Activities is a topic that often comes up in the IELTS speaking part 1. Below you will find a list of some example questions and answers that you could encounter during part 1 of the IELTS Speaking test.
The questions below are based on the real IELTS speaking exam. They serve as a great IELTS Speaking Part 1 prediction questions to help you prepare better before your test.
Activities Speaking Part 1 – Set 1
- When do you write on paper?I generally use my phone or laptop but I still use paper for shopping lists or if I have an idea and want to scribble it down. My guilty pleasure is buying a new notebook and pen.
- Do you prefer typing or writing on paper?I would have to say typing overall, as it is quicker and you can correct mistakes easily. It is a far more convenient way to communicate. Writing by hand is better for personal notes or greetings cards, I am a bit sentimental like that.
- Did you write by hand at school?Yes, at my school we had notebooks and pens and everything was handwritten. We had access to computers for IT class or for homework. Schools have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years, kids have access to far more technology.
Activities Vocabulary Speaking Part 1 – Set 1
- scribble – write something quickly
- guilty pleasure – something you like that other people don’t know
- sentimental – emotional
- come on leaps and bounds – make quick progress
- Did you like to draw or paint as a child?I liked to draw and I was quite good at it but as soon as Ia picked up a paintbrush, it was a disaster. There would be paint over everything before I even started and my paintings ended up looking like a dog’s dinner.
- What did you draw?When I was younger, I drew cars and aeroplanes, the usual boy’s stuff but as I got older I liked to design or invent new futuristic buildings and cities. Later it was mostly still lives, things like that.
- Do you still like painting or drawing now, as an adult?All of the things I do now are from a computer program and I don’t do anything by hand. I can still draw okay but painting, forget it.
- What do you like the most about painting or drawing?I enjoy the fact that it takes you into another world and that you can lose yourself and forget about everything thats going on around you.
Set 2 Vocabulary
- Look like a dog’s dinner – In a disorganised, untidy
- Still life – A painting or drawing of an object or group of objects often fruit or flowers
- Forget it!– Stresses that it is not going to happen
- Takes you into another world – Creates a special atmosphere or feeling
- Where are you from?I am from Berlin, in Germany. I grew up there and now I attend the university. I love the city as it is full of history and culture. There is a popular student quarter, where I live. There are numerous bars and restaurants and every weekend you can take part in outdoor sports or go walking across the city.
- Do you enjoy taking photographs?I am very keen on photography and I take a lot of photos around my city. I enjoy capturing people in their natural surroundings. I am not particularly skilled but I find taking photos relaxing and fun.
- What do you prefer to photograph, people or nature?Personally, I prefer taking photos of people as I think those snaps tell a story and can show the life or personality of that person. I find it interesting to document a moment in history that will never be repeated.
Set 3 Vocabulary
- keen on – like something a lot
- snaps – photos
- When was the last time you were on a farm?I haven’t been on a farm since I was a child and went on a school trip to a farm during the lambing season. We went there to learn about farming and the breeding of animals. I don’t recall much information but I did become more fond of animals after that.
- Would you like to live and work on a farm?No, I think it would be really hard work because you have to wake up at the crack of dawn to look after the animals and nowadays it is very hard for a farmer to make a good living from meat or dairy.
- Is farming important in your country?Of course, like most countries agriculture is one of the main industries, especially livestock for meat and dairy production. Ireland is famous for beef and bacon products in fact. Nowadays, a lot of fruit and vegetables are imported as people want more choice.
- Are you interested in agriculture?I am not particularly interested in it but I think we all take it for granted that we have food available to us in my country. I take an interest in how food is grown because I don’t want to eat something that has lots of chemicals in it.
- Do you know how plants grow?I know the basics from science lessons and school and I can just about manage to grow a few pot plants on my patio. I´m not very green fingered though and prefer to grow things that are easy to maintain.
Set 4 Vocabulary
- fond of – to like
- the crack of dawn – very early in the morning
- livestock – farm animals
- take it for granted – not appreciate something or someone
- green fingered – likes to do gardening
- How do you spend your free time?If I am at a loose end, which is not very often, I play tennis and badminton with some of my classmates. Other than sports, I enjoy pub quizzes; a team of us will enter the competition and we often do quite well.
