Here is the answer to last week’s question on behaviour.
I cannot tolerate rude and narrow minded behavior towards myself or other people. I dislike people being extremely egoistic and refusing to listen to other people’s opinion. I feel regardless of our belief, we should be considerate towards everyone else’s viewpoints and give them a chance to state their point. Cutting someone off or arguing with them about the rationality of their belief is unnecessary as it is not important that you have to agree with whatever anyone else feels. As they say, you can agree to disagree. Raisin your volume and patronizing someone else is unacceptable behavior.
Similarly in my country, impolite behavior especially towards elders is unacceptable. You are taught basic courtesy towards anyone you interact with. People older than you are always spoken to with more respect than usual keeping in mind their experiences and that they want the best for you. Answering back to them, not heeding their advice and being inconsiderate towards their needs is all forms of unacceptable behavior. In a lot of homes in my country elders live with their children and grandchildren and so, the emphasis on being kind to them is greater.
The media promotes kinds of behavior that are acceptable or that which are not and as media evolves, these standards evolve as well. Earlier opposing your parents’ choice for your marriage partner was considered unacceptable whereas now with changing times and perceptions of people choosing their own partner, it has become common to do so. Not all changes are good though because media also glorifies celebrities, fame and money and this can lead to people choosing to behave in a manner that focuses on these. The media needs to be taken with a pinch of salt as well, knowing what constitutes changing for the better and behavior that can lead to downfall.
Here is the answer to the question on industrialization I posted last week.
My country has various industries ranging from steel, gems, coal, hand looms, pharmaceuticals, textiles, cement, mining and software. Globalization of industry has its pros and cons. While it is now simpler to obtain goods from other countries, we are also competing on a global scale. This leads to every decision for such an industry to be made keeping in mind the competition worldwide. Customers are now spread across the world leading to a growth in the customer base for domestic industries. Ease of doing business has increase with the ability to source raw materials and other necessities from their point of origin if it is not available domestically. Such advantages have led to a better state of business today than before. There are also problems because of global competition such as overproduction by one country can greatly impact the demand and supply of a product as is happening with Steel at the moment because of excessive production by China.
Countries should have a fair limit on importing goods that can be produced in your country. Not doing so renders such producers at a disadvantage. Their prices will be affected and initiatives in such an industry might reduce because there is enough competition already. At the same time, imports can force local manufactures to improve the quality of their products or services to match global standards.
Industries have becoming more automated and computerized over the last few decades. Agriculture which used to be a huge sector has now lost out to people moving from rural areas to cities in order to work in such areas. Industries are given land to build their facilities often at the expense of farming causing livelihood of the farmers to be jeopardized. E-commerce has become a vast industry now with the rise in citizens having computers and access to the internet.
Here is a sample answer to the question I posted last week.
My country produces rice, wheat, sugarcane, coffee, tea and spices. It imports pulses, corn and a few fruits. Pulses are the biggest food time it imports. It bodes well for a country to be self sufficient as it has a multitude of wide ranging benefits. A self sufficient country has the ability to sustain its population; lesser people will go hungry when you can afford to meet the food demand through native production of items. The currency you save by not having to import items can be spent on improving facilities and other welfare activities for the masses. In my country a significant number of people live below the poverty line and a self sustaining system would render lesser people hungry. More people would have access to food which has a domino effect in increasing public health, decrease in mortality rates, rise in employment and a growth in economy eventually. This leads to an overall increase in contentment and prosperity of the population. Other items can be imported then instead of food items majorly. Self sufficiency in every aspect is not possible but achieving it in the food sector has many ramifications that can help the country progress.
In a country like mine where large number of people are employed in agriculture, buying from the farmers is better than buying from a supermarket. This is because buying from farmers is cheaper for the consumer; it eliminates the need of middlemen and ensures that the farmer gets his due price. It promotes agriculture and ensures its survival as a means of livelihood. Supermarkets may have more variety and maybe even better quality but they also increase food wastage by selecting only sustainable products. This pressurizes farmers to use genetically modified crops to ensure that their crops preserve longer.
Here is a model answer to the question I posted last week about conversations.
