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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of recycling from the real IELTS general training exam.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.com/howtodoielts to receive my exclusive IELTS Ebooks – you can even sign up for private live lessons with me!

Dave

IELTS Essay: Recycling

Some say that children should be taught at school to recycling and avoid waste. Others say they should learn this at home.

Discuss both views and give your opinion

Many feel that school, rather than the home, is the optimal environment to teach children about recycling and avoiding excessive waste. In my opinion, though schools can provide ideal social pressure, habits instilled at home are more likely to be long-lasting.

Those who would prioritize the duty of schools in this matter point to social factors. At school, students are first exposed to group dynamics and the expectations placed on them by institutions. Later in life, teachers will become bosses and school will become work. Children are especially vulnerable to the social pressures exerted by teachers and peers. For example, most young students will follow school rules without considering the possibility of disobeying. However, there is a likely turning point that will occur later in one’s schooling that may render progress achieved as a child less effective.

In contrast, the behaviors that a child learns at home can help form their identity. For instance, members of a family are likely to have similar tastes in food, entertainment, and various hobbies. Recycling is simply another habit that can be acquired and maintained over years. A child who reflexively recycles from a very young age will probably continue this action as they get older and learn the solid reasoning behind it. There is a chance that for other rules and habits they may rebel and actively work to change their identity but this is unlikely to occur with recycling since it is universally regarded as positive and progressive.

In conclusion, the home is a superior location to build habits related to recycling because schools often fail to instill lifelong behavioral changes. Therefore, a committed approach by parents is paramount to protecting the environment in the future.

Analysis

1. Many feel that school, rather than the home, is the optimal environment to teach children about recycling and avoiding excessive waste. 2. In my opinion, though schools can provide ideal social pressure, habits instilled at home are more likely to be long-lasting.

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

1. Those who would prioritize the duty of schools in this matter point to social factors. 2. At school, students are first exposed to group dynamics and the expectations placed on them by institutions. 3. Later in life, teachers will become bosses and school will become work. 4. Children are especially vulnerable to the social pressures exerted by teachers and peers. 5. For example, most young students will follow school rules without considering the possibility of disobeying. 6. However, there is a likely turning point that will occur later in one’s schooling that may render progress achieved as a child less effective.

  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. Extend with some short sentences as well.
  6. You can include a concession here!

1. In contrast, the behaviors that a child learns at home can help form their identity. 2. For instance, members of a family are likely to have similar tastes in food, entertainment, and various hobbies. 3. Recycling is simply another habit that can be acquired and maintained over years. 4. A child who reflexively recycles from a very young age will probably continue this action as they get older and learn the solid reasoning behind it. 5. There is a chance that for other rules and habits they may rebel and actively work to change their identity but this is unlikely to occur with recycling since it is universally regarded as positive and progressive.

  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. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!

1. In conclusion, the home is a superior location to build habits related to recycling because schools often fail to instill lifelong behavioral changes. 2. Therefore, a committed approach by parents is paramount to protecting the environment in the future.

  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 feel that school, rather than the home, is the optimal environment to teach children about recycling and avoiding excessive waste. In my opinion, though schools can provide ideal social pressure, habits instilled at home are more likely to be long-lasting.

Those who would prioritize the duty of schools in this matter point to social factors. At school, students are first exposed to group dynamics and the expectations placed on them by institutions. Later in life, teachers will become bosses and school will become work. Children are especially vulnerable to the social pressures exerted by teachers and peers. For example, most young students will follow school rules without considering the possibility of disobeying. However, there is a likely turning point that will occur later in one’s schooling that may render progress achieved as a child less effective.

In contrast, the behaviors that a child learns at home can help form their identity. For instance, members of a family are likely to have similar tastes in food, entertainment, and various hobbies. Recycling is simply another habit that can be acquired and maintained over years. A child who reflexively recycles from a very young age will probably continue this action as they get older and learn the solid reasoning behind it. There is a chance that for other rules and habits they may rebel and actively work to change their identity but this is unlikely to occur with recycling since it is universally regarded as positive and progressive.

In conclusion, the home is a superior location to build habits related to recycling because schools often fail to instill lifelong behavioral changes. Therefore, a committed approach by parents is paramount to protecting the environment in the future.

