IELTS: Young People & Physical Activities, A Story Someone Told You, Storytelling, Creating Stories

Latest IELTS speaking questions & answers

These IELTS questions were asked this week...


Young people & physical activity:

Did you participate in sports or similar physical activities as a child?

Yes, I did. Apart from the physical education sessions while I was at school, I used to play soccer and go cycling a lot when I was a child.

What was your favorite physical activity?

It was probably soccer. I used to do a lot of sports like running, swimming, basketball and also some weight training in the school gym.

But I think that soccer was my true passion when I was a child, it’s the sport I used to play the most often.

Is it important for children to do be involved in physical activities? Why? Why not?

Yes, I think it is important. Physical activity is good for many reasons. Apart from aiding in physical development, such as strength and coordination, and flexibility, it also helps cognitive processes, it helps you focus and concentrate for longer.

I don’t think children should be forced to be involved in physical activities.

But there are some really good long-term benefits which come from being physically active as a child and later in life also.

How can parents involve their children in sports and similar physical activities?

What’s important is to allow children to explore various sports. Some are more popular than others and most schools encourage students to participate in the most popular team sports such as soccer, volleyball, etc.

When it comes to parents, they need to identify what their children might be interested in doing, and then give them the opportunity to try it and see if they enjoy a particular activity.

There are lots of physical activities which are not available in schools, for example, trampolining, archery, skateboarding, cycling, and many others.

If a child shows an interest in something, whether it’s a physical activity or not, they should be encouraged to explore it and see if they have a talent or a passion for it.

Do children in your country do many different physical activities?

Like I said, most children will participate in team sports of some kind while at school.

Other physical activities which are common include bike riding, tennis, swimming, and then there are many playgrounds where children can run, climb and jump on slides, ropes, and climbing frames.

So, I guess that they do a wide range of different physical activities, either in organized groups or individually.


Cue Card

Tell me a story you have been told recently.

You should say:

  • who told you the story
  • why he/she told the story
  • how it affected you
and say what your reaction to the story was.

So, about a month ago I was talking with someone who mentors a group of entrepreneurs of which I am a member and during one of our discussions she told us about this story.

It’s about a lame man and a blind man…

Two vagabonds lived in a forest near the city. One was blind and the other lame; during the whole day in the city they competed with each other.

But one night their huts caught fire because the whole forest burned. The blind man could escape, but he could not see where to run, he could not see where the fire had not yet spread.

The lame man could see that there was still the possibility of escape, but he could not run away - the fire was too fast, savage - so all he could see for sure was that the moment of death was approaching.

The two realized that they needed each other. The lame man had a sudden moment of clarity: "the other man, the blind man, can run, and I can see". They forgot all their competitiveness.

In this critical moment in which both faced almost certain death, they necessarily forgot all stupid enmity, and created a great synthesis; they agreed that the blind man would carry the lame man on his shoulders and thus function as one man, the lame man could see, and the blind man could run.

That's how they saved their lives. And because they had each saved the other’s life, they became friends, and their previous antagonism was forgotten.

I thought it was an interesting story, with a very clear message about the need to find solutions to problems even when the solution might go against what we previously believed – in a moment of need – personal squabbles and differences can be easily forgotten when there is a greater need for survival.



How has the internet changed storytelling?

Firstly, it has made more stories available to more people than ever before.

Before when you could only read books, you would have to buy a book or go to a library to read a story, but now it’s easy to read stories from different countries all over the world.

So, access to many different stories has given people a better selection of stories.

Then, there is the manner of telling stories. As well as reading them we can now listen to them online or even watch them narrated on videos.
So, how people tell stories has changed a lot thanks to the internet.

How has storytelling changed since you were a child?

Some stories for children are still the same, the traditional stories, but now there are many more stories designed for special niche markets.

Stories have become more personalized, interactive in some cases, where the reader can choose what happens next in the story or choose from different endings.

There are also a lot more graphic novels nowadays which are popular. And as I said, there are different types of stories themed for different types of people.

Another thing which has changed is that many children’s stories are now more politically correct than some of the old stories in the past.

The themes and scenarios have been revised to take into account social issues which are currently important – or changes in society which have happened in the last couple of decades.

What is the importance of storytelling for children?

Storytelling can help children have fun, but they can also educate and inform them about their culture, customs, traditions, and important information about safety.

Stories have been used for centuries to teach children morals and lessons about life and what is good and bad.

So, storytelling serves many different purposes and is an important part of being a child because children learn a lot from stories. Listening to stories, and reading them, helps children develop their cognitive and language skills as well as their imagination.

Stories and storytelling are extremely important because it’s how children learn a lot about their culture, society, environment, and the world.

Creating Stories:

Where do you think writers get their inspiration for stories?

I think it varies depending on the type of writing or the type of story or novel they write. Some writers write from personal experience or the experiences of others.

Other writers base their stories on current or recent events and do a lot of research to create a plausible scenario based on events that people are familiar with.

I guess the personal inspiration to actually sit down and write a book, or a story, comes from a deep passion to create something from nothing, to tell an interesting story to others, or to share an experience with others which might help them improve their lives.

What elements make up a good story?

There are lots of things which make a good story, but some of the most important ones would be strong characters; people who are believable, fallible, and that the reader can identify with or connect with emotionally.

Then you need a good plot – the idea of the story – what happens, where it happens, why it happens, etc.

And of course, it needs to unpredictable to some degree. Great stories include some mystery or uncertainty. An unforeseen twist in the plot, unexpected events or things the reader was not expecting which keeps them wanting to read to the end to see what happens eventually.

It also needs to be written well, descriptive, well-paced, and intriguing enough to hold the attention of the reader.

How do you think stories will be different in the future?

I’m not sure they will be very different. Stories are always based on the same things; our fears, our dreams, emotional weaknesses, failure, success, etc.

But the way they are told might change – we might be able to immerse ourselves in stories through virtual reality technology and actually participate in the story rather than simply passively reading it or listening to it.

Maybe we will be able to take on the role of one of the characters and ‘live’ the story through their thoughts and actions.

There are a lot of possible scenarios which upcoming technology could help create when it comes to storytelling and how we experience a story, either passively or actively.