Get updates by email:

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

IELTS Essay Questions 2009

January 10, 2009
The range of technology available for individuals will increase the gap of rich and poor.  . Others think it is having an opposite effect.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

January 15, 2009
Some people think students at schools and universities learn far more from lessons with teachers than from others sources (such as the internet, television).

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

January 17, 2009
Nowadays, people in some countries can choose to live and work anywhere they want, because of the improvement of the communication technology and transport.

Discuss both the advantages and disadvantages.

February 7, 2009
Rich countries often give financial aid to poor countries, but it does not solve poverty, so rich countries should give other types of help to the poor countries rather than financial aid.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

February 12, 2009
Some people think that development in technology causes environmental problems. Some people believe that solution in these problems is everyone accepts a simpler way of life, while others say that technology can solve these problems.

Discuss both views.

February 21, 2009
Some people believe that environmental problems are too big for individuals to deal with, while others think that individuals should take some action.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

February 28, 2009
Some people believe that to improve public health the number of sports facilities should be improved; others believe that it has little effect and need other measures to improve it.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

March 7, 2009
Some people think music plays an important role in society. Others think it is it is simply a form of entertainment.

Discuss both sides of this argument and give your own opinion.

March 14, 2009
More and more students choose to move to other countries to have the higher education. Do you think the advantages far outweigh its disadvantages?

March 21, 2009
It is more important to spend public money on promoting a healthy lifestyle, in order to prevent illness rather than to spend it on the treatment of people who are already ill. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

April 4, 2009
Nowadays people live in a society where consumer goods are relatively cheaper to buy. Do you think its advantages outweigh its disadvantages?

April 18, 2009
If a product is good and necessary, people will buy it, the advertisement will just be a kind of entertainment. 

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

April 25, 2009
Some people think computer and 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.

May 9, 2009
Some people believe that teenagers should learn all school subjects, while others claim that students should focus on the subjects that they are best at or that they are interested in. Discuss both views and give your opinion.  

May 16, 2009
It has been believed that people reading for pleasure have developed better imagination and language skills than people who prefer to watch TV. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

May 21, 2009
Hundred years ago, people thought that human race was steadily improving in every area of life. Nowadays, there is no certainty about this.  In which areas do you think we have made ​​important progress nowadays? In which areas do you think we still need to make progress?

May 30, 2009
Fossil fuels are the main sources of energy in many countries, but in some countries the use of alternative sources of energy are encouraged. Is it a positive or negative development?

June 11, 2009
The food travels thousands of miles from farm to consumer. Some people think it would be better to our environment and economy if people only ate locally produced food. What extend does the advantage outweigh disadvantage?

June 13, 2009
Research suggests that majority of criminals who are sent to prison would commit crimes after they are set free. What do you think are the causes? What to be done to solve this problem?

June 20, 2009
Some believe that those who are not talented in language learning should not be required to learn a foreign language. Do you think school should required students to learn a foreign language?

June 27, 2009
Developing countries require international organizations' help. Some people think that financial aid is important. However, others believe that practical aid and advice is more important. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

July 4, 2009
Money for postgraduate research is limited. Some people, therefore, think that financial support from the government should be only provided for scientific research rather than research for less useful subjects. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

July 11, 2009
Some people argue that the companies and private individuals should pay the bill of cleaning up the pollution they produced, while others believe that it is the government's responsibility. What is your opinion?

July 23, 2009
Some think that the 21st century is providing opportunities for us to make some positive changes. To what extent do you agree or disagree? And what kind of changes will be provided?

August 8, 2009
The development of technology changes the way people connect with each other. In which way does the development of technology change the types of relationships among people? Does it have positive or negative effects on the relationships?

August 13, 2009
The subjects and lesson contents are decided by the authorities such as the government. Some people argue that teachers should make the choice. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

August 22, 2009
News media is more influential nowadays. Some people think it is a negative development. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

August 29, 2009
In the past, people used to travel to see the difference 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 this similarity outweigh the disadvantages?