- How do you carry your money?I carry a purse in my rucksack which has a little bit of cash and my credit card. I only carry a small amount of cash for when I am buying something small as most places prefer cards nowadays.
- How do you relax?When I really need to relax I will go for a walk in the countryside with a friend, switch off my phone and have a picnic or visit a viewpoint. The views of the countryside here are breathtaking.
- What relaxation techniques are you aware of?I have tried yoga a few times but never really got into it. In addition to yoga, I know a little about using breathing techniques to calm yourself in stressful situations. They can really help to ease the mind.
- How important is relaxation?People need to take time out to relax and disconnect, especially nowadays when people have such high pressure jobs and fast paced lives. In order not to have a longer term impact on health, it is important to put your feet up and relax regularly.
- Do you think holidays are a good way to relax?Yes, I strongly agree that holidays really help people to destress because you don’t have the daily grind of getting up early, commuting to work, cooking and cleaning. It sometimes takes a few days to wind down though and truly relax.
Set 5 Vocabulary
- at a loose end – have nothing to do
- breathtaking – astonishing, taking your breath
- to put your feet up – rest
- the daily grind – the difficult and monotonous routine
- wind down – relax
- Do you enjoy meeting new people?Yes, in general I enjoy meeting new people. I am a student and had to meet lots of new people when I started my course; I didn’t know anybody so I was starting from scratch. I am usually a sociable person.
- How do you feel when people invite you somewhere?I feel honoured to be asked and excited about going to new places. If I am invited to somebody’s home for the first time it can be a bit awkward at first but I don´t stand on ceremony and try to help out with preparing drinks or laying the table.
Set 6 Vocabulary
- start from scratch – start from nothing
- don’t stand on ceremony – don´t be formal
- Do you make lists?I am always making lists with the belief that it makes me more organised. Each day I make a to-do-list of the things I need to study, homework I need to complete and chores I need to do at home. I often spend quite a lot of time on the list which can waste the time you could be doing the tasks.
- Do you make a list when you go shopping?I don’t really do a lot of shopping but if I go to the supermarket, my parents will give me a list so that I can’t forget anything. I get everything on the list but don’t stick to it, I put other treats in the basket that are not listed.
- Do you write handwritten lists or use your phone?For some reason, I do both. If it is a list of things I need to study, I will hand write a list and put it up somewhere I can see it. If it is a shopping list or things I need to pack for a holiday I will use the notes section in my phone then I can take it with me when I leave the house.
- Why don’t some people enjoy making lists?I have no idea but I suppose they could see it as a waste of valuable time that they could be completing some of the tasks or chores. Perhaps some people are less organised and just go with the flow.
Set 7 Vocabulary
- chores – menial tasks eg. washing clothes
- stick to something – do only this
- go with the flow – relaxed and spontaneous
- Do you watch TV often?I watch TV quite often, usually a few hours a week, especially at weekends. I try not to watch too much telly but if I am not looking at the TV, I am probably looking at my phone or watching YouTube videos instead.
- What kind of programs or TV shows do you like to watch?Generally, I like watching true crime series or something with a bit of grit. Sometimes I watch comedy series or stand up comedy too. I avoid reality TV, I find it mind numbing and don´t think it is a good use of my time.
- Did your parents let you watch a lot of TV when you were a child?Yes, my parents allowed me to watch TV but it was restricted at certain times. My sister and I could watch something after we had finished our homework and normally we would watch something as a family in the evenings, like a soap opera.
- Do you think kids these days watch more TV than in the past?Maybe my answer will surprise you, but I don’t think they do. Despite the fact there are more channels than ever, I think kids are busy playing video games or watching YouTube videos. It is definitely what my nephews prefer to do nowadays.
- Do you use earphones/headphones frequently? Why?Yes, I frequently use headphones when I am working online, to watch a video or to take part in a video call. I don’t often use earphones, the small ones, as they don´t fit quite right. I also use my headphones on public transport so I don’t disturb the other commuters.
Set 8 Vocabulary
- telly – TV (colloquial)
- mind numbing – extremely boring
- soap opera – regional TV daily drama
- nephews – the children of your brother/sister
- commuters – people travelling to work
- Do you enjoy reading?These days, I don’t get much time because I work all day, and I’m too tired when I return home in the evening. Also, weekends are reserved for family and friends.
