‘Within the next 30 years, classrooms with teachers and students will disappear’.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Why is this a difficult Task 2 question?
1. You have to predict the future.
How can anyone know what will happen in the next 30 years?
It doesn’t matter – you have to say what you THINK will happen, based on the evidence you have available.
TIP: consider the reason behind the question
- Why do they think ‘real’ classrooms will disappear within 30 years?
- Why do traditional classrooms still exist despite all the advances in technology?
One reason for thinking this might be the idea that technology will replace teachers – that students will not need to go to a physical place to access the materials and support that they need for their education.
I’m sure you can think of plenty of evidence to support this viewpoint, especially post-Covid, when schools adapted to home-learning, using the wide range of online teaching tools available.
But if we already have the technology to study at home, why do schools still exist? What benefits do they bring to the learner?
Consider the aspects of classrooms that cannot be replicated/replace by studying at home.
2. IELTS essays always need your opinion.
Although this question does NOT explicitly ask “do you think it’s a positive or negative development?”, the question is implied, so you will be expected to reflect on the benefits and/or drawbacks of such a development in order to give a balanced response and to show your awareness of the issues.
3. It’s a “to what extent” question.
My students really hate this kind of question but to me it’s the easiest type because you can just say whatever you want as long as you give your opinion.
The model essay below focuses on technology, but also manages to give a clear opinion on how this will affect schools of the future.
The fast pace of technological development has had a significant impact on education and the ways people learn. This essay will consider the likely developments in the coming years and conclude that despite significant advances in learning technology, the essential elements of a traditional classroom will remain.
More and more people are studying and gaining essential qualifications through online courses. This method is often cheaper and more convenient and allows the learner the flexibility to choose the provider and tailor the content of the course to suit their needs. I would expect that over the next decades more students will learn in this way. Enhanced technology that allows users to see each other on screen will make the experience feel more authentic – developments which will encourage more people to use these ways of studying. The Internet also allows communities of learners to be created and this will enrich the process from the students’ point of view, enabling them to get new perspectives and share ideas freely with people they would not otherwise be likely to meet.
On the other hand, online learning is not, in my view, the ideal medium for all education. School education should continue to require pupils to attend school and interact with teachers and classmates. This interaction is a vital part of social and psychological development and helps to equip the student with the skills necessary to face the real world. Furthermore, some school subjects are simply not conceivable as online learning: physical education and dance, for example. The danger of online learning for children is that it encourages sedentary and passive behaviour, in an age when we face a problem of young people spending too much time on devices and not enough time doing physical exercise.
In conclusion, I feel that many types of learning will increasingly become available online but that school education should and will remain classroom-based.
310 words – if you’re aiming for Band 7+ it’s fine to go up to 330 words.
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