Answers

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

rather than instead of

optimal environment best place

recycling using products again – or putting them in bins so they can be processed and used again

avoiding excessive waste not throwing away too much stuff

provide ideal social pressure feel a lot of stress from others

instilled encouraged

long-lasting doesn’t go away for a while

prioritize make most important

duty responsibility

matter issue

point to highlight

social factors elements rated to people around them

exposed open to

expectations placed on them by institutions wishes put on by schools

later in life as they get older

especially vulnerable to really weak to

social pressures anxiety from people aroung you

exerted by forced by

peers fellow students

follow listen to

considering thinking about

possibility chance

disobeying not following rules

turning point change in thinking

occur happen

schooling going to school

render progress achieved make what they have done

effective works well

in contrast however

form their identity make up their personality

members of a family people in your family

tastes likes

acquired gathered

maintained kept up

reflexively instinctively

continue keep on

learn the solid reasoning behind it realize the justifications for it

rebel fight against

actively work make a big effort to

unlikely not much of a chance

universally regarded as worldwide thought ot

progressive forward-thinking

superior location better place

related to having to do with

fail to instill lifelong behavioral changes not make you follow these actions forever

therefore thus

committed approach dedicated way

paramount crucial

protecting keeping safe

Pronunciation

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

ˈrɑːðə ðæn 
ˈɒptɪməl ɪnˈvaɪərənmənt 
ˌriːˈsaɪklɪŋ 
əˈvɔɪdɪŋ ɪkˈsɛsɪv weɪst
prəˈvaɪd aɪˈdɪəl ˈsəʊʃəl ˈprɛʃə
ɪnˈstɪld 
lɒŋ-ˈlɑːstɪŋ
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz 
ˈdjuːti 
ˈmætə 
pɔɪnt tuː 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈfæktəz
ɪksˈpəʊzd 
ˌɛkspɛkˈteɪʃənz pleɪst ɒn ðɛm baɪ ˌɪnstɪˈtjuːʃənz
ˈleɪtər ɪn laɪf
ɪsˈpɛʃəli ˈvʌlnərəbl tuː 
ˈsəʊʃəl ˈprɛʃəz 
ɪgˈzɜːtɪd baɪ 
pɪəz
ˈfɒləʊ 
kənˈsɪdərɪŋ 
ˌpɒsəˈbɪlɪti 
ˌdɪsəˈbeɪɪŋ
ˈtɜːnɪŋ pɔɪnt 
əˈkɜː 
ˈskuːlɪŋ 
ˈrɛndə ˈprəʊgrəs əˈʧiːvd 
ɪˈfɛktɪv
ɪn ˈkɒntrɑːst
fɔːm ðeər aɪˈdɛntɪti
ˈmɛmbəz ɒv ə ˈfæmɪli 
teɪsts 
ˌriːˈsaɪklɪŋ 
əˈkwaɪəd 
meɪnˈteɪnd 
rɪˈflɛksɪvli 
kənˈtɪnju(ː) 
lɜːn ðə ˈsɒlɪd ˈriːznɪŋ bɪˈhaɪnd ɪt
ˈrɛbl 
ˈæktɪvli wɜːk 
ʌnˈlaɪkli 
ˌjuːnɪˈvɜːsəli rɪˈgɑːdɪd æz 
prəʊˈgrɛsɪv
sju(ː)ˈpɪərɪə ləʊˈkeɪʃən 
rɪˈleɪtɪd tuː 
feɪl tuː ɪnˈstɪl ˈlaɪflɒŋ bɪˈheɪvjərəl ˈʧeɪnʤɪz
ˈðeəfɔː
kəˈmɪtɪd əˈprəʊʧ 
ˈpærəmaʊnt 
prəˈtɛktɪŋ 

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 feel that school, r_____________n the home, is the o____________________t to teach children about r_________g and a________________________e. In my opinion, though schools can p___________________________e, habits i_________d at home are more likely to be l___________g.

Those who would p____________e the d___y of schools in this m________r p________o s___________s. At school, students are first e___________d to group dynamics and the e_____________________________________s. L______________e, teachers will become bosses and school will become work. Children are e________________________o the s________________________y teachers and p_______s. For example, most young students will f_______w school rules without c_____________g the p___________y of d_____________g. However, there is a likely t_______________t that will o_________r later in one’s s____________g that may r_____________________________d as a child less e______________e.

I________________t, the behaviors that a child learns at home can help f__________________y. For instance, m______________________y are likely to have similar t________s in food, entertainment, and various hobbies. R___________g is simply another habit that can be a___________d and m______________d over years. A child who r___________y recycles from a very young age will probably c____________e this action as they get older and l________________________________t. There is a chance that for other rules and habits they may r________l and a______________k to change their identity but this is u____________y to occur with recycling since it is u__________________y r______________s positive and p________________e.

In conclusion, the home is a s___________n to build habits r__________o recycling because schools often f____________________________________________s. T____________e, a c_________________h by parents is p__________t to p____________g the environment in the future.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

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

https://www.naturespath.com/en-us/blog/19-activities-kids-learn-recycling/

Speaking Practice

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

Rubbish/Garbage/Litter

  1. How do you react when you see litter on the streets?
  2. Do you recycle?
  3. How do you help keep the streets tidy?
  4. What would you do if someone else dropped some litter?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Some people say that the main environmental problem of our time is the loss of particular species of plants and animals. Others say that there are more important environmental problems.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.


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