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Essay topic: Do you think that the United Nations Organization perform a useful function in promoting peace and happiness in the world? A successor to the former League of Nations, the United Nation Organization has played a unique role in international relations, since its inception at the end of the Second World War. The failure of the League of Nations to live up to the ideals of peace and harmony among nations revealed many weaknesses and deficiencies in that organization, which could not prevent bellicosity or belligerency. But leaders of the world were determined to continue their efforts for the prevention of further wars, and it was this aspiration for peace that led to the creation, without another world was, and the tremendous expansion of its international activities, indicates that the United Nations Organization has not only acquired viability but also achieved a considerable measure of success in the pursuit of peace. Today, the activities of this organization extend to all fields of human endeavor. It is true, however, that wars have been fought in various parts of the world such as the Korean and Congo Wars, despite the existence of this large organization, whose members include almost all the important countries of the world, including Communist China, who had at one time earned the odium of many countries as the instigator of wars. Wars have also been fought between its own members, in defiance of one of its main principles forbidding wars among its members. Even today there is a war in Bosnia and perhaps there will be more wars in the future; but the armed intervention of the United Nations Organization in all the major conflicts has at least restricted the wars to certain areas and removed the threat of another world war. In many cases the United Nations has also been able to persuade the belligerent parties to cease fighting and agree to settle their political differences by negotiations. This fact itself proves the usefulness of this organization, though doubts have been expressed in certain quarters about its effectiveness. The United Nations Organization has also made a great contribution to the advancement of the people of the world. Through its subsidiary organs, such as the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (U.N.E.S.C.O.) it has extended its activities to the remotest regions of the earth. It has at its disposal the services of a large number of specialists of all nationalities, who are sent round the world to contribute their talent, experience and knowledge to the welfare of the human race. These specialists have worked with a missionary zeal in the countries to which they were sent, and as a result of their work and advice, many countries have made tremendous progress in all spheres of national life. Doctors, scientists and educationalists from the United Nations, as well as the financial aid that this organization has given to several countries have played their part in promoting the happiness and welfare of the people of the world. It is therefore hard to deny that the United Nations does perform a useful function in the promotion of peace and happiness in the world. 1 Essay topic: What would be to your mind an ideal education system? A country is weak or powerful, which depends on its education system. Realizing the important role of education in life, Ho Chi Minh, in one of his speeches on education, said: “For the sake of ten years’ benefits, plant trees; for the sake of one hundred years’ benefits, educate people.” An ideal education system must try to carry out the following aims. First, training human personality both mentally and physically is important. It is said that a sound mind is in a healthy body. The morality and the quality of a man must be the main concern of the Department of Education. Second, schools must be connected closely with families and society. Schools must always encourage pupils’ families to cooperate in educating their children. Third, the practical side of education must be emphasized. An ideal education system must not be entirely theoretical; on the contrary, theory must be linked up with practice. Besides the cultivation of knowledge for young generations, ideal education must train them to have great capacity and skills so that they are ready to make steady progress in life. Fourth, society is more and more developed; therefore, textbooks and curriculums must be often supplemented in accordance with present and future needs. Fifth, training and tempering a passionate love for one’s country in every citizen’s heart, ready to serve their country in peacetime and to fight courageously to protect their fatherland in wartime. The examples of sacrifice of our heroes in the past as well as in the present must be introduced through textbooks in elementary schools. Sixth, training and forming educators, teachers and professors of good conduct and high quality, teaching and educating students and pupils to hold their teachers in the greatest veneration and respect. Furthering the traditions to respect teachers and esteem morality highly in every class of people. To sum up, an ideal education is the nucleus of an ideal society. Essay topic: The reason why the young people prefer to live in town Young people are always active and keen on learning; so most of them prefer to live in town. First of all, living in town, they have many chances to widen their knowledge. Nowadays many language schools and centers open in town. They can go to any evening classes to improve their foreign languages such as French, English, Russian, German, Japanese and Chinese. Experienced teachers and professors are ready to provide them with what they want to know. Besides that, they can go to public 2 libraries or English speaking clubs to broaden their knowledge and improve their English speaking skills. Second, living in town, they can keep abreast of current affairs all over the world by reading newspapers, magazines or by watching television or listening to the radio. In the morning, they saw Kuwait occupied by Irag troops but in the evening, they saw them driven out of this oil-producing country by powerful allied forces. Third, our country is open to all foreign investments