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    #1

    IELTS GT writing

    I made 7 in the writing section on my first attempt to do IELTS but really need 8.
    So any critique ist welcome.

    Topic
    Some people believe that visitors to other countries should follow local customs and behaviour. Others disagree and think that the host country should welcome culture differences. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.


    It has been claimed that visitors should adher to locals customs while staying in a foreign country. Others argue that host countries can be expected to show some openness and tolerance towards visitors behaviour being different from local habits.
    This essay will look at some of the arguments in favour and against visitors following local customs while staying abroad.

    There are many reasons why visitors should try to behave like locals.
    First of all visitors can easily avoid conflicts and express respect for locals and their cultural and religious feelings by behaving like them. Probably the most obvious examples are for tourists to avoid drinking alcohol, wearing revelling clothing and kissing in public if locals consider this behaviour inappropriate.

    Nowadays globalisation and tourism already have heavily impacted local customs and traditions so differences between many countries have been evened out. It can be vital for the survival of local customs and traditions that visitors respect them and show some interest.

    In addition visitors are more likely to gain insight into a host county and it’s culture by following local customs. Even if they do not know the details culture their behaviour can show interest and locals are probably more welcoming towards visitors behaving sensible.

    On the other hand I don‘t think visitors can or should follow local customs in any case.
    With cultural difference often being subtle visitors might simply lack knowledge about the local customs. Certainly language barriers, lack of time or interest contribute to keeping visitors from having detailed knowledge of what is considered adequate behaviour. Furthermore if visitors try to imitate a local custom in a dilettantish way it can come across as respect less and inadequate.

    Generally some aspect of local customs might clash with the visitors expectations of their stay or holidays in the host country. It is clear that not being able to wear a bikini in public will probably conflict with visitors coming to a country for a beach holiday.

    Another point is a host country might profit significantly from tourists vesting and it is reasonable to expect some degree of tolerance and openness towards visitors from the local population.

    In summary after considering both point of views i think visitors should make a basic effort to adapt their behaviour in a way that does not conflict with local customs in a foreign country to make their stay more enjoyable for themselves and locals. This might not always be possible or desirable for the visitors so there are times when visitors are better off to follow their own customs.

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    #2

    Re: IELTS GT writing

    Hi Katisss,
    your essay is not bad at all!
    I have made some suggestions below.
    Much luck.


    It has been claimed that visitors should adhere to local customs while staying in a foreign country. Others argue that host countries should be expected to show some openness and tolerance towards visitors' behaviour being different from local habits. (this is a bit awkward. You might want to reword it)
    This essay will look at some of the arguments for and against visitors following local customs while staying abroad.

    There are many reasons why visitors should try to behave like locals.
    First of all visitors can easily avoid conflict and express respect for locals and their cultural and religious feelings by behaving like them. Probably the most obvious examples are for tourists to avoid drinking alcohol, wearing revealing clothing and kissing in public if locals consider this behaviour inappropriate.

    Nowadays Globalisation and tourism already have impacted heavily upon local customs and traditions, and differences between many countries have been evened out (this doesn't sound right to me). It can be vital for the survival of local customs and traditions that visitors respect them and show some interest.

    In addition visitors are more likely to gain insight into a host county and its culture by following local customs. Even if they do not know the details of the culture, their behaviour can show interest and locals are probably more welcoming towards visitors behaving sensibly.

    On the other hand I don‘t think visitors can or should follow local customs in every case. With cultural difference often being subtle, visitors might simply lack knowledge about the local customs. Certainly language barriers, lack of time or interest contribute to keeping visitors from having detailed knowledge of what is considered adequate (acceptable?) behaviour. Furthermore if visitors try to imitate a local custom in a dilettantish (superficial?) way it can come across as respect less (disrespectful?) and inadequate.

    Generally some aspects of local customs might clash with the visitors' expectations of their stay or holiday in the host country. It is clear that not being able to wear a bikini in public will probably cause problems for visitors coming to a country for a beach holiday.