- What do you like to read?I loved reading when I was a child, especially Russian folk tales about Baba Yaga the Witch, and Ivan the Terrible. I grew up binging on Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, and other Russian writers. These days I just skim through social media posts.
- What’s your favorite time of day to read?If I had time and energy left at the end of the day, you’d find me reading at night when all the world is asleep. It just helps me focus better, and I can escape into another world. Reading during the day is too distracting.
- What do you do, work or study?These days I am in-between jobs. I used to work as a trekking guide but COVID-19 came and ruined everything. I think it will take a while before tourism bounces back.
- Do you like watching TV?Not at all. I hate television because I don’t trust most of the things that appear on that “idiot box”, particularly the news channels. I would rather spend my energy learning new hobbies or even just hanging out with my dogs. But no TV for me!
- What are some benefits of watching TV with family?Honestly, I believe there is nothing productive about television, and families can instead spend time playing board games, or just talking with each other. Or maybe a walk in the park. Anything, except dulling their minds in front of that box!
Set 9 Vocabulary
- Bounce back – to return quickly to a normal condition after a difficult situation or event
- Idiot box – TV has been a non-interactive device, and the term ‘idiot box’ highlights the fact that it is non-responsive
- Where are you from?I am from England, UK. I live in a small village in the countryside with my parents and my sister. My family has a small farm with some livestock. We like living there because we love to be outdoors.
- How do you spend your free time?Well, as I said, there is a lot to do on the farm but if I do have some free time I like to go camping. We hike into the woods and put up the tent and make a campfire. I love being outside and getting back to nature.
- Do you like watching sport on TV?I really prefer to watch other programmes on TV than sports. Occasionally, I watch football or the Winter Olympics because I find the skiing and snowboarding events exhilarating to watch. It looks so dangerous and fast.
- Do you like to watch live matches? Why?I watch live football matches sometimes and I enjoy it if I am watching with friends or it is an important competition, like the World Cup. You find yourself getting caught up in the game and cheering on the team, so it is the atmosphere of the event that I like.
Set 10 Vocabulary
- get back to nature – spending time in a simple way
- get into – become interested in
- exhilarating – very exciting
- caught up in – involved in
- Do you like writing by hand?I don’t write by hand very often now as I work in an office and use a computer every day so I am really out of practice. I like writing notes or greeting cards by hand as sending an electronic card seems a bit impersonal.
- Do you like your handwriting?Not at all. I don´t think my handwriting is very good as it is quite messy and scruffy. It isn’t that important nowadays but it is something to be proud of if you have beautiful handwriting.
- What is the difference between writing by hand and typing?In some situations there is a huge difference between handwritten and typed words. For example, if writing a letter to a friend, a handwritten note gives a personal feeling whereas typing is quicker but less thoughtful.
Set 11 Vocabulary
- out of practice – not practiced for a long period of time
- scruffy – untidy
- thoughtful – with consideration
- Do you like taking photos?Yes, I actually do. I have a DSLR camera, and three zoom lenses because I love bird photography. My aunt was a professional photographer so I developed a keen passion for photos from an early age.
- When do you take photos?Every single day, whenever I can. We live near a beautiful, wooded area where it’s not uncommon to spot indigenous birds such as the blue kingfisher and the majestic Brahmany kite. I can never tire of taking bird pics.
- Do you use your phone or your camera to take photos? Why?If I am at home, I use the DSLR camera to take photos as it is in easy reach but I cannot always lug it around. So I use my One Plus phone when outdoors. It’s the best phone in the market for low light photography!
- Would you like to become a better photographer? How?Yes, I’d love to be able to shoot mind-bending photographs that shock people. There are too many photographers these days, and pictures have started to resemble each other. I want to stand out from the clutter.
Set 12 Vocabulary
- Indigenous – originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native
- To lug something – to carry or drag with great effort
- Mind-bending – influencing or altering one’s state of mind
- Where are you from?I am from New York City, New York, in the United States of America. New York is the most populous city in the United States of America, and is famous for such landmarks as the Empire State Building and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Do you enjoy cooking?Very much so. I like to take cooking classes every so often, so I can vary my meal options. Most recently, I tried my hand at Vietnamese cooking, which was delicious!
