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Common Forum/Request/Suggestions / Cloud technology and education
« on: October 30, 2019, 04:56:02 PM »
How the Cloud Is Solving Challenges in Education

Cloud scalability and elasticity and the IaaS and SaaS service models are a perfect fit for addressing the trends and challenges in higher education at the end of 2018 and beyond.

Institutions of higher learning foster a unique culture of collaboration across faculty, students, and administrative staff, often in the face geographically-dispersed campuses. Today, nearly 70% of North American institutions of higher education have moved, or are in the process of moving, their admin systems to the cloud, and about 50% have adopted cloud-based collaboration systems to enhance the sharing of information across campus.

Why Educational Technology is Important

Demographically, university students are one of the most highly-networked and connected populations. According to a recent study, university students bring 3-4 devices to campus and expect to be able to use them all seamlessly across the university’s IT backbone in order to access content and collaborate. In most cases, the cloud is making it possible to meet those expectations.

Cloud services allow universities to cost-effectively upgrade communication and learning systems without massive capital investments in infrastructure. In the US, such savings are crucial in the face of shrinking government support for institutions of higher learning.

cloud computing in universities like many other sectors, there are different approaches to educational technology taking place. Higher education faces the challenge of managing and gaining insight from massive and growing quantities of data—from student and faculty information to sophisticated research analytics. Furthermore, this data requires high levels of security and governance in order to meet both privacy and intellectual property requirements. Cloud deployments—whether public, private, hybrid, or community—have proven highly effective in meeting these needs.

Yet another example is the support of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which first appeared on the higher education scene in 2012, with a modest worldwide enrollment of 1.5 million. By 2016, through leveraging cloud-based infrastructures, global MOOC enrollment figures had reached 58 million, with courses being offered by the world’s foremost universities such as Stanford, Harvard, and Columbia.

Last but certainly not least, higher education has become an increasingly competitive market. In order to remain attractive to faculty and students, institutions of higher learning are under pressure to rapidly and continuously launch new courses and introduce innovative learning methods and materials. As in the software world, cloud-enabled DevOps has become critical in the education sector for maintaining agility and a competitive edge. Being perceived at the cutting edge is also important for hiring and retaining top-tier IT personnel with cloud expertise.

Cloud Volumes ONTAP Is Enhancing Educational Technology

NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP is a customer-deployed data storage management platform that runs on and enhances the AWS storage and Azure storage in the public cloud. Cloud Volumes ONTAP helps NetApp’s education customers efficiently lift and shift workloads to the cloud, cost-effectively manage storage and secondary backups, and gain single-pane visibility across even the most complex infrastructures. Its key benefits include:

Data Migration and Data Replication with SnapMirror® and Cloud Sync. Cloud Sync provides rapid and secure file transfers between diverse source and target formats such as on-premises NFS or CIFS file shares, Amazon S3 object, Azure Blob or NetApp StorageGRID®, and Webscale appliances. With SnapMirror existing NetApp storage users get fast and incremental cross-platform data replication for backup, disaster recovery, and overall data mobility. After an initial baseline copy, only the changes made to the source data since the last synchronization are sent to the destination.

Data Protection with NetApp Snapshot® technology for creating instantaneous point-in-time copies of file systems. Create up to 255 snapshots per volume with impacting performance and only consuming a minimal amount of storage space.

Data Cloning with FlexClone®, which allows you to instantly clone data volumes of any size to writable destination volumes without copying the source data. New storage is allocated only for data changes made to the clone. This feature, which leverages the Snapshot technology, is particularly useful for creating temporary development and test environments.

Cost savings with built-in storage efficiencies: In-line deduplication and compression for up to 30:1 data-reduction ratios, along with thin provisioning and automated storage tiering between object and block storage on AWS and Azure.

Increased manageability with Cloud Manager. This single-pane data storage management control panel provides visibility across complex infrastructures.Education Success Stories with Cloud Volumes ONTAP
This section presents success stories of Cloud Volumes ONTAP customers in the education sector: a leading institution of higher learning and two education software vendors.

Monash University: From Cloud-First to Cloud-Only

Monash University is the largest university in Australia, employing and educating 80,000+ students, faculty, and administrative staff members in campus locations on four different continents. Driven by its mission “to inspire and equip students to be agents of change,” Monash University has been placed within the ranks of the top 1% of universities across the globe.

Monash University had made the strategic decision to move from a cloud-first to a cloud-only strategy and adopted a multicloud model based on AWS and Azure. It was faced with the task of migrating 3,500 workloads to the cloud within a 12-month period.

Using Cloud Volumes ONTAP’s lift & shift and data replication features and Cloud Manager’s intuitive interface, they were able to transition to the cloud seamlessly with 1-click full-stack provisioning. They ended up reducing their AWS storage spend by more than 25% and soon realized the benefits of being able to spin up and tear down new environments quickly (in minutes rather than months) as well as retaining data indefinitely.

To find out more about Monash’s digital transformation read the full case study here.

D2L: Moving Their Online Learning Platform to the Public Cloud

Founded in 1999, D2L (Desire to Learn) is a leading online learning platform for K-12, higher education, and corporate customers. Today, they support millions of users and thousands of schools, academic institutions, and corporations around the globe. In their highly competitive market, they stand out for their innovation, high availability, and quality.

In D2L’s early days, the public cloud was not mature enough to reliably meet their data storage and data management needs. So what D2L did was establish its own data center. As the company expanded, they found themselves managing petabytes of data (course materials, test scores, video content, and more). Maintaining their on-prem infrastructure was taking up too much time and money, resources they would rather have been using to move their core business forward.

That’s why D2L decided to transition its platform to AWS for on-demand scalability while using Cloud Volumes ONTAP for optimized management, enhanced storage efficiency, and better data protection. Well aware of the risk in shifting petabytes of production data to the public cloud, D2L relies on Cloud Volume ONTAP’s Snapshot copies and SnapMirror replication to quickly move their data while protecting it with cost-effective backup and disaster recovery capabilities.

Cloud Volume ONTAP’s built-in storage efficiencies (compression, deduplication) have also reduced the number of files to move, with 20-60% storage space savings depending on the type of workload. Cloud Volume ONTAP’s centralized data management and operational efficiencies were also essential in making it possible for D2L to implement a scalable all-cloud platform for their large (and growing) volume of data. The resources they have freed up have been reallocated to innovation that will enhance the customer experience.

To find out more about D2L’s move to the cloud view the customer webinar here.

Global eLearning Provider: On-Premises to the Cloud

One of the world’s largest education software companies, this customer provides managed web solutions for different types of educational software, including higher education technology, for tens of thousands of educational institutions around the world. Their operations include fully-dedicated and isolated development, staging, and production environments for each customer.

A veteran NetApp customer, they decided to deploy Cloud Volumes ONTAP to migrate their on-premises systems from globally dispersed data centers to AWS. Already familiar with the benefits of SnapMirror and FlexClone, they now use these features to create highly-available NFS shares in AWS and to create a seamless data fabric for their education software applications.

Moving to Cloud Volumes ONTAP also gave them much greater control over the management of their Amazon EBS storage, with thin provisioning, data compression, and data deduplication lowering their cloud storage costs.


Cloud computing in education has transformed the classroom experience. NetApp’s Cloud Volumes ONTAP allows education institutions and solution providers to reap all the advantages of cloud computing in education, such as scalability and elasticity, while supporting complex infrastructures, containing storage costs, and protecting highly sensitive data from loss or corruption. This boost for educational technology benefits not just institutions and their educational technology applications, but the students they serve.


Faculty Sections / Responsibility of Teachers Versus Parents
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:19:58 PM »
Responsibility of Teachers Versus Parents

Ready to have the ENERGY to be the best mom you can be? Get started! Thanks for stopping by!
The lines between what is the responsibility of teachers and parents are blurred today. Children are being essentially raised by teachers. In child care the caregivers are called “teachers” and these are the adults a child in daycare full-time sees most of their days. Beyond that, teachers are receiving students who are not ready to learn.
Teachers are limited in ways parents are not, but teachers are having to act as parents these days.

Parents are busy or just are not teaching the same values that once were learned at home. This causes problems in our schools.
When a child is not ready to learn a classroom suffers.

Teachers are dealing with too much in the classroom. Parents need to teach at home-time spent with children and values taught matter.

I read an article in the October 17, 2011 edition of Fortune magazine entitled, “How Do You Teach Teachers?”  (This is relevant to parenting, so stick with me here.)  The author of the article, David Kaplan, references a professor of education at the University of Michigan named David K. Cohen (author of Teaching and Its Predicaments).  They infer that parenting is the reason for so many problems in the classrooms these days-I agree.

Responsibility of Teachers and Parents

Teachers work with students to impart knowledge and to teach the students the ability to teach others. The teachers’ predicament is that they are being burdened with teaching more than just academics.  They are being required to teach proper behavior, desire to learn, respect, and self control, typical values that used to be learned at home.
Kaplan states that the main road block to teachers being effective is that students “are a product of social and economic forces outside the classroom.”  In other words, every child has a background that begins with their experiences at home, at daycare, or a combo of the two.  Our children take the values we teach into their classrooms. He is saying parenting matters!

‘Society’ (i.e. the media, political officials, ‘talking heads‘ on television, etc.) places the burden of either expanding on a students positive background, or improving upon a negative one, on teachers.  Seems to me that we parents have the power to create a positive ‘background’ for our children so that teachers can teach the basics and not take time away from teaching our child to deal with behaviors of children not ready to learn. (I am not referring to children with learning disabilities such as those inherited genetically.) Teaching our children values begins at home and requires a lot of time.
I believe the power lies within parents, to plant our children in this life to thrive and not become a burden on teachers and society.  Let’s start at home.

