、| !_ 一个人总要走陌生的路，看陌生的风景，听陌生的歌，然后在某个不经意的瞬间，你会发现，原本 费尽心机想要忘记的事情真的就这么忘记了..
Environmental Protection 1. Environmental hazards are often too great for particular countries
or individuals to tackle. We have arrived at a point in time where the only way to lessen environmental problems is at an international level. P74—5 环境问题现在非常严重了，严重到单个的国家或者是个人没法解决的程度。换言之，我们已经到了一个只有在全世界 范围内才可以解决这个问题的地步。从多大程度上你同意或者不同意这种观点？ 2. As a result of countries becoming more and more industrialized, pollution has become a serious problem. Discuss some ways that can mitigate the pollution problems. P92—5 随着国家的工业化程度加深，环境污染成了一个严重的问题。请谈一下哪些方法可以减轻环境污染问题。 3. Forests are the lungs of the earth. Their destruction will accelerate extinction of animals and ultimately mankind. For this reason, logging in the world’s rainforests should be phased out over the next decade. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P107—5 森林是地球的呼吸器。森林被破坏将会加速动物的灭绝并最终导致人类的灭亡。因此，应该逐渐停止热带森林地区的 伐木。从多大程度上你同意或者不同意这种观点？ 4. Aquariums and wildlife sanctuaries are seen as sources of education and entertainment for families. They are also essential to conduct life-saving research. However, there is opposition to confining animals in this way. Discuss some of the arguments for and against the maintenance of zoos and present your opinion. P109—6 水族馆和野生动物避难所被视为家庭教育和娱乐的场所。这些地方也是进行救生研究的场所。但也有人反对以这些方 式限制野生动物。就支持和反对保留动物园这些场所的论点进行讨论，并阐述你的观点。 5. Tourism is seen as a major industry for many countries. However, it tends to have a deleterious effect on the environment and should be strictly monitored. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P113—6 旅游业被许多国家视为主要产业。但是这会导致严重的环境污染，应该严格禁止。从多大程度上你同意或者不同意这 个看法？ 6. Fresh drinking water is becoming a scarce and all too expensive commodity in many parts of the world. Discuss the causes and give suggestions for how to ensure adequate water supply for the world’s inhabitants. P127—7 在全世界范围内，饮用水正在变成一种稀缺而又昂贵的商品。讨论造成这些的原因，并提出建议，如何确保世界居民 的水供应。 Science and Technology 1. In light of the technological route that education is on today there has been some speculation as to the role of teachers in future education. To what extent do you think teachers are being replaced by computers? P81—7 当今教育随着技术发展的趋势， 确实应该考虑一下教师在未来教育中的角色了。 在多大程度上教师会被电脑所取代呢？ 2. The younger generation is up-to-date with new techniques and advances in science. They are often better able to make important decisions than their parents are. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P88—8 年轻一代伴着日新月异的新科技长大。所以他们比父辈更加有能力作出重要的决定。你是否同意？ 3. Many are of the opinion that the Internet is inundating our children with dangerous information. There is however no doubt that the Internet represents great advances in communication and the dissemination of information. Discuss the pros and cons of the Internet and present your opinion on this matter. P94—8 许多人认为互联网使青少年陷入了危险的信息当中。但是互联网又毫无疑问地代表了交流和传播信息的进步。讨论一 下你对互联网的正面负面影响的看法。 4. Spending money on scientific research should only be approved when there are economic benefits resulting form the research.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P100—9 只有能带来经济回报的科研项目才应该被批准。你是否同意？ 5. Although many benefits may result from space exploration, the costs involved are enormous. There is some debate as to whether this money could be more wisely spent to provide for the basic needs of mankind such as food, clean water, contraception etc. For this reason space exploration should be restricted. What is your opinion? P104—9 尽管太空探索可以带来许多好处，但投入的成本也是巨大的。人们就这些钱是应该用在太空探索上还是应该更明智一 些，花在人们的基本需求方面（比如食物、纯净的水、避孕措施等）的问题展开讨论。 6. Technology is making it possible to stay at home and work. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this and present your opinion on this issue. P115—10 科技可以使人们足不出户就可以工作成为可能。请阐述其优点和缺点，并给出你的观点。 7. With the development of modern science and technology, some aspects of traditional culture are being lost, and some people now believe that traditional cultures will eventually be replaced by modern science and technology such as computers and the Internet. P118—10 随着现代科技的发展，传统文化的某些方面必然会失去。有人认为传统文化最终将被电脑等现代科技代替。你的观点 是什么？ 8. Does modern technology make life more convenient, or was life better when technology was simpler? What is your opinion? P125—11 现代科技真的使生活更方便了吗？还是说过去技术比较简单的时候生活更好些呢？你怎么看？ 9. Modern technology has had a great influence on people’s entertainment choices, making them less creative. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P136—11 现代科技对人们的娱乐有巨大的影响，使得人们缺乏创造性。你是否同意这种观点？ 10. What differentiates one country from another is becoming increasingly difficult to define in today’s world. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for people to have the same consumer products and to experience the same media the world over. To what extent do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? P77—12 当今世界，国家与国家之间的区别越来越难以界定。现在，世界各地的人们使用同样的消费品，接触同样的媒体，已 经是习以为常的事情了。全球化优点要比缺点号多少呢？ 11. Technology can bring many benefits, but it can also cause social and environmental problems In relation to new technology, the primary duty of governments should be to focus on potential problems, rather than benefits. Please discuss the issues raised here and offer your opinion. P143—12 科技能带来许多好处，但同时也会造成社会和环境问题。就新技术来讲，政府应该主要盯住潜在的问题，而不是带来 的益处。请谈谈你的观点。 Social problems 1. Should criminals be punished with lengthy jail terms or be re-educated and rehabilitated using, for instance, community service programs, before being reintroduced to society. Present a written case or argument to an educated not-specialist audience on the above topic. P83—12 罪犯应该长期监禁还是应该对他们进行再教育，并在他们重新进入社会之前，做一些社区服务使他们改过自新为社会 所用。谈谈你的观点。 2. Salaries paid to employees are an accurate reflection of their value to society. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P95—13 工资是个人社会价值的准确体现。你的观点是什么？ 3. Society is experiencing an increase in many problems such as crime and drug abuse due to urbanization. Give some suggestions to control this trend. P116—13 城市化带来越来越多诸如犯罪和吸毒之类的问题。请给出控制这个趋势的方法。 4. Nowadays there are many doctors specializing in profitable activities such as plastic surgery and private health care for privileged patients. Should doctors, however, be concentrating more on the general public’s health, regardless of how rich patients may be? What is your opinion? P131—14
时下许多医生从事与一些很赚钱的活动，比如整形手术或者是为一些有特权的人做私人医生。但是医生是不是应该更 多的关注普通大众的身体健康，而不论病人有多富有呢？请谈谈你的观点。 5. Some people say that older people should live with their adult children, while others think that they should live in homes specially built for old people. Which do you think is better practice? P138—14 有人认为老人应该住在年长的孩子那里，也有人觉得老人应该住在专门为老人建的公寓里。你认为哪种方式更合理？ 6. With the development of market economies advertising has become a dominant feature in the television industry. Despite the wealth of information that is brought to us by television, there still exists strong criticism against TV advertising. What is your opinion? P132—15 随着市场经济的发展，广告已经成为电视行业的主要特点。尽管电视为我们提供了许多信息，但是对电视广告仍存在 强烈的批评。你的观点是什么？ 7. Many old buildings are protected by historic trusts and international organizations such as UNESCO. However, some people think that old buildings stand in the way of progress. How important do you think it is to protect old buildings？P79—15 许多古建筑应该受到法律保护，因为它们是国家的历史。而有人却认为老建筑应该都推倒，以便建设新建筑供人们使 用。保留老建筑有多重要？历史是不是阻碍了社会的进步呢？ Entertainment 1. Television is a very powerful medium of influence over large populations. There are many positive aspects to television. For example, it is an educational tool. However, many people feel that it is doing irreparable harm. Present an argument to highlight your opinion on this matter. P85—16 电视是对人们影响非常大的一种媒体。电视有许多有利的方面，比如说可以作为教育的工具。但也有人认为电视带来 的负面影响也极大。谈谈你的观点。 2. Outdoor recreation such as mountain climbing, camping and hiking bring us closer to nature and are ideal activities to encourage family bonding. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P87—16 户外娱乐活动如登山、野营以及徒步旅行等可以使我们更接近自然，这类活动是理想的增进家庭团结的活动。你是否 同意这种观点？ Education 1. Over the past 20 to 30 years there has been a noticeable trend away from many forms of discipline within the family. A recent survey highlighted the fact that most people feel that parents are too permissive with their children. Present an argument to highlight your opinion on this matter. P90—17 在过去的二三十年中，家庭教育的方式已发生了显著的变化。最近的一份调查指出，大多数人认为家长太过溺爱自己 的孩子。请谈谈你的观点。 2. Since reading is important for a good education, we should encourage our children to read extensively. However, as there is an abundance of undesirable reading matter, there should be heavy censorship to restrict access to it. What is your opinion? P102—17 因为看书对教育很重要，所以我们应该鼓励青少年广泛阅读。但是，由于存在许多内容不好的阅读材料，所以应该施 行严格的管制措施。你的观点是什么？ 3. Some people think that co-educational schooling is good for students while others hold that single sex education is better than co-educational schooling. What is your opinion? P105—18 有人认为男女同校教育好，而也有人认为男女分开教育的方式好。谈一下你的观点。 4. Although education in many developing countries is not compulsory, an effort should be made to ensure that all children between the age of 5 and 15 years attend some form of schooling. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P111—18 尽管教育在许多发展中国家不是强制性的， 但应该努力确保 5-15 岁的孩子接受一定形式的学校教育。 在多大程度上你 同意这种说法？ 5. Some people think that if one wants to succeed in life, then one must have a formal university education. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P121—19 有人认为如果想要成功，必须接受正规的大学教育。从多大程度上你同意或者不同意这个看法？
6. Students who go directly from school to university benefit less from, and contribute less to their courses than those who take a job or travel in order to get more experience in the “real world” before starting higher education. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P135—19 那些从中学一毕业就升入大学的学生，他们从大学课程里的受益和对学科的贡献都没有那些在上大学之前为了从“现 实世界”获得更多经验而去工作和旅游的人多。你从多大程度上同意或者不同意这个看法？ 7. Some people say that sports should not be encourages in schools because they cause competition rather than cooperation among students. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P139—20 有人认为学校里不应该鼓励体育运动，因为体育运动造成学生间的竞争，而不是合作。你从多大程度上同意或者不同 意这个看法？ 8. Since World War II there has been an increase in cooperation between many Eastern and Western countries. This has led to a desire amongst students to undertake study in foreign countries. Some people believe that this will bring advantages to students while others propose that this will cause some problems. What do you think about this issue? P140—20 二战之后，东西方国家间的合作增多了。这也刺激了学生出国留学。有人认为这能给学生带来好处，也有人反对这种 观点。你怎么看待出国留学的？ 9. In certain countries children are not allowed to leave school until they reach a certain age, for example, in some countries it is 15 years. Write an essay expressing your point of view on the following topic: Should there be a minimum school leaving age, or should students and their parents be free to decide when they leave school? P142—21 在某些国家，小孩子只有到了一定的年龄才可以离开学校。那么是不是应该设定一个离开学校的最低年龄，还是说这 个问题应该留给学生和家长们自主决定？请陈述一下你的看法和观点。 Government responsibilities 1. Although there is no longer an immediate threat of nuclear war, peace seems as elusive as ever. In order to address this problem, the United Nations should be given a stronger role in global affairs in order to bring about world peace. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P98—21 尽管现在没有了立即就会发生大的核战争的危险，但是和平还是像以前那样捉摸不定。为了处理好这个问题，联合国 应该扮演更强大的角色，以带来世界和平。从多大程度上你同意或者不同意这个看法？ 2. Some people think that developed countries should fund international aid to poor countries to help developing countries improve domestic health, education and trade. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P122—21 有人认为发达国家应该资助贫穷国家，以便帮助发展中国家来发展医疗、教育和贸易事业等。从多大程度上你同意或 者不同意这个看法？ 3. Should developing countries only concentrate on improving industrial skills and modern technology or should they promote education first? Present your opinion. P124—22 发展中国家应该只重视提高工业技能和现代科技，还是应该首先倡导教育。给出你的观点。 4. Nowadays we are seeing more and more exhibitions and sculptures appearing in public places. It is wrong that governments are funding artist projects when there are more important things we could be doing with tax payers’ money. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P134—22 当今时代，我们在公共场所看到越来越多的展览和雕塑。当纳税人缴纳的税金还有更重要的用途的时候，政府却用来 资助艺术项目。从多大程度上你同意或者不同意这个看法？ 5. Some sporting events such as the World Cup may help reduce tension and bias between different countries and promote peace in the world. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? P119—23 一些体育赛事， 如世界杯， 可以减少国家间的紧张和偏见， 让世界更和平。 从多大程度上你同意或者不同意这个看法？
