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May 21, 2014


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can we put a name of person from our country who may not be that well known in western world.

i believe my essay will get band 7

Some people think that celebrities are known for their glamorous lifestyle rather than the work they do. While I agree this will bring negative impacts on the younger generation, this is not necessarily the case for those celebrities who are ambitious in their jobs.

It is true that some celebrities tend to show off their images in front of the public. For example, some movie starts enjoy wearing luxury brand clothes and showing their expensive life style in front of the media, thereby gaining the public attention. If they continue to behave in such a way, it will create a misleading image to young people who may think that extraordinary life can be achieved without hard work. Consequently, the attention of young people may become focused on chasing the dream of celebrity status. This is detrimental to study and work ethics and habits.

Nevertheless, I believe that other celebrities do set up role models to young people because of their visible accomplishments. Firstly, celebrities such as sports player whose performance and professional skills can be directly seen by their fans. This means that people understand that the great deal of efforts on training is directly linked to their results. Therefore, this kind of self-made celebrity can inspire children to develop their talents through application and perseverance. Secondly, other celebrities such as musician also have achieved great success in their career. Take Michael Jackson as an example, his works are widely spread around the world, and have been extremely welcomed by the younger generation. His songs spread the idea that people should care about each other, which suggests to young people how to become a good member of society.

In summary, although some celebrities misguide young people by showing their external wealth and appearance, other celebrities do lead young people in the right direction.

Hi Simon, I want to know the way how to improve collocation. In the writing model answers in cambridge books, many of error free writings are marked at 7 due to some miss use of words which doesn't sound natural. How can we improve collocation?

Hi Simon.
I have a question.
Did you delete parts of comments posted on last week lesson?
Because, I have impression that I posted a complete essay about this topic last week, but now I cannot find it among those posted.

My problem is to see if I am still
"off the track"

Hi,LEO. I believe ur essay deserves a band 9. Well organized structure plus fully developed ideas with examples supporting them, a wide range of lexical resource and grammatical structure, definitely worth a band 9. Besides that, it is easy to follow, examiners gonna love it:)

hi simon
I took the 17th May exam last week and the writing task 2 was below:
Children can learn effectively from watching television. Therefore children should be encouraged to watch television regularly both at home and at school. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

in my essay i support the idea of encouraging children to watch tv for two reasons
1.increase the family bond with their parents at home
2. motivate kids to learn new knowledge with their peers at school
but after the exam, i thought my essay was kind of out of topic,because the topic is "Children can learn effectively from watching television. Therefore children should be encouraged to watch television regularly both at home" which means i should just talk about learning aspect if i support the idea
what do you think? plz help, thanks so much

hi simon,
still me,i am just like a cat on hot bricks, plz help.
i got confused, i believe "regularly watch tv’can no mean watch tv too much, so i chose to support the idea
do i think in a right way or just overthinking?
plz help and thx again

I will use Malala Yousafzai as a role model who has a positive impact on young generation.

Hi Simon,

I would probably choose Lance Armstrong. I don't know much about the guy but according to the media, he was a real inspiration for winning 7 Tour de France records consecutively after fighting against his cancer. Aside from his recent scandal, I believe he fits quite well in the context.

By the way, in the first sentence of your paragraph, you write "there are at least as many celebrities whose....."

What does the word 'as' do here? Is it the equal comparison form "as many.... as" and the second 'as...' is omitted?


For the lesson above, here's the example that my students chose:

"An example is the actor and martial artist Jackie Chan, who..."

I'm afraid I no longer have time to answer everyone's questions individually. However, I do still read them all, and they help me when I'm writing my lessons.

I would mention Manny Pacquiao as an example of a famous boxer.

Just like Simon's students' example of Jackie Chan, when naming a specific celebrity, athlete, or well-known person, it is best to include who they are (don't write only the name). Other examples:

"An example is the Taiwanese pop singer A-Mei, who..."
"An example is the Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, who..."
"An example is the current American president Barack Obama, who..."
"An example is the former professional boxer Muhammad Ali, who..."
"An example is the Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi, who..."

Hi Martin,
Could u plz help us and write a sample answer for this essay plz.I faced by the same question and I was really stuck and found it v.hard.
Thanks for your help in advance

Hi Khalda,

Here is the first body paragraph that I would write for this topic:

On the one hand, the image that certain celebrities give can be detrimental to children's minds. Thanks to social networks like Facebook or Twitter, famous people's inappropriate behaviors are easily exposed and spread throughout the world in a matter of seconds, making it impossible for parents to control what their kids see and read. For example, if a young, faithful fan were to read the recent news reports on the misconducts of pop singers Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, which include stealing, taking drugs, and promoting sex on stage in front of a teenage audience, it would be likely for him or her to admire or even imitate such behaviors. Therefore, I am confident to say that there are celebrities who are indeed being a bad influence on children nowadays.