Let’s stay empowered as parents to take on the burden of being sure that our children are primed to learn, ready to excel, and able to teach their peers. (Also known as being a ’good example.’)
Cohen is quoted as saying, “[Improving teaching] is more likely to be a long march than a quick fix…” if we are relying on effective teachers.  The author concludes the school-teacher-student situation in this country is “bleak.” Of course it is. Our familial priorities are out of balance. Children are treated as a part time focus rather than a full time job.
I don’t think it has to be this way: if we are empowered to raise our children to love learning, and we can empower other parents to do so whether through our example, or direct conversations, parents will eliminate the burden on teachers because, we, the parents, will take on the burden ourselves.
We stay-at-home moms are home, devoted, teaching these values. We correct the bad behavior when we see it…not hours later. We address the needs and set the example.
The extra time spent with our children from the time they are born, can only help those of us who are trying to be proactive positive examples. Being a stay-at-home mom can help make our parenting actions more clear and more effective reducing the burden on teachers when and if our children enter their classrooms.
The responsibility of teachers and parents is different, and we parents need to remember that.


Faculty Sections / The Relationship Between Teaching and Research
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:13:56 PM »
The Relationship Between Teaching and Research

I remember applying for NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship many years ago and being asked to answer a question describing my experiences “integrating research and education”.  At the time, I was baffled by the question, as I hadn’t yet done much teaching.  I thought: Aren’t teaching and research orthogonal?  I’m told by current students that the question no longer exists in the fellowship application, which I think is unfortunate.  That question has stayed with me throughout my career: I regularly re-ask myself questions about integrating research and education.

At least in the United States (and presumably elsewhere, too), university researchers are regularly asked to tie our research back to education: for example, faculty members are regularly asked to describe the “broader impact” of their research, which includes how the results of the research will be incorporated into the curriculum.  I’ve learned that this is no accident; to the contrary, I think it is one of the most important (and under-appreciated) things that researchers should be thinking about.

Although researchers are sometimes asked to think about how research can be integrated in the classroom, I’ve also found that efforts in the classroom can also ultimately result in better research.  In fact, although many educators are not necessarily researchers, the converse is undeniable: It is no accident that some of the best researchers are also excellent teachers.  And, while some strong researchers who are not good teachers do exist, I believe that purposeful teaching effort does in fact result in much better research.

In this post, I’ll describe my views on the relationships between research and teaching, in both directions.  I’ll begin with the more “obvious” notions of how our research ultimately affects education and the curriculum and continue to what I think is the less apparent (and more interesting) direction of how our work on education can also make us better researchers.  Of course, teaching also helps us develop many “general purpose” skills that are also useful in research, including mentoring and supervisory skills, learning to analyze others’ understanding, learning to give feedback, and so forth.  Below, I’ll eschew these practicalities and instead focus on how the relationship between research and education ultimately result in better research ideas.

How Research Affects Teaching
Research results instill fresh material in the classroom.  Although some subjects we learn in the classroom are fairly well-established, many areas of computer science (and I would assume certain other fields, too) are rapidly evolving.  With the rise of large content and service providers such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook; the proliferation of mobile devices; and the spread of connectivity to developing regions (to name a few developments), computer networking looks almost nothing like twenty years ago, and, while certain principles persist, the constraints of the domain and the applications of the technologies are continually evolving. Students strive for concrete examples and applications of concepts to the world that they know which is, incidentally, different from the world we knew when we were students.  New research results represent prevailing theories, the outcome of our cumulative understanding, and the application of concepts to the most relevant problem domains or our time.  I find that there is no better way to keep my course material current than to peruse the latest research and update the material so that it reflects current understanding.

Industry tracks research; students should, too.  Our understanding continues to evolve as new research results emerge.  In many areas, industry aggressively tracks new technologies and research results, and students aim will be more poised to make important contributions in industry if they are well-versed in current technologies.  Students periodically thank me for covering a certain topic or concept in the classroom because “someone asked me about it in a job interview”.  Certainly, there is a balance between educating our students on the big picture and “timeless” concepts (something I discuss more below), but I find that students are often quite grateful for having some exposure to the concepts and problems that industry is thinking about today.  Instilling course material with fresh research results is one important way that instructors can help this process.

How Teaching Affects Research

I think the more surprising notion is that investing effort in teaching well can actually make us better researchers.  I sometimes find that certain faculty members are too eager to minimize teaching responsibilities in favor of “leaving more time to get research done”.  Now, it is worth acknowledging the source of this angst: many of the administrative aspects of teaching (e.g., grading, responding to student emails, organizational logistics) are incredibly time consuming and do not necessarily offer inherent benefits to research.  Nevertheless, I find that the intellectual aspects of teaching are an indispensable aspect of my own efforts to become a better researcher.  Below, I’ll explain more abstractly why I think teaching makes us better researchers, and, where appropriate, I’ll describe some of my own concrete experiences in this regard.

To create new knowledge, we must first master the existing body of knowledge. Research is the process of creating new knowledge.  Making  progress in creating knowledge requires a significant amount of background knowledge, before one can reach the “frontier” of a topic, where the interesting questions are.  Herb Simon once attested that it takes about ten years of experience to get to the point of great accomplishment in any one area, simply because it takes a significant amount of time to accumulate knowledge in an area.  This necessarily implies that we can’t become great researchers in a subject area merely by taking a class (or even a few classes); we must embed ourselves in that topic area.  I find that teaching a subject is perhaps one of the most efficient ways to become embedded in a subject matter, since the process of explaining concepts to students leaves no room for “cutting corners” in my own understanding.  The process of building understanding in a particular area allows us to develop a deep understanding the paradigms and theories that currently exist, and how those paradigms and the existing knowledge base might be extended (or amended).  Teaching Ph.D. students about a particular subject matter is also a way to bootstrap research, by helping our students get to the frontier of knowledge more quickly than they otherwise would; I sometimes teach seminars on cutting-edge topics (above and beyond my teaching “requirements”) simply because I find the process to be an efficient way of helping students quickly ramp up on a topic where I would like to see more research happening.

On a personal note, I found the process of preparing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Software Defined Networking over the past summer tremendously helpful in solidifying my own knowledge in this budding topic area.  This particular sub-field has seen rapid developments over the past five years, and I had found it difficult to take the time to deeply understand many of the latest developments.  I found that teaching the course was a wonderful “forcing function” to familiarize myself with new technologies and ways of thinking, and to gain hands-on experience with tools that had been recently developed.  My hands-on experience with development tools helped me in two ways: First, I was able to suggest better tools for my students to use in their own research; in several cases, students who had been “stuck” using older technologies quickly familiarized themselves with technologies I learned well enough to appreciate.  By investing time to deeply understand how new techniques and technologies might be applied, I was able to make connections between problems we had been trying to solve in the research lab and tools that could be useful for solving them.  Second, I was able to make connections between concepts that had recently been developed to help solve some problems that we had been working on that hadn’t yet been solved.   In one case, for example, as I taught concepts about composition techniques for network policies, I realized that the techniques could be applied to help some of our own technologies scale to much larger networks, which provided a breakthrough on a problem that we had been thinking about for years.

In the process of explaining an existing phenomenon, you might discover that existing explanations, technologies, or theories don’t actually suffice. According to Thomas Kuhn, research breakthroughs often occur when old paradigms are discarded (or at least amended), thus changing our way of thinking about problems completely.  New paradigms begin with the need to explain or treat facts or situations that existing paradigms don’t handle well.   As instructors, when we attempt to explain various facts or situations to students, we sometimes find that we can’t explain why things are a certain way—our attempts to explain may reveal instances that are not handled or explained well by current paradigms, thus exposing glaring needs to develop new technologies, theories, and paradigms.

I remember my experiences as a teaching assistant for computer networking, as my advisor and I planned lessons to teach Internet routing.  My advisor had long worked on problems where correctness properties and bound were well-defined (e.g., Internet congestion control).  When we came to the topic of Internet routing, however (a topic on which I had some mastery as a result of a summer internship), I found him continually asking me how (or whether) Internet routing offered any guarantees of correct behavior.  How could we be certain that Internet routing algorithms would actually send traffic where it was supposed to go, for example?  We realized in our attempts to codify this in lecture material that no such guarantees existed!  Frustrated by our inability to explain Internet routing correctness, we spent the next several years formally defining correctness properties for Internet routing and developing tools that checked Internet routing configuration for correctness.  The work eventually resulted in tools that were used by hundreds of network operators and a best paper award at a top networking conference.  When I think about that work, I regularly trace its success to my teaching experience with my advisor, and our initial frustrated attempt to explain some seemingly basic concepts about networking to students.  If it weren’t for that teaching experience, I think that research probably would never have happened.

Teaching encourages us to think about the long road, the big picture, and what “really matters” about a particular research contribution.  I aim to explain why something is the way it is, beyond simply explaining a concept.  As I explained above, efforts to explain why something is the way it is might sometimes fail to produce a good explanation, opening new possibilities for research.  In other cases, research may offer solutions to a problem du jour, but sometimes research projects or papers are fairly self-contained, and it takes additional thought to really establish why (or whether) a particular result has broader implications that a student might care about.  As an instructor, I strive to think about the big picture, and why a student should care about a particular research result, theory, or concept five or ten years down the road, long after they have left our classroom and received their degree.  This exercise of thinking about broader implications can make classroom material more palatable to students, most of whom won’t specialize in the particular field you happen to be teaching.  But, it also forces us as researchers to step back and think about why the problems we are working on have broad impact and why they matter to society at large.  Explaining to a classroom of students why a particular result matters is perhaps one of the most useful exercises for distilling a research contribution to its essence.

Motivated Students + Inspiring Teachers = Great Research

I admired my university professors and wanted to emulate them; they are one of the main reasons I wanted to become a university professor in the first place.  Teachers can influence and affect a large number of students in tremendously positive ways.  Indeed, giving students the thirst for knowledge to the point that they want to not just consume existing knowledge but make discoveries themselves is a unique opportunity that we have as educators.  And, certainly, developing smart young students into the researchers of current and future generations is yet another way that our efforts in the classroom can pay long-term dividends for research.


