Tourism and The Local Community

Below are some ideas for the advantages and disadvantages which tourism brings to a community. These ideas can be used both for speaking part 3 and also writing task 2 in IELTS.

Essay Question

Over the last few decades, there has been an increase in international tourism. Some people think that tourism is beneficial for local communities and should be encouraged.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Speaking Part 3 Questions

  1. Do you think tourism is a good thing?
  2. Why do you think some people  believe tourism to be bad for local communities?
  3. Do you think local communities change as an effect of tourism?
  4. Do you think there are more advantages than disadvantages of tourism for local communities?

Don’t forget we are looking at the effects of tourism as an industry rather than a tourist as a person. Don’t confuse the two.

Advantages of Tourism

  1. Tourism brings money and boosts the economy.
  2. It offers employment to local people.
  3. It offers fresh perspectives on life and culture.
  4. Locals usually need to learn English to talk to tourists which can have beneficial long term effects.
  5. To boost tourism, local communities often invest money on improving the infrastructure which has lasting positive effects.

Disadvantages of Tourism

  1. Tourism can create a economic dependency which can be detrimental to the community if it is not sustainable.
  2. Tourism can have a negative impact on the local environment in terms of pollution.
    1. noise pollution from tourist entertainment
    2. air pollution from increased transportation
  3. Tourism can cause friction between locals and tourists, if local culture is not respected.
  4. The bulk of the money brought in by tourism rarely finds its way into local hands and instead lines the pockets of the middle man (the tour operator).


Solving Traffic and Pollution Problems: Essay Ideas

Below are some ideas for the following IELTS writing task 2 essay question.

Increasing the price of petrol is the best way to solve growing traffic and pollution problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?
What other measures do you think might be effective?

There are two questions to answer:

  1. Do you think increasing the price of petrol is the best way to solve growing traffic and pollution problems?
  2. What other measures do you think might be effective to solve traffic and pollution problems?

Increasing the price of petrol:

  • if the price is increased, less people will be able to afford it
  • if less people can afford petrol, less people will drive cars
  • if less people drive cars, there will be less congestion on the roads
  • if less people drive, there will be less air pollution

Other ways to solve traffic and pollution problems:

  • traffic problems can be solved by improving public transport to encourage more people to use it rather than to use their own cars
  • public transport can be improved by having more public transport available, making it more punctual and reducing the price of tickets to make it more affordable to the average person
  • another measure is to have no traffic zones in city centers which will  reduce both congestion and pollution in urban centers.

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Improving a Thesis Statement

This lesson will show you how to write a clearer thesis statement for a specific question essay. This is the introduction paragraph and is applicable to both the GT and academic paper.

Many people think that job satisfaction is important in work.

Do you think young people these days should be sure of getting job satisfaction before taking a new job or should they put salary first?

What can we see from this essay question?

  1. The essay question asks for your opinion (“Do you think….?”)
  2. The essay is about what people look for when they take a new job
  3. It is often thought that people should choose a new job for job satisfaction
  4. Others think that people should choose a new job for the salary

Here’s a student’s thesis statement for their introduction. How would you improve the thesis statement? Try to write this thesis statement again before you look at the models.

While work satisfaction should be a motive for a successful employee, I do not think that salary must be a priority.”

Model Thesis Statement

Here are two possible ways that the above thesis statement could be better written to make the answer clearer for the reader.

1. In my opinion, I think that work satisfaction should be the main motive for choosing a job rather than salary.

2. In my opinion, it is better for people to put satisfaction at work as a priority for choosing a job instead of aiming for a competitive salary.

Model Introduction

Below is a model introduction with both a background and thesis statement. This offers yet another way to write the thesis statement:

An increasing number of people are prioritising job satisfaction as one of the most important factors in their work. In my opinion, I think that job satisfaction should be the deciding factor when considering a new job instead of aiming for a competitive salary.


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Improving Sentences for Academic Writing

This practice exercise is about improving sentences for a higher score in IELTS writing task 2. See the essay question below.

There is a significant gap between rich and poor countries. Some people think that richer countries should be responsible for supporting poorer countries while others think it is the responsibility of the poorer countries. What is your opinion?

Below are some sentences from a student’s essay on the above topic. Read through the sentences and try to improve them yourself before you check the model answers. In other words, write the sentences again to make them accurate and also a better score.

1. Firstly, it is obvious that this is their job. Poorer countries should not wait for any organisation abroad or other governments to deal with this.

2. Secondly, depending too much on rich countries may make them weaker. For example, they will lose a part of their power  if they agree to allow developed nations to help them with critical issues.

3. Regarding to responsibility  of wealthy countries. They should support poorer countries because there are millions of people in poorer nations need their help. Many people in Africa, especially women and children die everyday because of lack of food, medical treatments.

4. However, rich countries should not be forces to help poorer ones. It should be a choice not a responsibility.

  1. Firstly, poorer countries need to take immediate responsibility for developing their own country rather than wait for aid from foreign organisations or governments.
  2. Secondly, if poorer nations overly rely on aid from wealthy counties, it can create a dependency which may result in them growing weaker rather than stronger in the long run.
  3. Regarding the responsibility of the wealthier nations in the world, they should support poorer countries which are in need of fundamental help. For example, in Africa many people  die needlessly everyday, especially women and children, because of the lack of food and medical treatment which could be provided by richer countries in the form of aid.
  4. However, aid given by  richer countries should not be an obligation but, instead, a choice to take responsibility to help people in need regardless of the country in which they live.


