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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the difficulty of young and old people communicating when they live in different places.

A bit of a strange question…

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IELTS Essay: Communication between Young and Old People

In some places, young people find it difficult to communicate with older people.

Why is this?

What are the solutions?

In many countries, there is a communication rift between the older and younger generations. This is a natural phenomenon and the solution is for both sides to compromise.

The old and young often cannot communicate well because of major differences in perspective. It is natural that older people will have a more mature outlook and younger people be more radical in their views. A good example of this would be in Vietnam where the older generation holds very conservative, traditional views related to familial structures, careers, and social values that conflict with the more modern, progressive positions of the younger generation. Young people have heard the traditional arguments for years and want to rebel, often out of naivety. Older people have the benefit of experience and and feel young people should follow their advice. This basic antagonism underlies poor communication between the generations.

The best solutions all rely on compromise. Young people ought to accept that their lack of life experience puts them at a disadvantage in understanding the world. Many of their opinions are premature and will evolve over time. This implies that they should make greater efforts to understand the counsel of their elders. Their elders, in turn, must realise that their experiences are a small sample size from a unique time period. If, for example, they had to struggle to earn a living and raise a family, they must concede this only a single instance that cannot be simplistically generalised. Moreover, times have changed and what was sound advice in the past, may be largely irrelevant today.

In conclusion, the old and young are in different life stages and naturally have contrasting mindsets and the best solutions require a self-reflective modesty from both demographics. In this way, they will be able to learn more from each other.

Analysis

1. In many countries, there is a communication rift between the older and younger generations. 2. This is a natural phenomenon and the solution is for both sides to compromise.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Clearly answer both questions. Read more about two-part questions here.

1. The old and young often cannot communicate well because of major differences in perspective. 2. It is natural that older people will have a more mature outlook and younger people be more radical in their views. 3. A good example of this would be in Vietnam where the older generation holds very conservative, traditional views related to familial structures, careers, and social values that conflict with the more modern, progressive positions of the younger generation. 4. Young people have heard the traditional arguments for years and want to rebel, often out of naivety. 5. Older people have the benefit of experience and and feel young people should follow their advice. 6. This basic antagonism underlies poor communication between the generations.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with your main idea at the end.
  2. Develop your main idea.
  3. Give a specific example.
  4. Develop the example.
  5. Continue developing it and don’t switch to a new main idea.
  6. Conclude the paragraph.

1. The best solutions all rely on compromise. 2. Young people ought to accept that their lack of life experience puts them at a disadvantage in understanding the world. 3. Many of their opinions are premature and will evolve over time. 4. This implies that they should make greater efforts to understand the counsel of their elders. 5. Their elders, in turn, must realise that their experiences are a small sample size from a unique time period. 6. If, for example, they had to struggle to earn a living and raise a family, they must concede this only a single instance that cannot be simplistically generalised. 7. Moreover, times have changed and what was sound advice in the past, may be largely irrelevant today.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea or begin talking about your first solution.
  3. Vary your long and short sentences.
  4. Draw conclusions from your examples.
  5. Switch to your other solution.
  6. Develop your solution.
  7. Finish developing it fully.

1. In conclusion, the old and young are in different life stages and naturally have contrasting mindsets and the best solutions require a self-reflective modesty from both demographics. 2. In this way, they will be able to learn more from each other.

  1. Summarise your main ideas and repeat your answers.
  2. Add a final thought/detail. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

In many countries, there is a communication rift between the older and younger generations. This is a natural phenomenon and the solution is for both sides to compromise.

The old and young often cannot communicate well because of major differences in perspective. It is natural that older people will have a more mature outlook and younger people be more radical in their views. A good example of this would be in Vietnam where the older generation holds very conservative, traditional views related to familial structures, careers, and social values that conflict with the more modern, progressive positions of the younger generation. Young people have heard the traditional arguments for years and want to rebel, often out of naivety. Older people have the benefit of experience and and feel young people should follow their advice. This basic antagonism underlies poor communication between the generations.

The best solutions all rely on compromise. Young people ought to accept that their lack of life experience puts them at a disadvantage in understanding the world. Many of their opinions are premature and will evolve over time. This implies that they should make greater efforts to understand the counsel of their elders. Their elders, in turn, must realise that their experiences are a small sample size from a unique time period. If, for example, they had to struggle to earn a living and raise a family, they must concede this only a single instance that cannot be simplistically generalised. Moreover, times have changed and what was sound advice in the past, may be largely irrelevant today.

In conclusion, the old and young are in different life stages and naturally have contrasting mindsets and the best solutions require a self-reflective modesty from both demographics. In this way, they will be able to learn more from each other.

