IELTS Writing Task 2 Actual Test:
Topic: Some people think that children should begin their formal education at a very early age. Others think they should begin after 7 years of age. Discuss both views and give your own opinion
There is a long-running debate on the optimal age for children to commence formal school. While some believe that we should introduce structured education to children as soon as possible, I am of the opinion that the school curriculum should be delayed until the age of seven.
On the one hand, those with the former view argue that the sooner approach to academic learning methods could form a stronger foundation of phonological and literacy skills since young children are believed to learn at a more rapid pace than older ones. Early introduction of literacy and numeracy at school could also allow students "not to fall behind" others, giving them better chances to compete with their peers and gain more success in life. In addition, being familiar with academic-intensive curriculum and school regulations, those juniors could develop a range of skills in organizational behaviors, competitiveness and independence at the very early age, which enable them to more easily adapt to their future work.
On the other hand, I firmly believe that a later start of formal education, around age of 7, has outweighed benefits for children. There are several strands of evidence which all point towards the importance of play in young children's development, and the value of the extended period of playful learning before the start of formal schooling. A play-based early educational program could enhance crucial interactions between children and the environment, allowing them to strengthen their physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. It is noticeable that those skill sets, if under the application of formal structure of learning, are certainly hindered by the pressure of academic study load and the lack of access to active, creative and outdoor play. As for long-term impacts, the stress-free childhood, earned by the delay of formally taught lessons at school, could massively contribute to their later educational achievements. Recent research shows that in countries where playful experience and self-discovery methods are implemented until the age of 6 or 7 like Sweden and Finland, the rankings in academic results are significantly higher than those with earlier official school entry age.
In conclusion,while early academic education could benefit to some extent, I hold a belief that the delayed engagement in formal school could offer more foreseen advantages in the interests of children's future achievements and their emotional well-being.
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The writer understood the topic for the essay, but failed to properly represent the 2 public opinions as required of the prompt restatement section of the first paragraph. He went directly to his personal opinion, which created an altered discussion topic and opinion writing instruction. The essay failed to deliver the task restatement + writer opinion in the expected format. This paragraph will receive a failing score due to the inaccurate requirement representation.
The reasoning discussions are also inaccurate as these are all stemming from the personal opinion of the writer rather than following the correct format of:
Par. 2: Public opinion 1 + Explanation of the valid public reasons supporting it
Par. 3: Public opinion 2 + Explanation why the belief is valid
Par. 4: Personal opinion + reasons supporting its validity
The concluding paragraph is also in error as it suddenly shifts the discussion to a measured opinion presentation, which is not part of the original discussion consideration. This further alters the presentation from the original, creating a failing concluding paragraph as well.
At this point, there is a highly limited possibility that this essay might receive a passing score. The writer needs to learn how to focus only on the given discussion instructions and to change nor go overboard with his discussion reasoning paragraphs.