A common part-one topic in IELTS Speaking is hobbies. And one question they might ask you is, “What hobbies are popular in your country?”
Let’s look at how to give an excellent answer to this question, with 10 good examples (go straight to the answers here).
How You Can Answer
First, say the first hobby that comes into your mind. Then, say one or two simple sentences about that hobby.
In part one, it’s easiest to talk about yourself and your friends. So maybe it’s a good idea to choose a hobby that you enjoy. Then you can simply say why you enjoy it.
Common Popular Hobbies
Think of anything lots of people in your country enjoy. This might be:
- Watching TV
- Football, basketball, ping pong, any competitive sport…
- Martial arts
- Drinking beer in the pub
- Meeting friends for coffee
- Talking about the weather (popular in the UK)
- Festivals and partying
- Crossword puzzles
- Chess, mahjong, poker, other board or card games…
- Anything that comes to mind
Why People Enjoy Hobbies
You want to say one or two sentences about why that hobby is popular. If you enjoy it yourself, you can talk about why you like it.
Here are some possible reasons:
- It’s great fun
- It’s an old tradition
- It brings people together to socialize
- It gets you outdoors in the fresh air
- It’s good exercise
- It sharpens the mind
- It reminds us to love our country
- It’s part of the heritage and traditions of our country
- We’re good at it
- It feels great to win
- Any other reason you can think of
You could also talk about:
- How often you do this activity
- How long you’ve been doing it for
- How it’s done (some details about it)
What If You Don’t Like This Hobby?
Maybe there’s a popular pastime in your country that you personally don’t enjoy. No problem, just say:
- Why you don’t enjoy it
- Why you think others enjoy it
- Why it’s so popular
- If you’d like to try it in future
- What you prefer to do instead
- Anything else you can think of
Keep It Simple and Fluent
For all your part-one answers, keep them very simple and as fluent as possible.
This means, say the first thing that comes into your mind, keep your English simple, and try to speak smoothly, without hesitation.
That’s the key to a good score in part one.
Remember, part one is just to warm you up. You can worry about using advanced vocabulary in parts two and three.
Use the Three-Step YES Method
Here is the three-step YES Method to help you give a good part-one answer. Just say:
- Your answer (say what the popular hobby is)
- Explain your answer, or add more details (say why it’s popular or why you like it)
- Stop talking (wait patiently for the next question)
Now, let’s take a look at 10 good answers, from which you can borrow ideas.
1. I’m from Germany and football is definitely a super-popular pastime in my country. Most people support their favorite team, and the national team when we play in the world cup.
2. Lots of people enjoy cooking in my country. Our traditional cuisine is famous all around the world. I like cooking, too. It’s a very useful pastime as it means I can eat healthily at home.
3. We have many gorgeous mountains and beautiful landscapes in my country, so many people like to go hiking at the weekends. I’d say it’s a national pastime.
4. I’m from Norway, and we’re all big readers in Norway. I think reading might be our most popular hobby. I’ve been reading since I was little and I enjoy it a lot.
5. In Spain, we really love festivals. We have so many of them. I think preparing for festivals and enjoying festivals is a hobby that most Spanish people share. My favorite is La Tomatina in August.
6. Well, I guess one very popular pastime in China is mahjong. It’s a board game which many people like to play with friends or with family. I’m not very good at it myself.
7. One of the most popular pastimes in Japan is traditional Japanese karate, which is famous all around the world, I think. I used to do karate when I was younger, and I enjoyed it a great deal.
8. Maybe the only national hobby we have is watching TV. I heard the average person watches four hours of TV a day in my country. I think that’s too much. I don’t like TV at all.
9. We have a big tea-drinking culture in my country. We have all kinds of tea, made from many different leaves and flowers. It’s a really nice cultural pastime. I like it because it’s so relaxing and healthy.
10. Well, to be honest, I think one popular hobby in my country is gossiping. Everyone is always talking about everyone else. It drives me up the wall. All the gossiping is one reason why I decided to leave.
Your Turn To Answer
I hope you gained some ideas from these examples. Now give it a try yourself.
Record yourself and ask out loud, “What hobbies are popular in your country?”
When you answer, imagine it’s the real exam. Try to speak smoothly and confidently, without hesitation.
Use the YES Method to keep your answers short.
Afterward, listen to what you said, and write it down. Then see how you could improve it.
Then, do it again!
Keep repeating this process and you’ll quickly get better.
Soon you’ll be ready for part one of your IELTS Speaking test.