IELTS Reading: Using Online Translations for Medical Purposes

This exercise is based on matching paragraph information for IELTS reading. This reading exercise is not difficult and could be classed as medium in level. It’s a useful practice lesson.

Skim read the article and then look through the statements below. Take time to think about the information in the statements and consider possible paraphrases for vocabulary before you attempt to locate information.

Using Web Based Translations in Medical Communication

A)  A complex medical and treatment discussion with patients whose knowledge of the local language is inadequate remains challenging. After treating a child whose parents did not speak English, we resorted to the use of a web based translation tool. We were unsure as to whether Google Translate was accurately translating our complex medical phrases. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of Google Translate in translating common English medical statements.

B)  Ten commonly used medical statements were chosen by author consensus. These were translated via Google Translate to 26 languages. Translations only were sent to native speakers of each language and translated back into English by them. The returning English phrases were compared with the originals and assessed for meaning. Minor grammatical errors were accepted but not if the meaning was altered.

C)  The results showed that of the ten medical phrases translated by Google translate and then translated back into English, 57.7% were correct and 42.3% were wrong. Out of the 26 languages used, Africa languages scored the lowest, followed by Asian languages. Western European languages were the most accurate. However, there were some serious errors discovered. For instance, “Your child is fitting” translated in Swahili to “Your child is dead”. In Polish “your husband has the opportunity to donate his organs” translated to “your husband can donate his tools”. In Mathi “your husband has had a cardiac arrest” translated to “your husband had an imprisoned heart”.

D)  The conclusion drawn is that in today’s world “just google it” is considered to be the answer to everything, but for health related questions this should be treated with caution. Google Translate should not be used for taking consent for surgery, procedures, or research from patients or relatives unless all other avenues to find human translators have been exhausted and the procedure is clinically urgent.

Questions 1-7

In which paragraph (A-D) is the following information found. Letters may be used more than once.

  1. When calculating the results, slight mistakes in language, possibly related to syntax or structure of language, were admitted.
  2. It is believed that most information and help can be found on google.
  3. The aim was to test whether Google Translate could be used reliably for medical communication.
  4. Significant mistakes were found in the translations which were web based.
  5. The research was conducted after a situation in which a patient’s relatives did not speak English.
  6. The translate function is not admissible to get people’s permission for operations.
  7. Accuracy in meaning was essential.

Answers

Click below for answers.

Answers
  1. B
  2. D
  3. A
  4. C
  5. A
  6. D
  7. B

Adapted and edited from BMJ article by Patil and Davies, December 2014 publication

All reading exercises on ieltsliz.com have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test for free.   

Liz

Vocab Builder
  • inadequate = lacking / deficient / not enough
  • resort to = turn to  / make use of
  • evaluate = assess / appraise
  • consensus = agreement
  • minor = small / insignificant
  • donate = give
  • cardiac arrest = when the heart stops / ceases to function
  • the conclusion drawn = the conclusion derived
  • other avenues = other possibilities
  • exhausted = finished 

 

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IELTS Agree Disagree Essay Sample Answer

For an IELTS agree disagree essay you can either agree with the statement, disagree with the statement or give your opinion which contains a balanced approach to the issues in the statement. However, this does not mean you can discuss both sides impartially – you must give a clear opinion to get a good score in the criterion of Task Response which is 25% of your marks. Another name for an agree disagree essay is an opinion essay or argumentative essay. Download a PDF copy of the model essay below: IELTS Agree Disagree Model Essay

IELTS Opinion Essay Question

The growing number of overweight  people is putting a strain on the health care system in an effort to deal with the health issues involved. Some people think that the best way to deal with this problem is to introduce more physical education lessons in the school curriculum. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

IELTS Agree Disagree Model Essay

Owing to the problems which a growing population of overweight people cause for the health care system, some people think that the key to solving these issues is to have more sport and exercise in schools. In my opinion, I completely agree that this is the best way to tackle the issue of deteriorating public health in relation to weight.

Firstly, dealing with the issues surrounding obesity and weight problems is best solved by taking a long term approach and introducing more sport and exercise in schools. This method will ensure that the next generation will be healthier and will not have such health problems. At the moment, the average child in the West does sport possibly twice a week, which is not enough to counteract their otherwise sedentary lifestyle. However, by incorporating more sports classes into the curriculum as well as encouraging extracurricular sports activities, they will undoubtedly become fitter and more active.