- Why do you think many people consider cooking a chore?Some people think that cooking requires a lot of time and effort, which can be true, depending on the dish they are making. For people with busy schedules, any activity other than relaxing after a long day of work may be considered a chore.
Set 13 Vocabulary
- tried my hand at – tried for the first time
- Where are you from?I come from Paris, in France. Paris is the capital city of France and it is a very large city. It is known world-wide for landmarks such the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower.
- Do you enjoy taking photographs?I do. Photography is a wonderful of capturing moments and stories. I enjoy adding filters occasionally to reinforce a certain sentiment I am trying to express, but when it comes to nature, I generally prefer to leave photographs as they are.
- What do you do with your photographs?Sometimes, I gift them to friends and family. Other times, if they are personal memories or are more intimately meaningful, I display them in my room. With some photographs, I enjoy creating artwork through collage and painting.
- Would you consider taking a photography course?I absolutely would. I take photographs as a hobby, but I know there is a lot that goes into planning and taking a photograph. It would be fascinating to take a course in the future.
Set 14 Vocabulary
- world-wide – around the world
- capturing – catching
- sentiment – feeling or intention
- collage – combining various media (paper, photographs, paint, beads) to create artwork
- there is a lot that goes into – many aspects, ideas, parts and thoughts are included
- Do you make a list before going shopping? Why?Yes, I do. I’m afraid that I might forget something extremely important which is why I prefer making a list. Besides, I have a big family to provide for. They usually require a lot of items for their personal and business use.
- Why do people make a list?I think people have the same reason as mine. They wanted to ensure that they would not forget anything that they needed to buy. Also, some people prefer making a list in order to limit spending on stuff which is not necessary.
- Why don’t some people like making a list?Some people like to go with the flow. They buy stuff depending on what they want or need at that very moment that they are shopping. I think some people do not have enough time to make a list or may not be as organized as others.
- Do you prefer using a piece of paper or making a list on your phone?I prefer using my phone since I always keep it with me most of the time. I used to make a list on paper but I shifted to using the phone because it is more convenient. Also, the chance of me misplacing or losing the paper is high.
Set 15 Vocabulary
- go with the flow – to cope with things and not worry about what one should do
- Where are you from?I come from Seville in southern Spain. Seville is the capital city of the Andalusia region. Flamenco dancing is quite popular in that region, and Seville has many locations that host flamenco performances.
- Let’s talk about the topic of New Year’s celebrations.Sounds great!
- Do you celebrate the New Year?Yes, I do! I usually spend New Year’s Eve with my family. We have a movie marathon in the evening to try and help us stay awake, then at midnight we raise a glass for the New Year. The next day we eat and play games!
- Is there a New Year celebration that stood out for you?I remember a few years ago, my family and I put on an old movie as part of our tradition, but we all fell asleep to it without realising! When we woke up, it was only a few minutes to midnight, so we had made it after all!
- When and where did you last celebrate it?The latest celebration occurred at my flat over quarantine. Luckily, my family and I were able to maintain a semblance of normality, by sharing the experience virtually. It was hard being apart, but better than not seeing each other at all.
Set 16 Vocabulary
- host – to provide space for or lead an event
- movie marathon – a series of movies that a person of group of people watch in a row
- semblance of normality – the condition of something being normal
- Have you ever visited a museum?Yes, I have been to lots of museums as I am interested in Art. I regularly visit the modern art museum in my city to see the latest exhibition and to check out up and coming artists. I have also been on school trips to history museums although they were a bit mind numbing.
- Are museums important to society?Absolutely, they give us an insight into the world or art and history and do an amazing job of preserving ancient artifacts that tell us about our history. Museums also do a lot for education, children can take part in the activities there to learn about the subject.
- Are museums helpful?Nowadays, museums have a number of interactive activities which help kids understand Science and History and develop an interest in those topics. It educates them at the same time as being fun, so it kills two birds with one stone.
