Session 4

Bored of computer games or just kicking a ball around? Need some excitement in your life? Why not try an extreme sport - or at least read this article about them!

Wayiitiwwan marii boqonnaa kana keessaa

Wayitii marii qabxii 4

0 / 8

  • 0 / 8
    Activity 1

Activity 1

Extreme sports

Love the fear...

Tired of your quiet routine? How about leaving your computer games behind and taking up an extreme sport? Take to the skies with skydiving, hit the hills with mountain biking, and turn even the most boring household job into an exciting hobby!

To do

Read this article about extreme sports. The first time, read it quickly. Try to answer this question:

Why is jumping off a building scarier than jumping out of a plane?

The answer is at the bottom of the article. After that there are more questions to really test your understanding. Enjoy!

Barreeffama kana dubbisii shakala kana xumuri

Part 1
You can ride a bicycle, right? In that case you're halfway to becoming a mountain biker. All you have to do is take your bike off the road and try some rough terrain. Mountain biking was developed in California in the 70s and became an Olympic sport in 1996. In the London 2012 games athletes had to navigate a 4.7-kilometre track in under two hours.  The sport has several categories. 'Downhill' involves being taken by car or ski lift to a high point and riding all the way down to the bottom. You have to rely on your fitness, mental control, protective equipment and… luck! Tracks often include long jumps at high speed. It’s almost like flying!

Part 2
Talking of flying, why not go even higher? Skydivers jump from aircraft at an altitude of 1,000 to 4,000 metres. If you are high enough and your body is in the correct position to slow you down - with your belly turned to the ground rather than head-first - you can experience a one-minute free fall before deploying the all-important parachute. And there’s no age limit with this sport. Dilys Price from Cardiff went on her first jump aged 54. She'd been having second thoughts, but her worries soon disappeared. According to the British newspaper the Daily Mail she said: "I thought 'this is instant death', but the minute I came down I wanted to go up again - I was hooked." Well, she's in her 80s now, and she’s still jumping…

Part 3
Some adrenaline junkies are even bolder – they've invented wingsuit flying: a sport in which you throw yourself into the void wearing an aerodynamic suit. And then there's base jumping, in which people leap from tall structures such as buildings or bridges with a parachute. Some of their stunts are illegal. Dan Witchalls had been skydiving for years when he decided to take up base jumping. He has jumped off The Shard - London's 310 metre-high skyscraper - four times. He says: "Base jumping is scarier than jumping out of a plane. In a plane there is no perception of height, but when you are standing on the edge of the building you can see people and cars - it makes it very real."

Part 4
It seems there’s no lack of imagination when it comes to risking life – and sometimes jail - to look cool and get the heart pounding.  Surfing, scuba diving, rock climbing… which one's for you? Not sure? Well, if you're busy at home, why not turn one of your chores into a daredevil pursuit? 'Extreme ironing' is not for wimps! Pressing your shirt on top of a mountain could be the most dangerous sport of all, depending on the mountain.

Part 5
Extreme ironing is said to have been created in the 1990s in the English town of Leicester by a man who saw a pile of wrinkled clothes and felt bored. That was Phil Shaw who also won the only Extreme Ironing Championships ever held, in Germany in 2002. But the thrill of this sport seems to come from looking at the spectators’ faces. Shaw says: "Sometimes they look confused, sometimes they laugh. It’s fun to see how people respond to it."

Answer to our question:

Why is jumping off a building scarier than jumping out of a plane? Because there is no perception of height from a plane. When you jump off a building you can see people and cars, which makes it feel more real.

To do

Here are more questions for you - check how much of the article you understood and how well you've learnt the past perfect continuous. Read the article again and go for it!

Extreme sports quiz

8 Questions

Choose the best answer to check your understanding of the article

Baga gammadde! Qormaata xumurteetta
Excellent! Great job! Carraa badaa! Qabxii argatte:
x / y

Your achievements in sport

Do you like sports?

Thank you for emailing your comments to us. We enjoyed reading them. This task is now closed.

