Task 1: The charts compare the number of people per household in the UK in 1981 and 2001
The two stacked bar charts detail the UK’s household demographics in 1981 and 2001. The initial impression from the chart is that 1-person and 2-person households were the second most and the most common family classifications in both given years, and they also experienced rises in percentages. The remaining groups made up smaller proportions and underwent corresponding drops, with the 6-person household being the least popular one.
In 1981, 2-person household made up 31%, ranking first among the given household type, after which the rate underwent a mild rise to 34% in 2001. A similar picture is evident in 1-person household, with its figure accounting for 17% and thereafter rising to 26% in 2001.
Opposite patterns could be observed with regard to the remaining groups. In 1981 the shares of 3-person, 4-person, 5-person and 6-person were 20%, 18%, 8% and 6% respectively. Over the next 20 years, they all decreased by similar margins (of around 2-3%) to 17%, 15%, 6% and 2%.
Task 2: Some education systems make students focus on certain subjects at the age of 15, while others require students to study a wide range of subjects until they leave school. What are the benefits of each system? Which do you think is a better educational system?
In certain parts of the world, high school students are required to study a wide array of subjects whereas in some other regions, a narrower teaching scope is preferred. Either educational paradigm offers its own distinct benefits, yet I consider the latter to be the better system.
An education system comprised of a huge number of subjects is often believed to provide students with solid foundations of different natural and societal concepts. For example, a 6th grader in Vietnam is supposed to study around 12-13 subjects, which cover a very wide range of thematic areas, in the hope that at the end of the academic year, they are able to be decent at doing maths, carrying out some basic scientific experiments, and understanding key notions of history and literature. In a sense, this can be beneficial if all of the aspects are well taught, and students’ knowledge is well retained up until they graduate from high school at the age of 15.
However, I would argue that an emphasis on a certain number of subjects is a better educational approach, as it relieves students’ study pressure and allows for greater learning focus. School examinations designed for such an education system are often unnecessarily stressful, and it is not rare to encounter cases of students contemplating suicide for failure to do well in tests. Moreover, more time spent on some particular subjects results in better knowledge retention and skill mastery. Teenagers who have a gift for music, for example, may end up becoming much better musicians in their future career if they can allocate more time doing rehearsals than being forced to memorise large amounts of information for examinations.
In conclusion, my firm conviction is that students can reap greater benefits from an education system which includes a certain number of academic disciplines. In the 21st century when professionalism and personal development are highlighted, such a paradigm will be embraced by more and more educational reformers.
- wide array of: một sự đa dạng
- teaching scope: chương trình/phạm vi giảng dạy
- educational paradigm: mô hình giáo dục
- distinct benefits: lợi tích thấy rõ
- be comprised of: bao gồm
- solid foundations: nền tảng vững chắc
- thematic areas: chủ đề, lĩnh vực, bộ môn
- in the hope that: với hi vọng rằng
- key notion: khái niệm căn bản
- retain: giữ lại
- relieve students’ study pressure: giảm nhẹ áp lực học tập
- contemplate suicide: nghĩ về việc tự sát
- knowledge retention: giữ lại kiến thức
- skill mastery: thành thạo kĩ năng
- have a gift for: có năng khiếu
- educational reformer: nhà cải cách giáo dục
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