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Lesson 2: Opinion > Discussion type task

Example Task You should spend about 40 minutes on this question. Some people believe that sport is an essential part of school life for children, while others feel it should be purely optional. Discuss these opposing views and give your own opinion. You should give reasons for your answer, and include ideas and examples from […]

Example Task

You should spend about 40 minutes on this question.

Some people believe that sport is an essential part of school life for children, while others feel it should be purely optional. Discuss these opposing views and give your own opinion.

You should give reasons for your answer, and include ideas and examples from your own knowledge and experience. Write at least 250 words.  

 

Explanation of the task

This is an OPINION > DISCUSSION type task. It asks you to consider both sides of an argument, and then give your opinion. You should discuss both sides objectively, describing two or three points on each side, and then give your personal view in the conclusion. Remember, your personal view should be expressed without emotion or humor.  

 

Model Essay

Sport continues to be a controversial topic in the school curriculum, just as sport itself has become a controversial industry in some respects. There are valid opinions on both sides, which I will consider now.

On the one hand, some people feel that sport uses up time which could be better spent on academic subjects such as exam preparation. In addition, it might be said that it is unwise to force children to do activities which they have no interest in. After all, some youngsters are just not sporty, and should be allowed to study instead. Finally, there are question marks over the wholesomeness of sport itself, with drugging and corruption scandals increasingly common, as we see in cycling at present. Some people believe that this lack of morals sets a poor example to young people.

On the other hand, though, one major benefit of sport is that it helps children’s physical development at an important stage. If all their time was spent studying, they would become unfit and their minds would eventually suffer. Furthermore, supporters of school sport emphasize the importance of team building in sports such as football or hockey, which is often felt to be an excellent preparation for adulthood. Finally, many people feel that a competitive spirit, so important today, is fostered by sports at an early age. It is notable, for example, that many successful business people excelled in sport at school.

Overall, I feel that sport should be compulsory for school children, because the positive effect on their mental and physical development outweighs the negatives. This is as long as children are given a wide range to choose from, to ensure their interest is high, and that the sports industry itself maintains the highest standards of conduct.  

(293 words)