Actual Test: Writing 02/12/2017

Actual Test: Writing 02/12/2017

QUESTION

Schools are no longer necessary because children can get so much information available through the internet, and they can study just as well at home. To what extent do agree or disagree?

OUTLINE

Introduction: Disagree

Body 1: Advantages of e-learning and homeschooling

  • information access
  • skilled and informed parents

Body 2: Inevitability of schools

  • curriculum
  • accreditation
  • trained practitioners

Conclusion: Restate intro

SAMPLE

The internet has given rise to online learning and the idea of homeschooling has been growing amongst parents in recent decades. However, that does not rule out schools, for this form of education still plays the upper hand regarding curriculum, accreditation and trained practitioners

E-learning and home-based education are advantageous in certain ways. The former enables learners to access almost any information they need: a Vietnamese student sitting in his private room can figure out how children in Africa are coping with their daily poverty, and a high schooler in the US can easily look up information about the trend of development amongst ASEAN countries. Parents of the modern world are also (self-)equipped with proper parenting and pedagogical skills, so they can somehow have a go on their own to cater for their offspring’s educational basis

However, what is missing from the above-mentioned approaches to learning is reliability. Formal and non-formal education across the world offer refined curriculum put to the test through years of experimentation based on rigorous educational hypothesis. With a systematic syllabus to follow, students will be well on the way to develop thorough understanding of various subjects. Also, schools have the privilege of conferring socially-required degrees upon graduates, giving them solid proof of their competence and skills. Teachers going through 3-4 years at a training institution, lastly, have just what the doctor ordered to tailor educational activities to varying types of learners, be they visual, auditory or kinesthetic. Although the internet is formidable in its giant resources, and parents are outstanding in their love and care, schools still do a better job as they are specialized units

All things considered, the internet might still grow and parents might shift towards a home educational environment, but schooling at established institutions should not become obsolete. Without appropriate curriculum, accreditation and high-quality teachers, educational targets might not be well met. 

 

Word count: 319, written by Mr. Tien Bui (IELTS 8.5)

VOCABULARY

  1. to give rise to (v) làm gia tăng
  2. to rule out (v) loại bỏ
  3. to play the upper hand (v) chiếm ưu thế
  4. curriculum (n) chương trình học
  5. accreditation (n) sự công nhận bằng bằng cấp
  6. a trained practitioner (n) giáo viên có chuyên môn (trong bối cảnh này)
  7. a high schooler (n) học sinh trung học
  8. proper (a) đúng đắn
  9. parenting and pedagogical skills (n) kỹ năng dạy con và sư phạm
  10. to have a go on your own (v) tự mình làm gì
  11. offspring (n) con cái
  12. educational basis (n) nền tảng giáo dục
  13. the above-mentioned approaches (n) những phương pháp dạy học nói trên
  14. formal and non-formal education (n) giáo dục chính quy và không chính quy
  15. refined curriculum (n) chương trình được cải tiến
  16. to put sth to the test (v) thử nghiẹm
  17. be based on rigorous educational hypothesis: dựa trên lý thuyết giáo dục sâu sắc
  18. a systematic syllabus (n) chương trình học có hệ thống
  19. to develop thorough understanding of: phát triển kiến thức đầy đủ về
  20. to have the privilege of (v) có đặc quyền làm gì
  21. to confer a socially-required degree on (v) trao bằng cấp được xã hội yêu cầu cho ai
  22. solid proof of (n) bằng chứng cụ thể của gì
  23. competence and skills (n) năng lực và kỹ năng
  24. to have just what the doctor ordered (v) có đúng những phẩm chất cần thiết
  25. to tailor educational activities to sb (v) linh động các hoạt động giáo dục
  26. varying types of learners (n) những phong cách học tập khác nhau
  27. visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners (n) người học bằng thị giác, thính giác hay vận động 
  28. formidable (a) đáng gờm
  29. a specialized unit (n) đơn vị chuyên biệt
  30. to shift towards (v) chuyển dần sang
  31. schooling at established institutions (n) dạy học tại trường học
  32. obsolete (a) thừa thãi
Actual Test: Writing 25/11/2017

Actual Test: Writing 25/11/2017

QUESTION

The news media have become too much influential in people's lives nowadays and this is a negative development. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

OUTLINE

Intro: News media are influential, but not necessarily negative.