Another point to consider is that having more sports lessons for children in schools will probably result in children developing an interest in exercise which might filter through to other members of their family and have a longer lasting effect. In other words, parents with sporty children are more likely to get involved in sport as a way of encouraging their children. By both parents and children being involved, it will ensure that children grow up to incorporate sport into their daily lives. This is certainly a natural and lasting way to improve public health.

In conclusion, to deal with an increasing population of unfit, overweight people, changing the lifestyle of the coming generation by introducing sport in schools is the easiest and most effective method to use.

IELTS Model Essays

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IELTS Reading Practice: Ebola

Develop your skills for matching paragraph information for IELTS reading with this reading exercise. Skim read the passage to get the gist of the article. Then spend time reading the questions before you try and locate the answers. The more time you spend analysing the meaning and vocabulary in the questions, the easier it will be. This is a similar level to the academic reading paper.

The questions are listed at the end of the passage. However, because this is a long passage, I have also put the questions at various points in the passage as well ( Q’s).

About Ebola

A) The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

B) The current outbreak in west Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveller only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveller) to Senegal. The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8, the WHO Director-General declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Qs

  1. Information about possible medicine.
  2. How medical staff can contract the disease through interaction with infected people.
  3. How it came to be called Ebola.
  4. Information about precautionary procedures.
  5. The way Ebola crossed the species barrier.
  6. A description of Ebola.

C) It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest. Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids. Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.

D) Supportive care-rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids- and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival. There is as yet no proven treatment available for EVD. However, a range of potential treatments including blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies are currently being evaluated. No licensed vaccines are available yet, but 2 potential vaccines are undergoing human safety testing. Qs

  1. Information about possible medicine.
  2. How medical staff can contract the disease through interaction with infected people.
  3. How it came to be called Ebola.
  4. Information about precautionary procedures.
  5. The way Ebola crossed the species barrier.
  6. A description of Ebola.

E) Health-care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus should apply extra infection control measures to prevent contact with the patient’s blood and body fluids and contaminated surfaces or materials such as clothing and bedding. When in close contact (within 1 metre) of patients with EBV, health-care workers should wear face protection (a face shield or a medical mask and goggles), a clean, non-sterile long-sleeved gown, and gloves (sterile gloves for some procedures).

Questions 1-6

Which paragraphs contain the following information?

  1. Information about possible medicine.
  2. How medical staff can contract the disease through interaction with infected people.
  3. How it came to be called Ebola.
  4. Information about precautionary procedures.
  5. The way Ebola crossed the species barrier.
  6. A description of Ebola.
Answers
  1. D
  2. C
  3. A
  4. E
  5. C
  6. A

Passage taken from WHO

 Vocabulary
  • acute = critical, serious
  • outbreaks = bursts, epidemics
  • emerged from periods of conflict = come out of a time war or instability
  • fruit bat
  • secretion = discharge, emission
  • contaminated = polluted
  • rehydration = the process of restoring lost water
  • proven = confirmed, sure, certain
  • sterile = germ-free, hygienic, sanitary

 

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Matching Headings Question: IELTS Reading Exercise

In this question you must match the correct heading to the correct section of the passage. Matching headings questions are common in IELTS reading and are one of the longest to complete. This is a practice exercise for students, not an IELTS test.

Take time to read through the headings given. Which which ones are similar  or contain similar language – they are often traps. Also check the number of headings given, usually there are more headings available than are needed.

The heading usually relates to the general aim of a section.

Antimicrobial Resistance

A) While antibiotic resistance refers specifically to the resistance to antibiotics that occurs in common bacteria that cause infections, antimicrobial resistance is a broader term, encompassing resistance to drugs to treat infections caused by other microbes. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is resistance of a microorganism to an antimicrobial drug that was originally effective for treatment of infections caused by it. Resistant microorganisms (including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) are able to withstand attack by antimicrobial drugs, such as antibacterial drugs (e.g., antibiotics), antifungals, antivirals, and antimalarials, so that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist, increasing the risk of spread to others. The evolution of resistant strains is a natural phenomenon that occurs when microorganisms replicate themselves erroneously or when resistant traits are exchanged between them. The use and misuse of antimicrobial drugs accelerates the emergence of drug-resistant strains. Poor infection control practices, inadequate sanitary conditions and inappropriate food-handling encourages the further spread of AMR.

B) New resistance mechanisms emerge and spread worldwide threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases, resulting in death and disability of individuals who until recently could continue a normal course of life. Without effective anti-infective treatment, many standard medical treatments will fail or turn into very high risk procedures. This would be a financially draining situation for wealth countries but for the poorer ones, it could have catastrophic effects.

