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Tutor Mark Roy 's Column

Academic IELTS writing tasks 1 and 2 samples

Dec 5, 2021

The bar graph illustrates statistics concerning individuals in the UK who consumed five or more portions of vegetables and fish per day from 2011 to 2017. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that the percentages for women, children and men all rose over the period, and women had the highest numbers throughout. The relative increase for children was modest.


Women began the period with 20% consuming more than five portions of vegetables and fish per day and this figure was stable until 2013 when it began to rise and almost double to eventually reach a high of 36% in 2016, before a fall to 30% to end the period. The numbers for males finished slightly lower at 26%, however their growth was steadier, rising in each year besides 2016 from a starting point of 16% in 2011.


The figures for children were much lower to begin with at 10%, preceding a relative surge to 14% the next year. Percentages then fluctuated around 14% and finished at a peak of 15% by the end of the period.



Many pupils find it difficult to focus or pay attention at school nowadays.

What are the reasons for this?

What can be done to solve this problem?


Recently, it is has become notoriously difficult for students to focus on their lessons. In my opinion, this is a partly natural phenomenon that has been exacerbated by technology and the solutions lie in strict restriction and supervision.


The causes of a lack of concentration at school are both the pervasiveness of technology and human nature. Firstly, people have always struggled to focus. Very few students enjoy concentrating on tedious lessons and completing endless assignments at school. However, this has become worse as corporations exploit fundamental human characteristics. Research has shown that the number of hours one spends on a laptop, smartphone, or tablet has a direct correlation with a shorter attention span. The reason for this is that technology supplies passive, immediate gratification. Therefore, students cannot focus because of a combination of human susceptibility and predatory consumer electronics companies.


The most feasible solutions are for parents and schools to monitor students strictly. This begins with parents. They must either approve or purchase a child their first smartphone or tablet and manage their early interactions with technology. Many parents consciously gift young children these devices to help them learn how to use technology and aid their cognitive development. By waiting until later in life to approve a smartphone or limiting daily screen time, this issue can be greatly mitigated from the onset. Schools also have a role to play as they must enforce strict rules banning the use of smartphones at school. For example, in many Asian countries, students’ phones are confiscated if they are found using them during, or even between, classes.



In conclusion, a lack of focus at school is driven by human nature and modern technology and parents and schools must work together to curb the worst excesses. Government regulation would also help but should not be expected.

This column was published by the author in their personal capacity.
The opinions expressed in this column are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Cafetalk.

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