Body 1: News media are influential. 

  • They affect people's reasoning & decisions.
  • Example: hype headlines & business ads

Body 2: News media are not necessarily negative.

  • No news is bad.
  • News keeps people updated on information.
  • News helps children appreciate cultural differences.
  • News helps businesses. 
  • News spread good and bad happenings.

Conclusion: News media are not necessarily negative.

The society has always depended on the news media for updated information on social affairs. As technology thrives, news has taken on new strengths and has penetrated deep into people's lives. It is true to say the news media have influenced its audiences to great extents, but the impact is not necessarily negative.

People's decisions and reasoning have been much affected by the news. People generally are quick to jump to conclusions, so a hype headline like 'Hamburgers cause cancer: scientists' might throw many burger-lovers on fire. The majority of news readers do not approach content with a critical mind, thus their perspective of the world tends to get distorted and led, or misled, by whatever is claimed by major newspapers. The effect is even more obvious when businesses make themselves manifest via news channels: this kind of formula milk will enhance your kid's height, that English center is best for busy bees, another tourist destination is a must-visit for nature lovers. Surely, repeat exposure to such ads via mainstream news media will have people's mindsets moulded in certain ways.

Yet, news is still better than no news. Besides any potentially misleading information, the news media have equipped the world with the information it needs for better survival. As people in the East get posted on what is going around the West and vice versa, cultural awareness is promoted. School children learn to appreciate cultural differences across the globe, hence their greater tolerance as they mature. Entrepreneurs get to comprehend their next target market and how to secure it both culturally and economically (Starbucks would not have entered India had it not known of the country's growing taste for coffee). Also, online news channels help to distribute news at Hermes' speed, revealing social adversities and praising good deeds

It is unfair to label news media as harmful to people's lives, as in fact they have contributed to social prosperity. No news, indeed, is bad news for all.  

 

Word count: 330, written by Mr. Tien Bui (IELTS 8.5).

VOCABULARY

  1. social affair (n) chuyện thời sự
  2. to thrive (v) phát triển mạnh
  3. to take on new strength: mọc thêm cánh (có thêm sức mạnh mới)
  4. to penetrate deep into (v) thâm nhập sâu vào
  5. be not necessarily: không nhất thiết
  6. be quick to jump to conclusions: vội kết luận
  7. hype (n) giật tít
  8. with a critical mind: với một đầu óc phản biện
  9. perspective (n) cách nhìn
  10. to distort (v) làm méo mó, bóp méo
  11. to mislead (v) dẫn dụ
  12. to claim (v) tuyên bố
  13. to make oneself manifest: làm nổi bật
  14. repeat exposure (n) sự tiếp xúc thường xuyên
  15. mainstream news media (n) các kênh tin tức chính thống
  16. to equip sb with sth (v) trang bị thứ gì cho ai
  17. vice versa: nguược lại
  18. to appreciate cultural differences: chấp nhận những khác biệt văn hoá
  19. tolerance (n) sự bao dung
  20. entrepreneur (n) nhà kinh doanh
  21. to secure sth (v) đạt được điều gì
  22. a growing taste for sth (n) ngày càng yêu thích gì đó
  23. social adversity (n) những bất công xã hội
  24. good deed (n) cử chỉ cao đẹp
  25. to label sth as (v) gắn liền điều gì với điều gì
  26. social prosperity (n) sự phát triển của xã hội
Actual Test: Writing 30/09/2017

Actual Test: Writing 30/09/2017

QUESTION

The best way to reduce youth crimes is to educate parents with parental skills. To what extent do you agree?

OUTLINE

INTRO: State opinion -> Disagree.

BODY 1: Parents should be responsible.

  • Most time spent with children.
  • Cultural beliefs.

BODY 2: Parental education on skills is necessary.

  • Bad skills: spoil children.
  • Many are not prepared.

BODY 3: Other stakeholders should be involved.