Faculty Sections / Classroom Etiquette and Student Behavior Guidelines
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:09:55 PM »
Classroom Etiquette and Student Behavior Guidelines

The purpose of this information is to assist students in understanding proper classroom behavior. The classroom should be a learning-centered environment in which faculty and students are unhindered by disruptive behavior. You are a college student and are expected to act in a mature manner and to be respectful of the learning process, your instructor and your fellow students. Faculty members have the authority to manage their classrooms to ensure an environment conducive to learning.

Any person who shall accept the privilege extended by Florida laws of attendance or employment at any state college, state junior college or state university shall by so attending or working at such institution be deemed to have given consent to the policies of the institution, the Board of Trustees and the laws of this state. Such policies shall include prohibition against disruptive activities at state institutions of higher learning.

Take responsibility for your education. There is a common myth among students that because they pay tuition they deserve to receive credit for the class. This is not true. In fact, students pay only a portion of the cost of their education; taxpayers pay the balance. Instructors are here to create a learning environment. Whether you learn depends on your willingness to listen, ask appropriate questions and do the work necessary to pass the course. College courses are rigorous and demanding; you may have to work harder and seek more help in order to succeed.
Attend every class. You will find that students who attend every class, listen to the instructor and take good notes will be more likely to pass (with a higher grade). If you have an emergency or illness, contact your instructor ahead of time to let her or him know that you will be absent. A local study showed that students who missed the first class meeting were more likely later to withdraw or fail. Important note: If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to meet with the instructor, outside of regular class time, to determine a plan to make up the missed work.
Get to class on time. Students who walk into the classroom late distract other students in the learning environment. Check the course syllabus for the professor's attendance policy.
Do not have private conversations. The noise is distracting to other students.
Turn mobile phones off. It is very distracting to hear someone's mobile phone go off in class.
Do not dominate other students' opportunity to learn by asking too many questions. It is good to ask questions and make comments, but if you dominate the class time with too many questions and/or comments, the instructor and other students cannot participate in class discussions. When asking questions and making comments, keep them related to the discussion at hand.
Respect your instructor. Openly challenging the instructor's knowledge or authority in the classroom is not appropriate. If you take issue with the instructor's information or instructional methods, make sure that your comments are made without confrontation or antagonism. You may want to discuss your issues with her or him privately. Instructors' classroom policies, procedures and teaching styles vary: Some instructors, for example, enforce attendance policies vigorously, while others are more lenient about attendance. Assignments and classroom activities are at the prerogative of the instructor. Each instructor has the freedom and authority to set the guidelines and policies for his or her classroom (within the overall policies of the College). Consult the instructor's syllabus for specific information pertinent to each class.
Your classmates deserve your respect and support. Others may have ideas and opinions that differ from yours, or they may struggle to understand information as quickly as their peers. But they deserve the same level of respect from you as you wish to receive from them.
Come to class prepared. Students who forget common classroom supplies (such as a pencil, paper, books, test materials, etc.) usually waste class time. Students who have not completed their assigned homework many times ask questions that could have been answered through their assignments.
Turn in your work on time. It is important to plan ahead. Students who wait until the last minute to do their work usually make lower grades and are more likely to miss deadlines. Study and do your assignments every day. Doing so ensures that if a problem occurs at the last minute, such as a computer malfunction, you will still be prepared.
Do not bring children to class. Children in classrooms are distracting to the instructor, other students and you. You need to plan ahead for childcare.


Faculty Sections / Giving Student Feedback: 20 Tips To Do It Right
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:07:18 PM »
Giving Student Feedback: 20 Tips To Do It Right
By Laura Reynolds

Giving student feedback

It seems as if it was yesterday that I was a young middle school student giving a class presentation on the lifespan of the killer whale. While I was prepared, I was also horribly nervous. At the conclusion of my speech I was given verbal student feedback from my teacher–in front of the entire class! Needless to say, it wasn’t glowing. I remember that feedback to this day because it was negative, defeating and very embarrassing.

Despite all of my hard work, my seventh grade teacher ripped my presentation into shreds. I understand now that the teacher was trying to hone my presentation skills, but did he have to do it in front of the entire seventh grade science class? Let’s just say that my speech delivery skills weren’t up to par and because of this experience, I stumbled through many public speeches for a long time afterward. It really is amazing I went on to become a teacher.

As teachers, it is essential that we make the process of providing feedback a positive, or at least a neutral, learning experience for the student.

Unfortunately, many students have similar “educational” experiences like mine everyday. Why is it that some teachers think that giving feedback must be negative and corrective because that is the only way a student will learn? The only thing I learned from my seventh grade experience was that public speaking, no matter how much I prepared, was bound to be a disaster.

As teachers, it is essential that we make the process of providing feedback a positive, or at least a neutral, learning experience for the student.

So what exactly is feedback? Feedback is any response from a teacher in regard to a student’s performance or behavior. It can be verbal, written or gestural. The purpose of feedback in the learning process is to improve a student’s performance- definitely not put a damper on it. The ultimate goal of feedback is to provide students with an “I can do this” attitude.

Sometimes We Have To Dig Deep

When feedback is predominately negative, studies have shown that it can discourage student effort and achievement (Hattie & Timperley, 2007, Dinham). Like my experience, the only thing I knew is that I hated public speaking and I would do anything possible to get out of it. As a teacher, most of the time it is easy to give encouraging, positive feedback.

However, it is in the other times that we have to dig deep to find an appropriate feedback response that will not discourage a student’s learning. This is where the good teachers, the ones students remember forever in a positive light, separate themselves from the others.

A teacher has the distinct responsibility to nurture a student’s learning and to provide feedback in such a manner that the student does not leave the classroom feeling defeated. Here you will find 20 ideas and techniques on how to give effective feedback that will leave your students with the feeling they can conquer the world.

20 Ways to Provide Effective Student Feedback

1. Student feedback should be educative in nature.

Providing feedback means giving students an explanation of what they are doing correctly AND incorrectly. However, the focus of the feedback should be based essentially on what the students is doing right. It is most productive to a student’s learning when they are provided with an explanation and example as to what is accurate and inaccurate about their work.

Use the concept of a “feedback sandwich” to guide your feedback: Compliment, Correct, Compliment.

2. Student feedback should be given in a timely manner.

When student feedback is given immediately after showing proof of learning, the student responds positively and remembers the experience about what is being learned in a confident manner. If we wait too long to give feedback, the moment is lost and the student might not connect the feedback with the action.

3. Be sensitive to the individual needs of the student.

It is vital that we take into consideration each individual when giving student feedback. Our classrooms are full of diverse learners. Some students need to be nudged to achieve at a higher level and other needs to be handled very gently so as not to discourage learning and damage self-esteem. A balance between not wanting to hurt a student’s feelings and providing proper encouragement is essential.

4. Ask the 4 questions.

Studies of effective teaching and learning (Dinham, 2002, 2007a; 2007b) have shown that learners want to know where they stand in regards to their work. Providing answers to the following four questions on a regular basis will help provide quality student feedback. These four questions are also helpful when providing feedback to parents:

What can the student do?
What can’t the student do?
How does the student’s work compare with that of others?
How can the student do better?
5. Student feedback should reference a skill or specific knowledge.

This is when rubrics become a useful tool. A rubric is an instrument to communicate expectations for an assignment. Effective rubrics provide students with very specific information about their performance, comparative to an established range of standards. For younger students, try highlighting rubric items that the student is meeting or try using a sticker chart.

6. Give feedback to keep students “on target” for achievement.

Regular ‘check-ins’ with students lets them know where they stand in the classroom and with you. Utilize the ‘4 questions’ to guide your feedback.

7. Host a one-on-one conference.

Providing a one-on-one meeting with a student is one of the most effective means of providing feedback. The student will look forward to having the attention and allows the opportunity to ask necessary questions. A one-on-one conference should be generally optimistic, as this will encourage the student to look forward to the next meeting.

As with all aspects of teaching, this strategy requires good time management. Try meeting with a student while the other students are working independently. Time the meetings so that they last no longer than 10 minutes.

8. Student feedback can be given verbally, non-verbally or in written form.

Be sure to keep your frowns in check. It is imperative that we examine our non-verbal cues. Facial expressions and gestures are also means of delivering feedback. This means that when you hand back that English paper, it is best not to scowl.

9. Concentrate on one ability.

It makes a far greater impact on the student when only one skill is critiqued versus the entire paper being the focus of everything that is wrong. For example, when I taught Writer’s Workshop at the elementary level, I would let students know that for that day I was going to be checking on the indentation of paragraphs within their writing. When I conferenced with a student, that was my focus instead of all the other aspects of their writing. The next day would feature a new focus.

10. Alternate due dates for your students/classes.

Utilize this strategy when grading papers or tests. This strategy allows you the necessary time to provide quality, written feedback. This can also include using a rotation chart for students to conference with at a deeper more meaningful level. Students will also know when it is their turn to meet with you and are more likely to bring questions of their own to the conference.

11. Educate students on how to give feedback to each other.

Model for students what appropriate feedback looks like and sounds like. As an elementary teacher, we call this ‘peer conferencing’. Train students to give each other constructive feedback in a way that is positive and helpful. Encourage students to use post-it notes to record the given feedback.

12. Ask another adult to give student feedback.

The principal at the school I taught at would often volunteer to grade history tests or read student’s writing pieces. You can imagine how the student’s quality of work increased tenfold! If the principal is too busy (and most are), invite a ‘guest’ teacher or student teacher to critique work.

13. Have the student take notes.

During a conference over a test, paper or a general ‘check in’, have the student do the writing while you do the talking. The student can use a notebook to jot down notes as you provide the verbal feedback.

14. Use a notebook to keep track of student progress.

Keep a section of a notebook for each student. Write daily or weekly, dated comments about each student as necessary. Keep track of good questions the student asks, behavior issues, areas for improvement, test scores etc. Of course this requires a lot of essential time management but when it is time to conference with a student or parent, you are ready to go.