Most of my conversations with strangers would happen only because of books. Apart from that unless I am asking for directions or seeking help of that nature, I do not talk to strangers. Strangers often start conversations with me though. People usually start conversations with strangers if they are bored, curious or need help. Waiting in airports for example you are more likely to start a conversation with a stranger who is waiting for the same flight. Some people like me can be curious about book strangers are reading and strike up a conversation to know what the book is about or how it is as well. You are more likely to talk to strangers if you are facing an emergency like an urgent phone call when your phone is not working.
Social media has provided more avenues for strangers to interact from specific websites for strangers to connect or a website like Facebook where you see you have mutual friends and hence add someone who is unknown to you but not a complete stranger altogether. In that sense we are all a little bit more connected now and the definition of a stranger has changed post the advent of social media. So talking to strangers is not only more acceptable but common as well now. I think people are less hesitant to talk to strangers as mentioned because there are more platforms available to do so. Through the Internet people have found a medium to be share problems, feel less lonely and make more friends making it easier for people to have conversations with strangers now.
Here is a sample answer to the question about art I posted last week.
Art plays an important part in our life. Not only does it add meaning and bring beauty into our lives but it also makes us feel but evoking out emotions. It exposes us to new ideas, ways of being and philosophies. It has the potential to make us smarter by introducing to us diverse perspectives and challenging the accepted norm. They make us aware of our environment; make us contemplate on things that do not occur to us on our own. Art can also serve as a way to comment on society and bring to forefront the issues in our society.
Life without art would be a lot more controlled, predictable and dull. We would not have had entertainment to distract us from reality or new ideas that change us. Most importantly, there would be no channel to focus our creativity and energy. Less inspiration would exist and motivation to change would decrease since there would no art to showcase the things unheard of.
Photography is definitely an art as capturing the essence of a moment whether in candid photography of people or clicking the vista of a place and creating an aesthetic model of it in a photograph requires skill and talent. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and so, photography clearly makes enough of an impression upon humans to be considered an art.
I feel art is inspired by life but may not necessarily imitate life. If we only created art that we see around in life, its scope would be much less. Our imagination is not limited to simply imitating life which is why art is so importance because it goes beyond the conventions. It is the artist’s imagination that is art, it is a medium of expression for them which does not always imitate life.
Here is the sample answer to the question about movies I posted last week.
Movies are a very important form of art. Cinema is a melting pot of different kinds of creativity in the form of storytelling, acting, direction and many other aspects that are involved in its execution. They evoke emotions through their stories and that is the basic premise of any art form. Movies are a medium of expression as well, one that combines skill and imagination just like a book. Whether all movies come under the category of art is debatable as this term is generally applied to though provoking films as opposed to commercial entertainment ones.
Movies should be a mix of education and entertainment. They exist to make citizens aware but entertain them at the same time as well. Categorizing them as only education or entertainment is not beneficial to the society. People have preferences as to what they enjoy and as such, all types of movie should be made to cater to the difference in tastes. Even purely educational films cannot be as successful without being entertaining and at the same time, only entertainment films in abundance will tire people. Movies serve as a medium to get the society to wonder and discuss about issues and so, there is a need for cinema as art while maintaining the inherent quality of it providing entertainment.
The last few decades have seen bolder concepts being portrayed in cinema such as homosexuality. New technology has led to better quality of movies, more accessibility to these movies so now a movie can have a much larger audience especially globally. Animated movies have become very popular these days. Action and superhero films have also become more common often spawning a sequel or movie series of its own. Literature is being captured in this medium more too, today with several movies releasing that are adaptations of books.
Here is the model answer to the question I gave you last week.
I do not think the youth of today are more selfish than the older generations or that the youth of tomorrow will be more selfish than our generation. Every generation thinks that they are better than the next one but I feel since every generation grows up in different circumstances compared to the previous ones, a comparison is futile. The environment we grew up in is vastly different from our parents and will be even more different from the next one but that is not to say that our choices are more selfish than the ones of the prior generation. With each successive generation arise better technology and more opportunities which result in the options available for each being distinct and unique to them. So while some of our choices can seem selfish to our elders, for us our priorities are probably different. Like a lot of women today choose to focus on their career and not stay at home with their children and while that might seem selfish to a person from an older generation, it is a perfectly reasonable choice.
