Writing Task 2

In the past, lectures were the traditional method of teaching large numbers of students in a classroom. Nowadays new technology is increasingly being used to teach students.

We have moved into a technology-driven era where technology is affecting many different aspects of our life, and education is no exception. So, in some schools, traditional methods of education have been revolutionised by new technology to the extent that the lecture is no longer the main method of teaching students. While this new approach has some advantages, it also has many significant shortcomings. This essay outlines both the advantages of disadvantages of this novel approach.

Perceivably the biggest advantage of the use of the latest technology in education is the flexibility it offers. This is evident in two different ways-  firstly, it is now no longer essential for students to be present in the classroom for their courses. Covid-19 pandemic has specifically taught us how this flexibility could be a lifesaver. Moreover, the distance learning facility enables employed professionals, housewives and people from different countries to enrol and successfully finish useful courses offered by numerous institutes. Another area of flexibility is of course that the lecturers can use interactive tools like “Moodles”, for example, and other tools to deliver their courses in a more stimulating way to large numbers of students.

Not everything, however, about the introduction of this new technology into education is useful. To start, not all students are comfortable with using technology, even if they are part of the digital native generation. This is a grave issue as they may suffer from their lack of technological skills and interests. For instance, an overwhelming number of students, almost 75%, despite their enthusiasm about smart phones and computers, reported that they do not like online classes. Another related issue is that education is a human activity, and it works best with as much human interaction as possible. Impersonal technology cannot replace the human contact found in traditional face-to-face tutorials and seminars. Thus a piece of technology or tool can never be an alternative to experts tutors who know their students individually and act and teach them accordingly.

To conclude, technology in education brings some important benefits and enables distance learning possible. It also becomes the only way of learning and teaching during pandemics and disasters. However, by the fact that it can be too impersonal for some and discourages others for their lack of technological skills or passion, it is still not the best method to teach and learn.

Some people think that students in single-sex schools perform better academically. Others, however, believe that mixed schools provide children with better social skills for adult life.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Whether single-sex schools render more benefits than mixed school settings has sparked a heated debate. Some people affirm that students in male or female-only schools have better chances for academic achievements, whereas many others argue that co-ed schools offer students better social skills for their future. Personally, I am in favour of the latter view.

Admittedly, single-sex schools have fewer distractions. The reason for this is if a school has only boys or girls, students would not be distracted by members of the opposite sex at school; hence, they can focus on their learning. Even so, these students still have access to the other gender after school, which means in reality, they must meet the other gender anyway. Consequently, the benefits of single-sex schools are quite limited.

On the contrary, convincing arguments can be made that mixed schools provide a more comprehensive learning environment for children. To start with, students studying at mixed schools have more chances to communicate with members of the opposite sex. In other words, children learn how to talk to the other gender at an early age; therefore, their social skills would certainly be fostered. Moreover, mixed schools give students opportunities to deal with conflicts with the other gender, which strengthens students’ problem-solving skills. For instance, when a boy has a conflict with a girl at school, both of them must learn how to cope. This lesson must be learned sooner or later; as a result, students benefit more if they can learn it sooner. Finally, mixed schools provide students with a real-life scenario where both genders co-exist. Specifically, students can learn in an organic environment in which boys and girls must know how to interact with each other.

In conclusion, I would concede that single-sex schools have some advantages. Despite that, combined schools certainly support students in a much better way. Overall, I am convinced that students should go to mixed schools for better professional, social and adult life.

Road accidents are more frequent these days and claim many lives each year. As a result, some people suggest that drivers should take regular driving tests throughout their lives, rather than one single driving test, to improve the situation.

What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of repeat driving tests?

Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

The growing number of cars on the roads and reckless driving are the major causes of increasing road accidents these days. Therefore, many people, as well as some politicians, express their view that repetitive driving tests, and not just one test to get and renew the licence, should be in place. This essay outlines some advantages as well as disadvantages of the continuous testing process and opines that this has more benefits.