15. Return tests, papers or comment cards at the beginning of class.

Returning papers and tests at the beginning of class, rather than at the end, allows students to ask necessary questions and to hold a relevant discussion.

16. Use Post-It notes.

Sometimes seeing a comment written out is more effective than just hearing it aloud. During independent work time, try writing feedback comments on a post-it note. Place the note on the student’s desk the feedback is meant for. One of my former students had a difficult time staying on task but he would get frustrated and embarrassed when I called him out on his inattentive behaviors in front of the class.

He would then shut down and refused to do any work because he was mad that I humiliated him. I resorted to using post-it notes to point out when he was on task or not. Although it was not the most effective use of my time, it really worked for him.

17. Give genuine praise.

Students are quick to figure out which teachers use meaningless praise to win approval. If you are constantly telling your students “Good Job” or “Nice Work” then, over time, these words become meaningless. Make a big deal out of a student’s A+ on that vocabulary test. If you are thrilled with a student’s recent on-task behaviors, go above and beyond with the encouragement and praise.

Make a phone call home to let mom or dad know how thrilled you are with the student’s behavior. Comments and suggestions within genuine student feedback should also be ‘focused, practical and based on an assessment of what the student can do and is capable of achieving’ (Dinham).

18. “I noticed….”

Make an effort to notice a student’s behavior or effort at a task. For example; “I noticed when you regrouped correctly in the hundreds column, you got the problem right.” “I noticed you arrived on time to class this entire week.” Acknowledging a student and the efforts they are making goes a long way to positively influence academic performance.

19. Provide a model or example.

Communicate with your students the purpose for an assessment and/or student feedback. Demonstrate to students what you are looking for by giving them an example of what an A+ paper looks like. Provide a contrast of what a C- paper looks like. This is especially important at the upper learning levels.

20. Invite students to give YOU feedback.

Remember when you finished a class in college and you were given the chance to ‘grade’ the professor? How nice was it to finally tell the professor that the reading material was so incredibly boring without worrying about it affecting your grade? Why not let students give you feedback on how you are doing as a teacher?

Make it so that they can do it anonymously. What did they like about your class? What didn’t they like? If they were teaching the class, what would they do differently? What did they learn the most from you as a teacher? If we are open to it, we will quickly learn a few things about ourselves as educators. Remember that feedback goes both ways and as teachers it is wise to never stop improving and honing our skills as teachers.


« on: October 21, 2019, 06:02:29 PM »
Find the file on testing and evaluating in English Language Teaching.

« on: October 20, 2019, 02:15:55 PM »

1.   Education should be free for everyone
2.   Why are the US citizens rapidly becoming more obese?
3.   Internet access must be limited to students
4.   Young people must have a right to choose when it comes to military
5.   Each student must have a right to pick only those disciplines he is interested in
6.   What are the advantages US educational system offers to international students?
7.   Which secondary languages are worth studying today?
8.   Is education too commercialized nowadays?
9.   Is current academic grading helpful in performance?
10.   Are tests like SAT and ACT effective?
11.   Advantages and disadvantages of MBA program.
12.   Sports argumentative essay topics
13.   What can be done to assist teenagers in maintaining a healthy weight?
14.   Physical education in the school system.
15.   Physical education in the school system healthcare and nursing from ilsepauly687
16.   Does participation in NCAA negatively influence the academic performance?
17.   What is the top unbreakable record in sport?
18.   Is Michael Jordan still a basketball star?
19.   Argumentative essay topics for middle school
20.   What is the real relationship between food, fitness, and weight?
21.   What are the negative effects of diets?
22.   Society should fight with anorexia
23.   To regulate health issues, people should think about their sleep more.
24.   Is golf still demanded?
25.   Steroid takers must be banned from team sports activities.
26.   Is swimming really the best type of sport?
27.   Hockey and other dangerous sports.
28.   Argumentative essay topics for college
29.   Production and sales of tobacco must be made illegal
30.   Death sentence should be activated in every country of the world
31.   Smoking in public places has to be banned
32.   Alcohol usage should be controlled
33.   They should not sell alcohol beverages after 11 P.M.
34.   Energetic drinks should be banned and made illegal
35.   Should court proceedings be documented for television?
36.   The most suitable age to have a right to vote.
37.   When can citizens start drinking and smoking (specific age)?
38.   On the whole, is there justice for all?
39.   Was the Industrial Revolution a Europe-wide phenomenon in the nineteenth century?
40.   Classical argument topics
41.   It should be forbidden to use species of animals for research purposes and cruel experiments
42.   Should rainforests destructions be punished?
43.   To what extent are electric vehicles a solution to global pollution?
44.   Pros and cons of globalization.
45.   Was Roosevelt right about building a Panama Canal?
46.   Are you on the side of King-Kong or militaries who interrupted his world to study it using violent measures?
47.   The risks the United States may face in terms of rapidly changing climate conditions.
48.   Earthquakes and their consequences.
49.   Tsunami: the death wave.
50.   Beautiful forests of Amazonia.
51.   Which species should be included in the Red Book (Liber Novus)?
52.   How can students add up to the social movement for nature's safety?
53.   Controversial argumentative essay topics
54.   Third World War should be prevented by Russian and US Governments
55.   Existing public school policies must be changed
56.   Is gun control an effective way to control the crime?
57.   Government should forbid same-sex marriages
58.   Society is turning over-regulated
59.   The countries with the highest levels of corruption.
60.   Are some political authorities engaged in illegal activities in the US?
61.   Should people with physical disabilities be accepted by the government?
62.   To be a politician: art or a born talent.
63.   Can anyone be above the law?
64.   Pros and cons of Monarchy.
65.   Is CIS a better alternative for the USSR?
66.   Argumentative essay on technology
67.   Violent video games should be prohibited
68.   Does technology make people feel alone?
69.   YouTube Owners Should Check and Fix Comments That Involve Filthy Language
70.   Are people becoming technological zombies?
71.   Will humanity reach the time when there will be no more technological advancement?
72.   Influences of mobile phones: pros and cons
73.   Technology and education
74.   Argumentative essay on social media
75.   Is technology limiting creativity?
76.   The role of communications in social networks for modern education.
77.   Are contemporary people too much reliant on technology?
78.   Are online friends more effective than imaginary?
79.   Is censorship of Internet necessary?
80.   6th-grade argumentative essay topics
81.   First aid and medical help, in general, should become free
82.   People are good at heart (download and use an example now)

83.   People are good at heart psychology from ilsepauly687
84.   People must spend less time on official work without any effect on their salaries
85.   Social movements must be financed by governments
86.   Parents have no right to control the lives of their children above 16
87.   Cloning must be banned
88.   Global warming (Just download the sample you need for free!)
89.   Are abortions legal?
90.   Cross-cultural marriages add up to racial tolerance
91.   Is it OK to date a younger male?
92.   What us incest?
93.   What should be the role of partners in relationship and family?
94.   Is online dating safe and productive?
95.   Will people start marrying their computers soon?
96.   Funny argument topics
97.   Would Batman be in law in a real world?
98.   2D vs. 3D vs. 4D: What's Next?
99.   Can the chip control the human mind like they do in superhero movies?
100.   Does Griffins Family correspond to the typical American family?
101.   Graffiti is an illegal art. How should it be punished?
102.   Marijuana should be legal.
103.   Should parents be soft on their children?
104.   Art, Music & Movie Ideas for Papers
105.   Does art pay?
106.   Can music and cinematography be called an art too?
107.   Is gothic art the most preferred and magnificent in history of mankind?
108.   Can you succeed in life working in the field of art?
109.   Are today's music tracks educational or meaningful at all?
110.   Is modern lyrics too explicit for a young audience?
111.   There is no plot in the majority of up-to-date movies.
112.   How long should a motion picture last?


If you wish everyone to read your piece with the bated breath, try to:

Pick a topic that everyone is currently discussing. Pay attention to the rumours.
Select a question an answer to which is still unknown to many people.
Choose an audience that does not agree with your point.
Decide on the problem on which everyone has a specific point of view.
Choose an issue based on your own interests, but don't go too far!
Here we have shared some of the most effective tips:
No obvious argumentative paper topics!
Do not stop on those topics that do not arise any arguments. Topics that state scientific facts proved by centuries do not work.
A debatable essay must focus on the critical issue which leads to the global conflicts.
Almost every second problem related to politics is a good choice. You may also write something about your school, college or university policies that annoy you or make students argue with their teachers and principals.
Skip topics that people tend to agree on.
At the same time, it is better to pass by argumentative essay topics connected with religion, gender, race, and other sensitive episodes of human life. Otherwise, your subjective opinion may be graded subjectively.
It is better to write your essay following APA style. You may read how to format academic papers in APA here.
Remember: the world is not black-and-white. There are always two sides of the coin. So, even if you're pretty sure in your claim, and the majority of people tend to support it, consider the arguments of the opposing side. Only then your argumentative paper will be graded respectively high.
As you can see, the procedure is everywhere the same. But the idea is to choose the most exciting argumentative paper topics in order to impress both your audience and your teacher. It's like a competition, where the highest grade is your prize. Whenever you need immediate help with your assignment, turn to the professional writing service which can compose an argumentative essay on any topics in several hours.

Just like any other academic paper, argumentative essay requires such steps as:

In-depth research
Gathering of information
Picking the most credible and up-to-date sources
Writing a draft
Writing compare and contrast essay itself
Revising (at least twice)
Speaking about the organisation and structure of the argumentative essay, we offer a five-paragraph paper outline. Let your original ideas flow in this manner:

100 Argumentative Essay Topics with Samples
A conclusion is, no doubt, the most important part of the argumentative essay as you can either support the good impression or destroy it entirely. If you want to avoid typical mistakes, find valuable recommendations in this article.

It all seems easy: just select, draft, write and revise. You may keep your argumentative essays for your future job portfolio in case they are highly graded. We recommend fixing them a bit once your teacher returns the checked version to you. The next time, the process would seem much easier to you.