The youth of today can learnt a lot from the older generation as they can be great source of knowledge and advice. They have seen things we have not and maybe never will and this experience that comes with age must be respected by younger individuals. It is easy for the older generation to be out of touch because our world involves so much more options in every aspect today which seems unfamiliar to them. It makes our lifestyles sometimes even incomprehensible to them but any open minded elder can still keep in touch with the youth today as long as there is communication from both sides.
Here is the answer to last week’s question.
My country is a popular tourist destination and so receives a lot of foreign tourists around the year. Since religion is of profound importance in my country as well, we receive many foreigners who come to reside here in monasteries and such. They are treated with a lot of respect as in our culture we equate guests to God. However lately there have been incidents of racism against people of African background. Instances of violence towards them have seen a spike with men being beaten up and women even being molested. This however is a very recent occurrence and I think in this specific case, people were more hospitable in the past than today.
At the same time due to expanding technology, people host and receive more foreigners now with the help of websites such as Airbnb that allow natives to put up their houses for rental. This has led to an increase in natives being more hospitable today than before where such concepts were unheard of and people would be more afraid to host strangers especially of a different nationality.
It is definitely better to stay with a friend when visiting a foreign country than staying at the hotel. The added intimacy of friendship makes your trip more worthwhile. You get a peek into how people in a different country live as well such as their food preparations at home and everyday lifestyle. When you stay with locals, you can visit the hidden gems and not just the destinations that tourists visit. Natives know more about the best places to eat, shop, travel to and the best modes of travelling. This can really help you in having a better trip since otherwise you have to rely on travel guides or tour packages which are not personalized.
Here’s a sample answer to the question I posted last week on change.
My country has too many demographic and societal differences within the society to say that people like to or do not like to change. Most people do not have the opportunity to change their social setting so to speak but of the ones that do, more often than not they prefer being settled in a comfortable environment. People looking to change will be less in number compared to those who would not.
People are willing to change for a better job, a different city, any personal reason such wanting to live with their family or when they get married, for the sake of their children’s education and in essence for better opportunities in any field. The advantages of changing something are you get exposed to a new set of ideas, behavior or philosophies. You get acclimatized to different ways of being. Meeting new people and making new friends is the biggest advantage of changing I feel. Expanding your friends circle broadens your mind and introduces you to things and ideologies you might not have had before.
I think it is important for people to change in order to encounter unfamiliar situations maybe even uncomfortable ones, to help them grow. Whether it is professionally or personally, change leads you to evolve. New experiences are invaluable in shaping you and changing aspects of your life leads to diverse experiences as opposed to a settled and risk free life.
All reasons of changing can be clubbed under the decisions you take either out of your own initiative or under unpredictable circumstances. We are surrounded by choices perpetually and those choices determine your reasons of change.
Last week’s sample question was another in the series of culture-themed questions. The aim of Part 2 questions is to allow candidates to talk about something specific and personal to them, for which no specialist vocabulary is needed. You can probably talk at length about such questions, so does that mean you should not prepare for them?
In fact, the easier questions – about topics that you have a lot of knowledge – are the best ones to impress the examiner on. And you can do this simply by peppering your answer with good vocabulary – collocations, phrasal verbs, and some uncommon words.
Here’s my model answer. Can you identify instances of good vocabulary in it?
I’m going to talk about the festival of Diwali, which is also called the festival of lights.
Diwali is usually celebrated in late October or early November. The exact date is determined according to the Hindu calendar. (more…)
A lot of permium websites have started charging for content. Most offer up to ten articles for free every month, after which one must subscribe to the site to continue reading articles. However, there is a way of reading these premium articles for free. And here’s how:
1. Go to your favorite news website: NY Times, FT, or Economist.
2. Choose a story you want to read. Copy the headline.
Here’s another video which could loosely be categorized under any of the IELTS sections on this site. It doesn’t talk about any one particular topic but it’s greatest strength lies in the fact that it is full of data – tables, charts, and graphs – similar to ones you would expect to find in IELTS Writing Task 1. For that reason, I’m going to categorize this video as a must-watch. 🙂 Don’t just watch the video, get the most out of ted-ed – develop your listening skills, note down some useful vocabulary, and answer the questions along with the video.
The good news of the decade?
Hans Rosling displays 10 years of UN data in visually delicious charts and graphs, showing front-page worthy, mostly unreported good news.