September 5, 2009
Some people think that young people should receive college education, while other people say that they should work. What's your opinion?

September 12, 2009
Caring for children is the most important thing of the society. It is suggested that all mothers and fathers should be required to take the childcare training courses. Do you agree or disagree with the statement?

September 17, 2009
Some people think that lawbreakers should be sent to prison, while others say that criminals who are better talents should be made ​​to work. Discuss both viewpoints and give your opinion.

September 22, 2009
In some countries, some school leavers choose to work or travel for a period of time between finishing high school and attending college. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this school leavers’ decision. Give your opinion.

October 10, 2009
An increase in production of consumer goods results in damage of the natural environment. What are the causes and possible solutions?

October 24, 2009
Some people think that a university should prepare students for employment, while others disagree and believe it has other functions. Discuss both sides and give your own opinion.

November 7, 2009
In some countries, the rate of teenagers' criminal acts is increasing. What are the reasons and give your measures to reduce it.

November 14, 2009
Some people say that professional workers such as doctors, nurses and teachers who make greater contribution to the society should be paid more than those people in the field of sports and entertainment. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

November 19, 2009
Some people think governments should introduce new technology to improve people's life, while others think free education is the better choice. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

November 21, 2009
Individuals and individual countries cannot help everyone who needs help in the world, so we should be only concerned about our own communities and countries. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

December 5, 2009
Nowadays, people like to throw away damaged things and buy new ones while people in the past would always reuse them by repair. Why do you think it is the case? What problems might this lead to?

December 12, 2009
Using modern technology to work at home benefits workers only, but not employers. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

December 19, 2009
Crime is a big problem all over the world, and we can do nothing to prevent it. To what extent do you agree?

You have read this post. Why don't you write down your opinion it. I greatly appreciate it.

Monday, 23 May 2011

IELTS Essay Questions of 2008 Exams.


1. 10-1-2008
Some people think children’s spending time on TV, video and PC games is good, while others think it is bad.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

2. 12-1-2008
Some people think that criminals should be given longer terms in prison, so as to reduce the crime rate.  Others think there are more alternative ways to reduce crime rate.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

3. 19-1-2008
Old generations often hold some traditional ideas on the correct way of life, thinking and behaviour. However, some people think that it is not helpful for the young generations to prepare for modern life in the future.

What’s your opinion?

4. 24-1-2008
In countries where there is high unemployment most pupils should be given only primary education.  There is no point in giving secondary education to people who have not hope of finding a job.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

4. 26-1-2008
Unemployment is getting increasingly serious in many countries. Some people think students only need to get primary education, while others think secondary education is necessary.

What’s your opinion?

5. 2-2-2008
Some people think people can exploit animals for any purpose they need, while others do not think so.

What is your opinion?

6. 14-2-2008
An increasing number of people choose to live in big cities. What problems will this bring about? Should the government encourage people to live in small towns?

7. 16-2-2008
An American film actor once said, “Tomorrow is important and precious.”  Some people think individuals and society should pay more attention to the future than to the present.

Do you agree or disagree?

8. 23-2-2008
Some people think imported food exerts positive impacts on our lives.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

9. 1-3-2008
Schools offer a wide range of courses such as literature, economics, philosophy, mathematics, physics, history, English, geography, foreign languages, physical education and music. Among all these subjects, which one do you think is the most important and which one is the least important?

10. 8-3-2008
The number of cars keeps increasing, so road systems should be expanded. Some people think the government should pay for it, while others think the car owners should pay for it.

What’s your opinion?

11. 13-3-2008
People should look after their health as a duty to the society they live in rather than personal benefits.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

12. 29-3-2008
Some people think government should ensure a healthy lifestyle of people, but others argue that it should be decided by individuals themselves.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

13. 5-4-2008
One long distance flight uses more fuel that a car uses in several years time, but both produces the same amount of pollution. So some people suggest we should discourage non-essential use of aircraft such as for tourist travel rather than limit the use of cars.