If you have no desire to waste time on selecting the best topic and writing the whole argumentative essay from scratch, don't forget that you have a loyal team of professionals by your side. We are always ready to help for affordable prices - just contact us in the case of any questions or need for additional information.


English Grammar / Narration
« on: October 10, 2019, 01:27:05 PM »

Narration: Reported to Reporting Speech

David said, “I’m baking a chocolate cake for you.’’

David said that he was baking a chocolate cake for me.

If we consider these two sentences, we might notice that both of them convey the same message, but there is a difference if we look closely. In the first sentence, I am conveying the activities of David in his (D) own words without changing it; it is called direct speech or we can say reporting speech. In the second sentence, I am using my own words to convey the activities of the speaker (D) to the audience. This we can say indirect speech or reported speech.

There are some major rules to change these speeches from direct to indirect. We need to consider the tense, pronoun, words that describe time, place, distance, types of sentences, etc. let’s have a glance at the following rules:

1. Pronoun:
In an indirect speech the pronoun changes according to the speaker whether s/he is referring himself/herself or a third person. We can make this clearer if we learn this with some examples:

Direct: George said, “I cannot be with you.”
Indirect: George said that he could not be with me.
Direct: I said, “Leave me”
Indirect: I ordered to leave me alone. (Note: in this sentence the speaker is same, so there is no change in the indirect speech.)
Direct: They said, “We will be partying tonight.”
Indirect: They said that they would be partying that night.
Direct: I told George, “You should stay.”
Indirect: I told George that he should stay.
Direct: She asked, “How are you doing today?”
Indirect: She asked me how I was doing that day.
Direct: Robert said, “Can you pull me up?”
Indirect: Robert asked if I could pull him up.

2. Type of sentences:

a. Reporting Interrogative sentences:

I) If there is a yes-no question in the direct speech, then the reported speech will start with whether/if and the reported clause form will be (subject+verb).


Direct: Peter said, “Are you from Australia?”
Indirect: Peter asked if I was from Australia.
Direct: Tom asked, “Do you want to sit here?”
Indirect: Tom asked whether I wanted to sit there.
II) In indirect speech questions starting with who, whom, when, how, where and what the wh-word would be the subject or the object of the reported clause:


Direct: Brad said, “Who will come with me?”
Indirect: Brad asked who would go with him.
Direct: Tina said, “What will be the charges?”
Indirect: Tina inquired what the charges would be.
Direct: I said the man, “Where is the hotel?”
Indirect: I asked the man where the hotel was.
Direct: Mother said, “How is the chicken?”
Indirect: Mother asked me how the chicken was.
b. Reporting statement sentences:

In a statement speech, we will use ‘that’ before the reported statement and the reported verb will be ‘told’ (followed by an object) or ‘said’ (will not be followed by an object).


Direct: Edward said, “I like the book.”
Indirect: Edward said that he liked the book.
Direct: Alice said, “I want you to sing.”
Indirect: Alice told me to sing.
c. Reporting imperative sentences:

We will use ‘to’ as joining clause before the reported command or request, and the reported verb will be changed according to the moods of the sentence (e.g., ordered, requested, urged, advised, forbade or begged)


Direct: The man said, “Please, bring me a chair.”
Indirect: The man requested to bring him a chair.
Direct: The officer said, “Fall back!”
Indirect: The officer ordered to fall back.
Direct: Mother said, “Listen to your elders.”
Indirect: Mother advised me to listen to my elders.
Direct: Mr. Murphy said, “Do not go near the house.”
Indirect: Mr. Murphy forbade going near the house.
d. Reporting exclamatory sentences:

To change direct exclamatory speeches to the indirect one we need to replace interjection (hurrah, wow, alas, oh, etc.) with joining clause ‘that’ and the exclamatory wh-words (what, how) will be replaced by ‘very’ before the adjective in the reported clause.


Direct: Clare said, “Hurrah! Barcelona won the match!”
Indirect: Clare exclaimed with joy that Barcelona had won the match.
Direct: I said, “Alas! My pet died.”
Indirect: I exclaimed with grief that my pet had died.

3. Tense:
Usually, the present changes to past tense while we change direct speech to indirect. 

a. Simple present tense to simple past tense:


Direct: She said, “I work in New York Times.”
Indirect: She said that she worked in New York Times.
Direct: Jim said, “Bill loves to drink Wine.”
Indirect: Jim said that Bill loved to drink Wine.
Exceptions: If the content is still true or happening then we do not need to change the tense in the reported speech. Like;

Direct: She said, “I live in Paris.”
Indirect: She said that she lives in Paris.
b. Present continuous to past continuous tense


Direct: Mother said, “Bob is taking a nap.”
Indirect: Mother said that Bob was taking a nap.
Direct: He asked, “Are they writing the paper?”
Indirect: He asked if they were writing the paper.
c. Present perfect to past perfect tense:


Direct: Nicolas said, “I have made a donut.”
Indirect: Nicolas said that he had made a donut.
Direct: The teacher said, “The dates have been decided.”
Indirect: The teacher announced that the dates had been decided.
d. Present perfect continuous to past perfect continuous tense:


Direct: Mr. Parson asked, “How long have you been working here?”
Indirect: Parson asked me how long I had been working there?”
Direct: The boy said, “I have been waiting for my mother since morning.”
Indirect: The boy said that he had been waiting for his mother since morning.
e. Simple past to past perfect tense


Direct: Robert Langdon said, “My mother gave me the Mickey watch.”
Indirect: Robert Langdon said that his mother had given the Mickey watch to him.
Direct: The teacher said, “Shakespeare’s playing company built Globe Theatre in 1599.”
Indirect: The teacher said that Shakespeare’s playing company had built the Globe Theatre in 1599.
f. Past Continuous to Past Perfect Continuous tense;


Direct: Jenny said, “Marlow was leaving Belgium.”
Indirect: Jenny told me that Marlow had been leaving Belgium.
Direct: Maria said, “I was dialing your number, and you called.”
Indirect: Maria said that she had been dialing my number and I had called.
Note: If two sentences are combined with a conjunction, and both sentences have different tenses then we need to change the tenses of both sentences according to the rule.

g. Past perfect tense does not change in the indirect speech;


Direct: Alex said, “I had stopped to visit you.”
Indirect: Alex said that he has stopped to visit me.
Direct: She said, “Greece had tried to uphold their economy.”
Indirect: She said that Greece had tried to uphold their economy.
h Simple future tense to present conditional;


Direct: Smith said, “My parents will be there at 9am.”
Indirect: Smith said that his parents would be there at 9am.
Direct: Barbara asked, “Will you be my partner in the coming Summer Ball?”
Indirect: Barbara asked if I would be her partner in the coming Summer Ball.
Direct: John said, “I will be doing my CELTA next year.”
Indirect: John said that he would be doing his CELTA next year. (Continuous conditional)

4. Modals:
a. Modal verbs like shall, will, can, may change in reported speech. Let’s follow some examples:

Direct: John said, “I will be there.”
Indirect: John promised that he would be there.
Direct: The boy said, “May I come in?”
Indirect: The boy asked if he could come in. (note: may becomes could when it implies permission)
Direct: “I may not call you.” Said Boby.
Indirect: Boby said that she might not call me.
Direct: “I shall practice more.” said Barbara.
Indirect: Barbara said that she would practice more.
Direct: Joseph said, “Shall I buy the car?”
Indirect: Joseph asked if he should buy the car.
Note: shall becomes should if it implies a question.

b. Modal verbs like could, should, need, must, might, used to do not change in reported speech.


Direct: she said, “I would not be the victim.”
Indirect: she said that she would not be the victim.
Direct: David said, “You need to repair the car.”
Indirect: David said that I need to repair the car.
Direct: Mary said, “I used to love dancing.”
Indirect: Mary said she used to love dancing.

5. Adverbs and demonstratives:

Indirect speech differs from the direct speech’s time and place. When someone is conveying the message to the listener, the speaker might not be on the same day or place. So the demonstrative (this, that etc.) and the adverb of time and place (here, there, today, now, etc.) change. We can look into the following chart for the usual changes:

direct   indirect
now   Then/at that moment
today   That day
Tomorrow   The next day
Yesterday   The day before
come   go
Bring   take
this   that

Direct: I said, “Simon read Wordsworth yesterday.”
Indirect: I said that Simon read Wordsworth the day before.
Direct: Mother said, “Come home now.”
Indirect: Mother ordered me to go home at that moment.
Direct: “Bring the money with you.” Said Jessie.
Indirect: Jessie demanded to take the money with me.
Direct: The lovers said, “We will meet here tomorrow.”
Indirect: The lovers promised to meet there the next day.


English Grammar / Changing the voice: Rules and examples
« on: October 10, 2019, 01:25:13 PM »
Please, see the attachment.

English Grammar / The rules of writing conditional Sentences
« on: October 10, 2019, 01:22:24 PM »
Conditional tenses are used to speculate about what could happen, what might have happened, and what we wish would happen. In English, most sentences using the conditional contain the word if. Many conditional forms in English are used in sentences that include verbs in one of the past tenses. This usage is referred to as "the unreal past" because we use a past tense but we are not actually referring to something that happened in the past. There are five main ways of constructing conditional sentences in English. In all cases, these sentences are made up of an if clause and a main clause. In many negative conditional sentences, there is an equivalent sentence construction using "unless" instead of "if".

The zero conditional is used for when the time being referred to is now or always and the situation is real and possible. The zero conditional is often used to refer to general truths. The tense in both parts of the sentence is the simple present. In zero conditional sentences, the word "if" can usually be replaced by the word "when" without changing the meaning.

If clause                                                                       Main clause
If + simple present                                                            simple present
If this thing happens                                                  that thing happens.
If you heat ice                                                             it melts.
If it rains                                                                       the grass gets wet.

The type 1 conditional is used to refer to the present or future where the situation is real. The type 1 conditional refers to a possible condition and its probable result. In these sentences the if clause is in the simple present, and the main clause is in the simple future.

