speech: - low intermediate
level English .
number of young people in Britain who take drugs has fallen
considerably. In London in 1996, almost 30% of 16-19 year olds said
they sometimes took drugs. In 2013, less than 20% of young adults
(16-24) had used drugs in the past year. Taking drugs is less cool than
it used to be.
Horizon magazine talked to four English teenagers.
Teenagers discuss drugs...
Simplified from a discussion
among teenagers in 1998. But it could be today...
Have you ever tried drugs, any of you?
I've tried pot
once or twice.
And how old are you?
Do you take it regularly?
really, no. I only tried it to see what it was like.
Have you tried any other drugs?
Personally, no. But I know several people that have.
What sort of drugs?
But you haven't taken ecstasy yourself?
way! I don't want to kill myself!
Do you think there's a risk of that?
Yeah, 'course there is! Look at Leah Betts **, look what 'appened to
happen to everyone, of course, but you never know. Next time it could
she just 'ad it once, didn't she?
That's the girl who died at her 18th birthday party, isn't it?
that's right! I don't want that sort of thing to 'appen to me!
What about other drugs?
all dangerous, aren't they?
isn't dangerous, really. It's not as dangerous as cigarettes 'n'
No but they're pretty dangerous too, aren't they? Look at that guy
who was driving
but all the same....
VANESSA: It's not necessarily the drugs themselves that are dangerous,
it's the things people do when they're high
Precisely, like when they're drunk
Yeah, I mean.... there was this guy I heard about the other week; he
jumped out of a fourth-floor window, 'cos he thought he could fly.
Yeah, an' there was that model who took heroin and couldn't stand up
straight! That was on telly
So what would you say if a friend of yours started taking drugs?
Nothing really; if that's what they want to do.....
I'd tell them not to be stupid! After all, half the time, people don't
take drugs because they want to, but because someone else pushes them
right! Like, sometimes you get pushers
an' so on
trying to force you to take stuff
I tell 'em to stuff it!
I think it's terrible when pop singers encourage people to take drugs.
I just think it's irresponsible! I mean, they're meant to be role models
you don't 'ave to copy everything they do, do you!
Certainly not! I think it's stupid to start. I'm not going to! You
never know what'll happen if you start. You may end up a heroin junkie
, for all you
Yeah, that's true. I think you've just gotta make sure you don't start.
: the sad story of Leah Betts was big news in the British
died at her own 18th birthday party, after taking
some ecstasy for the first time
intelligent - pot
hashish - quite
that's right - guy
man - high
under the influence of drugs - drunk
affected by alcohol - telly
television - pushers
: dealers - an' so on
etc. - stuff
something, some product -
go away - role model
person whom other people imitate - junkie
addict, person who can't stop taking drugs -
Return to Linguapress site index
for A4 printing from the Firefox
© Linguapress. Do not copy
this document to any other website
Copying permitted for personal study, or by teachers for use with their
Read the dialogue,
then decide if the following statements are true or false.
is the only one of the four teenagers who has taken drugs.
Leah Betts often took drugs.
Jim thinks that "pot" is not as dangerous as alcohol
Ellie would not tell her friends to stop taking drugs.
Alvin has never met anyone who has offered him drugs.
Vanessa does not think that young people copy or imitate pop stars.
have students role-play this discussion; but
before doing so, work through the text checking out the missing "h"s
and other aspects of spoken language ('Course
instead of of course
' for and
, and various
fillers: I mean, like.
besides the points just mentioned, pay attention to the tag questions
in this dialogue, such as They're
all dangerous, aren't they?
Have pupils list the various ways of agreeing and disagreeing expressed
in this dialogue:
Agreeing: Yeah of
course / Quite / Yeah / Yeah that's right / Precisely / That's right! /
Disagreeing: No way!
/ No but... / But .....
is a special case: after an affirmation, it marks strong
disagreement, after a negative statement, it implies strong agreement.
Which is it in this dialogue?
In groups of two, have students produce a short flyer (single-page
leaflet) on the subject of drug abuse, for distribution in your school,
under the title DRUGS AIN'T COOL!. Have them use as much imagination as
possible, and encourage them to be creative. By doing so, you will be
helping to instil an anti-drug mood in your own school. Peer pressure
can work in any direction.
EFL teachers: Help develop this resource by contributing extra teaching
materials or exercises.
copyright Linguapress 1993 - 2016.
Originally published in Horizon,
Republication on other websites or in print is not authorised