In the writing section of the ECPE, students are required to write an essay on a choice of two topics, the style of which will depend on the topic. You have 30 minutes to write 250-300 words on one of two topics. Regardless of the style, the general essay plan will remain the same:
INTRODUCTION, MAIN BODY, CONCLUSION Attention: We suggest that you first read the topic, then get a notebook and write the composition and finally read the model composition to see whether you have covered the topic sufficiently. This way, you will get better and better in writing. When you read a Model composition, try to remember it as much as possible. Model Compositions. Model Composition 1
Some people insist that the main emphasis in foreign language teaching should be on speaking and writing correctly, while others feel that teaching learners how to communicate and express their ideas fluently should be the main goal. What’s your opinion? Support yow ideas with reasons and examples from your own language-learning experience.
Which is more important in learning a language:
speaking and writing correctly, or expressing yourself fluently but inaccurately? Although both are important, if I
had to choose, I’d say developing fluency is a higher priority.
Grammar knowledge alone does not make students competent language users. I learned this the hard way
on my first trip to France. After two years of grammar based college French, I was completely unable to make
myself understood or do the simplest things like ask for directions or order food. The problem was that my
training had included plenty of grammar drills, but very little free practice. In the real world, I kept finding myself
in situations that I hadn’t met in class, and I was so nervous about applying the rules and not making mistakes that I couldn’t communicate effectively.
This experience made me rethink my ideas about language learning. I realized that learning to communicate in a new language was a lot like learning a musical instrument. You can’t learn to play the piano by just studying music theory. You have to put your fingers on the keyboard and practice until gradually you begin to play more smoothly. And just as in learning to play an instrument, making mistakes when you learn to speak and write a new language should be a natural part of the learning process. The idea is to practice and get better at playing the “melody,” which for language learners is the ability to communicate ideas. Perfection can come later.
Of course, the end goal of language learning should be both fluency and accuracy, but I feel strongly that learners should be encouraged to develop fluency first. After all, no one expects a baby to speak in perfectly grammatical sentences. Babies learn by communicating simply at first and then developing a gradual mastery of their native tongue. Language students should be encouraged to develop in a similar way.
=========== Model Composition 2 Some people feel admission should be free to national museums, galleries, and major historical sites, while others disagree, arguing that admission fees are necessary. Discuss the arguments for and against establishing free admission to national treasures. Which do you feel is a better policy? Support your ideas with reasons and examples. Everyone agrees that museums and other cultural institutions help to preserve culture and educate people. The question is: Should admission to such institutions be free, or should a fee be charged to help fund them?
The issue is far from black and white, so it’s worth looking at both sides.
On the one hand are those who feel that cultural institutions should be free of charge. Their main argument is that these institutions belong to the people. As such, they should be funded by tax dollars and exist for the betterment of everyone in society. Free access means that everyone can visit these treasures as often as they like. In other words, no one is deprived by their inability to pay. It also means that families and educational institutions can encourage children to take full advantage of the enriched educational experience that museums offer.
On the other hand are those who argue against free admission. This group maintains that while free admission sounds attractive, it is far from practical. They point out that with government funding alone, it is difficult for museums to make ends meet — particularly during economic downturns, when funding might be reduced. A museum needs to cover operating expenses, make new acquisitions, and mount new exhibitions, and fees can go a long way towards reducing the strain on tight budgets. They also argue that fees do not necessarily mean that less fortunate people would be deprived. With careful planning, for example, deeply discounted fees could be set for students, and inexpensive membership plans established for families and frequent visitors.
On balance, I feel that although both sides have merit, charging admission fees is the better option. Without them, we may lose much of the culture that we are trying to protect. With them, museums will be able to offer even better programs for school children and others who would most benefit. ============== MODEL composition 3
The only way to solve a serious crisis between two nations is by going to war. What is your opinion?
Even though the twentieth century saw two world wars, the threat of war is something which hangs over us all the time, and is particularly acute in times of international crisis, It is my belief that war is not the answer and should only be declared as a last resort. Avoidance is the key word.
It is a sad fact that war is being waged somewhere in the world every day of the year. Obviously, without disarmament on a global scale this is the way it will always be. Without weapons, countries would not be able to fight but, instead, would be forced to reach a peaceful compromise.
It seems that it is the world’s superpowers who play an important role in making sure that war is averted. By not abusing their strength, and respecting the rights of minor countries to self-determination many conflicts could be avoided. They should also stay out of the internal affairs of other countries. Disagreeing with the politics of another country does not give the superpowers the right to invade it. It is also their responsibility to halt the arms race by setting the example. For instance, should they themselves dismantle their existing missile systems and put a stop to the testing of nuclear weapons then other countries would be forced to follow suit.
The importance of setting major disputes such as those regarding a country’s borders or the fair distribution of resources such as oil and water is paramount in preventing some wars from breaking out. Should two countries involved in a dispute fail to resolve the issue, the United Nations, an international organization, should be called in to arbitrate. Any talks will then be conducted through an intermediary body which will assist the countries in reaching a settlement.
There are those countries though, who feel they can fully justify their reasons for engaging in warfare. Having to overthrow an oppressive regime is just one of them. Another is being forced to defend their land against aggressors. Of course, no country can be expected just to stand by while they are being invaded.
