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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of children developing skills from the real exam.

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Dave

IELTS Essay: Children Developing Skills

Some people believe that engaging in an active pastime does more to develop children’s life skills than time spent reading.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many today would argue that the best way to aid in a child’s life skills development is to take part in active pursuits, rather than more passive ones such as reading. I am generally in agreement though reading has become increasingly important in contemporary society.

Those who argue against this contention point to the primacy of reading. In the past, large proportions of the world’s population were illiterate. Today, children must be able to read in order to interact with the world online. It could be argued that reading, and writing by extension, are the two most important life skills children can learn. Without them, children will feel alienated from mainstream culture and not be able to stay in touch with friends and family, apply online for jobs, and do research on the internet.

However, reading skills develop organically for children and there are more critical skills that are often neglected in a technological society. Most people would relate to the experience of watching their grandparents display a wide range of life skills including automotive maintenance, cooking, and sewing. These life skills have diverse applicability. A person who is adept with their hands will be able to handle a variety of household tasks, repairs, and renovations. Moreover, there are less concrete benefits. These activities are likely to make an individual more creative, and physically and mentally healthier. Research has shown that more time spent being active, and less time on devices, improves mood, develops lateral thinking ability, and lessens the risk of chronic anxiety disorders.

In conclusion, despite the centrality of reading due to advances in technology, truly valuable life skills require more active participation. Unfortunately, shifts in society related to technology are likely irreversible.

Analysis

1. Many today would argue that the best way to aid in a child’s life skills development is to take part in active pursuits, rather than more passive ones such as reading. 2. I am generally in agreement though reading has become increasingly important in contemporary society.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Those who argue against this contention point to the primacy of reading. 2. In the past, large proportions of the world’s population were illiterate. 3. Today, children must be able to read in order to interact with the world online. 4. It could be argued that reading, and writing by extension, are the two most important life skills children can learn. 5. Without them, children will feel alienated from mainstream culture and not be able to stay in touch with friends and family, apply online for jobs, and do research on the internet.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Finish development.

1. However, reading skills develop organically for children and there are more critical skills that are often neglected in a technological society. 2. Most people would relate to the experience of watching their grandparents display a wide range of life skills including automotive maintenance, cooking, and sewing. 3. These life skills have diverse applicability. 4. A person who is adept with their hands will be able to handle a variety of household tasks, repairs, and renovations. 5. Moreover, there are less concrete benefits. 6. These activities are likely to make an individual more creative, and physically and mentally healthier. 7. Research has shown that more time spent being active, and less time on devices, improves mood, develops lateral thinking ability, and lessens the risk of chronic anxiety disorders.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  5. Develop the example fully.
  6. This paragraph can be longer than the other one.
  7. Be sure each idea has support.

1. In conclusion, despite the centrality of reading due to advances in technology, truly valuable life skills require more active participation. 2. Unfortunately, shifts in society related to technology are likely irreversible.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Many today would argue that the best way to aid in a child’s life skills development is to take part in active pursuits, rather than more passive ones such as reading. I am generally in agreement though reading has become increasingly important in contemporary society.

Those who argue against this contention point to the primacy of reading. In the past, large proportions of the world’s population were illiterate. Today, children must be able to read in order to interact with the world online. It could be argued that reading, and writing by extension, are the two most important life skills children can learn. Without them, children will feel alienated from mainstream culture and not be able to stay in touch with friends and family, apply online for jobs, and do research on the internet.

However, reading skills develop organically for children and there are more critical skills that are often neglected in a technological society. Most people would relate to the experience of watching their grandparents display a wide range of life skills including automotive maintenance, cooking, and sewing. These life skills have diverse applicability. A person who is adept with their hands will be able to handle a variety of household tasks, repairs, and renovations. Moreover, there are less concrete benefits. These activities are likely to make an individual more creative, and physically and mentally healthier. Research has shown that more time spent being active, and less time on devices, improves mood, develops lateral thinking ability, and lessens the risk of chronic anxiety disorders.

In conclusion, despite the centrality of reading due to advances in technology, truly valuable life skills require more active participation. Unfortunately, shifts in society related to technology are likely irreversible.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

aid in help

life skills development learning useful abilities for life in general

take part in active pursuits do non-passive activities like exercising or doing art

rather than instead of

passive not active

I am generally in agreement I mostly agree

increasingly important more and more crucial

contemporary society the world today

Those who argue against this contention point to people not agreeing say

primacy central importance

large proportions big percentages

illiterate unable to read or write

in order to so that

interact with talk to, communicate

It could be argued that some might say that

by extension further

without them not having them

alienated not feeling connected, close to others, society

mainstream culture how most people in the world think and act

stay in touch talk to

apply online send in applications over the internet

research learn about

organically naturally

critical skills key abilities

neglected not paying attention to

technological society more internet usage today and machines

relate to concern

display showcase

wide range lots of variety

automotive maintenance fixing cars

diverse applicability can be used in different ways

adept with good at

handle deal with

variety many types of

household tasks chores, things to be done around the home

repairs fixes

renovations changes, fixing up

concrete real

creative imaginative

physically related to the body

mentally healthier related to mood, feelings, the mind

on devices smartphones, tablets, etc.