If clause                                                                         Main clause
If + simple present                                                       simple future
If this thing happens                                                   that thing will happen
If you don't hurry                                                              you will miss the train.
If it rains today                                                                 you will get wet

The type 2 conditional is used to refer to a time that is now or any time, and a situation that is unreal. These sentences are not based on fact. The type 2 conditional is used to refer to a hypothetical condition and its probable result. In type 2 conditional sentences, the if clause uses the simple past, and the main clause uses the present conditional.

If clause                                                                           Main clause
If + simple past                    present conditional or present continuous conditional
If this thing happened          that thing would happen
If you went to bed earlier            you would not be so tired.
If it rained                                  you would get wet.
If I spoke Italian                        I would be working in Italy.

The type 3 conditional is used to refer to a time that is in the past, and a situation that is contrary to reality. The facts they are based on are the opposite of what is expressed. The type 3 conditional is used to refer to an unreal past condition and its probable past result. In type 3 conditional sentences, the if clause uses the past perfect, and the main clause uses the perfect conditional.

If clause                                                               Main clause
If + past perfect                     perfect conditional or perfect continuous conditional
If this thing had happened            that thing would have happened.
If you had studied harder                     you would have passed the exam.
If it had rained                                  you would have gotten wet.
If I had accepted that promotion    I would have been working in Milan.

The mixed type conditional is used to refer to a time that is in the past, and a situation that is ongoing into the present. The facts they are based on are the opposite of what is expressed. The mixed type conditional is used to refer to an unreal past condition and its probable result in the present. In mixed type conditional sentences, the if clause uses the past perfect, and the main clause uses the present conditional.

If clause                                                          Main clause
If + past perfect or simple past          present conditional or perfect conditional
If this thing had happened        that thing would happen. (but this thing didn't    happen so that thing isn't happening)
If I had worked harder at school               I would have a better job now.
If we had looked at the map                       we wouldn't be lost.
If you weren't afraid of spiders                    you would have picked it up and put it outside.


Reading Skill / Guessing meaning from the context
« on: October 10, 2019, 01:17:59 PM »
See the attachment.

« on: October 10, 2019, 01:15:51 PM »


Skimming and scanning are reading techniques that use rapid eye movement and keywords to move quickly through text for slightly different purposes. Skimming is reading rapidly in order to get a general overview of the material. Scanning is reading rapidly in order to find specific facts. While skimming tells you what general information is within a section, scanning helps you locate a particular fact. Skimming is like snorkeling, and scanning is more like pearl diving.
Use skimming in previewing (a preliminary reading), reviewing (reading after you read), determining the main idea from a long selection you don't wish to read, or when trying to find source material for a research paper. Use scanning in research to find particular facts, to study fact-heavy topics, and to answer questions requiring factual support.
Skimming can save you hours of laborious reading. However, it is not always the most appropriate way to read. It is very useful as a preview to a more detailed reading or when reviewing a selection heavy in content. But when you skim, you may miss important points or overlook the finer shadings of meaning, for which rapid reading or perhaps even study reading may be necessary.
Use skimming to overview your textbook chapters or to review for a test. Use skimming to decide if you need to read something at all, for example during the preliminary research for a paper. Skimming can tell you enough about the general idea and tone of the material, as well as its gross similarity or difference from other sources, to know if you need to read it at all.
To skim, prepare yourself to move rapidly through the pages. You will not read every word; you will pay special attention to typographical cues-headings, boldface and italic type, indenting, bulleted and numbered lists. You will be alert for key words and phrases, the names of people and places, dates, nouns, and unfamiliar words. In general follow these steps:
1. Read the table of contents or chapter overview to learn the main divisions of ideas.
2. Glance through the main headings in each chapter just to see a word or two. Read the headings of charts and tables.
3. Read the entire introductory paragraph and then the first and last sentence only of each following paragraph. For each paragraph, read only the first few words of each sentence or to locate the main idea.
4. Stop and quickly read the sentences containing keywords indicated in boldface or italics.
5. When you think you have found something significant, stop to read the entire sentence to make sure. Then go on the same way. Resist the temptation to stop to read details you don't need.
6. Read chapter summaries when provided.
If you cannot complete all the steps above, compromise: read only the chapter overviews and summaries, for example, or the summaries and all the boldfaced keywords. When you
skim, you take a calculated risk that you may miss something. For instance, the main ideas of paragraphs are not always found in the first or last sentences (although in many textbooks they are). Ideas you miss you may pick up in a chapter overview or summary.
Good skimmers do not skim everything at the same rate or give equal attention to everything. While skimming is always faster than your normal reading speed, you should slow down in the following situations:
•When you skim introductory and concluding paragraphs
•When you skim topic sentences
•When you find an unfamiliar word
•When the material is very complicated

1.1.1 Skimming For Point Of View
Skimming is helpful when you want to find out quickly about the writer. You may want to find out what the writer thinks about some idea. This is the writer’s point of view.
When you want to know the point of view you do not need to read everything. You only need to read a few important words.
Dogs are often a problem at home. Many dogs are noisy and dirty. They may even be dangerous for small children.
Does this writer like dogs at home? No !.
You do not need to read all the sentences to learn this. You only have to read the words “problem”, “noisy”, dirty”, and “dangerous”. From those words you can tell the writer’s point of view. This writer is against dogs at home.
An apartment looks much nicer with some plants. The green leaves make it seem cooler in summer. The flowers give it a happy feeling.
Does this writer like plants in apartment?_______________
How do you know this? List the important words: ___________________________
Read these sentences very quickly. Ask youself. “Is the writer FOR or AGAINST the idea?”. Then make a check beside the answer. You should finish the page in less than 60 seconds. Time yourself.
1. Many people believe that meat is an important food to eat. It is not true. You do not need to eat meat at all. In fact, you may be more healthy if you do not eat meat.
For_____________ Against_______________
2. Travel is not always fun. Often there are problems with transportation, language or hotels. It is also very tiring to travel, and you can easily get sick.
For_____________ Against________________
3. Today it is better not to have a camera when you travel. A camera is heavy and difficult to carry. It is also not necessary. You can buy a good picture postcards almost everywhere.
For_____________ Against__________________
4. A Bicycle is the best way to see a country. It does not need gas. It is not expensive. And you also get some exercise at the same time you are traveling.
For_____________ Against_________________
5. Bicycles can be very dangerous. You can hurt yourself by falling off the bicycle. You can also get seriously hurt if you are hit by a car.
For_____________ Against__________________
6. Everyone should learn another language. A second language is very useful these days. It also may teach you something about other people and places.
For_____________ Against___________________
7. It is not easy to move to another country. There may be problems with language or culture. It may be difficult to find a job or a place to live. And in another country, you do not have family or friends to help.
For______________ Against____________________
8. Music often makes you feel better about life. It can make you happy if you are sad. It can make you relax when you are nervous.
For______________ Against_____________________
1.1.2 Skimming For Pattern Of Organization
Sometimes you need to find out quickly how a book or article is organized. You want to know its pattern. You do not need to know the details for this. You do not need to read all the words. You only do not need to read all the words. You only have to read the signals words and they will tell you about the pattern.
A whale eats a lot of ocean food every day. That is because it is a very large animal.
What is the pattern of organization for this passage? Make a check beside the best answer.
_________listing _________time-order
_________comparison-contrast _________cause-effect
The pattern is cause-effect.
What is (are) the signal word (s)? : because
The book has a lot of information about Poland. First it tells about the history. It also explains how
to travel around the country, and finally, it lists some interesting places to visit.
What is the pattern of organization for this passage? Make a check beside the best answer.
__________listing ____________time-order
__________comparison ____________cause-effect
The pattern is cause-effect.
What is (are) the signal word(s)? : First, also, And finally
Read these sentences quickly. Read only to find the pattern of organization. Make a check beside the best answer. Try to finish the page in less than 60 seconds. Time yourself.
1. A parakeet is a small bird that lives in southern forests. The parrot is similar to parakeet, but it is larger. Both birds sometimes can learn how to say words.
________listing _____________time-order
________comparison _____________cause-effect
2. Some kinds of birds cannot fly. The penguin is one of these birds. It lives mostly in the very cold Antarctic climate. Another kind of bird that cannot fly is the ostrich. It lives in Africa.
________listing ________________time-order
_________comparison ____________cause-effect
3. Lisa plans to travel in Europe this summer. In June she will visit Sicily. Then in July, she will ride a bicycle in Northern Italy. In August she will travel through France. By September, she hopes to be in Paris.
_________listing _______________time-order
_________comparison _______________cause-effect
4. Headaches are often the result of psychological causes. For example, worrying about something can cause a headache.
_________listing ___________time-order
_________comparison ___________cause-effect
5. The clambake is a popular New England dinner. It usually included many different kinds of seafood. Clams are the most common kind of seafood at a clambake. There may also be lobster and mussels.
________listing ____________time-order
________comparison __________cause-effect
6. Many people do not like to use computer for writing. They prefer to use typewriters. They know computers are faster and more accurate. But they are more comfortable with the typewriters.
_________listing _____________time-order
_________comparison ______________cause-effect
7. Gold was first found in California in about 1840. The next ten years in American history are called the California Gold Rush. Many people moved to the west during those years to look for gold. By 1850, there were many new “Gold Rush” towns in California.
_________listing _____________time-order
_________comparison _____________cause-effect
8. Cola and ginger ale are both kinds of soft drinks. Both these drinks have a lot of sugar in them. But Cola has caffeine in it, and ginger ale does not.
_________listing __________time-order
_________comparison __________cause-effect.
1.1.3 Skimming For Ideas
You can also skim when you want to find out the general idea quickly. Speed is important for this kind of skimming, too. You should skim at least two times faster than you usually read.
But you can only do this if you change the way you read. You can not read every word or even every sentence. You have to leave out a lot. In fact, you should leave out everything except a few important words. These are the words that tell you the general idea.
Here are the steps for skimming a chapter from a book or an article from a magazine or newspaper:
1. Read the first few sentences at your usual speed. Ask yourself, “What is this about?”
2. Go to the next paragraph as soon as you can guess the general idea. Remember, you do not need to know the details. You only want to learn something very general about the chapter or article.
3. Read only a few words in each paragraph after that. You should look for the words that tell you more about the general idea. Often they are at the beginning of the paragraph. But they may also be at the end.
4. Always work quickly. Remember that details are not important.
Here is an example from a newspaper article. Most of the article is not there. You will only find a few sentences at the beginning and a few words in each paragraph. But you should still be able to learn the general ideas of the article. Read this article and try to answer the questions.
McDonald’s Hamburgers are coming to Mexico. McDonald’s is a world-famous company _______Started in
California________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________In Paris, Tokyo and ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________but not in Mexico.
Last year the Mexican government changed_______open some McDonald’s restaurants_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________--“Big Mac” the McDonald’s specialty.
Some Mexicans are not happy______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________eat only hamburgers and forget about Mexican food.
1. McDonald’s is a
a. Kind of Mexican food
b. Mexican company.
c. Restaurant company
d. Kind of hamburger
2. There were no McDonald’s in Mexico because
a. Mexicans do not like hamburgers
b. Mexicans only eat Mexican food
c. There were McDonald’s in other countries.
d. The Mexican government did not want them.
3. The “Big Mac” is a
a. Restaurant
b. Kind of hamburger
c. Kind of Mexican food.
d. Person who works for McDonald’s.