Set 17 Vocabulary
- up and coming – becoming popular
- kill two birds with one stone – to achieve two things at the same time
- Where are you from?I am from Beijing in China, it is a megacity because it has a population of over 21 million people. I live with two of my colleagues from work and we share a flat on the outskirts of the city. I can commute to the city centre as the public transport is excellent.
- Do you work or study?I am an accountant in an office. I work for a large Chinese company which does accounting for other major companies. I have been working there for 2 years and in general it is a good job with a reasonable salary.
- Do you enjoy eating cakes and sweets?Yes, I have a bit of a sweet tooth actually so I eat quite a lot of sweets. There are also some bakeries in the city that serve lots of sweet treats which are perfect with a cup of tea.
- Do you like spending time alone?I enjoy being by myself because I live in a busy city which can get a bit hectic at times so it is nice to get away from it all. It is nice to travel out of the city and take a breather sometimes, especially as I work hard.
- What do you like about your house?I live in an apartment which is quite small but the advantage is that it is close to transport connections so it is easy to get around the city. It is conveniently located near to shops and local amenities.
Set 18 Vocabulary
- a sweet tooth – to like sweet foods
- take a breather – rest, relax
- to get around – to travel in a town or city
- How often do you walk?Yes I walk to work in the mornings and I walk home again, weather permitting. I don’t walk as a hobby but I often choose to go on foot around town as it is easier than driving and parking nowadays.
- Do you think you walk more now than you did in the past?Yes, since the traffic has become heavier and fuel costs have rocketed, I choose to walk to most places. Occasionally, I enjoy a hike in the mountains with a group of friends which I didn’t do when I was younger.
- Do you predict that people will walk more in the future?I suppose people will probably walk less as public transport and electric cars are developed. It depends on where you live, city people are more likely to walk and if you live in the sticks you have to drive to get to local facilities.
Set 19 Vocabulary
- on foot – walking
- rocketed – went up quickly
- in the sticks – in a remote place
- Describe the place where you live.I live in Milan in Italy, it is well known as a very stylish and cool place to live. I am studying Italian and English there. I am originally from France. I prefer the culture and outdoor living here, people are always out on the streets.
- What things don’t you like about where you live?I would have to say the noise. Italian people can be quite loud, talking and laughing into the early hours on the streets. It is ok if you are out at night but if you are trying to sleep it can get on your nerves.
- How long have you had your current hairstyle for?I had my hair styled like this about 6 months ago. Before that I had really long hair but I decided to make a change and go for the chop. Now I have a neat bob I can wash and go and it takes less time to get ready.
- How often do you have your haircut?About every five or six months. I don´t go really regularly as it can be expensive and when I had long hair I didn’t really need to trim it. It is a nice treat to relax and have your hair washed and cut. Some people go monthly like clockwork but I don’t need to.
- Have you ever had a negative experience at the hairdresser?Yes, once I asked the girl to trim my hair by 1-2 inches and she lopped off about 6! I was really upset at first although I didn’t say anything. Later, I realised that was silly and it was only hair, it will grow back.
Set 20 Vocabulary
- get on your nerves – annoying
- go for the chop – get your haircut
- like clockwork – works very well
- lopped off – cut something off
- Where are you from?I am from Zaragoza in Spain. It is a small city between Valencia and Barcelona. I live there with my family and we like to visit the coast and the city centre.
- Do people where you live go for picnics?We are lucky to live close to the beach and the countryside and there are lots of picnic areas provided for families to visit. People are more likely to picnic in the spring as by the time we get to summer the heat can be scorching.
- How often do you go for picnics?I go for a picnic once or twice a month. I enjoy getting together with friends and taking our food to the beach and setting up our blankets and shades there. Lots of people in Spanish culture do the same thing later on in the day.
Set 21 Vocabulary
- scorching – very hot
- Do you make lists? What for?I make lists before I go shopping or if I have a lot of chores to do. I have a memory like a fish so it is important that I write things down that I need to remember the next day.
- Do you prefer to make a list on paper or another way?I make lists on the notes function on my phone because it is too easy to lose or forget a paper list. At least if it is on my phone, I am bound to have my phone with me when I get to the supermarket. Once I have completed the item, I can delete it without carrying a pen.
- Are there any advantages and disadvantages to making lists?If you have a bad memory, it ensures that things don’t slip your mind on a day to day basis. It is a simple way to make sure that you prioritise the things you have to do. On the other hand, some might say making the list is a waste of time.