Do you agree or disagree?

14. 12-4-2008
Many people are busy with work and do not have enough time to spend with family and friends.  Why does this happen? What in your opinion are the effects of this on family life and society as a whole?


15. 19-4-2008
Figures show that some countries have an ever-increasing proportion of the population who are aged 15 or younger. What do you think are the current and future effects of this trend for those countries?

16. 24-4-2008
School teachers used to be the source of information.  However, some people argue that teachers are not as important as before in modern education, with the wide variety of information sources.

Do you agree or disagree?

17. 10-5-2008
Some children can learn efficiently by watching television. Therefore, they should be encouraged to watch television regularly both at home and in school.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

18. 22-5-2008
Some people think schools should teach children some academic subjects which will be beneficial for their future careers.  Therefore other subjects such as sport and music are not important.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

19. 31-5-2008
Some people argue that the fittest and strongest individuals and teams can achieve the greatest success in sports. But other people think mental attitude is equally important.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

20. 5-6-2008
Some people think that university students should specialize in one subject, while others think universities should encourage students to learn a range of subjects.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

21. 14-6-2008
Some people think the cheap air travel let more people to chose it, but others think that in order to fix the environmental problems created by increase in flights, cheap flights should be banned.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

22. 21-6-2008
Some people think that children should obey rules or do what their parents and teachers want them to do, but others think that children controlled too much cannot deal with problems well by themselves.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

23. 28-6-2008
With technology speeding up, more and more young people begin to use mobile phones and the Internet, but old people have little chance to be exposed to them.  What ways could mobile phone and the Internet be useful to old people? How do old people be encouraged to use this new technology?

24. 5-7-2008
Some people think that theoretical subjects such as maths, philosophy and economics should not be taught in universities and they should focus on practical subjects such as computer technology and accounting. 

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

25. 12-7-2008
Some people support development of agriculture, like factory farming and scientific creation of fruits and vegetables, while others oppose it.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

26. 24-7-2008
Some people think that in the modern society individuals are becoming more dependent on each other, while others say that individuals are becoming more independent of each other.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

27. 26-7-2008
Some people think international cooperation has brought about benefits to world environmental protection, while others think that more gains have been made by international business.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

28. 9-8-2008
The government should encourage industries and businesses to move out of big cities and go to rural areas.

To what extent do you think the advantages outweigh disadvantages?

29. 16-8-2008
Giving detailed description of crimes in newspapers and television can create arguments.  Some people think that it has negative consequences.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

30. 21-8-2008
International travel makes people prejudiced rather than broad-minded.
What are its causes and what measures can be taken to solve this problem?

31. 30-8-2008
Some people think that students should be organized into groups to study, while others argue that students should be made to study alone.

What are the benefits of each study method and which one do you think is more effective?

32. 6-9-2008
Once children start school, teachers have more influences on their intellectual and social development than parents.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

33. 13-9-2008
Many people think it is important to protect the environment, but make no effort for it themselves. Why is this happening?  How can we solve it?

34. 13-9-2008

Criminals are usually imprisoned but many think and job training and education should replace this way of dealing with criminals.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

35. 27-9-2008
Poor students or students who come from rural areas often find it is difficult to get access to university education.  So some people think that university education should be made easier for such people.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

36. 11-10-2008
Society is based on rules and laws. If individuals were free to do whatever they want to do, it could not function.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

37. 23-10-2008
Many people use distance-learning programs to study at home through television or internet is better, but some people think that it cannot bring as much benefits as attending college or university.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

38. 25-10-2008
Economic progress is one way of measuring the success of a country.  Some other factors should also be taken into consideration.  What other factors should be considered.  Within these factors, which one do you think is more important than others? 

