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IELTS Writing Sample #40

It is often said that the subjects taught in schools are too academic in orientation and that it would be more useful for children to learn about practical matters such as home management, work and interpersonal skills.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

  • You should write at least 250 words.
  • You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

model answer:

A criticism often heard these days is that the subjects taught in schools tend to be too academic, and contribute little to preparing a young person for the real-life tasks he or she will have to perform after graduation. They say that academic subjects are rooted in the past, and are not useful for solving modern problems. I disagree with this point of view for three reasons.

My first reason is that it is the duty of parents, not teachers, to prepare their children to deal with the practical affairs of life. The home, not the classroom, is the ideal place to learn about home management and interpersonal skills. As for work abilities and attitudes, they are best learned “on the job” and under the supervision of an experienced older worker.

My second reason is that academic subjects have withstood the test of time. They represent the accumulated wisdom of our ancestors down through the ages, and, far from being impractical, they equip us with the knowledge and confidence to make sound judgements about any problems which may crop up. In addition, academic subjects are good for training us in mental discipline, while practical subjects are weak in this regard.

My third reason is based on the saying “Man does not live by bread alone.” Schooldays devoted solely to instruction in down-to-earth practical matters would be dull indeed! Lessons in the best literature of the world, and the epoch-making scientific and geographical discoveries of the past enrich our lives and make us feel that we are part of the great family of mankind.

All in all, the teaching of academic subjects in schools is entirely appropriate. It is my firmly held view that practical subjects have no place in the classroom. On the contrary, the curriculum should be more academic!


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