Actual Test: Writing 28/10/2017

Actual Test: Writing 28/10/2017


Students learn far more with their teachers than from other sources. Do you agree?


Intro: Neither factors are important, it's the inner self. 

Body 1: Teachers are necessary.

  • They empower the mind. 
  • Refutation: Bad teachers will get better over time.

Body 2: Materials are also necessary.

  • Newspapers, TV, radio provide different perspectives.
  • The internet provides varied sources.
  • Refutation: Internet abuse can be easily controlled. 

Body 3: But without inner motivation, all is lost. 

  • Effectiveness is never 100%. 
  • Students differ in learning styles. 
  • Motivation is key.
  • Refutation: A teacher can't deal with too many students. 

Conclusion: Students should seek motivation, not to rely on teachers or materials.

Teachers or materials? Well, it's actually elsewhere.

The roles of key factors in education have been debatable for centuries, with schools of thought supporting either the teacher, the materials, the process, or the assessment approach. From my point of view, how much progress students make does not depend on these external factors, but rather on their inner self. 

Having the right teacher has never been a defect. Most importantly, teachers can empower the mind. With adequate expertise and hands-on experience, good teachers should be able to bring out the best in each and every one of their students. A math teacher may get students involved in Task-based learning to solve real-life math-related problems; a history teacher may take students out on school trips to explore the past from a social perspective; a Spanish teacher may arouse a love for Espanol through, say, Despacito in the form of jazz chant or rap. Less competent teachers might reduce learners' motivation at times, but the situation improves over time as all learn from their mistakes

Great teachers without abundant resources definitely cannot ensure best outcomes. Besides the national/ state textbooks, students need exposure to references in varying forms. The newspapers offer a fresh and practical perspective into current social affairs, e.g. the devastating effects of releasing dam water on surrounding areas will become much clearer to students in a Geography lesson on floods. The TV does a similar job, and the radio can tap into world matters as well. The most prominent source of information to mention, however, is the internet. This single platform provides access to timely updates, infinite references of different media format, and varied channels of info. People have noted the possible hazards from the abuse of such, but parental guidance and computer-based restrictions can well prevent such issues. 

Yet, the effectiveness of a classroom where the teacher is one in a million, and materials are all available hands, is never 100%: some students will still go off track. Now it all boils down to multiple intelligences, learning styles, and motivation. Visual learners are keen on pictures and videos, but would draw a fine line at lengthy reading passages, and kinesthetic learners will enjoy constant motion in the classroom rather than a 3-hour sit-and-take-note lecture. Musical learners draw lessons from songs and melodies, while the natural learner would be much better pleased if taken on a field trip. It is the right motivation nurtured in the right learner that drives continuous efforts for study, not the instructor, nor the resources. A single teacher surely cannot cater for the specific needs of 200 students under his care, but in this day and age where education becomes learner-centered, it is the learner who should be taking care of their own favorite way of learning and boosting their own motivation. 

All things considered, it is hard to decide whether the teacher or the resources that play a heavier role in the academic outcomes of learners, for the learners themselves actually have the louder say. It is therefore a must for learners to seek necessary motivation, which in turn will result in high performance.

Word count: 529, written by Mr. Tien Bui (IELTS 8.5).


1. Schools of thought: trường phái
2. External factors: yếu tố bên ngoài
3. empower the mind: khơi gợi trí óc
4. Bring out the best in: giúp ai đó phát triển tốt nhất
5. Learn from their mistakes: học hỏi từ các sai lầm
6. Abundant resources: nguồn tài nguyên phong phú
7. Exposure to: sự tiếp xúc với
8. Releasing dam water: xả nước lũ
9. Platform: phương tiện
10. Timely updates: những cập nhật nhanh chóng
11. Infinite references: kho tài liệu vô tận
12. Parental guidance: hướng dẫn từ phụ huynh
13. One in a million: chỉ có 1 trên đời
14. Go off track: đi sai đường (không làm được như nhũng người khác)
15. It all boils down to: tất cả nằm ở chỗ
16. Draw a fine line at: tuyệt đối không chấp nhận
17. Nurture: nuôi dưỡng
18. drive continuous efforts: giúp người học nỗ lực không ngừng
19. learner-centered: lấy người học làm trung tâm

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