Why do we dream?

Level: Upper Intermediate

Type: IELTS listening style questions

Approximate time of completion: 10-15 min

 

Introduction

Dreams have intrigued us from the beginning of civilization. People often talk about dreams, but what do we really know about them? This 6+ min video revises some old and new theories of why we dream.

 

Useful vocabulary

Tablets: a thin, flat, often square piece of hard material such as wood, stone, or metal.

Theory: a formal statement of the rules on which a subject of study is based or of ideas that are suggested to explain a fact or event or, more generally, an opinion or explanation.

Nightmare: a very upsetting or frightening dream

Unconscious: An unconscious thought or feeling is one that you do not know you have

Symbolic: representing something else.

Take place: to happen

Memory: something that you remember from the past

Take the edge off something: to make something unpleasant have less of an effect on someone

 

Questions

Read the questions below and then watch this video.

Complete the sentence with NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS. (Answers below)

The first people to record their dreams were 1……………….. and 2……………………

Freud proposed that everything we remember when we wake up from a dream is a 3…………………………. of our unconscious mind.

During sleep 4 ………………………neural connections are deleted.

Dreams involving dangerous and threatening situations are very common and they allow you to practice your  fight or 5 ……………………………..

Going over daily traumatic events in your dreams may help the dreamer process these events in a 6……………………… way.

Dreaming can also help the dreamer create different 7………………………to solve his problems.

 

Speaking

Part Two Cue Card

Describe a dream that you have had
-when you had it
-what it was about
-what you usually dream of when you sleep

This can be a tricky question. If you can’t think of an honest answer, just make one up! Use your imagination and don’t be afraid.

Example:

I seldom remember my dreams, but a few nights ago I had one which I can recall vividly. In the dream, I was running through a forest and a tiger was chasing me. I remember feeling really afraid because I knew that I couldn’t outrun a tiger, but I kept going because I felt that if I stopped it would catch me and eat me. Eventually I started to realize that I was dreaming and that this was impossible, and I turned around to see the tiger get really close to me, and then suddenly I woke up.

I don’t know what they dream meant, but it was quite frightening, and I hope that I don’t have another dream like it. However, like I said, I don’t usually remember my dreams and in fact I don’t think I really do dream very often. If I do, I guess it must be about something a little boring.

 

Answer Key

  1. Mesopotamian
  2. Egyptian
  3. Symbolic representation
  4. Unnecessary
  5. Flight instincts
  6. Healthy
  7. (unlimited) Scenarios

 

 

 

 

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Author: David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the ‘Weird Cult’ and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural China, and loves to travel.

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