in their 50s, nowadays they go
skiing in Switzerland or Italy every winter, and in the
summer they like to go on a river cruise in another
country, too.

The biggest change, they say, is in the amount of


freedom that they have. As kids, they were under
pressure from their families and everyone they knew had
to do certain things and behave in certain ways, but now
there’s much greater tolerance of different ways of living.

On the other hand, they feel that people don’t stick


together the way they used to – instead of everyone
helping each other, people tend to be more self-centred.

Well, I hope you can use this in your project, Marian.

All the best


Mischa
For various reasons, you are finding Dear Penny,
it difficult at the moment to
concentrate on your studies. You Thanks for your letter - it's really good to hear from you,
mentioned this in a recent letter to an and thanks for asking about my studies.
English-speaking friend. Here is part
of your friend's reply. You suggest that I may be wondering whether the
subject I've opted to take are the right ones. When I
So what exactly is the problem? Are chose these subjects about this time last year, I was
you having second thoughts about really interested in history and thought it was something I
the subjects you have chosen, or are was pretty good at. Unfortunately, my last history exam
there other, perhaps more interesting results were disappointing and, as a result, I've lost a bit
things on your mind? of confidence and some of the interest I had in history.
The other subjects, economics and politics are fine - I'm
Write your letter. really enjoying them. I can drop history at the end of this
year, but I've got to pass an end of year test and revising
for that is what's difficult at the moment. I think when
you've decided to drop a subject, remaining interested is
quite difficult.

As for your suggestion that I may have more interesting


things on my mind, you're absolutely right. The main
thing is that I've finally got a social life. The last two
years have been really hard work for me, but now I'm
relaxing a bit and I'm spending quite a lot of time hanging
out with my friends. Of course, this makes studying more
difficult. So it's not that I've lost interest in my studies as
a whole, but just that I've found new way of spending
some of my time.

Anyway, that sums up my situation. How are thing with


you?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes,
You are having problems at work with Dear Ruby,
your boss and you mentioned this in
a recent letter to an English-speaking Thanks for your letter - it's really good to hear from you.
freind. Here is part of your friend's I'm sorry for complaining so muc in the last letter but this
reply. situation has really got me down.

So what exactly has your boss been Basically, my manager has been making life very difficult
doing? How does she treat the other for me. Ever since our row last week, she has been
staff? Why do you think she is so treating me differently. She always gives me the worst
hard on you? Is there anything I can jobs, and is really strict about my timekeeping.
do to help?
Some of the others take much longer breaks than they
Write your letter in 220–260 words. are supposed to, but if I go over by just a couple of
minutes she insists on having a word with me. Not only
does she give the others longer breaks and easier jobs,
she's always praising them and putting me down. She's
negative about everything I do, and tells me off in front of
my workmates. I dread going to work every day.

As I said, I get the feeling she is like this with me


because of our recent argument, but also think she has
personal issues. She's quite ageist and I think it's even
worse because I'm young. It's like I'm her child!

So what did your boss do? Was it similar? Any advice


you've got would be great. I really don't know how to
make things better. If it wasn't for her, it would be a great
place to work.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Best wishes,
Paula
This is part of a letter you have Dear Thomas,
received from an English-speaking
friend. Thanks for your letter. I’m glad to hear all’s well, and that
you’re looking forward to your stay here. It’ll be hot, so
Guess what! I’m spending next bring plenty of factor 50 sunscreen!
summer in your country, though sadly
not in your town. I’m sure I’ll enjoy my But please don’t worry about your Italian. You certainly
visit even though I don’t speak the speak it well enough to chat with people, and I’m sure
language very well – and I’m a bit you’ll become even more fluent after you’ve been here
shy, too. But I really want to make couple of weeks. It doesn’t matter if you make a few
new friends, so please tell me: what grammar mistakes – that’s all part of learning, isn’t it?
are the best ways to meet people You’ll find that people here are really friendly. They love
there, and why? talking and it’s easy to get into conversation wherever
you are. In fact, it’s the best place in the world to get over
Write your letter in 220–260 words. any shyness!

That means you can make new friends in places like


cafés, and even on the bus or train. Like anywhere,
though, it’s easier if you have a common interest, so
perhaps you could join a club in the town where you’re
staying. For instance, I know you’re crazy about
mountain biking, just as many young Italian people are –
so why not find a local cycling club on the Internet and
contact them?

Also, you could check out the online ads for language
exchanges: you spend half the time talking in your
language and half in the other person’s language. Of
course, lots of people here want to learn English, and
you want to practise your Italian – so it’d be ideal. It’s
also a fantastic way of getting to know people!

Write back when you can.

All the best,


Alessandro
You have received a letter from an Hi Arma,
English friend : Thank you for your email. I'm so looking forward to your
... Before I come to visit you this visit to St Petersburg in July and I think it's a great idea
summer, I'd like to learn some of your to learn some Russian before you come.
language.
What advice could you give me about I think the best advice about learning a language is to try
how best to learn a language? What to do a little every day - that's much more effective, in my
do you think I'll find most difficult opinion, than doing a lot once a week or once a fortnight,
about learning your language? What It'd be sensible to have some lessons but you'd have to
do you think are the most important do a lot of work on your own in between the lessons if
things for me to focus on? you want to make good progress.