Set 22 Vocabulary
- memory like a fish – poor memory, ability to remember
- bound to – probably
- slip your mind – to forget
- Have you ever dyed your hair? Why?Yes, I have. In my teenage years I would have a different shade every month and some of them were an eyesore. Nowadays, I still dye my hair but I use more subtle colours and I don´t change my image as often.
- Have you ever had a terrible haircut?Once I had a bad haircut because I asked the hairdresser to take a couple of inches off and she cut it really short. Of course, I didn’t say anything but when I got home I was really gutted. In hindsight, hair grows back and it wasn’t that bad.
- How often do you have your haircut?I usually go every few months or so, when it really needs doing. I don’t have a high maintenance style so it doesn’t need doing all the time. Also, I am a skint student so I can´t afford to have my hair cut in London every month.
Set 23 Vocabulary
- an eyesore – ugly to look at
- gutted – very disappointed
- skint – poor
- Where are you from?I am from Istanbul in Turkey. It is one of the biggest cities and crosses Europe and Asia with a population of 15 million people. Due to the different influences the culture, people and cuisine are very varied.
- Who does most of the cooking in your home?When I am at home with my family, my mother does the majority of the cooking as my family is quite traditional. She enjoys feeding up her family and she is also a very good cook. I miss her cooking so much when I am away. At uni, I have to cook for myself.
- Are you a good cook?I am not great but I can get by. I can cook basic meals like rice or salads but I haven´t had a lot of practice at anything more adventurous yet. At uni, a group of us will often cook together so that it works out cheaply and we don’t have to cook every night.
- Do you think it is important to be able to cook?Yes, now that I live outside the family home I wish my mother had taught me some more recipes. If you can cook, you can make basic ingredients taste delicious and it is an attractive skill to friends or partners as the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.
- Should cooking be a compulsory school subject?No, I don’t think so. Schools are under enough pressure to deliver new subjects and life skills and cooking isn’t the most important. If possible, I think it should be taught at home and anyone can start cooking at any time of their lives – I am proof of that.
Set 24 Vocabulary
- feed somebody up – make somebody stronger by feeding them a lot
- get by – to survive
- the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach – if you cook a good meal for somebody they will love you
- Where are you from?I´m from Valencia in Spain, a city on the coast of the Mediterranean sea. It is a beautiful place with both modern and traditional architecture. Valencia is famous for its paella, a rice dish and for its festivals.
- Do you like reading books?I love reading books, it is one of my hobbies. I read every day, usually before I go to bed to help me to switch off from the day. I have always been an avid reader since I was a child.
- What type of books do you read?For my studies, I have to read enormous textbooks and a lot of academic journals online. For pleasure, I read non fiction; usually a crime thriller or something with lots of twists. I like books with a psychological element which are unpredictable.
- Are you reading a book at the moment?Yes, I am reading a book called ‘The Beach.’ It is a book about a traveller who discovered a hidden beach and joined a secret community there. The point of the book is to uncover how people behave when they rule the roost and whether they treat each other fairly or create rules that relate to power. It is really interesting.
Set 25 Vocabulary
- to switch off – to disconnect, relax
- twists – unexpected events
- rule the roost – to be the boss
- Where are you from?I am from the city of Paris, in France. It is a metropolis and the capital city of France. It is very famous for the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre Museum.
- Do you enjoy wearing perfumes?It depends. I like to wear perfumes for special occasions, but I am a little sensitive to odours, and I need to find subtle scents which won’t repel me.
- How frequently do you travel?I try to take local trips once every couple of weeks, and trips abroad at least once a year, if I can afford them. I have many countries on my travel list which I still need to visit!
- Where did you last travel to?I recently took a spontaneous trip to Rouen, in Normandy. I was looking to get away from my daily routine, and I chose to book a trip there, as the train tickets seemed fairly affordable.
- What did you think of that place?I thought it was stunning. It’s a popular destination in France and I could definitely see why. The architecture makes it seem like you’ve travelled back in time to Medieval times. It was a wonderful change of scenery for me.
