Task 2: Sport in school

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

Sport should be a compulsory subject throughout the school years. To what extent do you agree or disagree? 

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.

*****

Few people would dispute the importance of physical activity in childhood. It has therefore been suggested that physical education (PE) classes ought to be mandatory throughout the school years. Personally, I completely agree with this argument.

First of all, the inclusion of PE in the core curriculum would have significant health benefits. When children are engaged in physical activity, there is no doubt that they are fitter and healthier. These active habits can be carried into adulthood too, reducing their chances of obesity and related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. In other words, the impact can be long-lasting. If PE were only an optional elective, many students would opt out, missing out on these advantages and may suffer dire consequences in the future.

In addition to the impact on health, compulsory PE can have other benefits as well. In terms of academic development, it has been proven that quality PE lessons can improve literacy, numeracy, problem-solving and strategic thinking. Participation in sports can also contribute to the development of social skills such as teamwork, cooperation and even leadership. When playing basketball, for instance, children are not just running and throwing but also communicating, sharing and encouraging. Such qualities can be of great value in future job opportunities and positions of responsibility.

In conclusion, it is clear that physical education in school is not only vital to long-term physical health but can also play a critical role in academic and social skill development. It should therefore be included in every school syllabus from prep to year 12.

(258 words | band 9)

Written by a Bayside IELTS expert, Melbourne

IELTS TOP TIPS #5

Speaking: Improving your pronunciation

In IELTS Speaking, pronunciation is worth 25% of your score. As you’re speaking, the examiner is thinking about things like:

  • Phonemes: Are all the English sounds pronounced correctly?
  • Linking: Are the words linked together naturally?
  • Chunking: Are there pauses in the correct places?
  • Intonation: Is the voice going up and down in a natural way?
  • Stress: Is the word and sentence stress correct?

There are 2 big problems examiners often encounter which can be easily fixed:

1) flat speech

and

2) fast speech

Tips: If your speech is naturally flat and robotic, pretend you are on stage singing. Force your voice to go up and down, to be more dramatic than usual. Let your inner star shine! Listen to TED talks and podcasts. Mimic the way the speakers use intonation to express themselves. You won’t believe the difference!

If you’re a fast talker, the solution is simple: Slooooooow dooooooown, pause more and give important words some space. This doesn’t mean pausing after every single word but pausing (or micro-pausing) after chunks of meaning (verb phases, noun phrases etc).

Watch how Michelle Obama uses intonation, stress and pausing to engage with the audience here.