39. 8-11-2008
Fashion has become more and more important for people to choose clothes.  Why is it? What are the positive and negative effects does this trend on the society?

40. 15-11-2008
More and more people work at home and study at home with the development of computer technology.

Do you think it is positive or negative development?

41. 20-11-2008
International travel is becoming cheaper than before, so more and more countries open their doors to tourists.

Do the advantages of the increased tourism outweigh the disadvantages?

42. 29-11-2008
Some people think modern games can help children to develop a wide range of skills, but other people argue that traditional games can be much better for developing such skills.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

43. 4-12-2008
Because of the global economy, many goods including the ones that we use daily are basically produced by other counties and have to be transported a long distance.

To what extent do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

44. 6-12-2008
Memorization of information by frequent repetition, namely rote learning, play a major role in most education systems.

To what extent do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

45. 13-12-2008
Some people believe that a country benefits greatly while so many students graduate from universities, while others believe that sending a large percentage of young students to university leads to graduate unemployment.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Vocabulary for Funerals and Burial

Vocabulary for Funerals and Burial


ashes (noun) the substance that remains after a person’s body has been cremated (=burned after death)

bier (noun) a wooden structure for putting a coffin (=a container for a dead body) on

box (noun) a coffin for a dead body

burial (noun) the process of putting a dead body into a grave in the ground at a funeral

bury (verb) to put someone’s dead body in the ground during a funeral ceremony

casket (noun) a coffin for a dead body

coffin (noun) a long box in which a dead person is buried

cort├Ęge (noun) a line of people and cars taking part in a funeral

remains (noun) ashes that are left after cremation

cremate (verb) to burn the body of a dead person


crematorium (noun) a building where the bodies of dead people are cremated

dirge (noun) a slow sad song often sung at a funeral

disinter (verb) to dig a dead body out of the ground

embalm (verb) to preserve a dead body using chemicals. A person who does this as a job is called an embalmer

entomb (verb) to put a dead person in a tomb (=an underground room)

epitaph (noun) a short piece of writing that honours a dead person, especially one written on their grave

eulogy (noun) a speech at a funeral about the person who has died

executor (noun) someone who arranges for the instructions of a dead person’s will to be followed

exhume (verb) to remove a dead person’s body from where it is buried, especially in order to find out how they died

funeral (noun) a ceremony that takes place after someone dies, usually including a religious ceremony, and the formal process of taking the body to the place where it is buried or cremated

funeral (noun) relating to a funeral

gravedigger (noun) someone whose job is to dig graves

mortuary (noun) a place where a dead body is kept

mourner (noun) someone who is at a funeral, especially a relative or close friend of the dead person

mourning (noun) the process or ceremony of expressing great sadness because someone has died

mummify (verb) to preserve a dead body by treating it with special oils and wrapping it in long narrow pieces of cloth to prevent it from decaying

pallbearer (noun) someone who helps to carry a coffin at a funeral

pyre (noun) a high pile of wood for burning a dead body in a funeral ceremony

repose (verb) to be buried in a particular place

shroud (noun) a piece of cloth that is wrapped around a dead body before it is buried

shroud (verb) to wrap a dead body in a piece of cloth

undertaker (noun) someone whose job is to make arrangements for funerals

urn (noun) a container for the ashes of a dead person after the body has been burnt

wreath (noun) a circle of flowers or leaves that you put on a grave to show that you are remembering the dead person

cremation (noun)

exhumation (noun)

mummification (noun)
a letter/message/book of condolence (noun) a letter that you write or a book that you write in to show that you are sorry that someone has died
burial at sea a funeral ceremony that takes place on a ship, in which the dead person’s body is dropped into the sea

lay someone to rest (verb) to bury someone’s body in a ceremony after they have died

lie in state (verb) if the dead body of an important person lies in state, it is put in a public place for people to go and look at

pay your (last) respects (to someone) (verb) to go to someone’s funeral