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Recent IELTS Essay: Handwriting Skills for Children

Below is a recently reported essay question with some useful ideas. Read through the ideas and learn any new vocabulary.

Some people think that it is important to teach children the skill of handwriting.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Reasons in Support of Children Learning Handwriting Skills

  • handwriting is a basic tool in many subjects, for example doing tests, taking notes and writing homework.
    • poor handwriting skills or illegible writing can have negative effects on school performance
  • learning handwriting is linked to learning to spell, basic reading and grammar
    • these are basic and fundamental requirements for any school child
  • good handwriting skills should be taught at an early age to form good habits as it is essential later in life
    • in some situations it is better to write by hand rather than type
  • there is a link between cognition and writing by hand
    • children learn better when they are forced to write something by hand

Other Ideas

  •  teaching children how to touch-type would be more useful
    • being proficient in the use of modern technological devices by touch typing is essential for the future
  • focusing on handwriting which is less relevant today, is a waste of time for children
    • time could be better spent on developing other useful skills and knowledge
  • handwriting is linked to learning to spell but spell check is a function that all computers have
    • therefore less time should be spent focusing on this

Practice with Linking Words

In IELTS writing task 2, you will need to use a range of linking words to connect your sentences and to make your essay coherent. If you are aiming for band score 6 and above, it is important to show the examiner that you can use a good range of linkers. This lesson is aimed at intermediate to upper intermediate levels.

Below are some sentences which relate to the topic of work. Fill in the gaps to complete the sentences by choosing the appropriate linking word. Please note that you will need to consider the grammatical structure of each sentence to choose the correct linking word.

1. It is generally agreed that professional people doing shift work, …………………. (like / such as / take for example) nurses, doctors and police, should be given compensation for unsociable hours in the form of better benefits and higher pay.

2. Working overtime has its compensations ……………… ( therefore / but / although) can have a detrimental effect on the family.

3. ……………..(However / Although / But) women have equal employment rights to men, there still exists a glass ceiling, in many countries, which can prevent them from reaching the upper levels of a company.

4. Juvenile delinquency, which is a growing issue in many countries, should be addressed by both schools and parents ……………………( consequently / so as to / so ) get to the root of the problem.

5. Technology has had a great impact on the way people work …………..(but / and / consequently)  will no doubt continue to do so in the future.

  1. such as (‘like’ is not appropriate to use /  ‘take for example’ would require a different sentence structure to be used)
  2. but (‘although’ would require a different sentence structure to be used)
  3. Although
  4. so as to (this means ‘in order to’)
  5. and 


  1. Don’t just learn the meaning of linking words, learn how to use them correctly.
  2. Never use ‘like’ as a linking word in an academic essay.
  3. Don’t forget to use the linker ‘and’ – it is easy to use and still able to give you a high score.
  4. If you make mistakes with your linkers, you will struggle to get over band score 7 in Coherence and Cohesion, which is 25% of your marks.


IELTS Teachers and students can download this lesson for free on pdf file: linking-words-practice


Conclusion Linkers: Video Tutorial

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Reported Essay Question Jan 10

Here is an IELTS writing task 2 essay question which was reported in the test on Saturday. Below are some ideas for your answer.

In some countries, fast food restaurants and companies give money to schools provided that the schools promote their products to school children.

What do you think is the positive and negative of this in the development of children?

Positive Effects

  • children benefit from the additional resources and facilities that schools can afford due to the funding from companies
  • children can learn the value of money in order to buy the products being promoted
    • learning to manage money is a useful life skill
    • children learn to be selective about what they buy

Negative Effects

  • promoting companies such as fast food restaurants encourages a poor diet
    • poor diets, which include high quantities of salt and sugar, can be harmful to a child’s health
    • this sets children up to be unhealthy adults which can be expensive for the state in the long run
  • advertising and promoting to children can be exploitative and unethical
    • they are easily influenced
    • they are not able to criticise or form their own opinion
    • this form of advertising is aimed at the parents through their children
    • children are unable to distinguish what is promotional and what is educational

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IELTS Current Essay Question Jan 2015

Below is a an essay question that came in the exam this week.

Directors and managers of organizations are often older people. Some people say that it is better for younger people to be leaders. To what extend do you agree or disagree?

This is an opinion essay which means you must give a clear opinion in the introduction and then support it and explain it in the body paragraphs. Let me give you some ideas for this topic. If you have more ideas of your own, please post them in the comments box below.

Reasons why young people should be leaders

  • young people are usually more up-to-date and in touch with the modern world
  • they are often more dynamic and forward thinking which means they are more open to new ideas
  • young leaders are stronger and healthier than their old counterparts and therefore more able to cope with the demands of leadership

Reasons why older people should be leaders

  • with age comes experience and this is critical for any leader
  • older people have more authority which is needed to lead and manage others
  • a sense of responsibility is needed to lead effectively which is found in older people and often lacking in the young

If you recently did your exam, please post your full essay question in the comments box below so we can all benefit from it.

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