Sport appears regularly in both Speaking and Writing.
Read the following speaking-style questions, paying close attention to words you don’t know and the words in bold. There are definitions for the words in bold at the end of the page.
Before you read the conversation, you might like to download this free PDF quiz and have a go at completing the blanks.
Part 1-style questions
Examiner: Do you like sports?
Candidate: I’m an avid sports fan! Watching live games on the weekend is one of my favourite pastimes. It’s one that’s best shared with friends in a social environment like a pub.
Examiner: What’s your favourite sport?
Candidate: I’ve got into Formula 1 recently. It’s a high octane sport with lots of action; the moments of suspense can be pretty exhilarating. And it’s more of a team sport than lots of people realise: the mechanics, the engineers, the technicians and all kinds of other people play a part in the win.
Examiner: Did you play sports as a child?
Candidate: Despite my parents’ best efforts, I couldn’t often be persuaded to participate in much sport. I wasn’t very good so it all seemed a bit futile to me. I used to dread the school sports day!
Describe a sport you would like to try in the future
You should say:
- what it is
- where you will do it
- how difficult you think it will be
And explain why you would like to try it
In the future I want to try out some ice hockey. It’s a contact sport, played on ice. There are two teams, who have to score goals with a puck using hockey sticks. It’s most commonly played in colder countries, particularly North America. I’ll take some lessons at the local ice rink first to ease myself in. I’d like to try it to see how it sharpens my skills and improves my reaction times – and it’s always good to get some skating practice! It might be tricky at first, because I haven’t donned my skates for a couple of years – but I’m sure I’ll get back into it after half an hour or so. Practice makes perfect after all!
Part 3-style questions
Examiner: What type of sports are popular in your country? [identify]
Candidate: The UK is a nation of football fans or, as the Americans call it, soccer. To a lesser extent, rugby is pretty popular too. And lots of people follow tennis, particularly during major tournaments like Wimbledon.
Examiner: What benefits do international sporting events bring? [Evaluate]
Candidate: International sporting events bring whole countries together behind one banner. They’re a time when everyone unites behind the national team: bringing national pride to the forefront of society. This is because the highs and lows of the event are experienced by almost everyone, bringing them closer together. And on the off-chance we win, they’re a great excuse for celebrations!
Examiner: Do you think the types of sport that are popular will change in the future? [Predict]
Candidate: Sports such as football are firmly ingrained in the cultural consciousness of many areas such as Europe and South America, and so will likely remain popular. With that being said, there is clearly room for other sports to become popular – for example basketball is reaching new heights of popularity in Europe.
Definitions for IELTS Achievement Vocabulary
Avid — keen/ enthusiastic
pastimes — hobbies, something someone does in their spare time
social environment — friendly atmosphere, a place to be social
high octane — energetic/ powerful
exhilarating — exciting
mechanics — people who work with machinery – usually vehicles
engineers — people who design and/or build machinery
technicians — an expert who looks after technical equipment. Can also refer to a laboratory assistant
persuaded — to be convinced of something
participate — to join in with something
futile — pointless. Means something is impossible
dread — extremely scared or fearful
contact sport — a sport where physical altercation is part of the game e.g. rugby or American football
puck — A thin black disc of rubber used in hockey
hockey sticks — sticks used to hit the puck in hockey
ice rink — an enclosed area of ice, often artificial, for sports such as ice-skating or ice hockey
ease myself in — to carefully/ gently start something
reaction times — reflexes/ how long it takes to react/ muscle speed
donned — to put on/ to wear
practice makes perfect — phrase meaning that to become good at something, you must do it often
soccer— football/ a game of two teams kicking a ball with the aim of kicking it into the opposing team’s net to score and win
To a lesser extent — slightly/ less than something else mentioned either before or after
tournaments — a competition, typically referring to some form of sport
behind one banner — A common colloquialism meaning to all be fighting for/supporting the same thing
forefront — the absolute front/ most important thing
highs and lows — the good and the bad
off-chance — something unlikely
ingrained — deeply a part of something/ carved into something
cultural consciousness — the general mood/ values of a culture
With that being said — a connecting phrase between a statement, and another following statement that will contradict/go against the previous one
room for other— space/ chances for other things
reaching new heights — progressing/ making new, bigger achievements
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