Environmental Protection 1. Environmental hazards are often too great for particular countries or individuals to tackle. We have arrived at a point in time where the only way to lessen environmental problems is at an international level. Environmental problems have reached such proportions that people feel international organizations must be set up to intervene in world affairs to resolve these problems. Whether this will resolve the problem is very unlikely as international organizations are just an extension of human behavior. That is, if human conflicts cannot be resolved at home, then they are unlikely to be resolved at the international level. Nevertheless, international organizations do attract attention to the growing problem of aims of the international community to resolve the issue of environmental pollution and support their cause, I do not believe it is the best or only way to protect the environment; in fact, it is only a small part of what is needed in a global initiative. All world problems, whether it is environmental pollution, war, energy insufficiency, or famine, arise from the abusive behavior of all individuals. Therefore, the solution to all these problems is the need for a collective consciousness. What is meant by this is that each individual must be aware of the impact he or she has on the world and their unique part to play in this world. After all, if one is happy with his life, he will surely not endeavor to harm the environment or anyone else. His behavior will be that of a responsible individual. What is needed, therefore, is education. Education is the key to all problems and it starts from pregnancy all the way to adulthood and beyond. Furthermore, education means that children all over the world should be allowed to go to schools with good teachers and where teaching materials and methods can be adapted to each individual. Education means raising children to be responsible individuals. This may sound like utopia, but it is not: if a country had important problems in its educational system, then it should realize that it is contributing to the world’s problems. These are perhaps long term solutions, but they are more realistic solutions than setting up yet another international organization. 2. As a result of countries becoming more and more industrialized, pollution has become a serious problem. Discuss some ways that can mitigate the pollution problems. To ensure the protection of our scenic global village from environmental degradation by mass-production and mass-consumption (mostly in developed and partially in developing countries) for ourselves and for future generations, it is the obligation of every individual and people to take an active part in environmental protection. We have often heard that here are dangerous levels of air pollution in major cities of the world all the way form Los Angeles to Seoul. Yet little has been done to solve to solve this problem worldwide. Researchers are telling us that it will certainly cost money to clean up overcrowded cities, but if we do not, there will be a greater price to pay---the price of shortening our own life expectancy. As a result of continued pollution, we can anticipate higher outlays in health care in the future, not to mention the extra costs of cleaning up our water, and protecting our food supply. Scientists are trying to inform us that in the long
run, we will save money and our natural resources by doing what it takes to wipe out trends in pollution now. It seems to me that it is really a matter of having a sufficiently long term vision so that the activities of societies take into account any damages to the environment. In particular, it is for those economists in government to incorporate the costs of harming the environment. Once we do that, it will be clearer to everyone that it will pay to change the way we currently go about functioning in society. To make one final point, technologies exist now, clean technologies that produce a lot less pollution. It is just a matter of cost. This is why I think it will be very important for the industrialized world to collaborate very closely with the developing world so that the rich countries do not just export old, obsolete, and dirty technologies. 3. Forests are the lungs of the earth. Their destruction will accelerate extinction of animals and ultimately mankind. For this reason, logging in the world’s rainforests should be phased out over the next decade. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? The world’s forests sample the best scenery and incredible natural diversity available on earth. They provide homes for indigenous wildlife, special historic sites and places of cultural interest. Many of the world’s forests have been developed for tourism and public recreation. The government of the world therefore have the responsibility to decide how best to manage international logging industries and forests in order to protect their special value to animals’ and ultimately to mankind’s survival. One of the biggest problems facing native forests such as the Amazonian rainforests is illegal logging. The first and most obvious problem associated with the illegal felling of native forests is that it denies a livelihood to many poor people living in forest areas. This in turn robs poor governments of billions of dollars as the revenue created around the sale of native trees is sucked out of the local economy into the bank accounts of those few who are involved in such illegal operations. A further problem is the environmental degradation that we are witnessing in forested areas of the developing world which are now being stripped bare of trees without any replanting schemes in place. As anyone who knows anything about the laws on nature will agree, forests like any living species must be adequately stocked with healthy tree saplings, or planted with replacement native seedlings. Moreover, forest operators must ensure that young trees are well established and are able to grow freely following reforestation procedures. Only if such measures are carried out can we allow logging to continue into future decades. The final point that I would like to raise is that wide-scale illegal logging provokes and sustains conflicts in many regions of the world. As much of the logging occurring in developing countries is a consequence of poor governance, at local, national and international levels, governments need to band together to ensure this does not continue to denude our planet. In order to combat illegal logging at an international level we must ensure that trade in timber species is conducted in agreement with international trade laws in endangered species. Only through applying stricter measures in the trade of forests should we be able to protect species that all our lives depend on. 4. Aquariums and wildlife sanctuaries are seen as sources of education and entertainment for families. They are also essential to conduct life-saving research. However, there is opposition to confining animals in this way. Discuss some of the arguments for and against the maintenance of zoos and present your opinion. The confinement of animals and marine life has always generated mixed feelings from the general public including those who consider themselves to be staunch environmentalists. In this essay, I will try to reflect the positions of those who support the continuation of wildlife sanctuaries and aquariums alongside those who would like to see such institutions removed from society. As a child, I remember visiting the local aquarium quite frequently with my family to enjoy dolphin and seal shows which were truly entertaining. In retrospect, however, I cannot recall the aquarium staff ever trying to teach the spectators how to protect marine life. That type of thinking was not so popular back then but things have changed in recent decades with the advent of environmental activist groups, such as Greenpeace and eco-friendly zoos and aquariums which have been designed to simulate natural habitats for those animals living in confinement. Needless to say, it is difficult to generalize about zoos and aquariums because to this day, places which are little more than prisons
for animals still exist. Recently, I read the 2002 Booker Award winning novel, Life of Pi, by Yann Martel which enabled me to understand this complex debate over the role of zoos and aquariums at a deeper level. In his book, Martel disclaims the widely held belief that animals living in captivity have a shorter life expectancy than those living in the wild. Instead, the main protagonists in his novel who is a zoologist, claims that the opposite is true and that in fact animals have a higher chance at survival when taken into captivity. This is largely due to the fact that natural habitats are diminishing because of man’s ongoing expansion into what were once un-peopled environments. Experts in the field of animal and marine research are currently making it possible for mankind to conserve many species that are currently at risk in their natural habitats due to rising environmental hazards such as illegal poaching, water pollution and deforestation. Perhaps we should look on zoos and aquariums as a temporary solution until a time when man can see to the conservation of the world’s ever decreasing natural habitats and the wildlife that should rightfully inhabit them. 5. Tourism is seen as a major industry for many countries. However, it tends to have a deleterious effect on the environment and should be strictly monitored. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Tourism is vital to many world economies and depends to a certain extent on environmental protection and cultural preservation. The tourism industry like various ecological systems is complex. In this essay I would like to explore how local communities are affected by tourism and what measures can be taken by governments and individuals to monitor and guarantee the conservation of environments of natural and historical significance. There exist considerable differences between tourist and local perceptions of an area. Tourists are often seeing an area for the first time with a certain amount of openness and enthusiasm, whereas local residents tend to take for granted the area that they live in and often do not take the time to appreciate the unique characteristics of their hometown. This difference in perceptions suggests that local tourism officials have to be conscious of the nature of their local area. Tourism has on many occasions affected areas in the world to such an extent that local residents can no longer recognize their hometown because of overwhelming increases in population during peak seasons and large scale development in the form of hotel resorts, international chain restaurants, airports, highways and so forth. So how can a local community pull in tourists and revenue without sacrificing its unique local flavor? First and foremost, local residents must implement sustainable tourism with long-term tactics for economic development and not invite the type of tourism which allows outside investors to quickly take control of an area. Sustainable tourism allows for the preservation and protection of local resources. In reality, the more aware a community is of its unique assets, whether cultural, architectural, or natural, the more visitors it will draw. 6. Fresh drinking water is becoming a scarce and all too expensive commodity in many parts of the world. Discuss the causes and give suggestions for how to ensure adequate water supply for the world’s inhabitants. The words of Samuel Taylor Coleridge are revealing when we ponder the issue of water scarcity: “Water, water everywhere”, as the Ancient Mariner said, “ Nor any drop to drink”. It would seem that one of the biggest threats to supplies of fresh drinking water is that, at least in the rich West, it is largely taken for granted. In any case, it is the most frequently-occurring substance with most of the earth’s surface being covered in H2O. Our toughest challenge of the 21st century may not be pandemic diseases such as AIDS or the threat of nuclear war, but may in fact turn out to be a lack of fresh water. If we are not careful, the possibility of water wars in the future may outstrip our reasons for warring on nations who control other naturally occurring resources such as oil. At present many people lack access to clean water and even more people lack access to proper sanitation; nearly all of them reside in developing countries. A continuation in population growth, environmental pollution and climatic changes are all likely to contribute to a devastating decline in water supply in the coming years. Similarly, with rapid urbanization occurring all over, the possibility for concentrated waste matter to reach unmanageable proportions is also
