IELTS: Outdoor Activities, Travel, Older Generation, Family Responsibilities, Childcare, Grandparents, Raising Children,

IELTS: an activity you like to do with an old person


What's your full name?

My full name is {first name} {middle name(s)} {family name/surname}

Where are you from?

I’m from {name of village/town/city} in {name of country}.

Work & studies:

Are you working or studying?

I’m working at the moment. I'm working as a software development engineer and I'm also studying, well I would like to study abroad, a postgraduate program in advanced software development.

I would like to do that next year, possibly in the USA, that's what I'd like to do.

Are you friends with your co-workers?

Yes, I am, quite friendly. I've been there for a couple of years now, so we know each other quite well and we sometimes go out and do things together; you know, socialize, and some of us are really close…

And then there's a bigger group… we spend time together, we play soccer and some other things, we like going to restaurants or maybe go to an event, it just depends what's happening any particular time.

Outdoor activities:

What are the outdoor activities you do?

Well, when the weather’s nice we like to go play soccer maybe once a week there’s a group of us who regularly do that.

We also go hiking because there are some good hiking trails near where we live, and my best friends and I like to go biking as well.

On most weekends we probably spend a morning or afternoon on some of the bike trails there are and close to where we live… those are the most common activities that we do on a regular basis outside.

What outdoor activities did you do when you were a child?

Well, what activities did I do as a child… they would the usual ones, I suppose, play some soccer, and near where we used to live there was an adventure playground for kids where they were different types of equipment and hoops, ropes, obstacles, etc. to jump over, crawl through, and so on.

It was a bit more than just the regular swings or climbing flame in many other playgrounds, and it was quite close to where I used to live so it was something I used to do probably at least 3 or 4 times a week.

Then, I would also spend some time playing with my friends, I used to play soccer regularly throughout the week and on weekends and I used to love riding my bike as well; not necessarily for long distances, but I would typically spend some time, maybe 3-4 days in the week, riding my bike. One of the things I used to do was practice doing wheelies on it – and I got really good at it, eventually.


Do you like long distance travel?

Do I like long distance travel? Well, it depends, first you have to define long distance. How long exactly. I mean, traveling for one hour and traveling for 10 hours, are completely different depending on how you travel.

For example, on a bus which is completely luxurious with air conditioning, etc. even 2 or 3 hours on a bus and it becomes quite boring unless you can sleep if it's a comfortable bus, then you're lucky, and you can sleep and that's not too bad.

But flying on a plane for example for a couple of hours is not too bad but transatlantic or other long-distance flying can be boring and if you don't sleep for most of the time and the food is bad or you have seen all the movies before, or sometimes you become… you just can't get comfortable… in the seats… so spending a long time traveling is not fun.

So, do I like it? It depends, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.

Are you someone who travels a lot by plane?

I wouldn't say it's a lot, maybe once every 6 months, a couple of times a year.

And when I travel by plane, sometimes it’s a short journey and other times, a long journey, but it's not like… I'm not like some people who are flying to different cities or different countries all the time, so I wouldn't say I'm a frequent flyer, but I fly a couple of times a year; that's normal for me.

Do you like the idea of space travel?

Yes, I love the idea of space travel I think it's great. I'm just sorry that it's probably not going to be a reality for ordinary regular people like me in my lifetime.

Maybe for the next generation, it will be common. It's just slowly being developed now, but I can't see it becoming like, you know, commercial airlines, buying a commercial airline ticket online through Expedia or something like that, it’s not going be happening anytime soon, it's going to be very expensive and only certain people or companies are going to be buying tickets to fly to space.

But the idea of flying to space, the idea of living in space I find absolutely fascinating and I think it's leading to the next step of evolution for mankind, to learn to live on a different planet.

Now, we have the capability to travel, we have far more advanced technology than we had in the past, and it's probably about time that we spread our wings and found somewhere new to colonize and use the opportunity to develop a totally different way of living for the future.

It would be a new society, a new social structure, a new beginning, removed from all the restrictions and traditions that hold us back on earth.


Describe an activity you like to do with someone of the older generation.

You should say:

  • what it is
  • when you do it
  • the last time you did it
and why you like doing this activity.

Sample Answer

I like to play chess with my grandfather, whenever I can, and sometimes with some of his friends too.

For me, engineering and chess have a natural symbiosis, so as an Engineer, I find it quite fascinating.

There are various benefits that this sport has for people, it allows them to relax after work or classes and improve their concentration and creativity.

I started practicing chess at 8. When I was at school, I was a regular of the chess tournaments and was federated, playing in the First Division of the League. I have won numerous championships, and love to promote the game of chess among my peers.

My passion for this sport comes from my grandfather. The summer that I turned 8 he taught me to move the pieces and the basic rules. I started receiving classes at school and playing in school championships. Since then I have had a great passion for chess.

What people get from playing chess differs from person to person, but it’s always positive. In my case, chess distracts me and relaxes me despite the tension of some games. It is the mental sport par excellence, nothing to do with other types of hobbies. Unlike other games, chance does not influence, and it allows you to develop many skills. You can always improve more, which is a challenge for personal improvement. Combining some chess in your life with physical exercise keeps you in top shape.

A good game helps me to disconnect from the daily burdens caused by my studies or work. In addition, it makes me want to improve more and more, which could be compared to life itself: being able to give the best of yourself at all costs.

So, I usually play with him at least once a week if I have the time, and sometimes we spend an entire afternoon at the weekend just playing and talking, like last weekend when I visited him.