    Another point is a host country might profit significantly from tourists, vesting and so it is reasonable to expect some degree of tolerance and openness towards visitors from the local population.

    In summary, after considering both points of view, i think visitors should make a basic effort to adapt their behaviour in a way that does not conflict with local customs in a foreign country to make their stay more enjoyable for themselves and locals. However this might not always be possible or desirable for the visitors, so there are times when visitors are better off to following their own customs.

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    #3

    Re: IELTS GT writing

    Thanks for the feedback, i will have a closer look.

    So this time a classic topic:
    Will modern technology, such as the internet ever replace the book or the written word as the main source of information?


    Over the last years we have seen digital and online versions of newspapers and books emerge and the popularity of reading devices like digital readers and iPads skyrocket. This development brings up the question whether digital word media is likely to replace print media as the primary information source at some point. In my opinion it is likely to happen soon as digital media has some strong advantages over traditional printed books and newspapers.

    The main reason for my opinion is that publishing information in digital media is a lot cheaper, easier, faster and they potentially reache a worldwide audience. For example news in the internet can be immediately updated if any new events occur and scientific and technical publications can include the latest research and error corrections.
    On top of this, as publishing costs for digital media are lower, more people are able to contribute to publications and even publishing of highly specialised information for smaller audiences may become worthwhile.

    Likewise readers can access a nearly unlimited amount of current information world wide and with great ease and speed.
    Since search engines provide powerful shortcuts for retrieving information a search that would have been very time consuming in printed media can now be performed faster and quicker. Additionally, even people that live in remote locations without major libraries or bookstores are no longer disadvantaged in accessing information.

    Another less obvious benefit of digital media is reducing paper consumption which will ultimately benefit the environment. Producing paper requires cutting trees, consumes energy and requires physical distribution of the finished publication as end up being waste. There is a potential for making the process more environment friendly by publishing content digitally, especially for short lived publications like newspapers.

    All in all, with digital media offering huge advantages, i expect people to read more in electronic format than paper format in the near future. However, in my opinion printed media will still have it’s place for leisure reading, art and café table books or information that is unlikely to change very quickly. Personally I believe this shift is nothing to be afraid off as it will benefit authors and readers alike as well as the environment.

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    #4

    Re: IELTS GT writing

    Another one ...
    Topic (problems solution essay)
    In some countries young people have little leisure time and are under a lot of pressure to work hard in their studies.
    What do you think are the causes of this? What solutions can you suggest?

    Increasing competition for university entry and on the job market has caused ambitious parents and teachers in many countries to put more study pressure on students from a very young age. While educators might have the best intentions this can have serious consequences for the health and development of children. I will discuss some potential consequences and solutions to improve this situation.

    Long school hours, time consuming assignments and intense competition among students can cause multiple problems for children and even hurt their personal development and learning success. Students are at a stage of their life where they need some leisure to develop personal and social skills as well as find their interest and talents in life. Students experiencing severe stress and pressure instead of being given room to develop are more likely to have stress related health and mental problems like trouble to focus, anxiety, depressions and in extreme cases have lead to student‘s suicides.
    Furthermore, in a society where life long learning will be a key to job success, spoiling children’s curiosity and appetite for learning in general by pressuring them too much may hinder them from developing creativity and motivation to learn.
    It might be inevitable for schools o prepare students for competitive environments, but there are better solutions than simply putting more study pressure on them.
    Instead of overstraining children, education systems ideally should give them positive role models by teaching them how to deal with stress and lead a balanced life. Schools can for example emphasis cooperative problem solving over complementation, teach children time management techniques and how to learn efficient. Additionally, if needed students can be offered help for individual weaknesses or learning problems.

    In conclusion, I think students would benefit more from being taught how to deal with stress, high workload and competition in the future instead of just being exposed to a high level of study pressure early on.
    As even many professionals struggle to balance their work and personal life preparing students for a competive future remains a challenging task for educators.

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    #5

    Re: IELTS GT writing

    More general question about the paragraph order in a Pro contra essay:
    The opinion you agree with is first or second paragraph?
    Andd inside the paragrah start with more important and that go to less important subpoints?