In conclusion, it appears that we are still a long way from achieving world peace. Although many of us have either witnessed or are aware of the evils of war it seems in some cases to still be the only option. Unfortunately, it is usually the innocent who are forced to pay the price for other people’s selfishness and greed. War is rarely, if ever, the answer and our children should be taught this from an early age through our own example. After all, hate breeds hate. ================ MODEL composition 4
It has often been said that there is a lot of money to be made in encouraging people to perfect their appearance.
Discuss this idea, using your own personal experiences to explain your points.
Today, more than ever, people in the West have probably never been more affluent. However, instead of enjoying ourselves we seem to spend most of our time worrying about how we look to others. Of course, there is no lack of people who are quick to make money out of and even fuel this obsession.
With the help of the media, modern society dictates that in order for us to be successful on both a personal and a professional level we need to look like Hollywood stars. Even though we are all fully aware that their appearances have been enhanced by the help of a surgeon’s knife or by eating barely enough to keep a sparrow alive, we still strive for perfection.
An colleague of mine, Maria Valiou, being naturally on the plump side was forever on one diet or another. She even signed up for a diet delivery, but all she lost was her money. Then she made the decision to have liposuction done on various parts of her body. The results were apparent almost immediately. However, this did not really bring her the happiness we had expected it to, due to the fact that she had diverted her attention to her slightly oversized nose! In the meantime, she had joined the gym, paid for with her credit card.
The physical features having been dealt with, it is the fashion industry’s turn to make some money. The fact is that clothes are no longer just worn for their intended purpose — to keep us warm while hiding our modesty. They are, in fact, meant to say something about the wearer — this idea being fed to us by fashion designers. Most of us in the West spend large chunks of our earnings on the latest fashions. This, we believe, is money well spent as it will put us into the “trendy” category, disregarding the fact that these clothes will be relegated to the back of the wardrobe within three months. The trendsetters again — our Hollywood idols!
This was the case for my childhood friend, Christine, who always had to be the most fashionable girl in the school. This meant that she could only be seen sporting designer labels. Of course, her parents could not afford this extravagance so she was forced to find a part-time job to fund it.
In conclusion, it would seem that many different lines of business have realized how to exploit people’s vulnerability in order to make money. Appearance seems to be the current selling point in the West. Driven by a desire to look as perfect as those they look up to, whether it be movie stars or sports personalities, people will go to great lengths to look like them in the hope that they will be able to share in their success. Sadly, the one thing that cannot be sold as a commodity is emotional fulfillment. ============ MODEL COMPOSITION 5
Nowadays, many students opt to study at a foreign university.
What are some of the factors that motivate this decision? Studying abroad is sometimes a matter of necessity. In some countries, places in institutions of higher learning are limited and competition for these places is fierce. This means that many students may not secure a place at a university in their own country and must, therefore, look elsewhere. In my country, students who want to study subjects like law or engineering must meet very high admission requirements, and many capable students fail to make the grade. However, these students may get accepted at a foreign university to study the subject they want.
Another important consideration that may lead a student to study abroad is the reputation a foreign university has. Many leading universities abroad are renowned for their high educational standards. because these universities are often well funded, they are able to offer students a range of benefits, such as a wider choice of subjects and more high-tech facilities. For students who can afford it, a period of study at a foreign university with international prestige may be an attractive option. Finally, students who decide to study abroad have a unique opportunity to develop skills they will need in their chosen careers. While at a foreign university, students can improve their grasp of a second language, and they will get used to living and working in a different cultural environment. These skills are important in fields such as tourism or international business, in which people often have dealings with people from abroad. I therefore firmly believe that for students who want to work in these professions, there is good reason to enroll at a foreign university.
In conclusion, going abroad to study may be considered a wise move for a number of reasons. Students can have more options when it comes to entering higher education, and more experiences that will help them professionally. This, in my view, can make their university experience even more worthwhile. ================ MODEL COMPOSITION 6
Many young people use social networking websites on the Internet through which they contact friends or establish new friendships online. However, some people claim that such activities are bad for young people. Do you think that using social networking websites could have a negative effect on the young? Explain and give examples.
Many teenagers who have access to the Internet enjoy socializing with other users online. However, some people have raised concerns about young people using these sites. In my view, such fears are largely exaggerated.
Admittedly, there are some risks involved in using social networking websites. Perhaps the most obvious risk is that a person could become so obsessed with socializing over the Internet that they neglect their social life in the real world. Obviously, this could be detrimental to social development, since online friendships are a poor substitute for real personal relationships based on face-to- face conversation and shared experiences. Another serious danger of social networking sites is that young users may become easy targets for dangerous individuals who intend to steal from them or even cause them physical harm. Such people seek out young victims on the Internet and can try to meet those who reveal their personal details online. Users of social networking sites are repeatedly warned not to post personal information, yet some have been known to ignore these warnings.
On the other hand, I believe that the majority of young Internet users are sensible enough not to overuse social networking sites or reveal personal information online. When used properly, these websites have many advantages. Through them, young people can make new friends from all over the world. Furthermore, the Internet is a good way of staying in touch with old friends. Contacting friends through a social networking site can be more fun than speaking on the telephone because users can exchange photos, play games, and even use a webcam to see each other while they talk. In conclusion, I believe that use of social networking websites doesn’t have to be a cause for concern. Far from restricting social interaction, these websites can actually broaden and enrich young people’s social lives, and they are perfectly safe provided users are careful.
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