  • Name some other stakeholders
  • Counter argument: others have different responsibility
  • Refute: parents not 24/7 with children

CONCLUSION: Restate opinion.

 Young criminals: Who's in the fight?

Teenagers making their way into courtyards is no longer a rare sight. In every crook and cranny of the world, teenagers are getting into trouble, committing anything from minor offenses to major crimes. The fight lies in the hands of parents for sure, yet is should be best to involve other stakeholders.

It makes perfect sense that parents should be first on the front line. After all it is the parents who stay with these adolescents most of the time in their lives.  During one's formative years, parents help to shape their personality and character traits for the rest of their lives. For the next 12 years at day school, it is the parents whom they meet after all class hours. In Asian cultures, parents have long been considered the best and most important teachers of one's life. However, not all parents contribute to make things better.

Without adequate skills in managing a child and shaping their human traits, parents might actually turn their children into evil creatures of the society. The need to educate parents and provide them with the fundamental know-how it takes to bring up the children in the best manner is growing. In fact, parents of the modern world either do not spend enough time with the children since they are much obsessed with work, or lack basic parental training before they have actually produced offspring.

Having said that, parents alone cannot make a big difference. It takes schools, clubs, social campaigns, the government, and the teenagers themselves, to make sure the fight is a winning one. There have been reports of students who actually go off track since they are exposed to violence in school as well as social evils when they're out of the wings of the parents. Some are of the opinion that other stakeholders should only be accountable for the provision of skills and knowledge, and that's mannerism should rest with parents only. This is a weak argument considering the fact that parents cannot be on top of their kids 24/7.

In order to successfully reduce crime rates among young people, parents definitely should join the combat. But their lone efforts might lead to mixed results. When other social sectors come into play, the desired outcome will be better secured.

 

Word count: 400, written by Mr. Tien Bui (IETLS 8.5)

VOCABULARY

1.    Make one’s way into: xâm nhập, tiến vào, rơi vào đâu/ tình huống nào đó

2.    A rare sight: một cảnh tượng hiếm gặp

3.    In every crook and cranny of: ở mọi ngóc ngách

4.    To commit a crime: phạm tội

5.    To lie in: (vấn đề) nằm ở chỗ

6.    Stakeholder: bên có liên quan

7.    It makes perfect sense that: Hoàn toàn hợp lí khi cho rằng

8.    Be first on the front line: là người đầu tiên trong trận chiến

9.    To shape one’s personality and character traits: định hình cho tính cách của ai

10.After all class hours: sau tất cả những giờ học trên lớp

11.Have long been considered: từ lâu đã được cho là

12.Adequate skills: kỹ năng vững vàng

13.Turn one’s children into: biến trẻ con thành

14.The fundamental know-how: kiến thức cơ bản

15.To bring up children: nuôi con

16.Parents of the modern world: cha mẹ của thời đại mới

17.Be much obsessed with work: bị chi phối quá nhiều do công việc

18.To lack basic parental training: thiếu kỹ năng nuôi con cơ bản

19.Having said that: tuy nhiên

20.There have been reports of: Có báo cáo cho thấy rằng

21.To go off track: đi sai đường

22.Be out of the wings of one’s parents: ra khỏi vòng tay cha mẹ

23.Be of the opinion that: có suy nghĩ rằng

24.To rest with: (trách nhiệm) nằm trong tay ai

25.A weak argument: một luận điểm yếu kém

26.Lone efforts: nỗ lực đơn lẻ

27.Mixed results: kết quả hỗn tạp

28.The desired outcome: kết quả mong muốn

29.Be better secured: được đảm bảo hơn

Actual Test: Writing 11/11/2017

Actual Test: Writing 11/11/2017

QUESTION

Many people in many countries are spending less time with their family. What are the causes and effects?

OUTLINE

Intro: State causes & effects.

Body 1: Causes

  • Changing values
  • Examples: Western & Eastern cultures; Vietnamese, Japanese...

Body 2: Effects

  • Collapse society
  • Explain: importance of family to society
  • Lead to societal breakdown

Conclusion: Restate causes & effects.