and town is the cradle of industrial development. Therefore, upon graduating from university, they can have favorable opportunities to make full use of their ability. Finally, there are many comfortable means of communication and entertainment in town. They can go anywhere they like and after a hard day’s work they can enjoy minutes of recreation by watching interesting films on a large screen in a modern and air-conditioned cinema in town. For the above-mentioned reasons, an urban life has always been a fascinating appeal to all young men in the world. Topic: Life in the city Life in the city is full of activity. Early in the morning hundreds of people rush out of their homes in the manner ants do when their nest is broken. Soon the streets are full of traffic. Shops and offices open, students flock to their schools and the day's work begins. The city now throb with activity, and it is full of noise. Hundreds of sight- seers tourists and others visit many place of interest in the city while businessmen from various parts of the world arrive to transact business. The towards evening, the offices and day schools begin to close. Many of the shops too close. There is now a rush for buses and other means of transport. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to reach home. As a result of this rush, many accidents occur. One who has not been to the city before finds it hard to move about at this time. Soon, however, there is almost no activity in several parts of the city. These parts are usually the business centers. With the coming of night, another kind of activity begins. The streets are now full of colorful lights. The air is cooler and life becomes more leisurely. People now seek entertainment. Many visit the cinemas, parks, and clubs, while others remain indoors to watch television or listen to the radio. Some visit friends and relatives and some spend their time reading books and magazines. Those who are interested in politics discuss the latest political developments. At the same time, hundreds of crimes are committed. Thieves and robbers who wait for the coming of night become active, and misfortune descends upon many. For the greed of a few, many are killed, and some live in constant fear. To bring criminals to justice, the officers of the law are always on the move. 3 Workers and others who seek advancement in their careers attend educational institutions which are open till late in the night. Hundreds of them sit for various examinations every year. The facilities and opportunities that the people in the city have to further their studies and increase their knowledge of human affairs are indeed many. As a result, the people of the city are usually better informed than those of the village, where even a newspaper is sometimes difficult to get. The city could, therefore, be described as a place of ceaseless activity. Here, the drama of life is enacted every day. Essay topic: Discuss the role of the police force in society The police force plays a vital role in the maintenance of law and order in society. It is a source of moral strength, confidence and happiness to all individuals who seek to live a good life in society. The ideal of a police force has been conceived centuries ago, when lawless acts were committed everywhere; but it was only in the nineteenth century that effectual steps were taken to build up a strong police force in almost every country. Life, before the introduction of the police force, was indeed insecure. Violent acts such as murder, were committed with impunity by cruel and reckless men. Even those who were weak and feared revenge by stronger men nevertheless found it safe sometimes to commit lesser crimes such as theft and robbery. Without the restraining influence of a powerful organization such as the police force, the passions of men were aroused easily, and lawlessness prevailed everywhere. Individuals grouped themselves together and terrorized whole villages and towns, and there were wars between rival groups. This state of affairs caused great sorrow and acute anxiety to whole communities and everyone lived in constant fear, uncertain even about his immediate future. The establishment of the police force, however, has changed the state of affairs in society. The police force has enabled the law courts, which have existed since ancient times, in certain countries even before the introduction of the police force, to function more efficiently. Criminals are apprehended and punished, with the help of the police force, to deter others from committing acts injurious to innocent citizens. Most people therefore have learned to control their criminal tendencies. The alertness of the police force in the detection of crimes has not only discouraged most people from breaking the laws of society but also compelled them to exercise restrain and self- discipline. Consequently, society as a whole is more peaceful than what it was before the establishment of the police force. As the aim of the police force is to promote the welfare of society, it is constantly engaged in creating the conditions in which people can live and pursue their own affairs without interference from thoughtless individuals. The rights of every member in society are protected by the courts through the agency of the police force, which is therefore a source of inspiration and hope to all law-abiding citizens. Any interference with the rights of one citizen by another is frowned upon by the police force. 