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Should close relatives be involved in the education of children? (New IELTS topic!)
Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 (1 votes) 
April 20, 2012
11:42 am
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This is the topic they gave 2 weeks ago in the IELTS:


 Should close relatives be involved in the education of children? Give your opinion.
 Whether it is a good idea to involve relatives in the day-to-day education of children is debatable. Undoubtedly this educational model will not work for all families. Nevertheless, I believe it can be a good ideas as it benefits all parties involved: children, parents and relatives.

Spending time with relatives can be a good replacement for paid child care and can teach a child to become more independent, to adapt to new situations and develop social skills. Relatives, like grandparents, may have more time and patience for children than their working parents. A child’s relationship with a relative is likely to be more personal than with a child care professional. Additionally, being away from home and with a relative can make a child more confident and independent and provide it with new ideas and role models. For a child this is also a way to acquire some social skills and learn to adapt to a new environment.

Parents may be grateful getting help with child care and sharing the responsibility of education with a like-minded and sometimes more experienced relative.  Working parents may have little time to spend with their children and need to ensure they are in care of a trustworthy person. An experience relative can also be a good adviser for both, parents and children. Involving a relative in the education of one’s children can also strengthens the relationship between parents and the relative.

By getting involved in the education of a child relatives can gain a meaningful duty, experience with children and a closer relationship with the family. In particular, it can be a meaningful and fulfilling assignment for grandparents educating a grandchild. Their relationship with their grandchildren is likely to become closer by spending more time with them. Relatives with no children of their own can make valuable experiences educating children this way.  

All  things considered, involving relatives in children’s education can be a good solution to various challenges involved with bringing up children. With extended families being less close nowadays it remains to be seen if this education model will gain popularity.

April 22, 2012
6:23 pm
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Hi Katiss

Thanks for this -  was this the topic you got or did someone else you know get it?

I will pin this to the top of the forum for a few days and see if other people comment on it or view it!

April 22, 2012
10:32 pm
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It is the topic of march 31th, wording my be not exact.

And this is the answer i wish i had written but i run out of time a bit.

April 23, 2012
9:58 am
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Hi Katiss and thanks very much for this essay.

As usual it's a well-written and well-organized essay. 

Generic sentences (Standard Phrases)

Your first sentence is an example of a generic sentence properly used. By generic sentence, I mean a standard phrase where you can just insert the essay topic with no changes or just minimal changes. Here are some standard phrases that examiners see all the time...

Should close relatives be involved in the education of children?

Whether it is a good idea to involve relatives in the day-to-day education of children is debatable.

Is it better to live in the present or to plan for the future?

Whether it is a good idea to live in the present or to plan for the future is frequently discussed.

Should college be free?

Whether it is a good idea to make college free is a controversial topic.

Should children be rewarded for good behavior and punished for bad behavior?

It’s debatable whether children should be rewarded for good behavior and punished for bad behavior.

These are all correct, but it’s a missed opportunity to show a little background about the subject or to use synonyms and related vocabulary. Just a small change or two is enough! You can still use these generic sentence patterns if you want, but with small changes:

  • Whether it is a good idea to involve family members in home schooling is debatable.
  • Whether we should focus on the present or carefully plan for our future is often debated.
  • It’s debatable whether providing free third level education really benefits a country.
  • Parents have to choose whether to punish their children when they behave badly or reward them when they act well. 

Word Choice/Usage

  • Relatives with no children of their own can make valuable experiences educating children this way. → 

    Relatives with no children of their own can have valuable experiences educating children this way.  

  • Relatives, like grandparents, may have more time → Relatives such as grandparents may have more time
  • An experience relative can also be a good adviser → An experienced relative can also be a good adviser

Nice example of a parallel list with three examples (three is a magic number!

By getting involved in the education of a child relatives can enjoy a meaningful duty, gain experience with children and a build closer relationship with the family.

Katiss, your essay is 350 words, which is about as much as anyone has time to write in IELTS, and the average sentence length is 19, which is very high.

I wonder how we could make it a little simpler and perhaps shorter. You mentioned you were hoping for a score of at least Band 7, so here again are the public descriptors for Band 7.  

April 23, 2012
11:21 am
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I will need 8 (in each field), i got 7 in writing the first time around. I find 250 words is pretty short when explaining 3 different points.

At least 3 sentences each paragraph already makes for quite some text.

15 sentences at least. Then not giving any eamples does not make for a nice essay either...