C) Infections caused by resistant microorganisms often fail to respond to the standard treatment, resulting in prolonged illness, higher health care expenditures, and a greater risk of death. As an example, the death rate for patients with serious infections caused by common bacteria treated in hospitals can be about twice that of patients with infections caused by the same non-resistant bacteria. For example, people with MRSA (another common source of severe infections in the community and in hospitals) are estimated to be 64% more likely to die than people with a non-resistant form of the infection.

D) WHO’s report on global surveillance of antimicrobial resistance reveals that antibiotic resistance is no longer a prediction for the future; it is happening right now, across the world, and is putting at risk the ability to treat common infections in the community and hospitals. Without urgent, coordinated action, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries, which have been treatable for decades, can once again kill.

Questions 1-4

Choose the correct heading from the list below (i-x)

Choose the correct heading for sections A-D from the list of headings below.

i. A fatal threat

ii. A global concern.

iii. The evolution of resistance

iv. MRSA in hospitals

v. The present situation

vi. What is antimicrobial resistance?

vii. Protecting future generations

  1. Section A =
  2. Section B =
  3. Section C =
  4. Section D =
Answers
  1. vi
  2. ii
  3. i
  4. v

(passage adapted from WHO)

All reading exercises on ieltsliz.com have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test.   

Liz

Vocabulary
  • broader term = a more general term
  • encompassing = including
  • persist = continue
  • phenomenon = occurrence
  • replicate = copy / reproduce
  • erroneously = mistakenly
  • sanitary = hygienic  / clean
  • catastrophic = disastrous / terrible / devastating
  • prolonged = lengthy (prolonged illness = chronic illness)

 

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Matching Heading Practice: Medium Level

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Choosing a Title IELTS Reading: Practice & Tips

Choosing a title for IELTS reading is quite a common question type. This is a practise lesson for choosing headings in IELTS. You will be given a list of possible titles for the whole passage you must choose the one that you think most appropriate.

Tips for Choosing a Title
  • It is usually the last question for the passage
  • The information for all options can usually be found in the passage
  • This question is only worth 1 point so don’t spend too long on it
  • Choose the option which relates to the aim of the whole passage rather than part of the passage
  • This question tests your skill of understanding the difference between aims and details
  • Your answer should be a letter

Reading

Babies learn to see over a period of time, much like they learn to walk and talk. They are not born with all the visual abilities they need in life. The ability to focus their eyes, move them accurately, and use them together as a team must be learned. Also, they need to learn how to use the visual information the eyes send to their brain in order to understand the world around them and interact with it appropriately.

From birth, babies begin exploring the wonders in the world with their eyes. Even before they learn to reach and grab with their hands or crawl and sit-up, their eyes are providing information and stimulation important for their development. Healthy eyes and good vision play a critical role in how infants and children learn to see.
Babies as young as 2 to 3 months have shown that they have some form of depth perception. One method researchers have used to study babies and depth perception is through using a “visual cliff.” A visual cliff consists of a glass platform that is raised a few feet off the floor. One half of the cliff has a shallow side, where there is a checkerboard pattern directly underneath the glass. The “deep end” of the cliff shows the pattern several feet below, creating the impression of a drop-off. Researchers found that infants as young as 2 months showed changes in heart rate when lowered face down over the shallow and deep ends of the visual cliff. Specifically, the infants’ heart rates decreased when they were lowered over the deep end, and were unchanged when over the shallow end. Note that this experiment does not show that infants this young are afraid of the deep side. Usually, a decrease in heart rate indicates interest, while fear leads to an increase in heart rate. The experimental differences in heart rate indicate that the infants could perceive a difference between the deep and shallow ends of the visual cliff.
 Question 1
Choose the best title for this passage from the titles below (A-D)
A. The development of perception in humans
B. The development of depth perception
C. The importance of vision in babies
D. Babies fear of visual cliffs

 

Vocabulary
  • grab (vb) = clutch / grasp / seize
  • crawl = move on their hands and knees
  • depth perception = able to see downward
  • shallow = thin / not deep
  • pattern = design
  • infant = child / pre-school toddler
 Answer
1. B

All reading exercises on ieltsliz.com have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test.   

Liz

 

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Sample Answers for Speaking Topic: Health

Below are some sample answers for the topic of health in IELTS speaking part 3. When you answer in speaking part 3, remember to extend you answers with lots of examples and explanation. Also remember to give a direct answer the question asked  and then develop your answer.

