• to check students' reading
LEISURE AND HOBBIES IN BRITAIN
As working hours get shorter, the British have more and more time for
leisure. Most people work a five-day week and have plenty of time in the evenings
and at weekends to fill with hobbies and leisure pursuits of all kinds.
There is no doubt that the most popular leisure activity of all is
watching TV. In fact the average Briton watches about 25 hours of TV a week.
That's about 3 or 4 hours a day. Almost 100 % of households contain a
television and more than 50 % have two or more.
The British have a choice of four national networks (BBC 1, BBC2, TV and
Channel 4) plus a dozen or so satellite and cable stations. British television
is famous for its high quality and variety, and because of the English language
the British cab watch programmes from many other countries (especially the
United Stated and Australia) without dubbing and sub-titles. Over half the
households in Britain own a video recorder and more than a million video tapes
are rented in Britain every day The second most popular leisure activity is
visiting or entertaining friends or relatives. Listening to music and reading
follow in the third and fourth position.
Many people prefer more active leisure pursuits. Do-it-yourself and
gardening are the most popular of these, followed by going out for a meal. Next
comes voluntary work. A surprising 25 % of British adults are involved in
voluntary work of some kind. There are more than 250,000 voluntary
organizations in the United Kingdom, ranging from local neighbourhood groups to
international organizations such as Save the Children or the Red Cross. Many
voluntary groups try to raise money for local charities connected with schools
and churches while others concentrate on international problems such as famine
Perhaps the most traditional leisure activity is sport. This is divided
into participation and spectator sport. The most popular spectator sport is
football, although this is less popular than it was in the past. Rugby, cricket
and athletics are the next most popular sorts to watch. When it comes to
participation sport no one will be surprised to find that walking is the most
popular. Swimming, despite the British climate, is the second. After this the
degree of popularity depends on gender. For men, snooker and darts are the most
popular, followed by squash and cycling. For women, keep-fit is the most
popular. Some of the sports for which Britain is famous are, in fact, only
popular with a small minority of people. These include such activities as
sailing, horse-racing and tennis.
A) Find these words and expressions in the text and then match them with
the definitions underneath.
a) changing the language of a film by a sound track
2. pursuits with actors speaking another language (7)
b) television channels received by signals travelling
4. household through wires underground (6)
5. a dozen
c) twelve (5)
6. cable stations
d) work for which you are not paid any money (9)
7. dubbing e) sport played by two people in a special room with
8. do-it yourself high walls using a small rubber ball (12)
9. voluntary work
f) British person (3)
10. famine g) a situation in
which a large number of people have
11. spectator sport nothing to eat (10)
h) a house or a flat containing a single family unit (4)
i) a sport which people watch
j) activities (2) k) free time
1) making and doing practical things for your house e.g. putting up
shelves and wallpaper, sewing curtains (8)
B) Are these statements true (T) or false (F)?
1. The majority of British households have two or more televisions.
2. Visiting friends is more popular than listening to music.
3. The British don't like watching programmes from the USA and
4. bluntary work is the most popular active leisure pursuit.
5. Three quarters of British adults are not involved in voluntary
6. Football is becoming more popular these days.
C) Complete the chart about leisure in Britain.