highly likely in many regions. Unless we take affirmative action to properly conserve and manage the world’s fresh water supplies, the effects of water scarcity will undoubtedly affect human health and the chances for survival for all of the earth’s inhabitants. Water-related diseases caused by ingesting contaminated water and vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, are spread by insects that use water to breed. Raising much needed awareness about the importance of fresh water supplies and what we can do to further conserve this precious resource will become a top priority to everyone if we wish to survive. Science and Technology 1. In light of the technological route that education is on today there has been some speculation as to the role of teachers in future education. To what extent do you think teachers are being replaced by computers? Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is quickly playing an important part in teaching in schools and other educational institutions. As more and more subjects can be taught via the computer, there would seem to be less and less need for teachers to be present, as self-study and autonomous learning are encouraged with the assistance of a computer. However, computers will never replace teachers because technology is only a tool and can never replace the spiritual element of the teacher. Self-study and independent learning using technology is a means of teaching that can be highly effective for practice drills, the study of factual knowledge, or for pure rote memorization. For instance, computers can help students solve math exercises and memorize historic facts. This type of teaching reduces the need of the presence of a teacher. Online teaching or video conferencing allows a teacher to teach to a greater number of students, optimizing costs for schools. This is already happening at the university level where many universities are offering online degrees, for example. Such teaching is profitable to universities as it optimizes costs by increasing teacher-student ratios. I t would therefore seem that technology is making the teacher more and more redundant. But a crucial element has to be considered with regards to ICT and teaching. Good teaching takes place when the learning is directly associated with our emotions. We learn best when what we are learning has a direct implication on what we believe and what we feel. The computer may communicate concrete knowledge, but only the teacher is able to communicate wisdom, to build self-confidence, and to make one think creatively, which is a more important part of learning. Therefore, no matter how sophisticated technology becomes, a teacher will always be needed, because only with the presence of the teacher is there true interaction. What will happen is that technology will not replace teachers. Instead, teachers will no longer be able to teach students by rote memory or drill type exercises. The computer will take care of that. The teacher will have to stimulate the minds and bring out the creativity in his or her students. The teacher will have to become a better teacher, a real teacher. ICT will improve teaching, and force teachers to be better teachers; it will never replace the teacher, it will only make him or her more important. 2. The younger generation is up-to-date with new techniques and advances in science. They are often better able to make important decisions than their parents are. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? The Net-Generation is here and whether we like it or not younger generations are in a position to be able to make significant decisions that will affect us all. What causes this generation to be poles apart from its predecessors is not just its demographic force but that it is the first to mature surrounded by digital media. Computers can be found everywhere and digital technologies such as cameras, video games and DVDs are now commonplace. Increasingly these new media are linked by the Internet, and increasing web of networks which is attracting a million new users monthly, according to popular news sources. For today’s youngsters digital technology is no more frightening than a VCR or a vacuum cleaner. For the first time in history children are more at ease, clued-up and literate than their parents about an innovation of innermost importance to society. I would argue that it is through this use of digital media that the N-Generation will develop and superimpose its culture on the rest of society. Already the Net-Generation is defining itself as a reckonable force for social transformation. Unfortunately, few parents are aware of what their children are doing in cyberspace which intensifies the traditional norms associated with
the generation gap. School officials are also struggling with the reality of students often being far more intelligent on cyber-issues and new ways of learning than their teachers. Likewise, corporations are trying to establish what these kids will be like as employees since they are used to very different ways of working, collaborating and creating and they discard many basic assumptions of today’s companies. I believe that there is no single issue more imperative than understanding what the Net-Generation intends to do with its digital expertise. There is a lot we can find out about a whole generation, which is in the process of taking on new media, from the children who are most adept in their adoption of this technology. 3. Many are of the opinion that the Internet is inundating our children with dangerous information. There is however no doubt that the Internet represents great advances in communication and the dissemination of information. Discuss the pros and cons of the Internet and present your opinion on this matter. Bearing in mind the likely effects of the Internet on today’s users is important, because it is an issue that is discussed daily nowadays by people in both the private and public sectors. It is an everyday occurrence to come across articles in newspapers and there has been a visible boom in websites devoted to the trend. I would like to argue that the importance of this topic, regarding the pros and cons of the Internet, lies somewhere in the broader framework of questions raised by the Internet debate. The Internet as the name suggests is a complex net of computer. Conversely, it might be more useful to think of the Internet as a network of people who make use of computers. A significant feature of the Internet is that it offers more ways to communicate than any medium in the past; thereby enabling users a variety of ways to retrieve information from the same computerized network system. It is widely accepted by most that education is something that most, if not all people come into contact with at one point or another in their lives. This contact occurs typically and to the greatest degree at an early age. The principle role of schools is to educate people about their nation and the wider world, and also to help prepare them for the job market. The problem of unemployment is a commonly recognized fact. If schools are indeed doing their best to prepare young people for the job market, then their national curriculum needs to reflect the skills considered necessary for the most popular work sectors. Depending on its use, the Internet may or may not contribute to the development of key skills related to critical thinking, group work, and problem solving. Over the course of time, I believe children will most likely adopt a different and possibly greater responsibility as learners when using the Internet. As we are all aware, there is more information offered on the World Wide Web than anyone could possibly need and most of this information is very easily reached. Therefore, students have to act responsibly when choosing what information to use. The risk of being distracted while using the Internet is always there; however, even if young learners do browse off every now and then, they are still using the most hi-tech interactive tool we have in education for today’s world. 4. Spending money on scientific research should only be approved when there are economic benefits resulting form the research. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? A primary challenge for developing and post-industrial societies is not only to garner enough funding for scientific research but to go further in their spending for development if they want to secure positions as truly knowledge-based economies. An appreciation for investing in scientific research has matured steadily in recent decades. Having said this however, most would agree that it is not easy to gauge the direct social and economic benefits resulting from scientific research. Many of the features of our modern world are the direct results of scientific research. Computers are but one area that receives a staggering amount of investment as countries compete with one another for stakes in this lucrative market. Medical research, likewise, is well worth the investment that is made for finding new ways to ensure the well-being of those fortunate enough to be able to receive treatment. These are but a few obvious examples. However, what is almost certain is that in many cases the time from scientific discovery to the commercialization of research results may often be long. However, there are many instances of breakthroughs in research that provide additional support for the popular principle that public investment in basic science generates continued economic and
social benefits. The evidence presented in research journals available to the public confirms that government-funded research is a vital source of investment for increasing a society’s knowledge and skills. When governments invest in scientific research their funding in trun expands the technological opportunities available to companies who wish to develop new products and processes. Such spending on scientific research also supports the education of students who in turn transfer their competencies in science and technology into the private commercial sector. Due to the widespread understanding that the development of economically viable research projects is often a lengthy and time-consuming process it is natural that some people would be opposed to the idea of further government money being spent on scientific research. However, I believe the rewards from research and development are well worth waiting for in this ever changing world of ours. 5. Although many benefits may result from space exploration, the costs involved are enormous. There is some debate as to whether this money could be more wisely spent to provide for the basic needs of mankind such as food, clean water, contraception etc. For this reason space exploration should be restricted. What is your opinion? One giant step forward for mankind: there were the words of American astronaut, Neil Armstrong, the first man to land on the moon. Space exploration is considered by most developed countries and those aspiring to compete in the race for development as the last frontier known to mankind. However, there are many people who belong to nations which have space programs who question the expenditure involved in continued space exploration when it is apparent that money is needed to deal with many of the world’s existing problems, for example, pandemic situations like AIDS and poverty that are always on the increase. A trip to the moon was an incredible success in 1969; however we have plainly taken a step backwards in the last 30 years or so. The dreams of travel to outer lying planets like Mars and Pluto remain as distant as ever, not forgetting the dream of interstellar voyages and exploring new solar systems. A big part of the problem is that our current technology is simply unable to realize these dreams. Even our best chemical rocket would take somewhere between one and two years to reach the closer planets and this is largely due to the fact that before reaching the desired destinations rocket fuel is likely to run out. The amount of money required to fuel space exploration programs of such large proportions begs the question of just how feasible all this spending is. It is clearly prohibitively high and a key objective for the years ahead will be to lower the cost to a fraction of today’s value. In the meantime however, we need to realistically face the problems existing on our earth which are far more pressing and far more concerned with true development. Making dreams come true on this planet, of a better world for everyone to live in, is surely more achievable for mankind than reaching outer lying galaxies which are light years beyond our existing capabilities. 6. Technology is making it possible to stay at home and work. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this and present your opinion on this issue. There is a revolution going on in the developed world whereby the work-from-home dream is becoming more and more of a reality for millions of workers wishing to save time, see their families more, and achieve overall work-life equilibrium. This is made possible for many by advances in information and communications technology, namely with the advent of the Internet and mobile telecommunications such as broadband phone connections. In the following paragraphs I will examine both the potential benefits and downsides of this new phenomenon which allows high-speed transmission of data from your personal computer at home to your clients and work colleagues in different locales. It is true that computers these days have greater processing power than they did just a few years ago, but working from home is not just an issue of cost-saving. People are tired of commuting and the time spent on trains and subways is a precious commodity that could be spent more effectively on work. In many cases working from home is not actually a choice for most business executives who are accountable for business transactions around the clock. For those people with young children, working from home has many incentives. Indeed, one could argue that a lot