1. Do you think people pay enough attention to their health these days?

No, definitely not. The average person nowadays has a sedentary lifestyle and pays very little attention to their diet and also does hardly any exercise. If you take a typical English person, they eat a quick breakfast, such as a sugary cereal, they have a quick bite at lunch, like a sandwich, and for dinner they are either too tired to cook something healthy and nutritious or simply don’t have enough time. It’s pretty much the same with exercise. Few people these days have time to fit it into their daily routine.

2. Do you think the government is responsible for public health?

Well, to be honest, I think it the responsibility of both governments and individuals. Governments certainly could do more to educate people about ways to improve their health and I suppose it would be useful if they could some how have more controlled over the fast food industry. However, much of the responsibility falls on individual people to take exercise, eat well and have a balanced life style.

3. Do you think there are more unhealthy people these days than there were decades ago?

Yes, without a doubt. Generations ago, there was no fast food or convenience food so people generally ate healthy fresh produce instead of the junk food they eat today. Furthermore, people were also more active in the past as they either cycled or walked to get around and also had a healthier life style. Compared to now, they were much healthier.

4. How could parents encourage their children to be healthier?

I guess the best way would be to set an example. I always think that if adults lead by example, then children will  follow suit. What I mean is if parents need to get involved with sports and out-door activities, it will show children that exercise is fun. Another way would be for parents to get children involved in cooking health meals to encourage them to change their eating habits. Both methods, I’m sure will have a positive effect.

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Opinion Essay: Finding Main Points

This lesson shows you how to find ideas for your IELTS opinion essay and organise them into paragraphs. It is important to spend time analysing the statement before you decide your opinion. You should look at the essay question carefully and think about the issues in the statement. Below you will see some questions to help you analyse the opinion essay title.

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Analysing an Opinion Essay

Answer the following questions

  1. Do you think vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat?
  2. Do you think the vegetarian diet is healthy?
  3. Do you think people who eat meat are unhealthy?
  4. Does eating meat always create health problems?
  5. Is there any meat which you think is healthy to eat?
  6. Do you think all people should be vegetarian?
  7. Do you think all people should stop eating meat?
  8. What is another way to say “vegetarian”?
Model Ideas & Structure
  • Body Paragraph A: I agree that eating a vegetarian diet is healthy.
  • Body Paragraph B: However, not all meat is unhealthy
  • Body Paragraph C:  I believe that having a balanced diet containing predominantly vegetables with some healthy meats is best.
Paraphrase
Vegetarian = people who do not eat meat / people who do not have meat in their diet / to have a vegetarian diet. You cannot paraphrase “vegetarian” as “vegan”. A vegan is someone who does not eat or use any product that comes from animals.

 

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IELTS Reading Practice: Sentence Completion

An exercise for IELTS Reading Sentence Completion. Read the passage below and then answer the questions.

The War on Smoking

Make no mistake, the move to introduce plain packaging is just the latest front in the war against smoking. Over the past decade, there has been a ban on smoking in public places and moves to restrict displays in shops. But one of the issues that has been concerning health experts and ministers is the number of people who continue to take up smoking, particularly young people.
More than 200,000 under-16’s start in the UK each year – helping ensure a viable market remains for manufacturers once the number of people quitting and dying is taken into account. In countries like the UK where there is a ban on advertising, the pack remains the last major vehicle for promotion. Hence the detail and care taken in the design of the packets with their laminated and special print effects, foil decorations and slide openings and bevelled edges. It should come as no surprise therefore to learn that they have become known as the “silent salesman” and “mobile billboard” within the industry. They are that important. (Passage from here)

Questions 1-4

Complete the sentences. Choose no more than two words and / or a number from the passage for each answer.

  1. …………………… is the most recent strategy to tackle the problem of smoking.
  2. The large number of new smokers, particularly under 16’s, makes certain that cigarette companies will always have a ……………………………….. .
  3. In some countries, packaging is the only method that cigarette companies have for ………………….
  4. Packets are seen as being the ………………………………….. in the cigarette industry.

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers.

Answers
1. plain packaging
2. viable market
3. promotion
4. silent salesman / mobile billboard (you should choose one answer. If you put both, it is an incorrect answer

All reading exercises on ieltsliz.com have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test.   

Liz

VocabBuilder
  • the latest front = the most recent development
  • to establish = to introduce
  • makes certain = helps ensure
  • only method of = the last vehicle for
  • edge = side
  • are seen as being = have become known as
  • come as no surprise = be expected

 

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