IELTS|Intermediate|8. Families around the world

pic1|GE|Adults|Int|Revise and Check 18-23

Match the writing tasks with the type of essays. Justify your answers


Look at this Writing task and decide whether the statements below are true or false


In this essay, you must

Read the sample essay, ignore the gaps and answer the questions


1. What advantages and disadvantages does the writer mention?

2. Do you agree with the writer?

Read the sample answer again and complete the plan

Read the sample essay one more time and select the correct option for each gap


Look at the linking devices in the text and answer the questions

1. Which of these words can be used to begin sentences: also, and, but, however?

2. Which words join two sentences?

Also, and, but and however


We use and to join things.

  • We can join the final thing on a list to the rest of the list:
    I’m studying physics, biology and chemistry.
  • We can join two similar adjectives:
    The journey was long and dangerous.
  • We can join two sentences which do not express different ideas:
    At school, children learn to work hard and they learn to study.

Note: We do not usually join more than two sentences with and.


Also means ‘and’.

  • We use also to add extra information or an extra opinion to things we have already said:
    Children should learn good behaviour from their parents. They should also learn to behave well at school.
  • We cannot use also to join two sentences, but we can place it at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the second sentence:
    A good education is expensive. Also it takes a long time. / It also takes a long time. / It takes a long time also.


We use but to join:

  • sentences when the information or opinion in the second sentence is different from the first sentence:
    It is hard work looking after children, but it is enjoyable.
  • two adjectives which seem to have opposite meanings: My brother is clever, but lazy.

We normally use a comma before but.


However means ‘but’.

  • We cannot use it to join sentences.
  • We use however at the beginning of a sentence to say something different from the sentence before:
    Many children don’t enjoy helping in the house. However, it teaches them to be responsible.
  • However is usually followed by a comma.


Answer the questions

Family life in the modern world is not the same experience as in the past, because families are smaller. In the past, there were advantages and disadvantages to being members of a big family.

I believe there were three main benefits. Firstly, children always had other children to play with in the same house, so they learned social skills. 1 They also they quarrelled. 2 but when they quarrelled, they learned to defend themselves. Secondly, children helped in the house 3 and as a consequence they became more responsible. 4 Also, different generations lived together, so grandparents looked after young children 5 and younger brothers learned many things from their elder brothers.

I think many of the disadvantages were financial. Firstly, one of the parents could not work, because he or she had to stay at home to look after the children and the grandparents. This meant the family earned less. As a result, parents had less money to pay for their children’s education and other activities. 6 However, in my view, the biggest problem was that parents could not pay so much attention to individual children. As a result, children with problems sometimes suffered.

In my opinion, the advantages of large families were greater than the disadvantages. The family had less money, 7 but family members formed a stronger relationship and they supported and helped each other when they had problems. 8 Also, people were always surrounded by their relatives, so they were never lonely.

1. Look at paragraph 1 of the sample answer and answer these questions.

a) How many sentences does it have?

b) Which sentence says how the world has changed?

c) Which sentence says what the writer is going to talk about in the rest of the essay?

d) Does the writer repeat the words from the Writing task in Exercise 1 exactly? Why? / Why not?

e) What word does he use which means large?

f) What phrase does he use which means part of?

2. Read the sentences which begin paragraphs 2, 3 and 4. What is their function?

3. Find three phrases in the essay which mean In my opinion.

Read the writing task, underline the key ideas in the task and answer the questions



Use the Textarea for writing notes for your answers. Your teacher will check it when you are done.

1. Make a list of advantages and disadvantages.

2. Which is better: living in a large city or a small community?

Write a plan for your essay. Decide how many paragraphs you need and what you will say in each paragraph

Put the flow of the essay writing into correct order


When you have finished writing, read your answer and check your spelling.

Exam advice

Writing Task 2

  • Read the question carefully first and make sure you know what you must write about.
  • Brainstorm ideas before you start and make a plan.
  • Write your essay following your plan.

Write notes for you future essay in the text area and discuss them with your teacher

Write about the following topic.

In the past, most people lived in small villages where everyone knew everyone else. Nowadays, most people live in large cities where they only know a few people in their area. What do you think were the advantages and disadvantages of living in a small community? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experience.

If you open the lesson plan you will be able to assign separate pages as homework or all the homework pages at once.

  • Warm-up
  • Lead-in
  • Example essay
  • Linking devices
  • Essay planning
  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Writing an essay
  • Homework
  • Homework
  • Brainstorming ideas
  1. 1. IELTS|Intermediate|1. Dream city
  2. 2. IELTS|Intermediate|2. Booking an apartment
  3. 3. IELTS|Intermediate|3. Talking about your hometown
  4. 4. IELTS|Intermediate|4. Where to go?
  5. 5. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 1
  6. 6. IELTS|Intermediate|5. Explorer and writer
  7. 7. IELTS|Intermediate|6. Travelling companions
  8. 8. IELTS|Intermediate|7. Family and childhood
  9. 9. IELTS|Intermediate|8. Families around the world
  10. 10. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 2
  11. 11. IELTS|Intermediate|9. Machines in our life
  12. 12. IELTS|Intermediate|10. On board
  13. 13. IELTS|Intermediate|11. Travelling around
  14. 14. IELTS|Intermediate|12. Different ways
  15. 15. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 3
  16. 16. IELTS|Intermediate| 13. Old innovation
  17. 17. IELTS|Intermediate|14. At an exhibition
  18. 18. IELTS|Intermediate|15. Electronic devices
  19. 19. IELTS|Intermediate|16. Inventions
  20. 20. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 4
  21. 21. IELTS|Intermediate|17. Wild animals
  22. 22. IELTS|Intermediate|18. In the zoo
  23. 23. IELTS|Intermediate|19. Animals in our life
  24. 24. IELTS|Intermediate|20. Animal life
  25. 25. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 5
  26. 26. IELTS|Intermediate|21. It makes difference
  27. 27. IELTS|Intermediate|22. Successful people
  28. 28. IELTS|Intermediate|23. Human memory
  29. 29. IELTS|Intermediate|24. Talent and success
  30. 30. IELTS|Intermediate|Revise and Check 6
  31. 31. IELTS|Intermediate|Exam: reading and speaking
  32. 32. IELTS|Intermediate|Exam: listening and writing