Speaking, Part 2: Water

We recently looked at this part 2 question about water in class.

Describe an important body of water in your country (river/lake/sea).

You should say:

  • what it is called
  • where it is located
  • what one can do there

and explain why it is important.

Tip: There’s a huge range of possibilities – a body of water can be one these

Many students spoke about a river which runs through their hometown, and the numerous activities they do there – jogging, cycling, enjoying a picnic with friends.

Others chose to speak about the sea & the seaside – being on the beach, swimming in the water and enjoying fresh seafood.

You could think about lakes where you can go fishing, camping or canoeing, enjoying the great outdoors. You could even talk about reservoirs where water is stored – perhaps for drinking water or hydroelectricity.

Sample answer

One of the most well know bodies of water in my country is a place called Loch Ness. I’m from Scotland, and we use the word “loch” instead of the word “lake” like they do in other parts of the world.

Loch Ness is in the Scottish Highlands, a mountainous region in the north of the country, near the city of Inverness. It’s a very picturesque place with some stunning scenery – I think that this raw beauty is why it’s been used as the backdrop for many films and TV shows.

It’s one of the largest lakes in the British Isles – it stretches for almost 40 kilometres, and it’s really deep – I think over 200 metres in places. There are several small villages and communities dotted around the loch, as well as some historic sites including the ruins of a castle.

It’s world-famous for being the home of the Loch Ness monster – affectionately named “Nessie” – who is said to live in the water. Stories of this strange aquatic being have become embedded in Scottish folklore. For centuries, there have been sightings of a mysterious dinosaur-like creature but there’s never been any conclusive proof..

As I mentioned, the loch is vast, but the water is also really dark so it’s impossible to know for sure exactly what lies in the murky depths. I’ve been there a few times and I’ve never seen anything, despite keeping my eyes peeled.

The intrigue this creates is an excellent marketing tool for the tourist board and, as you might imagine, a significant part of the local economy revolves around Nessie. “Monster-hunters” come from far and wide and they make use of a range facilities.

There’s an information centre in one of the villages on the banks of the loch where visitors can learn more about the legend and see photos alleging to be the monster. There’s also a popular cruise available for those who want to take to the water to try and catch a glimpse of the illusive resident up close. And of course there are many gift shops where a Nessie souvenir or two can be purchased.

The local restaurants and cafés do a roaring trade, particularly in the peak summer months, when coach loads of tourists arrive on a daily basis.

I think the sheer number of people that descend on the area can be quite frustrating for those who live there – long tailbacks and congestion are common. However, I guess it’s something they just have put up with because of its vital economic importance.

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