    Topic
    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.


    Some people recommend students to travel the world for a year before starting university. Others argue a “gap year” is a waste of time and money. I will look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of spending a gap year traveling after school.

    Many people think that a gap year can help a young person to gain some life and work experience prior to starting university, as well as develop as a person. For a young person traveling provides an opportunity to broaden their horizon and learn about different countries and cultures. Spending some time in a country while working also makes for a less superficial encounter than only being there as a tourist. Besides, travelers can gain work experience and potentially improve their foreign language skills. This experience can be an important advantage in a more international oriented economy.
    Additionally, a “gap year” can aid a person in becoming more independent and grown up, as it will require some organization skills and the ability to manage their finance. It can also be argued that right after school is a good time in life to see the world as most young people don’t have any family and professional obligations yet.

    However, there are valid concerns whether the time and money for a gap year are well spend. Probably the most serious problem about a gap year is it’s impact on future academic performance: young people taking a gap year may fall behind their peers or lose the motivation to study altogether. Moreover, school leavers are generally likely to end up with unskilled jobs abroad that barely cover their expenses; especially if they don‘t have advanced knowledge of the foreign language used in a country. Therefore, the work experience gained may not be very relevant to a person's career later and the work might not offer a lot of opportunity to practice a foreign language. From a more practical point of view it is also worth considering that not everyone feels comfortable living in a camper van, tent or hostel for months.

    In conclusion, i think time is a valuable resource at any age. There are a number of good alternatives to taking a gap year immediately after school: studying abroad, interning or working in a foreign country once you have completed studies. These alternatives later in a person’s career might be a more focused approach that offers better work opportunies, and ultimately, may proof a better experience than a gap year.

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    #6

    Re: IELTS GT writing

    ilels letter task 1. You always capitaliye I?

    Topic
    You have just bought a new mobile phone from a website on the internet. When it was delivered, the phone was faulty. Write a letter to the website. In the letter:
    introduce yourself
    explain the situation
    state what action you want to be taken

    My order no. 12345

    Dear Madam or Sir,
    I am writing regarding the mobile phone I bought from your shop in January. Unfortunately I am experiencing some problems with my new Samsung xyz phone. When I first started using the phone the battery life was only 5-6 hours, but after using it for a few weeks, the problem has worsened now. Even when the batteries are fully charged they last only for 3 hours, which is very inconvenient for my work as a real estate agent. It is very important in my industry to be reachable by phone any time and I already had to go back to using my old mobile again. Furthermore, a friend happens to own the same model and his phone does not show the problem described. The manufacturer claims it .
    I have come to the conclusion that there is probably some defect in my device or the researchable battery. Could you please let me know a postal address where I can send the mobile for repair or exchange?
    Best Regards,
    Katrin Schmid
    Last edited by katisss; 15-Feb-2012 at 05:42.

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    #7

    ilels letter task 1

    Topic: You travelled by plane last week and your suitcase was lost.You have still heard nothing from the airline company.Write to the airline and explain what happened. Describe your suitcase and tellthem what was in it. Find out what they are going to do about it.

    Dear Madam or Sir,
    I am writing to you regarding my suitcase, which was lost on the British Airways flight from London to New York (BA123) on January 2nd. When I realized the loss on my arrival in New York I reported it to the counter staff. The agent promised to give my hotel a call within the next hours, but unfortunately this did not happen. I have contacted British Airways numerous times since by phone without being able to locate the suitcase.
    My suitcase is made of dark blue fabric with black handles and a single. It contains clothing, presents for friends I will visit and photographic equipment I was planning to use on my trip. I already had to buy some cloths and toiletry for which I attached the receipt to this letter expecting you to refund my expenses.
    I hope this matter can be resolved very soon as I plan to continue my trip to California on the 7th of January an will no longer be able to pick up the suitcase in New York after this date. You can reach me on my mobile 123456789.
    Yours Faithfully,
    Katrin Schmid

    Is a counter staff person an "agent"? Is there a better term?