Which piece of information did you find the most important? Share your ideas in the comments below.
In the comments below, make notes on how you will structure your response.
Women should have an equal role alongside men in both police and armed forces. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
See here how to answer IELTS writing task 2 questions . I’ll post a model answer soon.
Last week’s cue card asked you what is probably my favorite kind of IELTS Speaking Part 2 question. I think a lot of students get scared as soon as they see words such as law, government, crime etc. but answering these questions doesn’t require any of the specialist vocabulary you may think you’ll need.
All it needs is awareness and opinions – awareness of things happening in your country and around the world (read, read, read! or listen, listen, listen!) and opinions about them. While most students do have opinions, they aren’t able to express these well in spoken English. In my model answer below, can you identify useful phrases I’ve used to express opinions:
I’m going to talk about the law against chewing gum in Singapore.
The law bans the import of chewing gum into the country, and there’s a strict fine against spitting chewing gum out on the street. (more…)
Here’s the answer to a question I posted last week.
Asking children for their opinion can lead to a lot of difficulty for the school for many reasons. Firstly, children might not want to learn lessons that they find boring but are an important part of the curriculum. They can feel strongly against subjects that are difficult such as mathematics and thus because of reasons mentioned, there might be an inherent bias towards the subject matter regardless of how it is taught. So asking them for their opinion could be pointless if there are no concrete problems with the existing manner of conducting lessons. It also gives provides for an opportunity for chaos which children can take advantage of to disrupt classes. Also, since every individual learns differently there can be varied opinions of a lesson should be conducted or the shortcomings for one. A class is composed of students that differ in attention spans, interest in lessons and the inclination to study altogether so asking their opinions might not be of any significant use to the school.
On the other hand, allowing them the flexibility to comment on the lessons, the teachers and mode of teaching can improve the skill of the teacher and the efficiency of the school as whole. It can help in diagnosing why students are struggling with specific classes or topics. This can result in the improvement of the children who are now free to discuss their learning problems and suggest ways to remedy the same. It can also boost their morale to know that their thoughts are being included and they can play a role in improving their educational experience.
The age of the children would be the deciding factor between whether or not schools should ask children for their opinion on lessons.
This is a slightly different video and would probably be best placed under the IELTS grammar or writing category. If you have ever been confused about the use of the ‘comma’, this one is for you. Watch the video and learn more about how and when to use the comma in writing. Don’t just watch the video, get the most out of ted-ed – develop your listening skills, note down some useful vocabulary, and answer the questions along with the video.
Terisa Folaron offers some tricks of the comma trade and tells you when and how to best use the comma.
Still have questions about how to use the comma? Ask away in the comments below.
A lot of students leave the exam hall having answered less than half the questions. Apart from speaking and writing exams, there is room for making educated guesses.
In the Reading section, give yourself 2-3 minutes at the end to guess answers for all the questions you haven’t found answers to. In the Listening section, you have ten minutes at the end to transfer your answers to the answer sheet. After you have transfered all your answers, fill in any blanks with logical guesses.
A very large percentage of students don’t read the question carefully. Therefore, they either don’t understand what the examiner wants or only answer half the question.
READ THE DAMN QUESTION
As you’re reading the question, underline or circle the keywords so you don’t miss anything. Don’t worry about fancy, colorful highlighters – you will only be wasting time switching from pencil to highlighter and back again.
Here’s the model answer to the question I posted last week about questionnaires.
Many organizations conduct questionnaires for different reasons. A civil society organization could be engaged in research and activities of that nature. They will conduct questionnaires asking citizens for their opinion on various matters relating to governance, law and public policy. These questionnaires are their source of data which they use to conduct analysis that form the backbone of their work in the spheres of activism. On a broader note, think tanks in general would conduct questionnaires to learn more about the issues their organization works on. (more…)
Here’s a fantastic video exploring the mania that surrounds English teaching and learning. There’s no doubt that English is the official global language of the world now. But when did it become a phenomenon? And when did this phenomenon become a mania? Don’t just watch the video,get the most out of ted-ed – develop your listening skills, note down some useful vocabulary, and answer the questions along with the video.
The world’s English mania
Jay Walker talks about the ways in which learning the English language has become a feverish enterprise across the globe.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of English as lingua franca? Share your ideas in the comments below.