IELTS Speaking topic - hobbies and free time 2

IELTS Speaking topic – Hobbies and free time #2

This is a sample response for IELTS Speaking Part 2 and 3. In addition to the model answer there are highlighted words and phrases. Teal is for vocabulary relating to this topic, yellow is for generally useful words and phrases.

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Talk about a hobby a member of your family has
You should say:

  • who the family member is
  • what hobby they have
  • how they got interested in it

and say what other family members think of it

Model answer

My mother is really into embroidering. It is basically taking a piece of cloth, a needle and some thread and then sewing a certain pattern or a picture on it. It is quite engaging but also time-consuming. I guess the latter is fine for my mother since she does seem to have plenty of free time on her hands as she has been retired for some years now. Sometimes she takes orders and creates beautiful pieces for her friends and acquaintances.

She got into embroidering after watching a Youtube video she had in her recommended feed. It didn’t take her long to take it up, buy all the necessary kits and start sewing away. My father sometimes jokes about her hobby being more important than her grandchildren, but he is only joking I’m sure.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Hobbies and free time

What hobbies are popular in your country?
Fishing is quite big where I live. Favoured by mostly older male population, this activity is all year round – even with our snowy winters! People mostly do it as a social thing rather than to procure food. Some even go on fishing trips with their friend that go for several days.

Youngster mostly spend time on their phones and I’m pretty sure we are no different to any other country in this respect. I think calling it a hobby is a bit of a stretch, but that’s what they do with most of their free time, so it has to be brought up.

Is having too much free time a good or a bad thing?
It entirely depends on your situation in life. If you are financially comfortable enough to pay your bills and yet don’t have to spend much time working then you are probably doing something right. I mean the free time you end up with is well-deserved, so it has to be a positive situation. Naturally, you could try and fill these free hours with some undertaking like volunteering or doing something else that is meaningful.

On the contrary, if you find yourself idling your life away without contributing to society or even unable to afford basic necessities, then your situation ought to be improved. Surely any job is better in such a situation, at least to put the food on the table. Therefore, ultimately the meaning of free time and financial situation are closely intertwined.

Work-life balance

Is it morally wrong not to work if you can afford it?
I believe nowadays having a job and working is first and foremost associated with earning money rather than being a part of a bigger picture. If we look at work as means to be paid at the end of the month, then not working does not bear any ethical or moral ramifications. It probably means that the person’s needs are covered out of somebody else’s pocket, they have a sort of passive income or they burn through their savings.

However, one should understand that working is often a contribution to a greater cause – helping people, manufacturing, researching and developing – the list goes on. From this angle, choosing not to work indicates certain aloofness and even disdain for the common good of society. If this is the case, then the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Which is more important – job satisfaction or salary?
This is a simple one – job satisfaction should take precedence unless the person is in dire need of money in the short-term. If one is not content with their job then it will steadily begin to take an emotional toll on them, and no amount of money will fix that.

Is it a good idea to work from home?
This is decided by whether the person is self-organised or not. The problem is we associate our homes with rest rather than activity. Other than household chores, we rarely take it upon ourselves to do something productive there. Such associations can stand in the way of fruitful working process at home. A focused, well-organised person will on the other hand will not heavily depend on their surroundings to motivate them and put them in the working mood.

Hobbies and free time vocabulary

Embroidering (n) – as explained in the answer it is an activity of sewing a pattern, a picture or a text on a piece of cloth canvas
Engaging (adj) – interesting and exciting, making you want to do more of it
To get into smth (phr v) – to start doing some activity such as a hobby or a business.
To take something up (phr v) – very similar to the previous phrasal verb, it means that you have become interested or engaged in a certain activity
Big (adj) – if something is big somewhere (or with someone) it means it is popular or has influence there
Idle your life away – to spend your life without meaning or purpose, to do nothing with your life
Content (adj) – happy or satisfied. Second syllable is stressed: content.
Take a toll on somebody – to cause harm to somebody, usually in a gradual way

General vocabulary

To have something on one’s hands – to have something available or in possession. We have about two months on our hands before the project will be shown to upper management.
Recommended feed – a section on a website where the algorithm suggests news, tracks or videos similar to ones you have already watched.
Procure (v) – to get something from somewhere by buying or other means
In this respect – in this way, relating to this. Sarah is a physicist and in this respect she is one of the best employees
Bring something up (phr v) – to mention a topic or a point.
Undertaking (n) – an activity, an action that aims to achieve something
Intertwined (adj) – closely and mutually connected to one another. The state and religion are usually intertwined.
Ramifications (n) – strong negative consequences of an action
To burn through savings – to use the money you have in your bank account to cover financial deficit
Aloofness (n) – deliberately showing uninvolvement and lack of interest in something
Disdain (n) – showing that you believe that others do not deserve your respect, time or attention
Resounding (adj) – assured and emphatic
Take precedence – to be more important and to require foremost attention
Take it upon yourself to do something – to do something, even if nobody expected or asked you to do it
Fruitful (adj) – bringing result, successful

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