of flexi-working has evolved around parents’ child-rearing responsibilities. However, those parents who are working from home are now experiencing new pressures in the work-from-home setting. In spite of the paybacks from less travel and more flexibility, there is downside with increased working hours. The reality is that all home workers with children feel that balancing home and work responsibilities is easier said than done. To make one final point, it is important when considering this growing trend in working from home that we do not see it as an easy option. 7. With the development of modern science and technology, some aspects of traditional culture being lost, and some people now believe that traditional cultures will eventually be replaced by modern science and technology such as computers and the Internet. What is your opinion on this matter? Digital information technologies are symbolic of the dominant global culture that is currently taking our world by storm. Due to developments in modern science and technology, traditional ways of earning a living, learning something new and even that of existing are rapidly transforming. This transformation in the way we communicate and live is as significant as the invention of writing which altered the course of ancient cultures before us. Nevertheless, up-to-the-minute technologies have the capacity to preserve many aspects of traditional culture. Indeed, if we are to employ information and communications technologies effectively, traditional values and ethics can help us make decisions for the proper use of these new technologies, In this essay I will explore how the negative impact of the Internet on traditional cultures and values can be lessened through awareness-raising exchanges and education. In most parts of the world governments authorities reacted to the introduction of the World Wide Web by prohibiting unlimited access to all Internet sites. They argued that some content found on the Internet would jeopardize traditional cultural and religious values. In the last few years, however, although this issue is still hotly debated among the powers that be, we are now seeing bans lifted on Internet access in all corners of the world. The Internet is changing traditional cultures by offering users new means for voicing their opinions about everything, including politics, religion, and love. For example, in the United Arab Emirates where the two sexes are firmly segregated, the Internet is enabling men and women to communicate in new ways that were not permissible before. Additionally, as a communications medium the Internet is allowing traditional values to be heard alongside more unconventional values as users face up to different ideas and hear other people’s opinions. The networking and awareness-raising potential offered by computers and the Internet about different cultures and values is unlimited. Now that we have people from more traditional cultures communicating online it is almost assured that their values and beliefs will be more readily heard and respected by the all-encompassing global Internet community. 8. Does modern technology make life more convenient, or was life better when technology was simpler? What is your opinion? It is difficult to think how we managed our lives before the widespread use of everyday technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones which we now take for granted. Despite this, how often do we stop to question ourselves, before going online to check our email accounts, whether modern technology has really made our lives more convenient? Some people may actually answer to the contrary, that modern technology has made their lives more complicated and even more difficult. The obvious advantages of modern-day technologies are many. For example, if I do not want to go home and wash my laundry and wait for the weather to clear so I can hang it outside to dry, I simply invest in a machine that can both wash and dry my clothes. In addition, I would feel safer in the knowledge that because my clothes are not hanging up outside the possibility of them being stolen is greatly reduced. Inventors throughout the ages have thought of practically every device imaginable to assist humans in conducting their everyday affairs, from baby strollers to life-support machines. In fact, we are inundated with technological contraptions in this modern world and there is no sign of a reversal in this trend occurring. Imagine for a moment, if there were no television or computers. How would you know who had won the latest soccer match? Or what was going on in the news? What would the weather be like tomorrow? The problem with modern technology is not the unlimited choices in gadgetry now made available to us; but instead, it is our increasing
inability to tune out from an overload in information and our growing reliance on machines that perform midless taskes which we could simply do for ourselves. The use of modern technology does inspire inventors, designers and engineers to speculate on what technology will be like in the future and how it could further mankind’s survival and development. However, before we turn around and say technology is the best thing that ever happened to us, it is vital that we remember who is in control of technology in order for it not to take over our lives completely. 9. Modern technology has had a great influence on people’s entertainment choices, making them less creative. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? There exist many different types of entertainment technologies which cause us to behave in a variety of ways. Television, for example, only requires passive viewing and listening and can be looked upon as a form of entertainment which dulls the mind. The Internet, on the other hand, requires users to be interactive through the employment of, for example, different motoring skills i.e. clicking, selecting text etc. , to more challenging tasks such as searching, emailing, chatting, and the uploading/downloading of software. A lot of people are still choosing television as their preferred entertainment for relaxing after a hard day’s work, but even more people are getting excited about the on-line world as they discover what it can do for them. The irony of this essay question is that without creativity we could not have the modern technology that we use today. We would not have television or the Internet. Similarly, we would not have MP3 players or DVDs. Every invention known to mankind has always resulted from creative thinking. Arguably, creativity is our most important asset; and information is an inestimable tool. With no electronic databases, PCs, and other supportive networking technology, we would be hard pressed to organize all of our information efficiently and effectively. However, if we examine the example of the Internet closer, we can also discern that the quantity of information on-line is escalating at a staggering rate. This means that it is difficult for individuals to remain up-to-date in their chosen fields. This means that it is difficult for individuals to remain up-to-date in their chosen fields. Due to this increasing pressure in the working world, it is therefore necessary for people to band together, to work collaboratively, and to think creatively and imaginatively to thrive and even to survive. In conclusion, I would like to add that the days of choosing modern technology purely for entertainment purposes are diminishing. It is no longer enough to merely own modern gadgetry. Instead, you must be able to show that you can manipulate technology creatively to suit your every purpose. 10. What differentiates one country from another is becoming increasingly difficult to define in today’s world. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for people to have the same consumer products and to experience the same media the world over. To what extent do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Globalization certainly has the potential to bring about great advances for humankind. On a daily basis, we are eyewitnesses to how borders of time and space that once separated countries and the activities therein appear to be diminishing. In industrialized areas of the developing world we can observe a growing international trend in leisure time pursuits. Chinese youths wearing Nike sneakers in Shanghai hang out in Starbucks over a cup of coffee in much the same way that their American counterparts do in New York. In particular, younger generations the world over who can afford access to media technologies like cable television and the Internet often encounter the same media such as advertisements, films, TV channels, popular brands and so on. However, it is not presently guaranteed that these advances are equally shared by all members of the global community. The truth lies somewhere closer to the fact that global market forces often have negative effects on the distribution of public goods such as social, a clean environment, or diverse cultural expression. Many argue that the costs of globalization are too high and that differences between countries and communities need to be maintained before we quickly and completely lose all sense of who we are, where we came from and what choices are still available to us. Therefore, it is necessary for the global community to place greater emphasis on the impact of globalization on