Skim this newspaper article. You should finish in less than 60 seconds. Then answer the questions.
Doctors may now be able to stop many heart attacks. An important new study reports that doctors have a new drug. This drug is called TPA. It may be better than any other heart drug.
Many doctors now use a drug called Streptokinase. But this drug sometimes causes problems for patients. It can even cause bleeding in the brain. Some doctors do not use streptokinase. Streptokinase can save about 1/3 of the people with heart attacks. But TPA will save about 2/3. This means many people. About 1.5 million Americans have heart attacks every year.
One reason TPA can help more people is because of time. This new drug is easier and faster to use. It will give doctors more time in hospitals. Then they can study the problem well. People will heart problems can also keep some TPA at home. When a heart attack starts, they can take some TPA right away. Then they will have time to get to the hospital. This is important because about 860.000 people in the United States die before they get to the hospital.
There is another reason why TPA is good news for people with heart attacks. According to the study, it is much safer. It does not cause other problems like streptokinase. TPA works only on the heart. It does not have an effect on the blood or cause bleeding, like streptokinase.
Doctors plan to do more studies about TPA. They need to test this new drug on many more people with heart attacks. But in a few years, many doctors and hospitals will probably start using this exciting new drug.
1. The new drug is
a. The same as streptokinase.
b. Better than streptokinase.
c. Called streptokinase
d. Bad for people with heart attacks.
2. The study says that TPA
a. Is safer and faster than the old drug.
b. Is very dangerous.
c. Slower and harder to use than the old drug.
d. Causes many problems.
3. This new drug may mean
a. More people will die from heart attacks.
b. The same number of people will die from heart attacks.
c. Fewer people will die from heart attacks.
d. No one will die from heart attacks.

Skim this magazine article. You should finish in less than 60 seconds. Then answer the questions.
What kind of jobs do women have in China today? Well, here are a few examples: Zhao Changbai is a manager of one of China’s largest companies. Zou Hon is the manager of a larger restaurant company. Wan Shiren is an important scientist who works in China’s space program.
The list could go on. According to Zhang Guoying of the All China Women’s Federation, women are now important to the country. She says the government believes this too. China needs educated women to help make the country more modern.
This was not true 50 years ago. Then, there were few women in important jobs. Women worked mostly at home or in factories. But now there are more than 40 millions women working in China. That is 40% of all the people who work. These working women include many women who work in factories. But now there are also many women scientific and technical workers – almost two million. And about 7.000 of the women are professors, engineers, chemists, and biologists. Some women are also working in important government positions, as governors or ministers.
It was not easy for these women ,says Zhang Guoying. She believes that Chinese women have more difficulties than Chinese men. Women still have to take care of their families. That means they really have two jobs. One is at their office or factory and the other is at home. This is the same problem women have in many other parts of the world.
The government in China is trying to make life better for women. It is building more day care centers for the children of working mothers. It is helping women get a better education and find better jobs. According to Zhang Guoying, the future for women in China should even be better.
1. In China today,
a. More women are working
b. Most women do not work.
c. Fewer women are working
d. Women do not like to work
2. Chinese women now
a. Have jobs only in factories
b. Have few important jobs.
c. Have important jobs
d. Do not work for the government.
3. For a Chinese women
a. Life is now very easy
b. Work is now very easy
c. Life is still not easy
d. Families are not important.
1.2 Scanning
Look at the following shopping list to find out if you remembered to order bread:
Ice cream
How many words did you read? Bread was the only word you needed to read. The other words were not important. This kind of reading is called scanning.
You usually scan:
 a telephone book
 an index in a textbook
 a list of movies in the newspaper
 the ads in a newspaper
 the pages of a dictionary
You usually do not scan:
 a mystery story
 a textbook for an important course
 important papers from a lawyer
 a map for getting to a party
 a question on a test
Scan the next page for the answers to these questions. Work as quickly as you can
Your answer
How many chapters are there in the book?
Which is the chapter on the computer in the class room?
On what page can you read about games?
Which part of Chapter 3 is about having fun with computers?
Does this book have an index? On what page?

Scan this news story to find the answers to these questions. Work fast. Ask your teacher or another student to time you.
1. How many people died in the typhoon (storm)?______________
2. On what day did the typhoon begin?_____________________
3. How many people lost their homes (were homeless)_______________
4. What is the name of the island that was hit worst?________________
5. What is the name of the typhoon?_________________
6. How many people are missing?_______________
Philippines Sends Aid For Typhoon Damage
Manila, Nov 10 (AP) – the Philippine Air Force ferried medical teams and relief supplies today in provinces ravaged by Typhoon Agnes. The authorities said 515 people had died in the typhoon and more than 400 were missing.
An air force spokesman said more than 163 tons of food, medicine and clothing had been sent to the Visayan region, 300 miles south of Manila and more aid was on the way.
The typhoon hit the region Monday. The spokesman said helicopter were rescuing people stranded by floods that remained chest-deep today in some areas of Panay island, which appeared to have been hit the worst. Most of the fatalities and missing were on the island, where 455,000 people were homeless.
The Philippine National Red Cross reported that 90 percent of the 86,000 houses in Capiz Province on Panay were destroyed. Many of the dead were children who drowned as 30-foot waves smashed into coastal villages.
Scan the two news stories to answer these questions. Work fast. Ask your teacher or another student to time you.
Starting time___________________
1. How many astronauts walked in space?_______________
2. On what date did this happen?_____________________
3. How much did the Palapa B-2 satellite weigh?_________________
4. How many miles above the earth were the astronauts?______________
5. Who held the satellite for more than 90 minutes?_______________
6. What is the commander’s name?_______________________
Finishing time __________________
Scanning time_______________________

If you know what a fluent reader looks like, it seems logical that you’d know the characteristics of a non-fluent reader. However, students who have reading problems with fluency aren’t necessarily the exact opposite of students who can read fluently. Just like fluent readers, non-fluent reading problems have uniquely identifying characteristics. A non-fluent reader:
• reads slowly and with difficulty, both orally and silently
. • doesn’t use expression and intonation when he reads out loud.
• is unable to see and process more than one word at a time.
• decodes words sound-by-sound rather than by phonemes or context. In other words, non-fluent readers frequently rely on phonics as their sole reading strategy
. • doesn’t always self-correct when something sounds wrong. Instead non-fluent readers often try to “Push Through” just to get done reading more quickly
. • needs to reread text to gain understanding or comprehension.
Considering above students’ reading problems, this book is the best solution to make easy for the students to have the Effective and Efficient Reading skills and activity. This book is designed in an easiest, systematical and effective form to achieve adequate reading theories and exercises. This book is designed specially for Intermediate-level-students in improving reading skills. I hope this book will be beneficial as the ladder for upgrading the students’ English academic reading competence.


If you wanna make the discussion about the content of the book you may contact the writer on his twitter account or send E-mail to :

Writing Skill / How to write a Good Comparison Sentence
« on: October 10, 2019, 01:11:44 PM »

Comparisons are useful in scientific writing, but they can create the opportunity to confuse the reader with imprecise or ambiguous wording.

It is often necessary to compare two or more items in academic writing, especially in the sciences. Comparisons can provide useful information and create a framework for understanding some results in the context of others. However, comparisons also create the opportunity to confuse the reader with imprecise or ambiguous wording. Given the importance of accurately and concisely conveying your results, what is the best way to write a comparison sentence?

The most critical aspect of any comparison is parallel structure. That is, each item being compared should be from the same type of thing. (In English, we say not to compare apples to oranges.) Consider the following example:

The asteroid belt is approximately 1,000 times farther from the Sun than the Earth and Moon.
The current structure of this sentence makes it sound as though the distance from the asteroid belt to the Sun is being compared to the distance between the Sun and the Earth and Moon. However, this interpretation is incorrect (the asteroid belt is only 2 to 3 times as far from the Sun as the Earth or Moon is).

Instead, consider “The asteroid belt is approximately 1,000 times farther from the Sun than the Earth is from the Moon.” Now, the distance between the first two items mentioned is being compared to the distance between the next two items.

Treatment with Compound A generated more muscle regrowth than Compound B.
This sentence compares treatment with Compound A directly to Compound B, instead of focusing on the effects of treatment with Compound B. Instead, try “Treatment with Compound A generated more muscle regrowth than treatment with Compound B.”

Many comparisons are written incorrectly to save space, as extra words are often necessary to achieve proper parallel structure. One common way to reduce the number of additional words in a comparison is the use of demonstrative pronouns (e.g., ‘that’ or ‘those’). Consider the following examples:

The growth rate of Mycobacterium smegmatis is faster than Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Currently, this sentences compares a growth rate to a species of bacterium.

