IELTS Writing Actual Test 20/07/2019 (News and Media)

Task 1

The table below shows the salaries of secondary/high school teachers in 2009. Summarize the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparison where relevant. 

Sample Answer:

The table compares secondary and high school teachers’ salaries in five countries in 2009. 

Overall, while teachers in Luxembourg were the most well-paid, teachers from Australia were the lowest-paid. In addition, the amount of time it took for a teacher in Denmark to earn the maximum salary was much faster than most other countries. 

Secondary and high school teachers in Luxembourg were paid a starting salary of $80,000 a year, while the figure for teachers in Denmark was significantly lower, at $45,000. Additionally, the starting salary for an inexperienced teacher in other countries stood at around $30,000. 

However, teachers with at least 15 years of experience in Luxembourg earned up to $119,000 a year, while teachers in Denmark and Japan with the same level of experience only made salaries of $54,000 and $65,000 respectively. Meanwhile, Australian and Korean teachers with at least 15 years’ experience were paid the lowest salaries, at $48,000 a year. Also worth noting is that it only took teachers in Australia and Denmark less than 10 years to receive their maximum salary, while teachers in the other countries had to wait for at least 30 years. 

Task 2

The tendency of news reports in the media to focus more on problems and emergencies rather than on positive developments is harmful to the individuals and the society as a whole.
To what extent do you agree or disagree? 

Sample Answer:

It is believed by some that mainstream media channels focus most of their attention on the problems and urgent issues in society rather than on positive news, and this trend is harmful to people. I partly agree with this idea because this tendency has both positive and negative impacts. 

On the one hand, a higher frequency of news stories focusing on negative aspects of society can have detrimental effects on people’s mental state. For example, news about terrorism and war has become so common in the media that some people may hesitate to travel abroad for fear of a terrorist attack. Secondly, it can also lead people to misunderstand many aspects within society. For example, many tabloids have always focused on exploiting the scandals of celebrities, which can mislead the public into believing in the flaws of the Vietnamese showbiz. However, in reality, it is an industry where many people are contributing many great values to society. 

On the other hand, the focus on negative issues rather than positive developments is advantageous in some way. Firstly, the media is an effective way to disseminate information, to even the most remote places, and this can help to bring people together in order to solve serious problems. Secondly, it can help to raise awareness amongst citizens. The more negative stories appear in the media, the higher chance that people will become aware of those problems and take action towards a solution. For instance, news about cancer has now become a common topic in the media, and as a result, a large number of people have switched to a healthier lifestyle. 

In conclusion, there are legitimate reasons for the media to report on all issues, although the accompanying negative impacts need to be considered.