human welfare. In order to achieve a just and equal distribution of the benefits of economic globalization, its negative side effects need to be counteracted by reforms in government at the international, regional and local levels. Only by further developing the way in which we manage our societies can we make sure that those currently not in control of globalization can make their voices heard in the political processes affecting the range of their own personal choices. 11. Technology can bring many benefits, but it can also cause social and environmental problems In relation to new technology, the primary duty of governments should be to focus on potential problems, rather than benefits. Please discuss the issues raised here and offer your opinion. It is true that new technologies can create serious social and environmental problems. The question is whether governments should focus on these problems when they are formulating policies related to new technology. Some people would argue that governments have an important watchdog role to play and that they should attempt to establish whether a proposed technology is likely to have any harmful effects. This is seen as an aspect of government looking after public interests and showing concern for the welfare of its citizens. These are the same people who have invested the government with the power to veto the introduction of certain technologies. The problem with this approach, however, is that it is very difficult to know in advance what the full effects of any new technology will be. The history of science and technology has many fascinating examples of unexpected developments. Sometimes a technological advance in one area can lead to a surprising breakthrough in another, seemingly unrelated area. For example, technology which originated from the US space program has been further developed and applied in many other areas of life. And one certainly cannot depend on government bureaucracies to make accurate assessments about these matters. Another problem is that, where one government might decide to ban the use of a new technology, another country may well go ahead with its introduction. In an increasingly competitive global economy, the first country may severely disadvantage itself by such inaction. New technology is essential for a country’s economic development. The best approach is to positively encourage the development of new technologies and to focus on their benefits. Any problems that may arise can be dealt with after implementation. Social problems 1. Should criminals be punished with lengthy jail terms or be re-educated and rehabilitated using, for instance, community service programs, before being reintroduced to society. Present a written case or argument to an educated not-specialist audience on the above topic. Criminal offenders are imprisoned and released too many times. There is no real intercession until criminality is firmly in place and has become and all-encompassing lifestyle. It would appear that our sentencing policies are conflicting, often too soft for violent crimes and too harsh for non-violent crimes. In addition, our public safety arrangements are too shortsighted. It would be better to spend more on concentrated probation and scientifically based rehabilitation programs now, and less on more secure prisons tomorrow. Too many people including decision-makers believe that rehabilitation programs for inmates do not work, although research proves otherwise. We also have the tendency to make convicted felons an untouchable class, isolating them from normal society and meaningful employment, making nonstop criminal activity all the more attractive. I believe that if we were to rate prisons in the same way that we rate schools: by their success, we would establish a far more effective prison system. Achievement would be calculated by the percentage of released prisoners who are not charged with new crimes within a year, and again within two years. Yes, we would need to be in command of such factors as age, past record, and anticipated recidivism rates for the type of crimes each was convicted of. However, this should be fairly easy in today’s computer age. This would persuade prison administrations to develop and endorse job training, anger management classes, release preparation programs, education, and other interventions known to lessen recidivism. Another initiative would be to encourage those rehabilitated former offenders to become involved in teaching
others. By bringing them into jails to speak to inmates and tell their own success stories, we would be able to set up a kind of adult “big brother” program where past offenders can be called on for advice or just encouragement. Is not reducing criminal recidivism worth some innovation? 2. Salaries paid to employees are an accurate reflection of their value to society. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Equal pay for equal work has long been an issue debated mainly in industrialized nations around the world. People argue that varying pay scales for workers in different employment sectors are not a true reflection of their work’s value to society. So, why is it that nurses who work around the clock in hospitals the world over earn staggeringly less than doctors who put in much the same hours? Again, why is it that movie stars and professional sports players like David Beckham earn more money than anyone else whereas those in farming who are essentially feeding the world earn less than most? Reasons why the wage gap exists could be accountable to differences in education, work experience or time in the labor force. Nonetheless, some argue that the wage gap is attributable to discrimination. It is quite evident that certain low-paid jobs in most societies are reserved for women, people of color, and those with limited education. One example is that nursing is primarily carried out by women and when we compare the salaries received by nurses with those of doctors who are primarily men, we are made aware that nursing is among the lowest-paid jobs that present more flexibility. Teaching, for example, has always been considered to be a more flexible profession allowing women to work and have time off for raising children because of the ample vacations that come with the job. Advocates for pay equity do not always applaud the choices that some people make and they do not want people to have to face the consequences of those choices. As far as I can see, the real issue seems to lie with the choices an individual is presented with when he or she ventures into the world of work. More importantly, what choices are available when one wants to change his or her profession later on in life? As most of us would agree, it is often very difficult to break the poverty cycle when all that is on offer are the same jobs that were done by our parents and close neighbors before us. It remains therefore, that through education and a constant re-evaluation of the types of work we do that we will be able to find the trick to balance any disparities in pay. 3. Society is experiencing an increase in many problems such as crime and drug abuse due to urbanization. Give some suggestions to control this trend. Cities are growing rapidly. In a recent visit to Manchester’s Urbis museum in the UK which is devoted to cities of the world and their development, I learned that currently almost half the world’s population lives in cities and that in the next twenty to thirty years urban settings will contain up to three quarters of all humanity. However, it would seem that problems associated with rapid urbanization such as crime and drug abuse are growing even faster. Notwithstanding the human misery that crime and drug abuse causes, dangerous urban areas are viewed as holding up much needed development in cities throughout the world. Investors are often unenthusiastic about initiating economic ventures because of the threat of crime and drug related violence. It goes without saying that the security of cities is vital for economic and social development, to say the least. In response to this realization there is a growing trend in urban planning in some countries which is taking aim at wide-scale problems like crime and narcotics abuse. Urban design professionals are now being consulted to identify areas of urban planning which will endorse security. Recreational programs for residents living in crime-ridden areas, and advice on housing management and sanitation are some of the solutions being proposed by city planners for those citizens wanting to live in safer communities. Urban developers are also looking to remodel downtrodden public spaces which are havens for criminal activity by making them more beautiful and by inspiring a sense of pride in local inhabitants. As far as I can see, planners and developers who consult residents systematically about changes in store for the development of problematic urban areas have a far greater chance at success. By keeping those residents informed, who will benefit directly from plans for urban restructuring to reduce crime, will instill a sense of responsibility which is often absent in urban communities. 4. Nowadays there are many doctors specializing in profitable activities such as plastic surgery and private health care for
privileged patients. Should doctors, however, be concentrating more on the general public’s health, regardless of how rich patients may be? What is your opinion? In most societies doctors are treated with a great deal of respect and there is a vast amount of evidence to support why this is so. First of all, they have dedicated themselves to the medical profession through extended periods of highly rigorous and taxing training. Secondly, the hours they put in at hospitals and clinics are often grueling, and thirdly, the responsibility they have in caring for patients with a multiplicity of health complaints is immense. In many cases doctors are miracle workers in the way that they manage to save lives; although in most cases, I would say that doctors are overworked and that their health may be suffering due to high levels of job-related stress. In my response to the above statement, I would like to emphasize that in the majority of situations doctors around the world are doing their best to serve the general public with the resources made available to them. Nevertheless, in the past decade we have observed a significant surge in the cosmetic surgery industry, especially in developed countries where it is mostly performed on women. This sudden growth in the popularity of plastic surgery has not occurred without criticism, however. Due to the amount of money to be made in cosmetic surgery some doctors are attempting to make a financial killing out of the situation by focusing their energies on this one area alone. As a result, concerns have been raised about the medical background of some doctors, limited regulations and the likelihood of dangerous procedures, along with overkill in money-making promotions. To a larger extent, with this rising trend in catering for the rich, there has been public criticism of the entire medical establishment. It goes without saying, however, that doctors like most professionals are more liable to improve patient care when they are encourage with incentives such as public acknowledgement, improved working conditions and access to proper clinical information systems. Provided these requirements are in place, patients would be more likely to receive the attention, trust and personal care that they seek in a medical practitioner. My final point, therefore, rests with government spending in the area of public health in providing people with the medical services they require while taking car of the professional needs of doctors. 5. Some people say that older people should live with their adult children, while others think that they should live in homes specially built for old people. Which do you think is better practice? These days, it is difficult to say whether the practice of living alone or with one’s adult children is more amicable for the elderly. This would depend entirely on the relationship between members within a particular family to determine which option is more suitable. However, I can say that the traditional practice of the extended family where elderly people enjoy love and respect from their family members in addition to food, clothing and shelter appears to be diminishing to a great extent. In this essay, I will examine some of the reasons for this change in the following discussion. In recent times, several factors have created a great impact on family structuring; the replacement of extended families with nuclear families, choosing to have fewer children due to rising population and economic pressures, an increase in the umber of women who go out to work, and the migration of younger family members to cities to find better paying jobs. For those senior citizens caught up in these changing times, expectations that they may have had for their twilight years are now shifting. Family solidarity is valued by most people in every society; therefore it is natural that caring responsibilities between generations should be brought forward for consideration. In our increasingly urbanized world, the occurrence of old people’s homes and silver towns is becoming more commonplace. Living independently from one’s adult children and one’s extended family often requires a lot more autonomy and decision-making in later life. Many grey-haired individuals possess their full mental and physical faculties until they are very old and are quite capable of looking after themselves. Others, however, are not so fortunate and are therefore more dependent on family members and professional care-givers. What remains true, for elderly people living alone or with their families, is that people’s attitudes towards senior citizens have to change in order to promote active citizenship for elderly people. Even in our modern industrialized societies we have to make older people feel valued so they are not looked upon as a liability by their families or their communities.