To start with the demerits of repeat driving tests, this process may unnecessarily impose a burden on people. This is because they will have to prepare for the test, pay for it, and allocate time for the test in order to renew the licence. As a result, many people may tend to avoid the tests, and one day, get pulled over and fined for an outdated licence. Moreover, it will cost money to the authority as well. Therefore, it may not solve the issue easily while both the drivers and the authority will be under pressure.

To outline the advantages, road safety in a country is a major concern and so is the obligation of legislators regarding this. Increasing vehicular movements and driver’s recklessness is primarily responsible for accidents on the roads. Drivers get outdated and more inept to new road rules and safety practices. For example, with age, many drivers may not see the traffic signals and road signs easily. As a result, such drivers may potentially hit other moving vehicles and people. Therefore, the repeat tests for driving, from time to time, will definitely improve the safety on roads. Moreover, many young drivers do not abide by the traffic rules, and continuous tests would ensure their awareness of safe driving. Finally, when people will have to take driving tests periodically, they will remain updated about traffic and safety rules.

In conclusion, reoccurring driving tests improve people’s driving accuracy, make them aware of safety and laws, and find out potentially risky drivers. So the benefits of such tests surpass the drawbacks.

In the past, people used to travel to see the differences from their home country. However, the sceneries in places around the world seem similar nowadays.

What are the causes of these similarities? Do you think that the advantages of these similarities outweigh the disadvantages?

Global tourism is enjoying an upsurge in popularity nowadays. However, this trend is accompanied by many complaints that similarities of the landscapes considerably reduce the delights and attractions of the travel. Globalisation, in my mind, is the greatest reason for the similarities. I also think that it has more disadvantages than benefits.

No doubt, globalisation unifies the world in many different aspects. Girls in Shanghai can be witnessed to have the same street look as those in Paris and Milan; KFC and Pizza Hut are popular in Bangkok as they are back in California; the amazing film “2012” was premiered internationally at the same moment. Tourist attractions cannot escape from this sweeping trend. Therefore, it is quite normal to hear comments from a tourist in Hong Kong, claiming that what he or she has seen is just the same as in Tokyo.

This phenomenon, to me, is a depressing one. People may have sacrificed too many of their cultural identities for this. Culture is our ancestors’ most treasurable heritage that is supposed to be passed on from generation to generation. It would be disastrous if people could only recall those busy shopping streets instead of the traditional lanes and houses after their trip to Vietnam. And I remember how frustrated I was when I found a lot of popular souvenirs in some foreign countries that could be bought back in Ho Chi Minh City — those delicate wooden sculptures really seemed far less appealing to me.

To conclude, since the trend of globalisation is inevitable, I suggest that both the government and the public make joint efforts in protecting and preserving their unique cultural features. Otherwise, global tourism would eventually turn to be boring and pointless.

Some people think computers and the Internet are important in children’s study, but others think students can learn more effectively in schools and with teachers.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

How children study and learn today, both at home and school, are radically different from the past, and the increased availability and relatively low price of modern technology have been instrumental in this change. However, I feel that while modern technologies, such as computers and the Internet, are important in assisting a child’s learning, this learning should be guided and directed by the experience of human teachers.

Undeniably, computers and the Internet are extensively used in education, and they can present knowledge in a vivid and novel way. The computer and the Internet can also enable students to enhance their general understanding of how to solve difficulties in the study as well as giving them vital skills in readiness for later life. However, the problems are – the information that the computer can show has to be pre programmed and needs constant updating. For example, the Internet may not be always a reliable source for knowledge, since there is often conflicting and fake information available when taken from unauthentic sources. A traditional and long-established practice is for children to study and gain knowledge at school, learning skills in various ways taught by traditional methods by teachers. A school is a place where students gather to be educated and learn from each other and human educators. At school, for instance, students’ development is orchestrated stage by stage, step by step by experienced teachers, and their acquisition of knowledge is guided and backed up systematically.

To conclude, I do not believe that it will help students to learn effectively and in an impressive manner to overemphasising the use of computers and the Internet. Rather, I feel that modern technologies can complement more traditional teaching and learning methods, without being used as a replacement for these traditions.