Instead, consider “The growth rate of Mycobacterium smegmatis is faster than that of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.” or simply “Mycobacterium smegmatis grows faster than Mycobacterium tuberculosis.”

The bond length of dioxygen is similar to carbon monoxide.
Here, the bond length of one molecule is being compared to another molecule instead of its bonds.

A better version could read: “The bond length of dioxygen is similar to that of carbon monoxide.”

The colors used in Henri Matisse’s paintings are similar to those of Andre Derain.
The colors in Matisse’s paintings should be compared to colors in other paintings, not the colors of a painter (which could be considered to describe his appearance, not his work).

Another way to write this sentence is “The colors used in Henri Matisse’s paintings are similar to those used in Andre Derain’s paintings.”


Writing Skill / How to describe a process
« on: October 10, 2019, 01:09:56 PM »
Different Types of Process Question
There are generally two different types of process question: natural and man-made.
Natural processes include things like the life cycle of a butterfly or frog, pregnancy, the water cycle or how cows produce milk.
You might also be asked to describe a man-made process like how coffee, tea, beer or wine are made, how cement or bricks are produced or how an ATM or the internet works.
It does not matter if it is man-made or a natural process. The same skills and system we use to answer process questions are the same for both.
Writing Task 1 Process Questions: 5 Step Plan
To understand the task and quickly make a plan to answer process questions you should follow the 7 steps below:
1.   Understand the process. Find the start and the end of the process. Count how many stages there are and understand what each stage does and the relationship it has with the stage before and after it.
2.   Paraphrase the question.
3.   Describe what is happening generally in 2 sentences. This is your overview paragraph and I will show you how to write this in more detail below.
4.   Divide the process in two and write two separate paragraphs detailing each stage of the process.
5.   Check your work.
Understand the Process
One of the most challenging things about these questions is having to write about something you have never seen or heard of before.
Don’t worry, try to remember two things.
First, the examiner knows that you have probably never seen this process before and you have only 20 minutes to write about it. They do not expect a perfect answer. Just pick out the main features and report them accurately.
Second, you can quickly understand any process by asking yourself these questions:
1.   Where does the process start and where does it end?
2.   How many stages are there?
3.   Is it a man-made process or natural process?
4.   Is it a cyclical (in a circle) or linear (one start point and one end point) process?
5.   Are there any materials that need to be added to the process?
6.   What is produced?
7.   What does each stage of the process do?
8.   What are the relationships between each stage?
The processes you will be asked to write about in the IELTS test will not be very complicated and you should be able to easily answer all of the questions above. When you do this you will completely understand what is happening and you will be able to start writing your answer.
Paraphrase the Question
Every process question follows the same format. First, it tells you some general information about the process and then it instructs you to ‘Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features.’
For example, the question above states:
The diagram below shows the process of photosynthesis. (General information)
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features. (Instructions)
The first thing we need to do in every question is to paraphrase the general information. Paraphrasing is one of the most important IELTS skills to master. We paraphrase a sentence by rewriting it so that the words are different but the meaning stays the same. There are a few different ways we can do this but the easiest way is to use synonyms and change the word order of the sentence. Synonyms are different words that have the same meaning, for example, woman and female.
Let’s look at the questions above and paraphrase them.
Question 1: The diagram below shows the process of photosynthesis.
Paraphrased: The illustration demonstrates how plants produce energy from sunlight.
Question 2: The diagram below shows how electricity is produced in a nuclear power station.
Paraphrased: The illustration below shows the process of how nuclear power plants make electricity.
Every time you see an Academic Task 1 question rewrite the question and this should be your first paragraph. We can no move on and write our next paragraph; the overview.
Overview of Process
The overview is probably the most important paragraph in the whole essay. If you do not write an overview it is extremely difficult to get a high mark in IELTS Task 1, however, if you learn how to write a good one, you are far more likely to get the score you deserve.
Overviews for process questions can be done quite easily by asking yourself a few questions. The answers to these questions will allow you to form 2 overview sentences.
1.   Is it a man-made or natural process?
2.   How many stages are there?
3.   What is produced?
4.   Where does it start and where does it end?
5.   Is it cyclical or linear?
6.   Are any materials added?
You might not be able to answer all of these for each process question, but you will always be able to answer enough of them to be able to write a good overview.
Detail Each Stage of the Process
Now that we have paraphrased the question and provided an overview we need to tell the examiner about each stage in more detail.
You can:
•   say what each stage does
•   what it produces
•   if any materials are added
•   and/or discuss the relationship with the previous or subsequent stages.
Sequencing the Process
Try to sequence your language and make your details easier to read by using language like:
•   Firstly
•   First of all
•   Secondly
•   After that
•   From this
•   Where
•   Following that
•   Subsequently
•   Before that
•   In turn
•   Then
Make sure you know the meaning and grammar of the words and phrases above before you use them. Do not use them if you are not 100% sure about how they should be used in a sentence.
Check Your Essay
You should try to leave 3-4 minutes at the end to check and improve your work. Many students do not do this because they feel they do not have enough time, however, it is better to try and get everything done in 15 minutes and then check and refine your work, than do everything in 20 minutes.
Things that you should check are:
1.   Are there any spelling or punctuation mistakes?
2.   Are the verbs the correct tense?
3.   Does the process I describe make sense? Does it match the diagram?
4.   Is there any vocabulary repetition we could remove with synonyms?
5.   Do I have 4 clear paragraphs?
6.   Did I write over 150 words?
7.   Have I included things only obvious from the diagram?
8.   Have I included the main features in the overview?


Writing Skill / How to write cause/effect essays in IELTS?
« on: October 10, 2019, 01:07:23 PM »

Cause and effect essay questions in IELTS Writing task 2 give you a problem and ask you to state the main causes of this problem and discuss its possible effects

This is an example of cause/effect IELTS writing task 2 question:

Today more people are overweight than ever before.

What in your opinion are the primary causes of this?

What are the main effects of this epidemic?

Generating ideas

After you’ve read the question, you can clearly determine the problem: growing number of overweight people.

But before you start to write your essay, it’s a good idea to think of 2-3 causes and 2-3 possible effects of the problem.

Causes of obesity:

inactive lifestyle (relying on cars instead of walking, fewer physical demands at work, inactive leisure activities)
unhealthy eating habits (eating fast-food, drinking high-calorie beverages, consuming large portions of food, eating irregularly)

Effects of obesity:

physical health problems
loss of productivity
depressions and mental disorders
Now, after we’ve generated the main ideas for causes and effects, it’s time to use these ideas in our essay.

Band 9 answer structure

As you know, there are many ways to structure your essay, but we’ll use a structure that has been approved by many IELTS examiners to be high-scoring and coherent.

Band-9 essay structure:

Body paragraph 1 - causes
Body paragraph 2 - effects

Let’s take a look at each of these sections in detail.


Write your introduction in two sentences:

Sentence 1 - paraphrase the statement (you can use ‘nowadays/today/these days’ to start):
Nowadays the number of overweight people is constantly growing.

Sentence 2 - say what you’ll write about in your essay:
This essay will discuss the main reasons of this epidemic and then describe the possible effects of the problem.

Body paragraph 1 - causes

Sentence 1 - state all the main causes of obesity:
In my opinion, the foremost causes of obesity are inactive lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits.

Sentences 2-3 - describe the first cause. Assume that your examiner has no knowledge in this area and you have to explain all the details to him.
Today more and more people rely on cars instead of walking, have less physical demands at work and prefer inactive leisure activities. This results in burning less calories and gaining weight.

Sentences 4-5 - describe the second cause. Don’t forget that it’s useful to give examples while describing causes!
Moreover, the problem is accentuated by the growing number of people, who eat irregularly and consume large portions of high-calorie food. For example, about 50% of the adult population in Europe with so-called disordered eating suffer from obesity.

Body paragraph 2 - effects

Sentence 1 - state all the possible effects:
The possible effects of this problem include physical health problems and loss of productivity.

Sentences 2-3 - explain the first effect and give an example:
First of all, obesity results in incorrect functioning of the human body and contributes to the risk of developing some chronic illnesses. For example, as body fat percentage increases, the person’s metabolism worsens, which in turn may result in diabetes or heart diseases.

Sentences 4-6 - explain the second effect and support it with an example:
Secondly, overweight people are very unhealthy and often suffer from stress and tiredness. This lessens their work capacity and results in lower productivity. For example, it has been proven that an obese person needs to put more effort to complete some task than a person with normal weight.

For the conclusion you need simply to restate the problem and sum up the causes and effects that you described in your body paragraphs:

To sum up, obesity is a big problem that affects a lot of people nowadays. It’s mainly caused by inactive lifestyle and eating disorders and results in severe health problems and loss of productivity.

Model essay

Nowadays the number of overweight people is constantly increasing. This essay will discuss the main reasons of this epidemic and then describe the possible effects of the problem.

In my opinion, the foremost causes of obesity are inactive lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits. Today more and more people rely on cars instead of walking, have less physical demands at work and prefer inactive leisure activities. This results in burning less calories and gaining weight. Moreover, the problem is accentuated by the growing number of people, who eat irregularly and consume large portions of high-calorie food. For example, about 50% of the adult population in Europe with so-called disordered eating suffer from obesity.

The possible effects of this problem include physical health problems and loss of productivity. First of all, obesity results in incorrect functioning of the human body and contributes to the risk of developing some chronic illnesses. For example, as body fat percentage increases, the person’s metabolism worsens, which in turn may result in diabetes or heart diseases. Secondly, overweight people are very unhealthy and often suffer from stress and tiredness. This lessens their work capacity and results in lower productivity. For example, it has been proven that an obese person needs to put more effort to complete some task than a person with normal weight.

To sum up, obesity is a big problem that affects a lot of people nowadays. It’s mainly caused by inactive lifestyle and eating disorders and results in severe health problems and loss of productivity.


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