Set 26 Vocabulary
- metropolis – large, busy city
- Odours – smells
- Subtle – gentle, not overwhelming
- Repel – cause a reaction of rejection
- Spontaneous – something that has been decided upon in the spur of the moment
- get away from – be far from
- Fairly – (in this case) quite
- Stunning – extremely beautiful
- travelled back in time – went to a period of time that happened a very long time ago
- change of scenery – a change from what a person is used to seeing
- Do you find it interesting to talk about pictures?Yes, I think it can lead to some interesting conversations. There are some incredible photographers who can paint a thousand words with just one picture. I am always impressed by artists who can trigger emotional reactions through their work.
- What pictures do people seem most interested in nowadays?Like any art, different kinds and styles appeal to different people. I am aware, however, that with social media, there are certain types of pictures that are perhaps more aesthetically pleasing than others, and therefore become trendier.
- What is your preferred style of pictures?I find nature photographs very evocative. I think that photographers who can catch the simplicity of nature are often able to help me refocus and remember to appreciate the small things in life, as well as the big ones.
Set 27 Vocabulary
- paint a thousand words – say so much
- trigger emotional reactions – cause people to feel different emotions
- appeal to – attract
- aesthetically pleasing – pleasant to look at
- evocative – which makes someone feel something about something or someone
- refocus – (in this case) bring someone back to the basics, make someone realise the fundamental truth about a certain topic
- Where are you from?I am from Lima, in Peru. Lima is the capital city and the largest city in Peru. It is the second largest desert city in the world after Cairo, in Egypt, and it is a heaven for foodies.
- Do you enjoy reading?I do. Work takes up a lot of my time, so I do not read as much as I would like to. I do, however, enjoy reading a good book when I get some days off.
- What is your favourite genre?I enjoy reading history books. Murder-mysteries are always a favourite pick of mine, because I find myself getting very involved in the stories, and eager to find out how they end. I also like history and travel magazines.
- Do you read before going to sleep?I do. I find it helps me unwind after a stressful work day, because I feel all cosy and warm under my sheets, and I can simply turn off the light when I feel ready to go to sleep.
- What else can help get some good sleep?Some people like to listen to recordings of nature sounds, as they find them very soothing. A number of people I know enjoy doing some yoga before going to bed, and claim it helps them tremendously.
Set 28 Vocabulary
- heaven for foodies – an ideal location for people who enjoy trying new food
- takes up a lot of my time – makes up a big part of my schedule
- favourite pick – favourite choice
- unwind – relax
- soothing – relaxing
- tremendously – greatly
- Do you work or study?I am currently completing the third year of my Geography degree at university. I have always expressed interest in travelling and discovering new cultures, and I decided to study a subject which would broaden my understanding of the world.
- How do you feel about sharing things with others?It depends on what I share. I do not mind sharing a common area with other people in the house. It actually helps build a sense of community, which I really enjoy. However, I am picky about sharing my food!
- What do you share with your housemates?Apart from different common rooms in the house, we share some kitchen utensils and cleaning products. We also share house chores. We crafted a rota with a different person fulfilling certain duties every day.
- Did you learn to share with others from your parents?Yes, my parents have always encouraged sharing at home. I also have two younger siblings, so I had to learn to share toys with them when I was very young.
Set 29 Vocabulary
- expressed interest – shown/displayed interest/li>
- broaden – extend, widen
- build a sense of community – create a stronger bond
- crafted – designed
- Where are you from?I come from Lisbon in Portugal. Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal, and is a popular tourist destination. It is home to the longest bridge in Europe, and hosts Fado performances, which is a type of traditional Portuguese music.
- Do you have an occupation or do you study?I work as a school teacher in a primary school in Lisbon. I have been working there for about five years now, after graduating from university with an education degree.
- How often did you go to the cinema as a child?When I was younger, going to the cinema was a treat, and it meant going all out. We would dress up for the occasion and have dinner prior to the movie. Those were very special moments for us.
- What movies do you remember watching?I recall watching Home Alone when I was about seven years old, as well as several Disney movies, such as Aladdin.
- Have your cinematographic preferences changed since you were a child?To some extent, yes. I still very much enjoy watching Disney movies, though! However, my life experiences have introduced me to new genres and topics of interest, and so my taste in movies has matured in some respects.
