You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
It is often said that education is more important these days than it ever had been. Is the ability to read and write more important today than in the past? Why or why not?
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
You should write at least 250 words.
Sample Answer 1:
The human, through the ages, has undergone many changes from the time when he depicted mammoth herds on the walls of a cave to nowadays when he works on a computer with a large amount of information. From my everyday experience and observation, I can state several factors, which defend the statement that the ability to read and write is very important today. At old times people did not depend on information that much. They did not have to fill out many application forms, write a lot, read news from a newspaper about an economic situation, etc. Now the situation has changed. Knowledge and the ability to analyse information are more important now than man’s physical strength.
First of all, it is essential for a person to be literate in Informational Age. Every day one needs to withdraw money from cash machines, to pay a bill, to write out a check, to fill some forms, to read instructions, ads, job requirements and applications. It is almost impossible to survive in modern society without these basic abilities. Almost every job requires these important skills. Imagine that one does not have them and one has a family to care about. So, one’s first step is to find a job. One can do it either through newspapers or by asking help from one’s friends. One can not read, so one chooses the second way. The second step is to pass a job interview and fill out some forms. Moreover, one has to sign a job contract – an important document that concludes all one’s rights and terms. So, basically, it is almost impossible to get a job for a literate person in the modern world, especially in developed countries.
Second of all, the number of jobs that do not require the ability to read and write, is dramatically decreasing. Almost every employer wants to have an employee with basic communication and computer skills. In fact, more jobs on the labour market are for literate persons. A lot of primitive jobs are done by machines nowadays. So, it is a very good chance for illiterate people to be constantly on unemployment lists.
In conclusion, I think that every country must have strong programs against illiteracy.
(This model answer has been prepared by the site developer. However, please note that this is just one example out of many possible answers.)
Sample Answer 2:
The ability to read and write has always been advantageous for people living in a civilised society. In order to fully interact with others, it is essential that we have the necessary tools for communicating our thoughts and ideas with each other. Besides vocalising, the skills of reading and writing remain the best methods of accomplishing the basic task of communication with our fellow human beings. In addition to making communication possible, reading and writing are also vital because they allow us to process information from a myriad of sources, such as books, newspapers, magazines, letters, journals, instructional guides, menus, bus schedules and of course, the Internet.
Although the ability to read and write has always been of prime importance, I believe that it is even more so today than it was in times past. Long ago, reading and writing were extremely important because people had no other way to communicate with each other from a distance besides the written word. However, in the more recent past, people gained the ability to easily communicate with others via the telephone. One drawback resulting from the invention of the telephone was the decline in written communication. People eventually stopped writing letters to one another because it was simpler — not to mention much faster — to just ring someone up on the phone. Talking replaced writing as the preferred method of communication. The telephone completely changed the entire world, and it reigned supreme for approximately sixty years, from about 1935 until 1995. Since the latter date, the Internet suddenly exploded upon the scene and radically changed the world yet again. Email became the quickest and most effective way to communicate. Most people began using their smartphones to text instead of talking on them. Consequently, social media erupted and took hold of people all over the planet. Communication on a global scale became common, with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, Yelp and Tumblr. These developments have led to a new era, in which the need to read and write has become more important than ever.
In conclusion, I think it is safe to say that people who lack the ability to write in a clear and coherent manner are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to actively participating in modern society. Reading comprehension is equally relevant, as people who are unable to process the written word cannot grasp the meaning of what others are attempting to convey to them. There can be no understanding between individuals when the barrier of illiteracy prevents the act of communication. It is my belief that reading and writing are more important in today’s world than at any other point during the past one hundred years.