Posted On Monday, 30. May 2011
An online student of mine faced the following Task 2 question recently on their exam:
People nowadays live longer than they used to. What caused this situation? Is it a negative or positive development?
People today enjoy longer life spans than at any other point in human history. The most notable causes of this are generally accepted to be the medical and technological advancements of the twentieth century and the heightened ability of nations to share information with each other. It is argued these advancements and the ultimate postponement of death yield positive results the world over. This will be proven by looking at how longer life spans give people more time to contribute creatively to the world as well as a chance to develop a heightened level of wisdom that only comes with age.
Firstly, the longer people live, the more time they have to create things and the richer human culture becomes. A tragic example of the caliber of talent humanity can lose when great creators die young is Mozart. Mozart died in his thirties, which was young, even for his time. Had he the privilege of living longer, he could have contributed so much more to the world. Thus, it is clear why the extending of the mortal deadline should be seen as a positive thing.
Another constructive quality that comes as a result of living a long time is wisdom. As most people would agree, persons of age tend to have a deeper understanding of the world than their younger counterparts. Thus, it is argued the collective wisdom of humanity could be increased simply by providing more people with the opportunity to live longer. It is for this reason that the idea of extending lifespan is considered a good thing.
After looking at how age allows people to create more in addition to awarding them wisdom, it is felt that the delaying of the point at which a person passes can only be seen as a positive thing. It is hoped human evolution will continue to postpone the inevitable arrival of death.
Posted On Tuesday, 24. May 2011
An online student of mine recently told me they saw the following question on the Task 1 portion of their General exam:
An annual event was recently held in your area. Write a letter to the organizers of this event congratulating them on a successful production.
In your letter, include:
-the details of the event
-what you most liked about the event
-a polite criticism of something you thought could be improved
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to congratulate you on your recent performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night this past Saturday at the Mickelson Theatre of the Arts in Brisbane. Here in Brisbane, we look forward to your annual displays of the world’s most celebrated writer. It was a magnificent show, and I am sure everyone in the audience was as mesmerized as I was.
Let me start by saying your choice to cast Alice Piper for the lead role was very fitting. I personally found her performance particularly astonishing and was the highlight of the evening for me. Victor Kempler’s interpretation of the character Sebastian made for good accompaniment, however I have to say that I feel an older actor would have probably been more suitable. This is only a minor imperfection, though, and one that paled in comparison to the event’s strengths.
Congratulations on your fantastic effort! You have left Brisbane waiting with enthusiasm for your return next year.
- Alice Piper, Victor Kempler and the Mickelson Theatre of the Arts are people and places created by me
Posted On Friday, 20. May 2011
(For more questions like this one, check out www.IELTS-blog.com.)
Here is the question as it appeared on the IELTS exam in Brazil:
Many old cities around the world are going through a major process of modernization. What are the advantages and disadvantages of modernization?
Here is my suggested response:
A new wave of industrialization has taken the developing world by storm. Among many of these countries, a policy of fast-tracking has been adopted, often producing mixed results. The advantages and disadvantages of the rapid modernizing of many old cities around the world will be analyzed in this essay.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of this process is the raising of living standards. For example, many second tier cities in India have seen a boom in the quality of life found there. Thus, the collective effort being made in India to modernize is also having a positive impact on the lives of Indian people. From this perspective, modernization can be seen as a positive thing.
However, despite this advantage, there are also notable disadvantages to fast-tracking development. For one, rapid modernization often involves the destruction of historical relics, buildings and roads. This has been unfortunately true in areas like Anhui, China, where the demolishing of many culturally significant buildings is occurring at a degree akin to that of the Cultural Revolution. Thus, it is clear that there are many disadvantages to this wave of modernization as well.
After analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of bringing the cities of the developing world up to speed with those of the developed world, it is felt modernization causes more good than harm. However, it is hoped that caution is employed in the efforts made to renew the old cities of the world.
Posted On Wednesday, 18. May 2011
(This question taken from IELT-blog.)
Here is a Task 1 question as seen on the General IELTS exam in Brazil this month:
A friend of yours is applying for a job as a sports instructor for teenagers in a summer school in Australia. He is asking you to write a recommendation letter to the principal of the school. In your letter, you should say:
-how long you have known him for
-what are his qualifications
-why he is suitable for the position
Here is my suggested response:
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to you on behalf of my friend, Elliot Carter, who recently sent you an application and aspires to be a part of your team this summer. It would be my pleasure to give you some background information on him and explain why I feel he would be a wonderful addition to your faculty.
Personally, I have known Elliot for the better part of seven years as we studied Adolescent Education together at Brent University in Canberra. In addition to graduating with distinction, Elliot spent each of his university summers volunteering at various schools similar to your own. His popularity with the students garnered him the ‘favourite teacher’ award at each of those schools. Following this experience, he was offered the title of Academic Director at the prestigious Youth Melbourne Academy of Leaders, which he has held to this day. He has informed me that he is eager to take on a new challenge, hence his enthusiasm regarding working at your institution.
I hope this letter encourages you to add Elliot to your roster of teachers. With all of his experiences and qualifications, I have no doubt he will bring a lot of talent to you.