Activities old & young people do together:

What are some activities older generations do with younger ones?

Well, I guess talking to each other, or they might cook something together, prepare a meal, or play games together like I used to play chess with my grandfather.

I guess it depends on the individuals, on how active the older generation is whether it's your parents or grandparents, some have certain activities they like doing such as walking, maybe playing music or reading, activities that we can do together, generally, playing board games or talking or just spending time with each other or going for a simple walk in the park or enjoying a meal together maybe going out to a restaurant or celebrating special occasions together.

I think those are the most common ones and there are always exceptions but generally when I go to visit my grandfather we at least play one or 2 games of chess, we talk a lot, and we usually have something to eat together as well, and those are the activities that we typically share on a regular basis.

How is this beneficial?

Sharing activities with the older generation is beneficial in many ways, I think the older generation, and again whether it's your parents or grandparents, they have a different perspective on life and the world, so they're wiser and smarter.

They may not be as up to date with some of the latest technological advances, but they have lived a lot more of life and made life decisions, they’ve experienced much more than most young people, and different things, and because of this their views and opinions and perspectives on life are totally different from a young person.

A young person has a more intense but limited experience of life just because of its shortness, they haven't lived that long really compared to the older generation, so they haven’t had to deal with quite so many things.

As children, a lot of decisions are made for you by your parents, so spending time with older people can be fascinating and interesting and you can learn a lot from them.

It can give you a deeper or better insight into some things that you might not even have thought about before, different life experiences, and so it's not only good for young people but it's good for older people as well because they can appreciate some of the things that are current in life nowadays, everyday things that are happening, new trends and changes in society, the latest developments.

And there's nobody better than the young people who are living those changes or living that new reality to inform the older generation than those you are actually participating in the activity at the moment, so from the older generations point of you having access to young people whether grandchildren or other young people, is a great source of information in helping them understand the aspects which the older generation typically don't deal with regularly, they're not actively involved with such things on a day to day basis.

I can think of one example; I helped my grandfather downloading a program, a couple of apps on his smartphone because he wasn't sure how to do it but now he's like using them all the time but at first, he was a bit uncertain about it because it was new.

For me, it was like second nature I was able to help him quickly and now he can do things that he couldn't do before, so it's always good for young people and old people to share their experiences, share their knowledge, and generally have a better appreciation of the world in which each other lives.

Parental responsibilities & childcare:

What are some of the difference between family responsibilities of men and women in the past and nowadays?

Ok, so yes there are quite a few differences and the further you go back in the past the more differences you can actually distinguish or describe.

For example, in the past, in my grandparent’s generation, the roles of each parent were quite clear: men went out to work and provided for their families and women generally looked after the children at home.

The women may have worked before they were married, and they may have returned to work once the children had grown up to a certain age or they may have worked part-time, but generally, men were the main breadwinners in the family and women were those responsible primarily for the children.

For my parents, the roles were somewhat less well defined, both my parents worked; my father was also an engineer and my mother was a teacher.

My mother didn't work all the time, when my sisters and I were quite young she stayed home and looked after us but once we were in school she began to work part-time again as a teacher and by the time we were finishing secondary school, she was working basically full time again.

I can also remember my father being very involved in our upbringing, so it wasn't just my mother who was responsible for the children; it was my father and my mother, both parents, so again that was different from their parents’ generation when it was definitely the man who provided for the family and women were primarily responsible for bringing up the children, looking after the children, and looking after the home, as well.

How do parents arrange childcare for children in your country?

When it comes to childcare there are a couple of options. Parents sometimes look after them and work part-time. Sometimes they recruit their parents, the grandparents if they live close by and its practical to look after the children.

Obviously, a lot depends on the age of the children, if they’re in school then for several hours every day they are looked after and taken care of.

Grandparents can step in to look after the children for maybe 3 or 4 hours until the parents return from work. Another option which is common for some people is to actually hire professional childcare, either in the form of a nanny or a person who comes to the home for the specific hours it's necessary to provide childcare for the children when the parents are unavailable because of their work schedule.

There are also other options, such as daycare centers where parents can drop off their children and then collect them later on after work. And also, there are some large employers, large companies, which provide in-house childcare facilities; these are not so common, but they do exist so it's also a possibility but obviously that depends on where you work.

Nowadays, what is the role of grandparents in raising children?

The role of grandparents can vary quite a bit from being absolutely essential because both parents are working, and the grandparents are required to participate actively in helping raise the children while the parents are at work.

And then there are the grandparents who are not required by necessity to look after the children but actively take a role either by being in the family home or by visiting regularly or being in contact with their grandchildren.

I think nowadays there is less need for direct care from grandparents for their grandchildren, there's also a trend with grandparents because of technology, smartphones, videos chat, etc. which makes it so much easier for grandparents to be involved in the day to day lives of their grandchildren.

It could be by sharing messages, sharing photos of what they’re doing, it’s so much easier to actually stay in contact and feel a part of the lives of the other; you can see what they're doing you can hear what they're doing you don't have to wait for a weekly visit for example to find out what your grandchild has been doing.

You can just text them or phone them or they can send their grandparents videos of what they're doing at any time, updates on their social media, etc. so it's a very different way of interacting and maintaining close relationships; very different from the past.

Some people might think it's not so good but on the whole, I think it's probably an improvement over the past because the depth of a relationship is based on the frequency of contact trust and confidence that comes with that and therefore being in constant contact or having the ability to be in constant contact can only help make the bonds between the older generation and younger generation stronger.

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