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“How to Deal with Neighbors”



Pre-Listening Question

  1. Vocabulary Exploration:

    • Divide the class into pairs or small groups and provide them with a list of vocabulary words/phrases from the interview, such as “neighbor complaints,” “confrontation,” “anonymous report,” “defer to,” “pickleball court,” etc.
    • Ask students to discuss the meanings of these words and phrases based on context clues or prior knowledge.
    • Encourage them to predict how these terms might be used in the interview and how they relate to the topic of neighbor complaints.
  2. Discussion: Ethical Dilemmas:

    • Present students with hypothetical scenarios related to neighbor complaints, such as a neighbor consistently playing loud music late at night, a neighbor leaving their dog outside in extreme weather conditions, or a neighbor installing a noisy recreational facility like a pickleball court.
    • In pairs or small groups, have students discuss how they would respond to each scenario, considering ethical considerations, legal implications, and personal values.
    • Encourage students to share their opinions and reasoning with the class, fostering a respectful exchange of ideas and perspectives.

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

confrontation (noun): a situation where people or groups oppose each other and argue or fight
– Emily avoids confrontation with her neighbors by choosing to address issues indirectly.

defer (verb): to postpone or delay something
– I want to defer the decision about reporting the noisy neighbors until we talk with them directly.

minor (adjective): small in importance, seriousness, or significance
– The noise from our neighbor’s yard is a minor annoyance. Don’t worry about it. They are just having a party.

investigate (verb): to examine or inquire into systematically
– We need to investigate our neighbor’s complaints before taking action. Don’t call the police until we learn more.

important (adjective): having great significance or value
– Understanding and communicating with neighbors is important to resolve conflicts peacefully.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.

Conversation Questions

  1. Intermediate

    1. What are some examples of neighbor complaints discussed in the interview?
    2. How does Emily prefer to handle confrontational situations with her neighbors?
    3. What does Randall emphasize about investigating neighbor complaints?
    4. In what situations does Emily suggest involving external authorities like animal control or the police?


    1. Reflecting on Emily’s responses, how might cultural or societal norms influence people’s approaches to resolving neighbor disputes?
    2. What ethical considerations arise when deciding how to address neighbor complaints, particularly in cases involving animal welfare or noise disturbances?
    3. How might communication strategies such as mediation or negotiation be employed to resolve conflicts between neighbors effectively?

Related Language Activities on Randall’s Web Site

The following activities deal with related topics to give you additional language practice.

Try More Free Listening at