PS: If you are a fan of Justin Bieber and/or Miley Cyrus, sorry that I used them as examples, but I hope I was able to give you an idea on how to write about the opposite view.

Sorry Simon

I assumed that you have already closed this page but hopefully you will see my question and give your response on future lessons.

Is the agreement between verb and subject correctly used here?
"...., which is required for someone who wants to be truly successful in their chosen field.

I mean,
someone .... wants.... in their.... field

Thank you

I would like to choose Amitabha bachhan.He is a renowned person in the world.

Hi Aria,

It's quite common for native speakers to do that e.g. "if someone has their..." instead of "if someone has his or her".

Using "his or her" does sound more formal / academic, but it becomes a bit 'clumsy' if you keep having to write both words.

Well, if I got this topic to write about I would mention about Imran Khan, he is a trend setter and a positive role model for the youth in Pakistan.First he was the captain of the cricket team( he was a world class cricketer) and after his retirement he has done many other marvelous jobs (like building a hospital for the cancerous patients) but the one that I like most is that in-spite of so many hardships and obstacles he is struggling to fix things in the corrupt political system. In addition to that he has a dream to uplift the country's education system where it would be equally available to rich and poor.( I' m not sure how much he would be able to deliver but I like his struggle and for that he has even sacrificed his personal life)

Hi. Simon
i have here two questions about the paragraph.
1- there are at least as many people- Why at least as many? The word as does not fit.
2-which is required for someone-What? if we write people insted of someone. In this way, subject verb agreement rule would be applied effectively.

Here is my answer to this task. Your viwes matter.
On the one hand, there are many famous people who show their dazzling look to people in order to gain popularity in media and in public as well. For example, many Hollywood actresses are wearing expensive outfits and gold jewelries in front of media in order to gain public attention. If the trained continues to be practiced, and this will obviously mislead the posterity who probably understands that a truly successful life can be accomplished without arduous acts. Thus, the young people may focus on achieving the statehood of celebrity without working hard.
On the other hand, there are certain celebrities who set an excellent instance of being extra ordinary in their goals. Sport stars, musicians and singers become worldwide famous because they work hard and demonstrate the hidden skills and abilities they have with them. They achieve their tasks with firm determination, strong intention and positive belief in an effort to strengthen the vision of young children. Some of the celebrities even do not enjoy their personal life, except dealing with hardships in the society. There is a good illustration of this is a renowned actor Amir Khan, who has worked hard for many orphan houses, old man houses and other weaker sections of the society by raising funds and helping them economically and socially as well. This kind of good conduct can have positive effects on the development of teenagers.
In conclusion, some celebrities show off their sensational life style in order to gain international fame, but also at the same time, certain famous people act as role models for the young generation.

Hi Simon,

I am from India. Do we need to give International celebrities as examples? Can I give famous personalities from India? Will that be acceptable?

For eg: Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachhan, Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth is a superstar in southern part of India yet he is very simple and good human and donates a lot to the charities

Virat Kohli is known for his glamourous looks and advertised in most of the products but he has gone to this level due to his achievements in Cricket.

Hi Simon,
I bought the book, it is greet , but only ideas. I need to support for these ideas with structure.

Hi Simon,
In previous lesson, you said that "lead to" should be followed by a noun or gerund.

However, I am a bit confused when I found this example in a IELTS book:

"This has led to young children leaving schools literate in certain computer skills.

Please help me to understand this grammar.

Kind Regards,

This has led to young children

Young= adj. children= noun

Children are intended

Hi Simon,
I have some questions: if in the exam, i have written words in the wrong way ( example: exaccerbate, adress the problem, curriculumn)or "have the trend decrease), would i lose considerable marks? i was so confused in the exam and had no idea what was going on. i'm so ashamed of those mistakes a lot.___. hope u can answer me :">

Thanks Martin for a wonderful paragraph.

Leo, I really liked your essay. ¥ou deserve more than 7. Well done :)))

Martin. Your ideas are also good.

Plz only give topic sentences positive and negative

Related to TV at school and at home

Hi Simon,

Many thanks for your amazing lessons that have taught me a great deal.

In this lesson above, I have a tiny confusion with the sentence'they have worked hard and applied themselves to develop real skills and abilities.'

After googling it, I think it might be 'applied themselves to developing real skills and abilities.'

Could you please take a second to check on it?

Thank you again. All the best!

Hi Scavo,

Both are possible.

My version means "applied themselves IN ORDER TO develop".

The main reason why I chose the "to develop" option is because it allows me to link "worked hard" to "develop". In other words:

- They worked hard... to develop
- and they applied themselves... to develop

I hope that makes sense!

Hi Simon,

Thank you! I understand it!

All the best!

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