In the age of growing business, people tend to set less time aside for their dearest ones. In fact, family time has seen a dwindle in both quantity and quality. The trend, strikingly enough, is visible in countries worldwide; it stems mainly from changing values and is exerting notable impact on social development. 

As technology encroaches upon the older way of life, and as East meets West on all frontiers, values of varying cultures are undergoing major shifts. Individualistic cultures, such as those found in the USA and many European countries, have always favored the individual: family members do not cling onto each other so much as those in the East. Yet even the Eastern counterparts are seeing themselves breaking away from the traditional family model and leaning towards detached family members. The sense of responsibility has changed, so has distribution of time: numerous Vietnamese youngsters now would rather spend days at internet bars than having a 5-minute sit-down with their brothers and sisters, and Japanese husbands and wives would bury themselves at work 20 hours a day, only to see each other just a little bit before bedtime. New generations across the globe, indeed, are seeing themselves shouldering other perceived responsibilities, and 'make home' is no longer much regarded as the woman's job, or anybody's job. 

With less family time on a societal level, the family structure is on the brink of collapse. It is from the family that one builds up their whole future: formative years teach a child how to behave, show respect, solve problems, communicate decently, make polite requests, etc; puberty years throw children into bits of tantrums and depression, and only parents can pull them down and out; the crisis of adult life is so complicated it can only be tackled if grown-ups face in other in meaningful and constructive conversations. With time being geared towards other priorities, all these diminish. What ensues is the birth of disobedient and aggressive little kids, non-attentive and rebellious teenagers, as well as uncooperative and ruthless adults. It goes without saying when key social components, namely humans, go off track, so will the society itself. 

It all boils down to social values embedded upon a person's mindset: without a proper sense of familial duty, none will spare the least of their time for the social unit. As this penetrates life, people become detached, threatening to topple society as a whole. 

 

Word count: 405, written by Mr Tien (IELTS 8.5).

VOCABULARY

1. to see a dwindle in both quality and quantity: giảm cả về chất lượng và số lượng
2. to stem mainly from: có nguyên nhân chủ yếu là
3. changing values (n) những giá trị đang thay đổi
4. to exert notable impact on: có tác động mạnh mẽ lên
5. to encroach upon (v) xâm nhập vào
6. East meets West: Phương Tây tiếp xúc với phương Đông
7. to undergo major shifts: trải qua những thay đổi lớn
8. to cling onto each other: bám lấy nhau
9. a 5-minute sit-down with: ngồi xuống nói chuyện 5 phút
10. to bury oneself at work: vùi mình vào công việc
11. to shoulder other responsibilities: mang những trách nhiệm khác
12. be on the brink of collapse: có nguy cơ sụp đổ
13. formative years (n) những năm đầu đời
14. bits of tantrum (n) những cơn nóng giận của con trẻ
15. to face each other in conversations: đối thoại với nhau
16. what ensues is: kéo theo là
17. to go off track: đi sai đường
18. It all boils down to: Tất cả có thể quy về
19. to spare the least of one's time for: không thèm dành thời gian cho

 

Actual test: Writing 04/11/2017

Actual test: Writing 04/11/2017

QUESTION

It is difficult for people in the cities to get enough physical exercise. What are the causes and solutions?

OUTLINE

Intro: Give causes and solutions.

Body 1: Cause 1 (work pressure)

  • Examples from work
  • Examples from study
  • Explain why people CANNOT make time for exercise

Body 2: Cause 2 (media)

  • Catchy social media content
  • Too much entertainment
  • Easy access to the above

Body 3: Solutions 

  • Education: increase knowledge & motivation; pro-health program
  • Campaigns: promote physical exercise

Conclusion: Restate causes & solutions.

The modern has witnessed the rise of couch potatoes and lazy sloths, especially in urban areas; in fact, city dwellers are finding it next to impossible to involve themselves in sufficient physical exercise. The phenomenon has much to do with work pressure and the media, and the situation can be improved via awareness campaigns and educational programs. 