improves mood allows for better personality

lateral thinking ability creativity

lessens reduces

risk chances

chronic anxiety disorders always feeling nervous

despite regardless of

centrality importance

truly valuable really important

require need

active participation not passive

unfortunately too bad

shifts changes

irreversible can’t be fixed

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

eɪd ɪn 
laɪf skɪlz dɪˈvɛləpmənt 
teɪk pɑːt ɪn ˈæktɪv pəˈsjuːts 
ˈrɑːðə ðæn 
ˈpæsɪv 
aɪ æm ˈʤɛnərəli ɪn əˈgriːmənt 
ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ɪmˈpɔːtənt 
kənˈtɛmpərəri səˈsaɪəti 
ðəʊz huː ˈɑːgjuː əˈgɛnst ðɪs kənˈtɛnʃən pɔɪnt tuː 
ˈpraɪməsi 
lɑːʤ prəˈpɔːʃənz 
ɪˈlɪtərɪt 
ɪn ˈɔːdə tuː 
ˌɪntərˈækt wɪð 
ɪt kʊd biː ˈɑːgjuːd ðæt 
baɪ ɪksˈtɛnʃən 
wɪˈðaʊt ðɛm 
ˈeɪliəneɪtɪd 
ˈmeɪnstriːm ˈkʌlʧə 
steɪ ɪn tʌʧ 
əˈplaɪ ˈɒnˌlaɪn 
rɪˈsɜːʧ 
ɔːˈgænɪk(ə)li 
ˈkrɪtɪkəl skɪlz 
nɪˈglɛktɪd 
ˌtɛknəˈlɒʤɪk(ə)l səˈsaɪəti
rɪˈleɪt tuː 
dɪsˈpleɪ 
waɪd reɪnʤ 
ˌɔːtəˈməʊtɪv ˈmeɪntənəns
daɪˈvɜːs ˌæplɪkəˈbɪlɪti
ˈædɛpt wɪð 
ˈhændl 
vəˈraɪəti 
ˈhaʊshəʊld tɑːsks
rɪˈpeəz,
ˌrɛnəʊˈveɪʃənz
ˈkɒnkriːt 
kri(ː)ˈeɪtɪv,
ˈfɪzɪkəli 
ˈmɛntəli ˈhɛlθɪə
ɒn dɪˈvaɪsɪz
ɪmˈpruːvz muːd 
ˈlætərəl ˈθɪŋkɪŋ əˈbɪlɪti 
ˈlɛsnz 
rɪsk 
ˈkrɒnɪk æŋˈzaɪəti dɪsˈɔːdəz
dɪsˈpaɪt 
sentrælɪti:
ˈtruːli ˈvæljʊəbl 
rɪˈkwaɪə 
ˈæktɪv pɑːˌtɪsɪˈpeɪʃən
ʌnˈfɔːʧnɪtli
ʃɪfts 
ˌɪrɪˈvɜːsəbl

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Many today would argue that the best way to a______n a child’s l_______________________t is to t________________n a____________________s, r___________n more p_________e ones such as reading. I_____________________________t though reading has become i_____________________t in c_____________________y.

T_______________________________________________o the p_________y of reading. In the past, l_____________________s of the world’s population were i____________e. Today, children must be able to read i____________o i___________h the world online. I_____________________t reading, and writing b_____________n, are the two most important life skills children can learn. W______________m, children will feel a_____________d from m_______________e and not be able to s_____________h with friends and family, a_____________e for jobs, and do r_________h on the internet.

However, reading skills develop o_____________y for children and there are more c____________s that are often n_________d in a t________________y. Most people would r________o the experience of watching their grandparents d_____y a w____________e of life skills including a_____________________e, cooking, and sewing. These life skills have d________________________y. A person who is a__________h their hands will be able to h______e a v_______y of h_____________s, r________s, and r___________s. Moreover, there are less c______e benefits. These activities are likely to make an individual more c________e, and p__________y and m_______________r. Research has shown that more time spent being active, and less time o__________s, i___________d, develops l_____________________y, and l_______s the r____k of c__________________s.

In conclusion, d_________e the c__________y of reading due to advances in technology, t_____________e life skills r________e more a______________n. U_______________y, s_______s in society related to technology are likely i_____________e.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching from YouTube below and practice with these activities:

https://www.youtube.com/c/StorylineOnlineSAF

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Reading

  1. Do you enjoy reading?
  2. What kinds of books do you like?
  3. Do you have a favorite author?
  4. Is reading a popular pastime in your country?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Many believe that reading books is a waste of time and children would be better served doing something more useful.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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