IELTS Speaking topic - hobbies and free time 1

IELTS Speaking topic – Hobbies and free time #1

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 you had but no longer have
You should say:

  • what the hobby was
  • how you got interested in it
  • how long you have been engaged in it

and say why you no longer have it

Model answer

When I was at school I got introduced to cycling by my older brother. I was about 12 at the time when he one day approached me and asked for some help fixing his bike. I didn’t know much about bicycles back then so I would mostly watch him work on it and hand him some tools occasionally. Later that summer he helped me build my first track bike and that’s where my passion really took off. It was a real revelation and showed how cool bikes really are!

From then on, I would spend almost the entirety of my free time either riding the bike or upgrading it. I was really keen on exploring the city where I lived and having a reliable form of transportation facilitated this. I also got to know some really cool people whom I shared this passion with.

Eventually I moved to a bigger city to study in college and as I lived next to it I didn’t need the bike that much so I left it at home. Now it gathers dust, forgotten. Sometimes I feel bad about not using it nearly as much as I did before.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

Hobbies and free time

Can you tell something about a person by their hobbies?
I believe so, yes – for instance a shy, introverted individual is much more likely to be into things like reading or collecting post stamps. Similarly, a more outgoing character will chose an active, socially-involved pastime like a team sports of a kind. Of course there can be exceptions – an introvert who sets out to battle his social anxiety and gets into an activity that implies interacting with other people.

How has the way we spend free time changed over the years?
To address this question we first of all have to understand that people from different background will have changed to varying degrees. Folk living in the countryside will have remained fairly unchanged with their hobbies not altered by progress and change. Urbanites on the other hand have undergone the greatest transformation of their leisure activities – mobile phones for them have become a workplace, a playground and a dating platform all wrapped into one. Most also don’t socialise as much as they used to – at least not face to face.

What kind of new leisure activities can we see appearing in the future?
One of the next big things they are talking about nowadays is so called ‘metaverse’ – something similar to virtual reality where you could meet friends, strike up conversations with strangers, find common interests and so on. Think Facebook with a virtual reality helmet and you will get the idea. On the other end of the spectrum we see the increase in popularity of wild tourism. People choose to go on guided (and quite expensive!) tours to exotic locations to reunite with the nature. Ultimately, I believe than everyone will find something to their liking when it comes to new leisure developments.

Lifestyle

Some people choose to work as little as possible to have more free time. Is this a positive or a negative trend?
It is true – nowadays there is a popular notion that work should not be pivotal in your life. Therefore both young and old people are tying to optimise their time management, hoping to work smarter rather that harder. After all, throughout human history laziness proved to be a driver for inventiveness. I don’t think that this should be a reason for concern. This might make the working process less dull and therefore more inspired, promoting out-of-the-box thinking.

It is said that in order to be a complete person one has to have a hobby. Do you agree?
That is a very bold thing to assume, but whoever said that does have a point. Having a hobby shows dedication, it means that you are ready to commit to something. But whether it really does complete us is the real question. I would disagree. While it certainly makes us more interesting as a person, it neither makes nor brakes who we are.

Is your generations’ lifestyle much different from that of your parents? If so, what are the differences?
The first evident difference in lifestyles is how much more outgoing my parents were. They would spend every weekend out and about partying, visiting their friends, travelling to nearby cities. So I would say people of that generation had a much more active and varied social life. There were no mobile phones back then so people actually had to come up with ideas how to fill their free time. Some visited their friends or families, others went to the movies or concert, libraries and other places that are not that popular nowadays. 

Hobbies and free time vocabulary

Passion (n) – a strong interest in somebody or someone that you actively pursue
To be into – to like something or someone, to be interested in it
Pastime (n) – an activity that you do in your free time. Often used as ‘national pastime’, e.g. drinking tea is believed to be British national pastime
Playground (n) – used figuratively here, a playground is a place outside where kids play games, climb ladders, rock on swing sets etc.
Socialise (v) – to talk to people in order to get to know them better or just to fulfil the need of interacting with somebody else.
Something to your liking – another way of saying that you like it
Leisure (adj) – not having to do with work or need. A leisure activity is done for fun rather than immediate benefit.

General vocabulary

Back then – in the past, before
Take off – to start growing rapidly. If something takes off – it becomes bigger or more successful, i.e. a business that took off.
Entirety of (n) – all of, the whole part of something.
Facilitate (v) – to make something easier
Gather dust – if some item gathers dust it is no longer used as much as before.
Social anxiety – feeling of unreasonable worry associated with talking to other people, especially strangers
Address the question – to answer (or try to answer) the question. Addressing a question can also mean solving (or trying to solve) some issue.
All wrapped into one – combining several things in one. A swiss knife is also a screwdriver, a saw and a corkscrew all wrapped into one.
Pivotal (adj) – extremely important or meaningful
Out-of-the-box thinking – thinking in a way that avoids or ignores conventional methods and ideas in order to try find something new, possibly more effective.
Have a point – if a person has a point it means their arguments make sense and are reasonable.
Neither make nor brake – not to have decisive effect on something
Come up with – to think of something new, i.e. come up with a solution to a problem

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