IELTS Advantages Disadvantages Essay

IELTS Advantages Disadvantages Essay

Question 1 Sample Answer

In some countries, young people are encouraged to work or travel for a year between finishing high school and starting university studies.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages for young people who decide to do this.

Before embarking on college many young people are advised that a year working or travelling may be a good option. This essay will suggest that experience gained and money saved are the biggest advantages of this, but delaying careers and reducing motivation to study are the primary disadvantages.

The main advantages of a gap year are learning more about the world and earning money. For students who have just finished secondary school, working or travelling for a year will allow them to learn what life is like outside of the education system. Also, third level education is very expensive and a lot of students decide to work for 12 months and save up money before they begin their studies. The Times recently reported that the average student at a UK university requires over $12,000 per annum just to survive and many drop out because they cannot afford to stay.

Despite these advantages, students lose a year that could have been used to advance their future careers and they often get used to working or travelling and don’t want to return to a life of study. As job markets are very competitive, an extra year of experience can make a massive difference when applying for jobs, and those who took a gap year are at a disadvantage. Moreover, some decide to bypass university altogether and go straight into a job that is beneath their capabilities or may not offer the same prospects their future career might have done. For instance, a recent survey by the British Government found that 26% of students who take a gap-year never enter tertiary education.

In conclusion, taking a break from studies can be advantageous if it allows people to accumulate savings or learn more about the world. However, they should also be careful that it does not delay the start of their careers and lead to disillusionment with education.

(311 words)

Question 2 Sample Answer

Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary schools rather than secondary school.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Some authorities think that it is more favourable for pupils to begin studying languages at primary school instead of secondary school. This essay will argue that the advantages of this outweigh the drawbacks. The essay will first demonstrate that the earlier someone learns an additional language the more likely they are to master it and that it brings added cognitive benefits, followed by an analysis of how the primary disadvantage, namely confusion with their native tongue, is not valid.

The main reason to start kids off with foreign languages early is that this increases the likelihood they will achieve fluency in adulthood. That is to say that they will have far more years to perfect their skills and it will seem perfectly normal to speak bilingually. For example, in countries such as Holland and Norway where English is taught from a very young age, more than 95% of adults speak it at an advanced level. Learning a second language also helps to improve overall cognitive abilities. In other words, it benefits the overall development of a child’s brain. A recent survey by Cambridge University found that children who studied a new language before the age of 5 were significantly more likely to score higher in Mathematics and Science.

Those opposed to this say that it causes the child to become confused between their mother tongue and the other language. However, there is actually no evidence to support this view and children from bilingual families do just as well in both languages. My own son was brought up speaking both Vietnamese and English and outperforms most of his classmates in both.

On balance, the fact that early foreign language learning leads to higher fluency and improved brain function clearly outweighs the flawed argument that it impairs uptake of native languages.

(299 words)

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