1. Team activities can teach more important life skills than those activities that are played alone. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
The development of kids’ life skills is supported by the regular activities they take part in. It is believed that group activities are more likely to train children important life skills than those done independently. I think this idea is sensible in some way.
To begin with, group activities allow the participants to be skillful at communicating. Regardless of the activity purpose, there much be the presentation of personal ideas and the response to partners’ opinion to make the activity successful. For example, in the case of group discussion in high school lectures, students learn how to make their voice heard and they also learn how to accept the correct suggestions. Communication skill is an essential life skill as no one can avoid socializing to succeed in the contemporary society.
Besides, the ability to cooperate is easily boosted though joining a team. Ball games are typical team activities that cultivate cooperation capability. All players need to work closely and winning is unlikely without the combination of every member's effort. In this process, participants can develop the sense and skill about how to cooperate with others and develop team spirit. Doubtlessly, to survive in the competitive society asks one to excel in sharing and co-working.
But don’t get me wrong. I don’t discourage children from doing individual activities. Some life skills that are mostly grasped from solo activities like independent skill and competition attitude are imperative as well. However, in terms of importance of the skills trained, group activities outperform the individual activities.
In conclusion, both team and individual activities are helpful for people to develop useful life skills, but I strongly believe that the fomer can produce better results.
2. Some people think that the best way to reduce time spent commuting to work is to replace parks and gardens that are close to the city center with apartment buildings for commuters, but others disagree. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
It is true that people tend to spend more time travelling to work than they did in the past. Personally, I agree that replacing the public parks and gardens near the city centre with residences might be seen as a good way to reduce commuting time. However there are equally-effective measures that can be taken.
On the one hand, I accept that transforming the parks and gardens in the central areas into housing could bring convenience to commuters. At present, workers have to live far away from workplaces in the suburbs due to the limited number of houses. Most employees living in the regional areas of Beijing, for instance, get up early in the morning in order to show up at work on time. If the public spaces in the central regions are substituted by apartment buildings, people choosing to move in the apartments could avoid travelling long distances to work everyday.
Nevertheless, I think that improvements in transportation and technology are as effective as the replacement program. Firstly, high-speed public transports, such as subways, light and commuter rails, can significantly reduce our commuting time. For example, the presence of high-speed trains in China makes it possible for us to travel between cities in tens of minutes rather than hours. Furthermore, we can also encourage writers and those who work for technology companies to work from home, this could happen when efficient communication tools and office softwares are invented. Many IT programmers and news writers, today, use Skype to attend meetings and professional softwares to help finish their work at home.
In conclusion, while the park-to-apartment scheme certainly provides convenience for the commuters, I would argue that this goal can be better achieved with other methods.
3. Most of world’s problems are caused by overpopulation. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Some people argue that a majority of pressing global issues are engendered by population explosion. In my opinion, I completely agree with this point of view for some reasons.
One vexing problem worth mentioning is the chronic shortage of housing in many major cities worldwide, especially in densely populated areas in the city center. The primary cause of such an issue is the massive influx of rural migrants who flock to cities in search of better job or education opportunities. Exemplary examples include Bejing or Ho Chi Minh where government have made enormous efforts to combat the overcrowding issue but fall to gain a satisfactory result.
Another problem is pollution and climate change, triggered mainly by the burgeoning global population. When many residents inhabit a place, their daily activities tend to do great harm to surroundings, either accidentally or deliberately. For example, households can dump their waste directly into lakes and rivers, or consume too many plastic bags, which leads to an increment in the landfill site whereas deforestation can increase the global temperature tremendously. Worse still, coupled with the ever-increasing size of population the problem seems to exacerbate.
Other global issues such as food security, illiteracy or poor health care are just among the many problems that are caused by the uncontrolled growth of population. If there were few people on this Earth, food supplies can be sufficient to feed the population, or there would be enough schools for children to go to, and hospitals could adequately cater to the needs of patients when they are ill
In conclusion, I totally agree with the view that it is over-population that it is over-population that triggers the many above-mentioned issues. Therefore, actions should be taken to slow down population growth worldwide.