Thursday, April 5, 2018

B2 Sample Writing 7 (Letter - Shortening Summer Holidays)

Please read "What do I do with the sample writing found on this blog?" before reading this blog entry. 

The following letter is an example of how examination candidates could tackle the subject of limiting students' summer break. The sample has been modeled on the University of Michigan Examination for the Certificate of Competency in English (ECCE) Task 1 question of the Writing section available on page 206 of the Hellenic American Union's ECCE Practice Examinations book (Book 1).

Task 1 of the rubric is based on an announcement published in The City Times stating that the Department of Education is proposing to shorten the summer break for students from 10 weeks to 6 weeks. Their view is that 3 months is too much time off and that more time should be spent studying, therefore school should remain open until the end of July.

Candidates are asked to write a letter to the newspaper expressing their opinion on this proposal, covering questions such as:
 a) should the summer holiday period be shortened?
 b) do students and teachers need less time to rest?
 c) should more time be dedicated to studying?

The letter should begin with "Dear Editor".

If you haven't already done so, read this post B2 Writing: The Basics.

Dear Editor,

                             Having read your article in The City Times, as a 15-year-old junior high school student, I would like to express my opinion on the subject of the summer break when schools close. It is my firm belief that shortening the summer holidays for students and teachers is not a beneficial change.

                             To begin with, leaving schools open until the end of July in a country as hot as ours will be counterproductive. Not only will the government have to spend more money on electricity bills due to air-conditioners being on one whole month longer than usual, but both teachers and students will not be able to concentrate. This is already the case in classrooms in June – one can only imagine what the situation would be like in July.

                             In addition to this, students work hard for nine months. If they are made to study more, I am afraid they will come to despise school, and this is not what the Ministry of Education would want to see happen. Children and teens need more time off to enjoy themselves, spend time outdoors in the summer and relax. One more month of lessons will not change their future drastically, but their physical and mental health will definitely benefit from four more weeks of relaxation.

                             All things considered, everyone needs to devote more time to doing what they enjoy the most, be it indoors, outdoors, alone or with friends. Reducing the summer holidays by a month would deprive students, on the one hand, of the leisure time that would help them deal with the stress of growing up or the academic year to come, and teachers, on the other, of family time and the chance to prepare for the upcoming year. Therefore, it is vital that the summer holiday period remain the same.

          Yours faithfully,
                             Theresa Donovan


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