Pressure from work is depriving people of the time they need for proper exercise. Looking at how people in the modern world have to fling themselves at assignments, dash off their feet after deadlines, and huddle all night over an early morning customer meeting presentation, it is easy to sense how work is detaching humans from non-work activities, exercise being the least prioritized. College students in Vietnam have recently made the headline in a famous national newspaper for being too sedentary in their lifestyle, favoring sleep and bubble tea for relaxation rather than a work-out at the gym or a 5-minute jog around the park. Many do claim they would love to set time aside for sports and physical activities, but have failed in all attempts, as work and study keep getting in the way: the fear of low performance overrides the dread of ill health

To contribute to the passive way of life, the media has been a key player. Social media is filled with catchy content, i.e. the Facebook newsfeed appeals much more to internet-users than the idea of doing push-ups. Also, entertainment of various forms has become so readily available that with only basic internet access of average speed, it is already enough for watching online movies overnight. Online games are making their way into the daily lives of many, taking up huge amounts of their time and keeping them inescapably hooked: youngsters in many Asian countries have been reported to spend days at internet bars glueing themselves to the screen, with some ending up dying from fatigue

To tackle the issue, it takes both education and social campaigns to yield the most desirable outcome. Schools need to take a proactive part in equipping students with necessary background knowledge in health, and more importantly a profound motivation to keep fit and stay healthy. For example, health lessons and even school wide pro-health policy programs might need to be included in the curriculum. Also, the government and NGOs can take their initiatives to run social campaigns which promote physical exercise as a low-cost and efficient way to maintain excellent general constitution. TV programs, adverts, banners, etc. need to intertwine with health content in such a way that doing exercise becomes perceived as trendy and worth the time. 

People tend to do less physical exercise due mainly to work pressure and the media. This situation can be dealt with by efforts from the education system as well as social campaigns. 

 

Word count: 476, written by Mr. Tien Bui (IELTS 8.5)

VOCABULARY

  1. next to impossible: almost impossible, hầu như không th
  2. to involve yourself in sufficient physical exercise: tập thể dục đầy đủ
  3. to have much to do with: có liên quan nhiều đến
  4. to deprive someone of sth: không cho ai có được gì
  5. to fling oneself at sth: lao mình vào (công việc gì)
  6. to dash off one's feet after sth: chạy (deadline)
  7. to huddle over night over sth: cặm cụi cả đêm làm gì
  8. to detach someone from sth: tách rời ai ra khỏi gì
  9. to make the headline: lên báo
  10. a work-out at the gym: mỗi lần đi tập gym
  11. to keep getting in the way: cứ cản đường
  12. the fear of low performance: nỗi sợ kết quả xấu
  13. to override sth: lấn át
  14. the dread of ill health: nỗi sợ sức khoẻ trên nên tệ hơn
  15. catchy content: nội dung thu hút
  16. be readily available: sẵn sàng
  17. to make one's way into sth: tràn vào trong (cuộc sống của ai)
  18. to keep someone inescapably hooked: giữ chặt ai đó không thể thoát ra
  19. an internet bar: tiệm internet
  20. to die from fatigue: chết vì mệt mỏi
  21. to yield the most desirable outcome: mang lại kết quả mong đợi nhất
  22. a profound motivation to do sth: động cơ nhiều để làm gì
  23. a school wide pro-health policy program: chính sách tuyên truyền sức khoẻ rộng khắp trong nhà trường
  24. to maintain excellent general constitution: giữ được tình trạng sức khoẻ tốt nhất
  25. to intertwine with sth: kết nối chặt chẽ với điều gì
  26. to be perceived as: được nhận thức như là
Actual Test: Writing 28/10/2017

Actual Test: Writing 28/10/2017

QUESTION

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

OUTLINE

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).

VOCABULARY

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

Actual Test: Writing 21/10/2017

Actual Test: Writing 21/10/2017

QUESTION

Some people say that the increasing business and cultural contact between countries is positive development, while others think that many countries will lose their national identities as a result. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

OUTLINE

Intro: State both sides and your opinion.

