Interests & hobbies - ESL diary

In this intermediate-level ESL lesson, you will learn grammar, vocabulary, and phrases to talk about everyday English topics: an English conversation lesson to talk about your interests and hobbies: what you have read, watched, seen and listened to.

This ESL lesson also comes with a downloadable PDF you can access when you are a member of Pocket Passport. Sign up below as a student or teacher. 

This ESL video lesson for daily English will help ESL students learn vocabulary, grammar, improve listening and be confident English speakers.

Practical English for everyday situations.


ESL Discussion Questions


What kinds of books, magazines, or websites interest you?


Do you ever go to check out art exhibits?


What are the best and worst movies of all time in your opinion?


How often do you go to the movies vs. watch movies at home?


Who is your all-time favorite musician?


Do you like to go to live concerts, festivals, or other events?

Watch, Read or Listen

ESL Video on Hobbies & Interests

Watch the following ESL YouTube video lesson to talk about hobbies & interests: movies, music, books and art.

ESL Listening Practice

Watch the YouTube video and answer the following questions.

Talking About Art


Who did he go to the cinema with?


What kind of music did he download for studying?


What kind of book did he recently read?


What did he see at the new art gallery?


How did they decide which movie to see?


What kind of music did he choose for relaxing?


How does he feel about the books that Keith usually recommends?


What kind of movie did they watch?

ESL Speaking Activity

Use the illustrations to talk about the passage and movies, music, books, and art.

Talk About Movies ESL

Talk About Games ESL

Talk About Music ESL

Talk About Reading ESL

Art Gallery

Vocabulary to talk about interests and hobbies

Word Bank

annoy | dry | edge | entertain | experience | genre
impressed | interesting | mood | page-turner | relax
rock-paper-scissors | to get around to | surprised
terrifying | to check something out


Match the words on the left with the meanings on the right.

1. terrifying (adj)

A. slightly irritated; angry

2. dry (adj)

B. causing extreme fear

3. impressed (adj)

C. after considering everything

4. edge (n)

D. an exciting book

5. annoyed (adj)

E. to feel or show great admiration for something or someone

6. page-turner (n)

F. to examine something or get more information about it

7. in the end (phr)

G. to match a person’s feelings at the time

8. check something out (phr.v)

H. a part of something or someplace that is furthest from the center

9. to get around to (phr.v)

I. not interesting

10. suit one’s mood (phr)

J. to finally do something that you have wanted to do for a long time


Discuss the following quotes about movies, music, books, and art.

Talk About Art

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”

“Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.”

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

“Where words fail, music speaks.”

“I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”

“There’s only one thing that can kill the movies and that’s education.”


Discuss the following questions about movies, music, books, and art.

  1. Do you prefer to read the book or watch the movie? Why?
  2. Do you think some art is overpriced?
  3. What do you think about NFT’s?
  4. Do you pay for music?
  5. Do you subscribe to Netflix, Spotify, or other websites?

In Your Own Words

Explain what the word or phrase in bold means and give an example.

Example: She was exhausted because she worked until midnight.
Meaning: very tired - I’m exhausted because I stayed up and studied all night.

Music Notes


Keith was annoyed because he can’t stand horror movies.

Meaning /


I also chose some jazz and hip-hop for relaxing.

Meaning /


I went for a few different genres to suit my moods.

Meaning /


Keith’s books are usually quite dry.

Meaning /


I saw a painting that I was really impressed with.

Meaning /

Missing Words

Watch the video again and complete the sentences.

Movies ESL Lesson

August 4th

I went to the cinema today with a ______________ 1 people from work.
I wanted to watch a thriller, but Keith wanted to watch a comedy.
Amo said she wanted to watch a horror movie. ________________ 2, we played rock-paper-scissors to decide. Amo won, so we watched a _________________ 3 horror movie. I thought it was quite entertaining, but Keith was ________________ 4 because he can’t stand horror movies.

August 5th

I downloaded some new music tonight. I went for a few different genres to _____________________ 5. I chose some classical music for studying. It was composed by Mozart. I also chose some jazz and hip-hop for _________________ 6 and some rock for when I go to the gym.

August 6th

I finally _______________ 7 to reading the book that Keith had recommended to me. It’s a murder-mystery set in Paris in the 1800s and it’s a real _______________ 8! I was quite surprised because Keith’s books are usually quite dry.

August 7th

Today I went to the new art gallery on the _____________________ 9. I’d heard good things about it, so I wanted to check it out. It was an interesting experience. I saw sculptures and paintings from famous artists, as well as a new painting that everyone was very ____________________ with.


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