The chart below shows the number of jobs in tourism-related industries in one UK citiy between 1989 and 2009. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features and make comparison where relevant.
In many countries today, people in cities either live alone or in small family units, rather than in large family groups. Is this a positive or negative trend?
- Introduction: refer to the task question; opinion – the trend is equally positive and negative
- Paragraph 2: positive – lack of housing in cities, only small living spaces are affordable, so people can afford decent accommodation only if they live alone or in a small family unit
- Paragraph 3: negative – (1) socially (2) financially – the benefits of living in a large family are lost – example: loss of social contact, sharing expenses, chores.
- Conclusion: there are equal positive and negative aspects.
It is true that in recent years, many urban dwellers have tended to live on their own or in nuclear families. In my opinion, this trend has both positive and negative consequences in equal measure.
On the one hand, the rise in smaller households is a positive trend primarily for economic reasons. The migration of people from rural to urban areas has resulted in an enormous increase in demand for housing. The housing stock has been inadequate to cope with this demand, and so property developers have taken advantage of this population shift to raise house prices and rents. They have built apartment blocks which provide accommodation for only single people or small families. If they do not wish to endure squalid housing conditions, therefore, it is clearly necessary for people to live alone or in small, usually family, groups.
On the other hand, there are negative aspects of this trend. With the mass exodus of people to cities, ties of kinship are broken as the extended family which lived together in the countryside is broken up. Socially, family gatherings take place only rarely and, financially, living costs can no longer be shared between many family members living under the same roof. For example, grandparents or other relatives used to help with household expenses, child-minding and cooking. Individuals rarely felt lonely or isolated, experiencing a sense of alienation as they sometimes do in cities, without such family support.
In conclusion, I believe that this trend has equally significant positive and negative aspects for both social and financial reasons.
Vocabulary from cities:
- urban dwellers
Meaning: people who live in a city or a town
Example: The main reason that prevents urban dwellers from building relationships with their neighbours is fear of strangers.
- the migration of people from rural to urban areas
Meaning: the movement of people from the countryside to cities
Example: In recent times, the migration of people from rural to urban areas has dramatically increased, causing numerous problems.
- the housing stock
Meaning: all the houses available for living in
Example: The inadequate housing stock in most cities has resulted in high rents, overcrowded living conditions and the growth of slum areas.
- to be inadequate to cope with
Meaning: not good enough to deal with a problem
Example: The rapid growth of cities has meant that urban infrastructure, such as housing, water and waste disposal services have been inadequate to cope with the demands of an increasing population.
- population shift
Meaning: a change in the numbers of people who live in a particular area
Example: The last two centuries have seen a global population shift of people from rural areas to cities.
- to endure squalid living conditions
Meaning: very dirty and unpleasant conditions in which to live
Example: Newcomers to a city are often forced to endure squalid living conditions.
- a mass exodus
Meaning: the movement of a lot of people from a place
Example: Recently, there has been a mass exodus of workers from the villages to the towns.
- a sense of alienation
Meaning: the feeling that you have no connection with the people around you
Example: Unfortunately, urbanisation also creates a sense of alienation in people
Vocabulary from family and children:
- a nuclear family
Meaning: a family consisting of a father, mother and their children
Example: The nuclear family has replaced the extended family as the most common form of family structure throughout the world.
- ties of kinship
Meaning: the fact of being related in a family, with links of friendship and assistance to other family members
Example: In the modern world, people are always moving to a new place to live, and this has weakened traditional ties of kinship.
- an extended family
Meaning: a family group with many members, including parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins etc
Example: In the past, the extended family was a form of support when any members were ill or suffered some misfortune.
- a family gathering
Meaning: a meeting of family members for a particular purpose
Example: In traditional societies, family gatherings are common to celebrate special occasions.
Meaning: caring informally (not in schools) for children when parents are busy or working
Example: Working mothers with very young children face the problem of organising child-minding while they are away from home.