- How often do you go to the cinema these days?I go to the cinema more frequently, but I try not to do so excessively. I still remember the thrill of going to the cinema as a child, and I do not want to lose it.
Set 30 Vocabulary
- going all out – putting 100% effort into the experience
- prior to – before
- recall – remember
- genres – types, kinds
- matured – became more refined and complex
- excessively – to greater amounts or to a greater degree than necessary
- thrill – excitement
- Where do you currently live?I live right outside of the city centre. Unfortunately, the cost of living is too high in the city centre and I would not be able to afford renting a flat there, at this stage.
- What do you like most about where you live?I like how much quieter it is where I live than at the heart of the city. It is still within fairly close proximity to the city centre but it feels very isolated from the centre.
- How do you feel about paintings?I like them very much. I am very passionate about art, and when I go to an art museum to look at paintings, I am like a kid in a candy store.
- What kinds of paintings do you like?I love looking at painting of different nature scenes. I also enjoy seeing works of classic artists, such as Monet and Van Gogh. However, I am very keen to discover and support new artists in smaller exhibitions, where I can.
- Have you ever learnt to draw?I took some drawing classes when I was younger. However, I have always been more drawn to paintings than drawings.
- Would you consider getting a portrait of yourself?I actually got one from a street artist on holiday. I was walking around town with my friend and I saw the incredible works of art the artist had made. I just had to request one for myself!
- Do you own any paintings at home?I do. When I visit local galleries, I try to purchase some paintings when I can. I always want to purchase more artwork, however it can become an expensive collection, so I have to pace myself.
- Is it important for you to have paintings in your house?Yes. I believe that some paintings can be truly evocative, and if they trigger an emotional reaction, especially a pleasant one, then they are a reflection of who I am. Displaying them around the house helps make me feel at home.
Set 31 Vocabulary
- at the heart of – at the core of, in the centre/middle of
- close proximity – nearby
- isolated – far from everything else
- a kid in a candy store – extremely excited to be in a particular place
- drawn to – attracted to, heavily interested in, strongly connected to
- request – ask
- pace myself – go slower
- evocative – which triggers an emotion
- trigger an emotional reaction – make me feel a strong emotion
- Where are you from?I come from New York City, in the United States of America. It is a metropolitan and cosmopolitan city. It is famous world-wide for landmarks, such as Time Square and Broadway. It has an incredible art scene.
- Where do you live now?I live in a house in Rochester, New York. It is a city in the state of New York. There are plenty of museum and festivals happening there. It is a ideal for people who enjoy culinary experiments.
- Do you like to go on long walks?I do. I enjoy hiking and have been to quite a few mountainous and forest areas around the country. I enjoy absorbing al the mind-boggling sights that nature has to offer.
- Do you enjoy listening to music while walking?I actually prefer to walk in silence. I feel very at peace surrounded by nature. I also enjoy hiking with friends which, where music may not be a suitable option. I personally believe that nature provides the best sound effects on walks.
- Where is your favourite walking spot?I love walking in forests. I love the very still atmosphere forests offer. I feel both secluded and secure when I am in a forest. The trees make feel at home.
Set 32 Vocabulary
- cosmopolitan – has people from a variety of countries
- culinary experiments – food experiments
- mind-boggling – overwhelming (in this case) breath-taking
- still – calm, motionless, in deep silence
- secluded – isolated from everything
- What is more popular; typing or handwriting?Nowadays, typing is far more popular than handwriting as it is much easier and faster to send a message via phone or tablet than a note or letter. In fact, I think that writing is dying out among young people as they have grown up using technology.
- Are there times when you prefer handwriting?I prefer to hand write personal notes or cards, I think it shows a more personal touch to a friend or relative. Also, I like to handwrite lists. I am not sure exactly why but I like to scribble down things I need to remember.
- Do you think the skill of handwriting will die out in future?I honestly think that it will as I don´t think learning to hand write and spell is focussed on as much in schools nowadays, it has definitely taken a back seat. I think decorative handwriting will be maintained as an art but in terms of day to day, writing will disappear.
Set 33 Vocabulary
- dying out – disappearing
- to scribble down – to write quickly
- take a back seat – to be in a less important position