Answers

communication rift breakdowns in talking to each other

natural phenomenon happens normally

compromise meet in the middle

major differences in perspective contrasting viewpoints

mature outlook more reasonable viewpoints

radical extreme

views opinions

holds very conservative have traditional opinions

traditional views conservative opinions

familial structures family types

conflict with disagree with

modern new

progressive positions modern views

rebel fight against

naivety inexperienced

benefit of experience can lean on past experiences

follow their advice listen to

basic antagonism underlies conflict at the base of

accept concede

lack of life experience puts them at a disadvantage not having many experiences makes their positions weaker

premature young, not ready

evolve change and get better

implies means

make greater efforts try more

realise understand

small sample size didn’t happen many times

unique time period that time in history

struggle to earn a living have a tough time making money

concede accept

simplistically generalised reductively applied to everyone

sound advice good advice

largely irrelevant today mostly doesn’t apply today

different life stages different times in your life

contrasting mindsets differing outlooks

self-reflective modesty able to be self-critical

demographics age groups

Pronunciation

kəˌmjuːnɪˈkeɪʃən rɪft 
ˈnæʧrəl fɪˈnɒmɪnən 
ˈkɒmprəmaɪz
ˈmeɪʤə ˈdɪfrənsɪz ɪn pəˈspɛktɪv
məˈtjʊər ˈaʊtlʊk 
ˈrædɪkəl 
vjuːz
həʊldz ˈvɛri kənˈsɜːvətɪv
trəˈdɪʃənl vjuːz 
ˈfæmɪli ˈfɪliəl ˈstrʌkʧəz
ˈkɒnflɪkt wɪð 
ˈmɒdən
prəʊˈgrɛsɪv pəˈzɪʃənz 
ˈrɛbl
nɑːˈiːvti
ˈbɛnɪfɪt ɒv ɪksˈpɪərɪəns 
ˈfɒləʊ ðeər ədˈvaɪs
ˈbeɪsɪk ænˈtægənɪzm ˌʌndəˈlaɪz 
əkˈsɛpt 
læk ɒv laɪf ɪksˈpɪərɪəns pʊts ðɛm æt ə ˌdɪsədˈvɑːntɪʤ 
ˌprɛməˈtjʊə 
ɪˈvɒlv 
ɪmˈplaɪz 
meɪk ˈgreɪtər ˈɛfəts 
ˈrɪəlaɪz 
smɔːl ˈsɑːmpl saɪz 
juːˈniːk taɪm ˈpɪərɪəd
ˈstrʌgl tuː ɜːn ə ˈlɪvɪŋ 
kənˈsiːd 
sɪmˈplɪstɪk(ə)li ˈʤɛnərəlaɪzd
saʊnd ədˈvaɪs 
ˈlɑːʤli ɪˈrɛlɪvənt təˈdeɪ
ˈdɪfrənt laɪf ˈsteɪʤɪz 
kənˈtrɑːstɪŋ ˈmaɪndsɛts 
sɛlf-rɪˈflɛktɪv ˈmɒdɪsti 
ˌdiːməˈgræfɪks

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

In many countries, there is a c________________________t between the older and younger generations. This is a n______________________n and the solution is for both sides to c_____________e.

The old and young often cannot communicate well because of m______________________________e. It is natural that older people will have a more m___________________k and younger people be more r___________l in their v_______s. A good example of this would be in Vietnam where the older generation h__________________________e, t______________________s related to f_________________________s, careers, and social values that c_______________________h the more m__________n, p_________________________s of the younger generation. Young people have heard the traditional arguments for years and want to r________l, often out of n_________y. Older people have the b___________________________e and and feel young people should f_________________________e. This b___________________________s poor communication between the generations.

The best solutions all rely on compromise. Young people ought to a_________t that their l__________________________________________________e in understanding the world. Many of their opinions are p____________e and will e__________e over time. This i__________s that they should m________________________s to understand the counsel of their elders. Their elders, in turn, must r___________e that their experiences are a s_____________________e from a u_______________________d. If, for example, they had to s____________________________g and raise a family, they must c___________e this only a single instance that cannot be s_______________________________d. Moreover, times have changed and what was s__________________e in the past, may be l_____________________________y.

In conclusion, the old and young are in d________________________s and naturally have c_________________________s and the best solutions require a s_________________________________y from both d___________________s. In this way, they will be able to learn more from each other.

Listening Practice

Watch the video below to practice your listening:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic here:

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following real questions from the IELTS exam:

Discussions

  1. What do you usually discuss with friends?
  2. How often do you change your mind after a discussion?
  3. What kind of discussions did you have as a kid?
  4. Do you listen to talk more in a discussion?

Writing Practice

Write about the following related topic and then check with my sample answer:

Many people think that it is better to get advice from old rather than young people.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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