Here are some of the comments that we received:

Manuel Alegría, Cantabria, Spain

I like sports a lot, but not watching them at TV or in the stadiums, for example. I like to do exercise everyday because I consider that a healthy live is one of the most important things in modern life style. Therefore, I usually wake up at six o clock in the morning and go to run about thirty minutes, leaving exactly from my house. I've been doing this practice for thirty five years. At this time, I'm fifty five years old and I feel younger and healthier. You don't need the competition so that you can practice any sport.

Ewa, Poland

My husband and I took up sport - inland sailing - when we were in our fifties. We've been sailing regularly for 15 years now. We very much enjoy nature and tranguility that surrounds us when we are on board of our boat. Although you could not call this an extreme sport, inland sailing can be also very demanding.

This year, we took on a new challenge: we have sailed the Great Loop of Wielkopolska. It's been 14 days of sun and rain, storms and obstacles (fallen trees, squalls, sandbanks) and 34 locks. And all that on a 8,8m long motor boat. We feel privileged and proud to have been able to complete our challenge.


I dislike the extremes sport, because i am not bolder ^^. I prefer the

standard sports like fencing, archery or football.


I have practiced fencing since 2002. I participated several competitions

in French.

I love archery because achieve a target is my purpose in all my hobbies.


These sports help me build my life and give me a lot of satisfaction and

a mind of competition.

Mario, Italy

I started practising sports at an early age. My first sport was tennis, but sadly after I had been practising it for a while I realized that I wasn't any good at it. Then I took up football but soon I gave it a miss as I wasn't good at it either. Over the years I have been trying so many kind of sports, but now I have finally found the right one: Extreme learning English language. I have to swim through a sea of phrasal verbs, jump over long compound adjectives and travel the winding roads of irregular verbs. I hope that Extreme learning English language will be soon an Olympic discipline because I'd like to run for the gold medal.

Taras, Ukraine

Yes, I like sports especially football. I myself do exercise - I like running almost every morning and doing street workout (pull-up, push-up etc). Quite recent I managed to run 9 kilometre. Before I couldn’t even had dreamt of it. But constant training helps me do it. In future I’ll plan to run the marathon. What about extreme sports I don’t think that once I’ll start taking up it. It’s very dangerous for our life. Although the marathon also be attracted to extreme sports because to run such a long distance need great boldness, health and the willpower.


Yes, I do but without exagerating. I'm used to go swimming one time a week all the year.

If the swimming pool hadn't opened summer as winter, I think I'd run instead of.

That allows to me to breath better and even if I am not very sportive, I enjoy walking,

swimming and cycling quite regularly.


I have always loved many physical activity and had been involving in a degree of competition.

I don't like to watch other people play sports, I am not a fan or a spectator.  I love sports can be played indoors or outdoors and by individuals or teams, like tennis.

But in my opinion I love sports because I love to be an active and healthy woman, in fact I enjoy if I catch the train running, if I win at bowling, if climb a mountain without wheezing and out of breath. 

Even if I have a busy working life, I look for having time for sport and for a healthy lifestyle,  that helps to keep and improve my health and well-being.

Mauro, Italy

I'd been climbing the mountains for many years. It's a sport that requires skill, experience, strenghts and a very good knowledge of the mountain environment. Now that I'm approaching the 70 years, I rather prefer the rock climbing activity, that also requires skill and preparation but doesnt require the endurance of many hours and days, just few hours and the adrenaline junkies is always guaranteed. Everybody can learn, do and enjoy a thrill by rock climbing.

Juan Carlos 

I wanted to get peace so I began to practice extreme sports. I began with bungee jumping but it was tired, I had to look for a good place, an old bridge or an abandoned dam in a swamp, then you have to ensure the space around the jumping place for having a safe jump. While you're doing that, people arrive around you. Peace disappears. Well, they had helped me after jump when I realized that with my harness I couldn't release the rope and I stayed hung inside out. 

I had been trying gliding for a year and it’s different: you go into the void, you have a parachute which you don’t want to use. The best is you can navigate from one side to other thinking always the plane has not any engine, if you are in summer, you don’t have problems during the day.

I am not hooked because you need too much stuff: other plane to lift yours, a ground team to pick up the glider if you land far away… Money

Better I stay at home.