Para 1: Side 1 - Positive

  • Developing countries are moving forward. Example: Vietnam: trade routes, foreign economy sector
  • Cultural shifts: work morale, self-assertion

Para 2: Side 2 - Negative

  • VN popular culture affected by others
  • VNmese not aware of their own history
  • Media is not helping promote culture

Para 3: Your opinion

  • The government plays a crucial role. 
  • Countries still maintain their values. 

Conclusion: Restate both sides and your thesis.

The Touch of Culture: A Blessing in Disguise

As the world grows flat and small, international gaps are bridged. Business and cultural contact between countries is the norm in this day and age, and as it gains in popularity, there are mixed opinions to follow. Some advocate more interaction, others fear identity loss. I believe it's in the hands of country leaders. 

Mutual impact between countries when business transactions and cultural exchange occur is claimed to be positive. This makes sense considering how developing countries are moving forward in their many social spheres. Vietnam, for example, has grown economically thanks to establishing trade routes with superpowers and SEA members. Also, the foreign economy sector has contributed much to the GDP, simultaneously yielding social assets and providing employment. Certain cultural beliefs are also experiencing radical shifts. Most notable is the boosted work morale in the office vs. the laid-back attitude countrymen all too often display. Also, Vietnamese young generations are becoming more assertive of their own values, taking initiatives and making their own decisions rather than relying solely on what their parents would make them do. 

Having said that, there can be a risk of losing national identity. It is easy to notice in the streets of Vietnam lots of young people dressed up in fancy Korean clothing style, enjoying Hong Kong boba tea, favoring Thai products over their domestic goods. Worse though, they know more about Chinese emperors and dynasties than their own history. The media in fact are exposing people of all classes to so many values of a foreign nature while not making attempts to popularize their own values, i.e. Vietnamese popular culture is poorly invested, and traditional values inadequately promoted

What is crucial, I believe, is how the government perceives their own national image and what steps they will be taking in maintaining and spreading it. Vietnam, after all, is just a tiny example in a globe so vast. Cultural penetration has been occurring in SEA, China, Korea and Japan, and in India as well. Each people, for one reason or another, still maintains certain cultural features that are distinctly intriguing to the international traveler. The more efforts the government makes in balancing the varied economic and cultural input, the more their country prospers in all aspects with their all-time values unchanged.

All things considered, the contact between countries is inevitable, but it should be the country leaders that will actually determine whether their identity be merged into another, or still thrive and shine. 

Word count: 412, written by Mr. Tien Bui (IELTS 8.5)

VOCABULARY

  1. international gaps are bridged: khoảng cách giữa các quốc gia được thu hẹp lại
  2. be the norm: là chuyện thường
  3. to gain in popularity:  trở nên phổ biến
  4. mixed opinions:  ý kiến trái chiều
  5. to advocate sth: ủng hộ điều gì
  6. to fear sth: sợ điều gì
  7. mutual impact: sự tác động lẫn nhau
  8. be moving forward: có những bước phát triển mới
  9. social spheres: các lĩnh vực xã hội
  10. to establish trade routes: xây dựng thương lộ
  11. the foreign economy sector: khu vực kinh tế nước ngoài
  12. boosted work morale: tinh thần làm việc tăng cao
  13. laid-back attitude: thái độ vô tư, không nghiêm túc
  14. to become more assertive of: trở nên ý thức hơn về điều gì
  15. to expose sb to sth: cho ai tiếp xúc với gì
  16. to make attempts to do sth: nỗ lực làm điều gì
  17. to popularize sth: làm điều gì phổ biến hơn
  18. be poorly invested: ít được đầu tư
  19. be inadequately promoted: ít được quảng bá
  20. to perceive your own national image: nhìn nhận hình ảnh quốc gia
  21. in a globe so vast: trong một thế giới quá lớn
  22. cultural penetration: sự xâm nhập văn hoá
  23. distinctly intriguing: thú vị với những nét riêng
  24. to balance the varied economic and cultural input: cân bằng giữ các yếu tố kinh tế và văn hoá mới
  25. to prosper: phát triển cường thịnh
  26. with their all-time values unchanged: trong khi vẫn giữ nguyên các giá trị lâu đời
  27. inevitable: không tránh khỏi
  28. be merged into another: được hoà trộn vào cái khác