6. With the development of market economies advertising has become a dominant feature in the television industry. Despite the wealth of information that is brought to us by television, there still exists strong criticism against TV advertising. What is your opinion? For the past several decades, advertising on TV has been at the center of heated debate from both within and outside the entertainment and advertising sectors. In no other time in history have we seen a form of entertainment that is so widely accessible to the masses. Oftentimes, television is the only type of entertainment that underprivileged families can afford and it is not unusual to find TV in some of the world’s remotest areas. Notably, children make up a major part of any television audience, a fact that TV advertisers are well aware of. In this essay, I will investigate some of the adverse effects television advertising has on viewers within market economies around the globe. Television has its benefits of which we are all conscious, and no one could deny that it is an educative tool for audiences, especially young viewers. However, television is also a form of communications mass media and is often employed as a manipulative tool by many advertisers working in industry. In fact, TV advertisers are well aware that children are captive audiences who are vulnerable to the hard sell, the flashy images, and the recurring images that implant messages into their receptive minds. Research has shown that there is a direct association between television commercials for junk foods, snacks and candies and mounting levels of obesity among children. Excessive consumption is the hard and fast result of television advertising in market economies all over the world, Researchers are also concerned that TV advertising places excessive pressure on men and women to center undue attention on their appearance. An overemphasis on the importance of physical attractiveness in an attempt to sell products at all costs is another feature of advertising on TV. Many men and women now fear being unattractive or old because of the information relayed to them through television advertising. In addition to the points raised above, television advertising is intrusive into audiences, viewing time. How often have you found yourself captivated by a program on TV to be interrupted by a bombardment of unwanted commercials? Governments should therefore ensure that the amount of television advertising time is kept to a minimum, as it is more often than not an unwanted nuisance factor in our modern market-driven lives. In their hearts, I believe people just want to be able to relax in front of a television. 7. Many old buildings are protected by historic trusts and international organizations such as UNESCO. However, some people think that old buildings stand in the way of progress. How important do you think it is to protect old buildings？ Historic buildings provide a physical link to our past. This link allows us to develop a sense of orientation about our place in history. We can learn from the past, and through safeguarding our historic buildings, can continue to benefit from the accomplishments of our ancestors. Of course, most people would be hesitant to knock down a historic building in favor of creating a new apartment complex or an office block to meet the rising needs of a growing population and a changing economy. This is where the question of what is “historic” and of value to a particular community comes into play. Age is a decisive factor for a historic resource, but it must be defined in relative terms. The definition of “old” will differ with a person’s perspective in time and the resource being considered. A convenience store that is 25 years old might be considered historic, while a university campus might not be considered historic until it is 50 or 75 years old. All too often, we have seen and continue to see neighborhoods being bulldozed in the name of progress. Under gentrification, housing prices rise in the previously poor neighborhoods, so that renters there either have to relocate or absorb elevated rental costs. What should stand in the way of progress is not only history but practicality and a thorough assessment of what is more beneficial for everyone concerned. Only when it is more costly to keep up a building or a district should town and city planners consider redevelopment as an option. Historic buildings are an important building block in the flow of our culture through time: a child visits a historic civic building to learn more about what it means to be a native of his or her hometown; a city resident on a historic farm learns about pride and dedication in working the land. Historic buildings are studied to tell us about the use of materials and resourceful solutions in everyday living.
Historic buildings are vital for our prospective future. These assets need protection. We cannot afford to lose the physical materials, ideas, skills and understanding of our past. Entertainment 1. Television is a very powerful medium of influence over large populations. There are many positive aspects to television. For example, it is an educational tool. However, many people feel that it is doing irreparable harm. Present an argument to highlight your opinion on this matter. Numerous educators have envisioned television’s possibilities as an instructional tool and have sought acknowledgement throughout the industrialized world. Educational television in the developing world has also included training which directly affects the quality of life of its audience. For example, in areas where televised broadcasts are very low, audiences may gather at community centers to view programs on hygiene, literacy, child care and farming practices. In this respect, educational television equips the group with matter-of-fact information to improve living standards. Such broadcasts best exemplify the global aims of educational television. However, television broadcasting evolved as a profit-making entity. Within this system, efforts to employ the medium for educational purposes have always struggled to stay alive, nearly besieged by the overflow of entertainment intended to attract audiences to commercials that have educated viewers in another way---to become active consumers. Television does not have to be violent or offensive to have a negative effect. Excessive television viewing of any kind has obvious psychological and physiological effects on spectators. We refer to this as the “couch potato” syndrome. Several studies have recorded that even benign television content lessens our creativity and imagination, decreases physical activity, and increases obesity. In the case of young viewers, lowered grades, decreased ability to handle stress and conflict, and higher levels of aggressive behavior with peers have also been clearly documented. The most studied issue that points to the irreparable harm of television has been the impact of media violence on children. Over a thousand academic studies have been completed, with remarkably consistent results: media violence makes our kids more hostile, less tolerant, and more frightened of the world around them. Watching violence desensitizes children to genuine acts of violence. Despite its apparent possibilities and the early visions of pioneer broadcasters, educational television has never reached it fullest capacity as an instructional medium and the negative effects of TV viewing continue to outweigh the benefits. 2. Outdoor recreation such as mountain climbing, camping and hiking bring us closer to nature and are ideal activities to encourage family bonding. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Outdoor recreation can best be described as leisure time which involves the pleasure and use of natural resources. These days, leisure pursuits vary from popular forms of recreation such as walking, swimming, and cycling, to other less-prevalent activities such as nature painting, surfing, and snowboarding. According to many people the most imperative reasons to recreate are fun, fitness and family time. Clearly, many families participate in outdoor recreation as a way to bond. While many families continue to bond over family meals at home or in front of the television, a growing number do so through outdoor activity. These dynamic families are balancing their contribution in recreational activities with work, laundry, house cleaning and homework. Many families make use of outdoor recreation as a means to establish bonds and transmit key values to children. A sizeable number of people feel that recreation strengthens the family as a unit and the children as individuals. Not only does it teach younger family members to appreciate nature but it also helps children to develop important physical skills. More often than not parents say recreation’s capacity to build self-worth and personal growth and help children develop important interpersonal skills are the most important reasons to see children active. In addition to strengthening family bonds, outdoor recreation can be seen as one of the foremost reasons to care for the environment. Indeed, a sizable number say the key driver for environmental protection is to conserve recreation areas and national park. It is generally accepted that the key to environmentally safe recreation is responsible behavior. In addition, people
argue that outdoor recreation benefits the environment because it gives them a reason to care about environmental protection. It goes without saying, therefore, that if people would follow the rules in parks and recreation areas, there would be no significant effects of their land use on the environment. All in all, outdoor recreation brings us not only closer to each other but to Mother Nature herself. Education 1. Over the past 20 to 30 years there has been a noticeable trend away from many forms of discipline within the family. A recent survey highlighted the fact that most people feel that parents are too permissive with their children. Present an argument to highlight your opinion on this matter. Approximately forty years ago, there was almost complete consensus regarding the cultural norm which allowed parents to use corporal punishment on their children. The acceptance of corporal punishment was so profoundly imbedded in those days that there was little difference among races, regions, genders, and educational or income groups at that time. First and foremost, I think it is important to examine why there has been a trend in recent decades away from using conventional forms of discipline in the family. A major structural change in developed and developing societies has been the shift toward a post-industrial economic system. Employment in manufacturing has declined drastically, as has the demand for unskilled manual workers. There is an increasing demand for professional, technical, and clerical workers. These are positions which, at a minimum, demand literacy and computational skills. You may ask, what has this shift in socio-economic forces got to do with changing trends in family discipline? It has been suggested by leading researchers in the field of sociology that parents who hope or expect their child to attend university and be employed in non-manual work occupations tend to avoid using corporal punishment. Instead, what parents aim to provide their children with is anticipatory socialization for social roles in which what is needed is information and negotiation skills rather than physical strength. To the extent that these findings are correct, the norms and practices of most post-industrial societies should be moving away from the use of corporal punishment in child rearing. Given the rising youth crime rate in recent times, however, there may be a tendency by some parents to reconsider corporal punishment. I would say that some people, and not most, believe that parents are being too permissive of their children’s negative behavior. Moreover, those people who continue to favor corporal punishment are likely to perceive recent trends away from conventional forms of discipline as a threat to the family and morality. This is the dilemma that modern-day parents and law makers are faced with. However, what is interesting to note is that it is still not a criminal offence to use corporal punishment on your children. This fact tells us exactly how far we have come away from corporal punishment as accepted practice. The choice to use or not to use corporal punishment still resides within the family. 