Talking about Winter Sports
Speaking
Talking about Winter Sports

What was the last sport you played? Do you prefer to play team sports or exercise alone? What is the most popular sport in your country? Sport is a topic that often comes up in the IELTS test, so today let's talk about winter sports. Possibly the most well-known winter sport is downhill skiing. You go up the mountain on a cable car or a chair lift and then you travel back down the ski slope or piste on skis. You might go over a mogul field or even do a bit of slalom as you go down too. There are usually lots of routes that you can take down a mountain that are colour-coded according to how difficult they are. You start on the nursery slopes learning how to balance and importantly turn and stop, then, work your way through blue, red, and black runs. As you get better at the sport you ski down steeper and steeper routes.  There are other types of skiing such as ski jumping which involves skiing off a specially made hill into the air to do special tricks or to see how far you can travel before landing. It is fun to watch but I think that I would be really scared to try it myself. Cross-country skiing is another form of skiing that is done across long, relatively flat, distances. The equipment that you use is slightly different to regular skiing, you can move your foot in more of a walking action, lifting your heel from the ski. It is a slower paced form of skiing and is a great way to take in the beautiful scenery of an area. Snowboarding is another extremely popular winter sport. It is different from skiing in lots of ways. While skiing uses two long thin boards (or skis) under each foot, snowboarding uses one wide board under both feet. You stand sideways on a snowboard and you don’t use ski poles. It is more like surfing or skateboarding on snow. Snowboarders often do amazing jumps and tricks. Skiing and snowboarding are both extreme sports; they are dangerous, exhilarating and perfect for adrenaline junkies! You don’t need to travel to the mountains for all winter sports. Take ice skating for example, it is an activity done both indoors and outdoors. In many countries ice skating takes place on frozen lakes, ponds and rivers outdoors or indoors in an ice rink. It can be a gentle sport but if you have ever watched the Winter Olympics you will have seen the amazing ice dance routines that seem to defy the laws of gravity at times. Ice hockey is another winter sport that is played on ice either outdoors or indoors. Unlike ice skating, ice hockey is a team sport. Each team is trying to get the ‘puck’ (like the ball but a flat shape) into the goal to score. The players wear a lot of protective clothing to play because they skate really fast and can get hurt easily. Another fun winter activity in the snow is sledging. We often think of only children sledging, but adults can have a lot of fun doing it too. All you need is a hill, some snow and a sledge. You can even make your own sledge using whatever you can find; an old tray, some spare wood, anything you can sit on to slide down the hill. I love sledging, it is so much fun! Of course, you don’t have to speed down a hill or skate on ice to enjoy the cold weather. Building a snowman, having a snowball fight or even just going for a walk and being the first to make footprints in the snow is just as fun. In my opinion, the very best part of any winter activity is coming home and warming up by the fire with a big mug of hot chocolate. Have you tried any of the winter sports we have talked about today? If you haven’t, which would you like to have a go at? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram. Remember to use the correct collocations when you talk about sports. (Click to enlarge) Emma

Emma Cosgrave

17 March, 2021

Talking about Winter Sports

Talking about Winter Sports

What was the last sport you played? Do you prefer to play team sports or exercise alone? What is the most popular sport in your country? Sport is a topic that often comes up in the IELTS test, so today let's talk about winter sports.

Possibly the most well-known winter sport is downhill skiing. You go up the mountain on a cable car or a chair lift and then you travel back down the ski slope or piste on skis. You might go over a mogul field or even do a bit of slalom as you go down too. There are usually lots of routes that you can take down a mountain that are colour-coded according to how difficult they are. You start on the nursery slopes learning how to balance and importantly turn and stop, then, work your way through blue, red, and black runs. As you get better at the sport you ski down steeper and steeper routes.

There are other types of skiing such as ski jumping which involves skiing off a specially made hill into the air to do special tricks or to see how far you can travel before landing. It is fun to watch but I think that I would be really scared to try it myself. Cross-country skiing is another form of skiing that is done across long, relatively flat, distances. The equipment that you use is slightly different to regular skiing, you can move your foot in more of a walking action, lifting your heel from the ski. It is a slower paced form of skiing and is a great way to take in the beautiful scenery of an area.

Snowboarding is another extremely popular winter sport. It is different from skiing in lots of ways. While skiing uses two long thin boards (or skis) under each foot, snowboarding uses one wide board under both feet. You stand sideways on a snowboard and you don’t use ski poles. It is more like surfing or skateboarding on snow. Snowboarders often do amazing jumps and tricks. Skiing and snowboarding are both extreme sports; they are dangerous, exhilarating and perfect for adrenaline junkies!

You don’t need to travel to the mountains for all winter sports. Take ice skating for example, it is an activity done both indoors and outdoors. In many countries ice skating takes place on frozen lakes, ponds and rivers outdoors or indoors in an ice rink. It can be a gentle sport but if you have ever watched the Winter Olympics you will have seen the amazing ice dance routines that seem to defy the laws of gravity at times. Ice hockey is another winter sport that is played on ice either outdoors or indoors. Unlike ice skating, ice hockey is a team sport. Each team is trying to get the ‘puck’ (like the ball but a flat shape) into the goal to score. The players wear a lot of protective clothing to play because they skate really fast and can get hurt easily.

Another fun winter activity in the snow is sledging. We often think of only children sledging, but adults can have a lot of fun doing it too. All you need is a hill, some snow and a sledge. You can even make your own sledge using whatever you can find; an old tray, some spare wood, anything you can sit on to slide down the hill. I love sledging, it is so much fun!

Of course, you don’t have to speed down a hill or skate on ice to enjoy the cold weather. Building a snowman, having a snowball fight or even just going for a walk and being the first to make footprints in the snow is just as fun. In my opinion, the very best part of any winter activity is coming home and warming up by the fire with a big mug of hot chocolate.

Have you tried any of the winter sports we have talked about today? If you haven’t, which would you like to have a go at? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram.

Remember to use the correct collocations when you talk about sports.

Collocations for Winter Sports

(Click to enlarge)

Emma

Emma Cosgrave

Emma has been teaching IELTS for 20 years. She enjoys helping people to develop both their language skills and confidence.

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