May 1, 2012
5:17 pm
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You are right! It's a real challenge to say what you want in just 250 (or even 350) words. Think of it as a kind of word puzzle, like a cryptic crossword or an acrostic poem or something. It's not a term paper or a newspaper article. It's a game!

 

(Here's an acrostic poem, from a teacher's class in a school in Canada)

Hockey is my favorite sport
On the ice or street
Cool and fun
Keep on playing
Exercise and stronger
You should try 

May 13, 2012
8:28 am
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Other topics similar to this one are

  1. Some parents choose to educate their children at home. Why is this, and what are some of the benefits and disadvantages?
       
  2. Should parents be allowed to teach their children at home?
       
  3. Can children learn better at home than in school?
      
June 5, 2012
7:26 pm
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Great Example Mr.Enda. I really have that problem too.  when you want to reduce your sentences it seems that your writing is becoming mechanical. It sounds you just put some chunks from here and there to erect your building(writing) and you cannot so much more to move from idea to idea smoothly.

Here is my essay that I wrote it in two version a bit long one and short one.

 

Too much attention is paid to and too much money is spent on keeping pets, while people throughout the world are starving.

Discuss the arguments for and against keeping pets.

To what extent do you agree?

It is quite common to see that some people spend a huge amount of money on raising pets. While many people are suffering from starvation, I honestly think that such costs are unnecessary. 

The major reason that some people tend to keep domestic animals probably is because of the sense of loneliness. In such fast-paced lifestyle that individuals have no time to each other, it seems that cats and dogs can be a good companion. Individuals try to spend their time with pets instead of other people who probably are so much busy that cannot share their time with them. Furthermore, it is said that raising pets is also benefit for the health of human.  There is evidence that raising up and stroking pets can reduce the blood pressure and stress.

However, on the one hand, there has been always immoderation in taking care of domestic animals. Many people waste a huge amount of money on raising up pets. To them, it seems that keeping animals is to show their affluence. Every year we can see that many exhibitions hold to show animals dressing up and new models of animal hairs. When it comes to animal clinic and veterinary medicine it is worse. Pet owners should check their animals regularly. Nor do we give up the shared diseases between animals and human. They are really cause serious diseases that squander millions of pounds every year to cure. On the other hand, these sums of money can spent on starvation, which many people are struggling with it in all around the world.

To sum up, I think it is very likely that owners of pet squander a lot of money on keeping their animals. This money can go to address some problems such as poverty and starvation to help to lift disadvantaged people out of starvation.

June 5, 2012
7:26 pm
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and short version

 

It is quite common to see that some people spend a huge amount of money on raising pets. While many people are suffering from starvation, I honestly think that such costs are unnecessary. 

The major reason that some people tend to keep domestic animals probably is because of the sense of loneliness. Individuals try to spend their time with pets instead of other people who probably are so much busy that cannot share their time with them. Furthermore, it is said that raising pets is also benefit for the health of human.  There is evidence that raising up and stroking pets can reduce the blood pressure and stress.

However, on the one hand, there has been always immoderation in taking care of domestic animals. Every year we can see that many exhibitions hold to show animals dressing up and new models of animal hairs. When it comes to animal clinic and veterinary medicine it is getting worse. Pet owners should check their animals regularly. Nor do we give up the shared diseases between animals and human. They are really cause serious diseases that squander millions of pounds every year to cure. On the other hand, these sums of money can spent on starvation, which many people are dying of starving in all around the world.

To sum up, I think it is very likely that owners of pet squander a lot of money on keeping their animals. This money can go to address some problems such as poverty and starvation to help to lift disadvantaged people out of starvation.

June 6, 2012
6:32 pm
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Hi everyone

Thanks Brian for these two essay

I'm going to lock this topic, and instead open a new topic with Brian's two essays on pets.

If you want to comment (that would be great!) on Brian's essays or on his comment, please go here. Thanks!

And thanks Brian for this new topic and for your comment on phrases and mechanical writing!

June 6, 2012
6:36 pm
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Hi again... and if anyone wants to write an essay on the original topic, please just open a new topic ("Add Topic")

Here are some of the essay questions again:

  1. Should close relatives be involved in the education of children? Give your opinion.
  2. Some parents choose to educate their children at home. Why is this, and what are some of the benefits and disadvantages?
  3. Should parents be allowed to teach their children at home?
  4. Can children learn better at home than in school?
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