2. Since reading is important for a good education, we should encourage our children to read extensively. However, as there is an abundance of undesirable reading matter, there should be heavy censorship to restrict access to it. What is your opinion? Many would agree that reading extensively is good for young people but some would argue that the consequences of reading too widely may be far from constructive to the often impressionable minds of youngsters in their formative years. Censorship that is carried out for the benefit of children and teenagers is often based on the supposition that they have to be sheltered from “indecent” material that might damage their development in some way---whether in art performances, in books, or on a website. One may ask, however, where this assumption comes from, and to what extent is it true? In this essay, I will attempt to present both sides of this argument in order to establish my position on this issue of censorship and young people. First and foremost, there are many people out there who champion the freedom to read widely which stems from a belief in the freedom of expression. They argue that this is part of the democratic process. Nonetheless, that freedom has been under constant attack by private groups and public authorities who are trying to remove certain books and journals from sale, to bar particular books from public schools, to silence and censor newspapers and magazines, and to
basically restrict all “contentious” materials which may land in the laps of the general public. As far as I can see, however, censorship of reading materials leads to the repression of creative thought. Furthermore, in recent times we have witnessed an increasing trend in children’s literature that is more realistic to life, with subject matter that takes into account many aspects of the world around us. For example, sex and homosexuality are being presented in a lot of young people’s literature in order to promote greater understanding and tolerance. Divorce and separation are also being dealt with in some children’s literature as is child abuse, drugs and violence, etc. However, it is these realistic books that have people (mostly parents) outraged. The final point that I would like to make is that the freedom to read extensively should be promoted but where children are involved, control should be exercised by access to materials and not through censorship. 3. Some people think that co-educational schooling is good for students while others hold that single sex education is better than co-educational schooling. What is your opinion? In today’s modern world women find themselves in every possible position in society and are no longer relegated to separate spheres from men. Likewise, it is no longer required that women go to separate schools from men, or is it expected that women will learn different skills from their make counterparts. Nowadays, young women can still to some extent choose whether or not to attend a single-sex school, although that choice is slowly disappearing with the rise in popularity of co-educational schools. I hope to explore the two sides of this phenomenon while discussing the trends in single-sex education in my response to this question. The argument is multi-faceted with some single sex school advocates arguing that separate education for girls can play a vital role in a young woman’s development as she learns to assert herself in a more comfortable environment. Others in favor of co-ed schools argue that a separate education cannot be equal and is in reality detrimental to young women in that they are deprived of opportunities to assert themselves around men. Now with our entry into the 21st century, women are experiencing more and more equal opportunities with men, although they are still far from their ultimate goal of egalitarianism. It remains true that many learning environment are often male-centered and to a great extent the working-world is still male-oriented. With each new year, we are seeing more women apply to institutions of higher education and there are now as many, if not more women in tertiary education. Having said this, however, women still occupy far fewer positions as presidents of leading companies and they represent only a small number of those politicians in governments the world over. I believe that the advancement of coeducational institutions was and is important to the future equality of women but so is the survival of contemporary all-female learning institutions. 4. Although education in many developing countries is not compulsory, an effort should be made to ensure that all children between the age of 5 and 15 years attend some form of schooling. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Schooling is the type of learning that occurs within recognized educational institutions and networks. This is an important distinction insofar as the skills one acquires in schools and colleges are recognized by society. This validation of one’s learning enhances one’s chances of moving upward through the ranks of society to achieve a greater standard of living. For this reason alone, an effort to educate children from developing countries must be made at all cost. In order to satisfactorily answer this assigned question, I believe it is important to define what the flip side of not having an education means for children from developing countries between the age of 5 and 15 years. The real danger that exists here is the trap of young uneducated people falling into what is categorically referred to in the developing world as child labor. There is a clear link between child labor and poverty which I would like to bring to my readers’ attention. In many developing countries, parents, whose families exist on the poverty line, are often faced with having no food to provide their family with, so they force their children to do heavy work to ensure their family’s survival. It would seem that poverty is the principal cause of child labor. Nonetheless, child labor continues to feed the poverty cycle. Therefore, what is required of this situation is a break in the vicious circle between child labor and poverty. This can only be achieved through an increased emphasis on education. The answer rests with education programs that occur in conjunction with children’s work. Abolishing extreme forms of abusive child labor is obviously the first measure that
should be taken as this type of work hinders children’s health and their ability to work in the future. However, it would appear too early to make full-time education compulsory in cases where children still have to earn a living to survive. What is important to remember is that the extensive use of child labor in developing countries slows down economic growth and social development. Moreover, a population that lacks sufficient skills and education perpetuates poverty and reduces overall progress. 5. Some people think that if one wants to succeed in life, then one must have a formal university education. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? The ancient Chinese sage, Confucius, is renowned for his adages and he had many things to say about living and learning. The following quotation from Confucius may shed light on this essay question:” Study without thinking and you are blind; think without studying and you are in danger.” Most people would agree that everyone receive a general education through the experiences that life offers them. Some of us--- the more privileged---engage in formal schooling which is one of the many ways of gaining an education. In its ideal form, formal education imparts knowledge and contextual understanding of the world we live in. Through courses of study we can be exposed to ideas that we may not have come across ourselves; for more often than not, the culture of learning has been created by individuals and cultures that have proceeded us or by those who are situated far from our present location. In this increasingly global world, standards are being set for education whereby those who hold university degrees often receive greater privileges in life in terms of the status they are given, the work they can perform and the money they can earn. In no other time in history have we witnesses such a drive toward higher learning by countries the world over achieve economies of knowledge. This emphasis on formal schooling also serves as a great frustration for some students enrolled in higher education, as the courses of study they are on do not always arouse their true passions and curiosity for learning. The quandary of how to best educate students has always rested on the matter of giving students the freedom to discover knowledge for themselves versus the controlled transmission of knowledge received on taught courses. In order truly succeed in life, formal education is important for getting ahead but so is your ability to be able to share what you know with others who can benefit from your lived and learned experience. 6. Students who go directly from school to university benefit less from, and contribute less to their courses than those who take a job or travel in order to get more experience in the “real world” before starting higher education. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Taking a gap year between finishing high school and entering tertiary education is widely recognized as beneficial, and the variety of things one can do overwhelms some young people. Nevertheless, I am thoroughly in support of the above statement and will endeavor to exemplify my opinion on this matter throughout the following discussion. Increasingly, gap years are being utilized to earn qualifications in activities that the younger generation might otherwise have no time for. Instructor courses in skiing and scuba diving, for example, are a great way to enjoy a popular pastime and still come out with an actual qualification. Likewise, arts and language courses are less physical alternatives, but they offer invaluable inroads into intercultural communications and increased understanding of international relations. With the job market becoming increasingly more competitive, there are many career-minded young people who are looking for ways to make their year out count by gaining “real world” experience. Indeed, there has been rapid growth within the area of gap year internships and this is positively encouraged by universities, and employers who are looking for someone who has picked up some worthwhile experience while away from home. I think that people’s understanding of gap years has changed dramatically in the last few years as being something more structured as opposed to just taking an extended vacation. The structured gap year activities that are most commonly selected by youths can be broken down into the following three main areas: development work usually in Third World regions; language learning courses or getting qualified in a skill that can later be taught, for instance sky diving; and last but not the least, volunteer work, both at home and abroad.