Henry, Hong Kong

I am not sure on whether combat sport is one of the extreme sport, but it is as exciting as other extreme sports.

I first martial art style I practiced was taekwondo.  I had practiced it for 5 to 6 years but eventually I found it was not practical enough because it did not have much training on punching and grappling.  Therefore, I gave it up and started my training in karate and judo in 2011, as well as muay thai in later time.  I am going to have my karate black belt exam soon.

It is essential for all combat sports learners to engage in sparring for technique improvement.  In addition, it is enjoyable because of the excitement of overcoming strong opponents, like very skillful and well experienced black belt fighters, or giant opponents with nearly 290lbs.  Also, we improve as we put or skills into test and we know what to improve after sparring. 

Continuous training and difficult sparring matches makes me a more courageous, and persistent person.  All in all, it makes me more capable to overcome challenges in daily life.

Piero, Italy

Unfortunately my job has never allowed  me enough time to perform in the sport I had ever been loving the most: the rock free climbing. Eventually the pension has arrived, but then I was 60 year-old and that became my new limit. Since a few years I prefer to ride the bicycle: that doesn't mean I consider this sport more suitable for senior citizens, but just because I easily make friends who have been training for long.

Juan Carlos, Colombia

hi everybody and respect to question for this week, I have to say that I like some. extreme sports. for example I like the bungee jump. In my country this sport was prohibited several years ago but now in some places as the bridge over the lake sochagota near to Bogotá, some people go to practice it. When I see them to do some stunts while they are in free fall, I feel a huge thrill.

I would like to jump how they do it but I'm a little wimp. Maybe someday I be able to do it. until now the most extreme that I made was install a camera at a building at the 20 floor. I'd been working for two weeks in that place when one camera installed out  of the building started to fail.

Manoel Gomes, Brazil

I like sports. When I was younger I used to be a good football player on the weekends. I had a team with my friends. We had been playing football until we started working.


 I like to feel good and such a feeling begins from disciplined day's regime and balanced feeding I suppose. But apart from the fact we have to eat well we must also do something to eat for. If your life stream is mostly inactive perhaps the sport is something that will substitute the hunting and gathering so natural for our ancient ancestors.

  I have been exercising for three years before I won my first athletics competitions long time ago. Today I do not sports as soon as I became a father and have not too much free time but if I have to reach some place I still would run as Forest from the famous movie.

Richard, France

I like sports. I always practiced sports for my young age.

I liked climbing cliffs a few years ago, when I was younger. It was very exciting ! Now I play golf ! It isn’t a extreme sport, it’s very different, but it’s also exciting, because the main is that you are enjoyed.

Pawan , Nepal

I call myself a sport enthusiast when it comes to cricket. Off and on, you will find me playing it with my friends for fun and enjoyment. Although, I have a huge predilection for the sport, I repent at times for not being a good player.

When it comes to extreme sport, I rather accept myself as a wimp. If I hadn't had health problems I would've loved to enjoy the thrills it provided. I am galvanized by the audaciousness of men and women enjoying the skydiving, bungee jumping, mount climbing and the like.

End of Session 4

How was that? Ready for some more extreme learning with us? Join us in Session 5 for the next part of our Victorian drama, The Importance of Being Earnest. This time, Algernon secretly goes to visit Cecily. He's pretending to be Jack's younger brother, Ernest. Will he win her heart?

Caasluga kutaa kanaa

Session Vocabulary

  • extreme sport
    a sport that is dangerous and exciting, like skydiving

    ground; especially when considering the physical features (hilly terrain, desert terrain)

    find a route from one point to another

    different forms of something (here: of the same sport)

    height above sea level

    free fall
    falling from the sky without a parachute

    putting into use

    addicted, wanting more

    adrenaline junkies
    people who are addicted to extreme excitement mixed with fear


    into the void
    into the air, into nothing

    having a shape that makes it easier to be float or travel through air

    exciting and brave actions done by people with specific skills

    beating heavily

    someone who does dangerous things for excitement and to impress others

    people who are not strong or brave 

    not smooth

    strong feelings of excitement