Write your email. English-speaking people often think Russian's difficult to


learn because we use a different alphabet, but in
practice almost everyone manages to master Cyrillic
letters very quickly. What is much harder is the grammar,
as nouns and adjectives decline so each of them has
about ten different forms, depending on what case it's in
and whether it's singular or plural. I think you might
find the vocabulary hard at first too, as most everyday
words bear no similarity at all to English words.

Although vocabulary is difficult at first, l think that's what


you should concentrate on. Don't worry too much about
all those case endings - just focus on learning words.
That way you'll be able to communicate, even if you
make lots of grammar mistakes. I’ll send you some Iists
of words and expressions that l think you'll find most
useful - language that you might need in a museum or
restaurant, for example.

AII best wishes,


Natasha
You have received a letter from your Hi Sara,
21-year-old cousin, who is about to
leave university. It was great to hear from you, and I’m really sorry I
haven’t been in touch for so long – it’s been mad here at
I really don't know what to do next. I work recently! Anyway, you certainly have a tough
know the most sensible thing would decision to make!
be to look for a permanent job. But
other people have said it's best to get Personally, I wouldn’t think of settling down just yet; once
different kinds of work experience - you’re in a permanent job, it’s hard to leave – and
probably unpaid - before I decide remember: it’s for the rest of your life! It’s great to be
what I want to do. And part of me earning money but there’s plenty of time for that. After
fancies travelling overseas. What do all, you’ve only just turned 21!
you think about these ideas?
So I’d suggest seeing a bit of the world and having a
Write your letter in reply, offering break after your exams. You could go to Australia –
advice, in 220-260 words you’ve always wanted to go there. Of course, unless you
manage to find paid work there, you’ll have to do some
casual work here first to pay for your flight and living
expenses. But six months should do it, especially if you
can save money by living at home! Why not see if that
little restaurant I worked at has any vacancies? The pay
wasn’t bad and it was quite fun at times.

As for work experience, it’s difficult. It’s OK if they pay


your expenses or give you a small salary but otherwise
it’s annoying having to work for nothing. Why not think
about that when you get back from your travels?

Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide, and hope


to see you very soon.

Take care,
Liz
Hi Sue,

I’m really glad you’ve got an interview! When I had my


first interview I was really nervous, but I didn’t need to be
– the interviewer was really friendly. He asked me
questions about my qualifications and about that part-
time job you remember I did in the library during my
college course.

I think it’s important to be totally honest! Remember to


give details when you answer too. For example, the
interviewer asked me about things I’d enjoyed about my
part-time job and so I gave examples of times I’d been
able to help people and said that it was one really
positive aspect of the job for me. I think he liked that
because the job I was being interviewed for involved
contact with the public. So find out exactly what the job is
before your interview and make sure you research the
company’s image.

You must make a good first impression, so don’t bring up


the salary or the holidays too soon, otherwise, the
interviewer will think that’s all you’re interested in! Of
course, you can mention them later.

You asked about what clothes to wear. Because of that


all-important first impression, look business-like but not
overdressed or weird! You should also consider how you
will feel in those clothes – there’s nothing worse than
uncomfortable clothes! Don’t wear something new for the
first time, in case it itches or something!

Hope that all helps – and good luck! I’m sure you’ll be
fine.

Best wishes,
Jo
You have received a letter from an Hi, Chris!
English friend:
… Congratulations on getting a new job! And it is great you
My new job is great, and next month I are finally getting a chance to visit our town.
get to travel on business. Guess what
– I’m actually coming to your town for First of all, you absolutely need to visit our new
a week! waterpark,,Aqua 3000”, it’s got all the awesome
I’ll be free some evenings and one waterslides, the most amazing shapes and heights. We
weekend. I want to make the most of have different kinds of saunas there as well, if you fancy.
this opportunity, so I’d like your As it is winter already, visiting the waterpark can be a
advice please: where to go, what to nice opportunity to relax and warm your bones a little.
do, and why?
Secondly, I would advise you to visit our new 5D cinema.
Cheers, I remember, you have told me once you’d really love to
Chris visit one of those, well, here is your chance! It is an
Write your letter in reply. You do not exciting and unforgettable experience, you’ll be sitting in
need to include postal addresses. a moving chair, feel the wind or even water dripping
down on your head. I know you are a big fan of horror
movies, and our cinema has a large choice of them.

On your free weekend you should visit our famous club


,,31/11”. At the time of your visit there will be performing
an awesome DJ Skream, you have probably heard of
him. The club itself is a superb place to hang out at and
to dance. The bartender makes the most delicious
cocktails in the world, I swear.

I hope some of my suggestions will prove useful to you.


Maybe on one of your free evenings you will find time to
stop by my house and we’ll have a nice chat about your
new job.

Take care,
Julia