IELTS Academic writing task 2 : Sample 06

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You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

write about the following topic:

It is generally believed that some people are born with certain talents, for instance for sport or music, and others are not. However, it is sometimes claimed that any child can be taught to become a good sports person or musician.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion?

Write at least 250 words

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Response 1

The relative importance of natural talent and training is a frequent topic of discussion when people try to explain different levels of ability in, for example, sport, art or music.

Obviously, education systems are based on the belief that all children can effectively be taught to acquire different skills, including those associated with sport, art or music. So, from our own school experience, we can find plenty of evidence to support the view that a child can acquire these skills with continued teaching and guided practice.

However, some people believe that innate genetics is what differentiates a person who has been trained to play a sport or an instrument, from those who are naturally good players. In other words, there is more to the skill than a learned technique, and this extra talent cannot be taught, no matter how good the teacher or how frequently a child practices.

I personally think that some people do have talents that are probably inherited via their genes. Such talents can give individuals a facility for certain skills that allow them to excel, while more hardworking students never manage to reach a comparable level. But as with all questions of nature versus nurture, they are not mutually exclusive. Good musicians or artists and exceptional sports stars have probably succeeded because of both good training and natural talent. Without the natural talent, continuous training would be neither attractive nor productive, and without the training, the child would not learn how to exploit and develop their talent.

In conclusion, I agree that any child can be taught particular skills, but to be really good in areas such as music, art or sport, then some natural talent is required.

Reference: Cambridge IELTS Book 7 Test 1

Response 2

Practice makes perfect- or was it 'parents make perfect'? I think not. A large majority of the youth often feels bereft at their supposed lack of talent, attributing this lack to their misfortune at not being born with it. What if talents aren't just bred into people? I believe they can be trained into people as well.

Admittedly, genealogy does contribute to the possession of certain skills; not by passing on specific skills- such as an affinity for opera-singing or football- but, perhaps, by passing on certain mental and physical capabilities or attributes (with careful moulding at a young age, of course).

Arguably, mental and physical capabilities could be attributed to the upbringing of a child based on the parents' mental and physical capabilities. Consequently, being raised in, say, a sporty or musically-inclined environment may lead to an affinity for either of the above-mentioned skill sets. Additionally, are we not taught that practice makes perfect? Well, I believe it does. It's all a matter of knowledge; learning. Music can be learned- but the emotional depth that comes with it can not. Various sports can be learned and trained for, as well, but the passion and drive for it, however, can not. Emotion, passion and drive- among other things- cannot be practised or trained into people.

I conclude that the above-mentioned skills, among others, depend largely on training and only partly on actual genes and upbringing. In essence, they rely on both and should not be attributed, as is commonly done, only to genetics.