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    #8

    essay

    Topic:
    Today’s food travels thousands of miles before it reaches customers. Why is this? Is this a positive or negative trend?

    Nowadays, an increasing number of food items offered in supermarkets are imported. Sometimes even quite ordinary food has travelled huge distances. I will explore the reasons for this tendency and discuss its benefits and drawbacks.

    While delicacy and spices have been internationally traded for centuries, today’s global trade with low transportation costs and fewer trade barriers has encouraged importing food in large quantities. In some places even everyday items and inexpensive food like pasta or vinegar can be imported cheaper than being produced locally. Consequently, supermarkets take advantage of this development.

    Imported food comes at a high price for consumers, the local agriculture and the environment. First of all, some food will lose flavour and freshness when travelling by ship for weeks. Fruit has to be shipped before fully ripe or additional preservatives have to be added to food. Secondly, local farmers may not be able to compete with the low cost of imported food. They will go out of business or stop growing local fruit or vegetable species at all. This can lead to less local variety in food offered. Additionally, the transportation itself is harmful to the environment as it uses fossil fuels. For all of these reasons a quite vocal “local food” movement has formed in recent years trying to promote and preserve food quality and local grown food.

    It can be argued, that imported food benefits consumers with low prices and more choice. Supermarkets can choose the least expensive supplier worldwide and offer food at a lower price to their customers. Importing food also enables them to offer more choices, like exotic fruits and international food, to their customers. For example, in some countries it would be impossible to sell most kind of fresh fruits and vegetables in winter at all if they were not imported.

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    #9

    Re: essay

    Topic:
    Children should never be educated at home by their parents. What is your opinion? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

    In most countries children attend school and only in rare cases are educated by their parents in a “home schooling” situation. While I accept that this might work well for some families, I agree that a school can generally provide children with a better education.

    In my view the most important point is to ensure the overall quality of education for all students. Not only is it impractical for working parents to find sufficient time to teach their children, but they are not pedagogical and subject experts like teachers are. Additionally, in a school a given curriculum and regular tests ensure children learn all required skills. Parents might be more biased when judging their own children skills.

    Furthermore, a school can provide equal opportunities to all children in getting a solid education an a balanced view of the world. Some parents might be excellent teaching, while others are less ambitious or able unfairly disadvantaging some children. Similarly, children with special education needs, like being dyslexic, may need the help of an expert more easily available at a school. Finally, some parent have extreme or political views and leaving education to them would deprive children of the chance to explore different views. Children must be given the chance to form their own opinion.

    Another important consideration is that attending a school is a social learning experience. When being home schooled children miss out on having to find their place in a group of peers an important learning experience for their future. Despite parents are important role models for their children teachers can play a crucial role in helping children explore their talents and interests.

    In conclusion, while I think parents play a major role in their children’s education, schools have overall proven to provide the better and more balanced education. I think home schooling will be and should be limited to ill children or those living in remote areas.

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    #10

    Re: essay

    Informal letter

    Topic:
    A friend who lives in another country has invited to you come and stay with him/her on your next holiday. You are too busy to accept the invitation
    Write a letter to your friend. In your letter
    Thank him/her for the invitation
    Explain why you cannot come
    Give him/her your other news

    Dear Rosella,
    how are you doing? When I got your letter last week I realized we haven‘t talked in month. Thank you so much for including the pictures of your new house and inviting us to visit you in Brazil this summer. I always wanted to go there, but I am afraid we will not be able to make it this summer. Maybe you can visit us instead in Australia? We have just moved to the coast 3 month ago and I have decided to quit my office job. Instead we are now running a small café in a historic beach house. It is quite exciting, but also a lot of work: I get up at 5 a.m. every morning and we usually close after 11 p.m. The house was quite run down when we bought it, but now it looks fantastic. Obviously, I can not close the café for several weeks during summer as we just opened a few weeks ago. We also adopted a puppy named „Spotty“ we can not take on the trip. I attached a few pictures to the letter and I hope they will convince you to come here this summer. Just let me know.
    Yours Sincerely,
    A. B.

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