IELTS Speaking: Places near water

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Here are some IELTS Speaking questions and sample answers given by John – a native IELTS instructor.

1. Why do so many people like going to places with water, such as lakes, rivers or the ocean?
Well I guess the main reason is that water has a kind of calming effect on people. And when you consider all the stress that people are under these days, then I think it’s easy to understand why people gravitate to places near water.
(gravitate: be attracted to)

2. What kinds of leisure activities do people like to do in places such as on the ocean, or at a beach?
All kinds of things really, you know, some people like doing exciting things like jet-skiing or scuba diving, while others prefer doing more relaxing things, such as just lying down on a deck chair with a book. So it really kind of varies!

3. As a place to spend some leisure time, do you think the seaside is more suitable for children or old people?
That’s very hard to say, because personally I think the seaside is a good place to go for both the young and old, but in terms of which age group it’s more suitable for, then I suppose I’d have to say the elderly, simply because they are more aware of the dangers of the ocean. So if children go to the beach, their parents need to keep a close eye on them.

4. What activities would you do if you were spending some leisure time at a beach?
I think I would do a few things. For example, I would definitely go paddling in the sea, because I always enjoy doing that whenever I go to the beach, and it’s much less effort than swimming! So that’s one thing, and what else would I do? Um…well, I suppose another thing I would probably do is just lie on the beach, which I know is quite boring, but it’s also really relaxing – you know, you can just close your eyes and listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.

5. Do you think the government should invest money in developing facilities for water sports?
No, not really. Because I think there are a lot more important things that the government should focus on. I mean, after all, water sports are purely recreational, so if no money’s invested in them, then it’s not really going to have a significant effect on anyone. So I think the government could put their money to much better use by investing in things such as education and healthcare, which will make a much bigger difference to people’s lives.

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