The important thing to remember here is that when students decide to take a year out that this decision does not equate to taking a year off. Yes, gap year should be enjoyable but they should also include goals that will later contribute to future university courses and careers. 7. Some people say that sports should not be encourages in schools because they cause competition rather than cooperation among students. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? As a direct response to this question, I would like to suggest that an element of healthy competition between students is constructive in most cases. However, having the opportunity to participate in a sporting event is more important than winning for a variety of reasons which I will present in this discussion. Competitive sports, as we all know, promote good sportsmanship in their ideal form. It follows, therefore, that school-aged children have a far greater chance of developing social competencies if they have been schooled from an early age in how to be a “good sport”. Countless hours of play and sporting competition between students helps to develop an array of skills. They range from the obvious physical competencies, i.e. how to throw a ball, how to hit, and how to catch, all the way to appreciating the associated benefits of fairness, inclusiveness, cooperation, respect for others in spite of their sporting ability, and the importance of having fun. Apart from developing greater diplomacy between students, competitive sports also help young people to create a positive self-image and to take a keen interest in their health and fitness. This is extremely valuable in our consumer-centered lives where obesity among children is continually on the increase. Another valuable point to consider is that competitive sporting events always have a winning and losing side, so learning to deal with both success and disappointment is vital. When the pressure is on, the outcome of a sports game could go either way so it is important for students to control their emotions when frustrating situations arise. Furthermore, when poor sportsmanship is displayed, students should be reminded that there will be consequences for such behavior. At the end of a pressured and highly competitive sporting event if both sides can shake hands with their opponents in a civilized manner then we can say that a great deal has been achieved. 8. Since World War II there has been an increase in cooperation between many Eastern and Western countries. This has led to a desire amongst students to undertake study in foreign countries. Some people believe that this will bring advantages to students while others propose that this will cause some problems. What do you think about this issue? An abundance of benefits from studying abroad have been commended by many an international student. The attractions include: practical life skills and the development of self-reliance, the chance to learn about another culture, the advancement of foreign language acquisition, work experience abroad, commencement or fulfillment of course work, exposure to new academic pursuits and developing perspectives on one’s educational background, along with opportunities to make new friends and to see new places. Access to the world is the study abroad initiative of many students today and of many higher learning institutions around the world. However, I think this is quite a recent trend in education exchanges between the East and the West. As an English language teacher working primarily in North East Asia and in the UK, I have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of Asian students studying in Western countries over the last 5 years. Prior to that time, most foreign students studying in Britain, for example, were from EU countries or other English speaking regions of the world. Nowadays, we are witnessing something quite spectacular, in terms of the number of Asian students studying in countries where English is the first language, namely Britain, Canada and the US, Australia and New Zealand. Predominantly, these students are coming from China and India, two of the world’s most up and coming economies. It is also predicted that there will be more overseas postgraduate rather than undergraduate students studying in English speaking countries as many international applicants already have a first degree from their own country. This is highly profitable for those countries giving student visas to international students. Whether this will be beneficial for those students coming from abroad and the development of their homelands is yet to be seen. Nevertheless, the spirit of determination and optimism I have observed in my Chinese students here in the UK is unbeatable. Change is inevitable it would seem. All too frequently I have heard the aspirations of many of my overseas students
for the positive contributions they would like to make in their home countries after the completion of their studies abroad. 9. In certain countries, children are not allowed to leave school until they reach a certain age, for example, in some countries it is 15 years. Write an essay expressing your point of view on the following topic: Should there be a minimum school leaving age, or should students and their parents be free to decide when they leave school? One feature of improved education systems around the world has been an increase in the period of compulsory schooling for students. In many developed countries students are now required to stay at school until they are 15 years of age. There are quite plausible reasons for opposing this policy. First of all, low income families, for example, may not be able to afford to keep their children at school and may resent governments, imposing this decision on them. In many developing countries, children can bring in much needed income, either by working in family agricultural activities, or else through paid employment. Compulsory schooling might also be opposed on educational grounds. Recent studies have shown that compulsory schooling can be psychological damaging for students who are not motivated to learn. They may be more ready to learn later on as adults when their motivation is stronger. But there are also strong reasons why students should be obliged to remain at school until a certain age. First, at a young age students are unlikely to be sufficiently mature to make sensible decisions about their lives. We should not allow students to make decisions they may later regret. A second reason is that in today’s society, where increasingly high levels of skills and knowledge are required of the work force, early school leavers will find it very difficult to obtain employment. It is my view that schooling should be compulsory until a certain age. Education authorities, however, must ensure that what the education provided is both affordable to families and relevant and interesting to students. Government responsibilities 1. Although there is no longer an immediate threat of nuclear war, peace seems as elusive as ever. In order to address this problem, the United Nations should be given a stronger role in global affairs in order to bring about world peace. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? The idea of world peace is arguably a recent notion in the history of mankind. Even today, with the war against terrorism, many consider the war in Iraq as inevitable and peace as only a hazy and intangible utopian dream. As we witnessed in the 20th century, the first significant anti-war movements in the western world sprang up between the two world wars that is in the 1920s and 30s. This was a very significant time in modern history as it gave rise to what was then called the League of Nations which was then the brain child of today’s United Nations. Most would agree that the UN’s role is to prevent conflicts so that we can all live in a peaceful world that is free from terror. In this sense, I believe that the UN should be given a stronger role in global affairs to ensure that conflict is prevented in all corners of the world by one united governing body. Conversely, conflict resolution should not be left up to individual countries who take it upon themselves to ensure “peace” through invasions: America’s occupation of Iraq being one such example. The UN was established to deal with anything that could be at the source of conflicts. Weapons and warfare have regrettably become ever more deadly since the UN was set up. Furthermore, despite there being greater wealth in the world nowadays, its allocation is far from equal. Unfortunately, the difference between the haves and the have-nots in this world is visible in all places and in all countries, and is increasing. The breakout of contemporary conflicts is often related to the control of natural resources. Illiteracy also contributes to the birth of new conflicts. The UN is supposed to be there to guarantee that fundamental human rights and freedoms are valued, irrespective of where someone comes from, what they believe in or what gender they are. I believe that we should give the UN an even stronger role in global affairs, considering the fact that there are many types of conflicts, with diverse origins and various consequences that will in time affect us all. 2. Some people think that developed countries should fund international aid to poor countries to help developing countries improve domestic health, education and trade. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
First of all, to discuss this statement effectively, it might be helpful to determine exactly what development means. In its most general sense, development means change and most people would argue on this point. However, when it comes to discussing development in more precise terms, things become more difficult. To take an obvious example: a country whose gross national product is rising in the area of trade exports may not be developing in terms of health and education. The rise in GNP may only be a reflection of the greater than before production and sale of a naturally occurring resource such as crude oil or other raw materials. In particular, what I would like to point out is that the term, economic development, is all too often used interchangeably with development, yet it only implies the transformation of a country’s economy. True development, on the other hand, devotes the course of economic and social transformation within a country. This is what developed countries have over developing countries in terms of improved standards in human welfare; higher levels of education, superior health care, a longer life expectancy, and an increase in domestic food consumption. This in turn begs the question of what role foreign aid should play in promoting economic advancement and improved standards in human welfare among developing countries. Personally, I fully sanction the continued supply of international funding from developed nations to developing countries as there have been numerous accounts where this aid has achieved real results. To give an example, South Korea, a country which I have spent a lot of time in over the last decade, and Taiwan were both aid recipients once upon a time; now they are aid donors. In stark contrast, other countries, despite significant inflows of international funding, have not thrived and have instead fallen prey to severe poverty, civil strife, and complete political pandemonium. Therefore, success of foreign aid often lies with the current political climate and the policies of the recipient as well as the aid policies of the donor. 3. Should developing countries only concentrate on improving industrial skills and modern technology or should they promote education first? Present your opinion. When we look at education in many developing parts of the world we can discern that it is at a difficult crossroads. This is especially true in the least developed countries. There exists a two-pronged pressure on the education sector to meet economies’ growing demands for highly skilled and trained workers, along with the need to continue the expansion of knowledge. More often than not, a litany of problems faces educational institutions in the developing world including inadequate budgeting from governments, spiraling resource costs, rapidly increasing student numbers, and large illiterate populations. Due to the scale of these problems, many governments are trying to weigh up the apparent advantages and disadvantages of improving literacy rates against the need to increase industrial productivity. Access to the latest technology is usually what divides developed nations from their developing sister nations. Interestingly, while the burden of mounting public spending on education is a fact of life in many developing countries; on-line distance education is becoming an important way to address many of the concerns confronting the majority of mankind. New Information and communication technologies (ICT) are creating remarkable shifts in societies all over the world. Ironically, it will be through increased computer literacy which in turn aids linguistic literacy that the developing world will see its largest returns in education and industry. In many aspects, if developing countries were to promote education first, then several of the objectives of computer-based distance education could be realized. Online education would help widen overall access to education, raise the value of education through training and by making resources available, and bring about new methods and approaches for teaching learning. Through this new and improved computerized route in education at a fraction of the cost of traditional education, developing countries will be able to achieve and sustain considerable gains in their overall welfare. 4. Nowadays we are seeing more and more exhibitions and sculptures appearing in public places. It is wrong that governments are funding artist projects when there are more important things we could be doing with tax payers’ money. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Some people question whether arts projects should be publicly funded by any means, refuting that governments
should not be collecting tax-payers’ money to support exhibitions and public sculptures that many people do not visit or appreciate. Instead, they believe that the arts ought to be patronized by devoted fans, as sporting events are, or by way of confidential philanthropy. Even so, in some regions of the world vast amounts of arts funding is being disbursed by local governing bodies, indicating that there is support for the arts. We need to question why this is so, and of what benefit communities see artist projects being. By way of forming my own opinion to the assigned statement, I will discuss the many virtues of artist projects for the continuation and development of unique world cultures. It can be argued that the arts significantly affect societies on several specific and important levels. First and foremost, art can create a sense of social cohesion as people identify with the work of local artists, past and present. Art also serves to educate and preserve local traditions and can even spur on economic development by way of promoting the tourism industry. Most sight-seeing in the world is based around art objects and art performances as art is central to culture. In addition, reports have shown that children who participate in the arts often perform better in their main school subjects. For example, children who are exposed to music from a very young age often do better in mathematics. Finally, it is important to remember that skills fostered through creativity are valued highly in places of work. As I mentioned earlier, the arts can create a vibrant sector within local and national economics. Arts and culture are closely intertwined with industry within most market economies around the world. The mass-production of tourist souvenirs, jewelry, clothing, and furniture are but a few examples of how art has created a boom in industry. Thus, for many, art has value not only for art’s sake but for the state of their economy as well. 5. Some sporting events such as the World Cup may help reduce tension and bias between different countries and promote peace in the world. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Recently the media announced FIFA’s (Federation of International Football Association) decision to hold the 2010 World Cup Games in South Africa which will be a first for the continent of Africa. This is the world’s most prestigious football tournament and it means all the world’s attention will be turned on South Africa for a month of international sporting glory. The previous World Cup Games were jointly held in Korea and Japan which was also a first for Aisa. In this essay, I will look at how relations between the two Koreas, Japan and the US were improved because of the 2002 World Cup and how this has a direct effect on promoting world peace. First of all, I would like to mention that FIFA’s decision has not gone without criticism in South Africa; as rising unemployment and wide-scale poverty are still among the most urgent problems facing South Africa. This is the downside of the World Cup as it is an extremely expensive tournament to host. Nonetheless, it will be a time for South Africans to celebrate 10 years of democracy and the end of apartheid which has already lessened tension and bias toward South Africa from the outside world. The effect the World Cup had on diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea cannot be underestimated. Likewise, small steps were made in the direction of resuming long-suspended talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang and this greatly pleased the US and the UN. Although longer-ranging effects remain to be seen, the 2002 World Cup made advances in world peace and North Korea took great pride in South Korea’s achievement in the quarter finals. The way has been opened for South Africa to follow suit in 2010. Already, South Korea and Japan can look back with approval on the first World Cup ever hosted in Asia as one of the most exhilarating and spirited in modern history, with no incidents of terrorism or hooliganism.