4 In their efforts to promote the welfare of society the police force extends its activities even to the remotest regions of the country. If a man is lost in a dense forest or at sea by his own fault or otherwise, members of the force do their utmost to find and bring him back to his family, however unpleasant the effort may prove. Seldom do they give up their search if they are certain that the man still survives. Dedicated to the service of society, they are prepared to work under any conditions to protect a person, sometimes even at the risk of losing their own lives. The knowledge of the activities in which the police force is engaged has increased the confidence and moral strength of people in society. Even the cripple and invalid are given every protection. Thus, people today can live in greater security and happiness than they could before. Society therefore owes a great debt of gratitude to the police force. Essay topic: The difficulties in learning English and how to overcome them Beginners of foreign language always meet difficulties from the outset. For me, I had to overcome these problems when I started learning English. English pronunciation is my first obstacle. The pronunciation in English puzzles me a lot because the same letter has different sounds. For example the letter “a” in “bath” is not pronounced in the same way of that in “bathe”. The “ou” in “South” is also different from “ou” in “Southern”. Generally verbs and nouns are pronounced differently although they are written the same. Record is a good example to illustrate it. In order to solve this puzzling question I carefully study The A.P.A (The International Phonetic Alphabets) which helps me pronounce English words correctly. In order to have an accent just like the native speakers, I often listen to tapes and repeat after them, trying to imitate them. Moreover, my everyday conversation with the foreigners I meet in the street will enable me to acquire a proper accent. Compared with French, English grammar is much easier. However, this does not mean that learners meet no difficulties in learning it. It took me a long time to learn how to master the tenses in English grammar, to endeavor to do as many grammar exercises as possible and read various grammar books. In writing English, English language has its own style. In order to drill writing skills, I have tried to read famous novels of distinguished America and English writers. I enjoy the humorous style of writing in Mark Twain’s masterpieces, the elaborate and polished style of George Eliot and the sentimental and lyrical style of John Keats. After long and hard years of English study, how pleased I feel when I am able to read English and American authors without any obstacles and difficulties at all. 5 Posted by Edwin Nguyen at 3:01 PM Essay topic: Your most embarrassing experience Our family live in the suburb of HCM city, not far from the central city. It is about 30 kilometers to the South. Last week my parents, my brothers and my sisters paid a visit to my grandparents in the country and I therefore stayed at home alone. I used to get up very early in the morning. As usual, after going to the market to buy some necessary things, I came back home to start doing the housework such as cleaning the floor, making the bed, making coffee and preparing lunch. The house now was so clean and tidy that it seemed bigger and larger. I had worked from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. I was so tired that I had to stop working for a rest. After 15 minutes of relaxation, I started working again. Right after I had taken the teapot from the cupboard, I suddenly felt something burning downstairs. I got so embarrassed and frightened that I dropped the teapot while I was hurrying downstairs. To my horror and surprise, the kettle on the electric stove was on fire. I was in such a confusing state that I was quite at a loss. Then I came up an idea: I rushed to the switchboard to cut off the electric power. The house suddenly became as dark as pitch. In the pitch-dark kitchen, the kettle turned so dazzling red that it looked just like a hot burning sun on a stifling summer afternoon. Talk about the importance of agriculture Since the time men learnt to grow crops, agriculture has been the main source of food. Today, most of the people in all parts of the world, especially in developing countries, are engaged in agricultural activities. Human is mainly a grain-eating animal. In Asia, most of the people eat rice. In Europe, North America and Australia, wheat is the main food crop. If rice and wheat cannot be grown, millet and other cereals are grown as food crops. Though men also eat meat, they enjoy eating meat only when they take it together with rice or bread which is made from wheat. It is therefore clear that grains are the main source of man’s food, and grains are agricultural products. Men, however, cannot live on grains alone. They need other foods too to make his meals more palatable. Therefore, they learnt to grow vegetables, potatoes and fruits. Like grains, these things come from the soil. They have to be planted and grown with great care. As a result, men have made many experiments on soil for several centuries to increase their production of crops. Men have also learnt to consume dried leaves to refresh themselves. Tea and tobacco, the dried leaves of certain plants, have become very popular as sources of refreshment. Even coffee and cocoa are products of plants. Cotton, jute and other fiber are used to make cloth and several other things for our daily needs. All these plants have become very important in agriculture. 6 In some countries, agriculture is a main source of wealth. The rubber tree and the oil- palm in Malaysia bring millions of dollars every year. In Bangladesh, the jute plant is the main source of wealth. Similarly, in almost every country there is at least one plant which makes a great contribution to the economy of the country. We arrive at the conclusion that agriculture play an important role in men’s world. Topic: Today there is some changes in the educational system. In your opinion, how should we change to raise the quality teaching? Education is to draw the best in children and to develop their faculties. Education is a complicated affair as it is supposed to equip children for life. Since life styles are always changing, the contents of education must also be changed accordingly. The school is supposed to provide necessary experiences to the child. When a child leaves the school, he may lead a useful life. But in the traditional school, the child was supposed to learn mainly the 3 R’s. So the chalk bard and the text books were the main stay of the teacher who was to shape the character of the child. Rote memory was insisted upon and examinations were based on this learning technique. There was not much of a difference from year to year on the way children were tested. The examinations conducted did not test all the faculties of the child. So, it was necessary for those who got through examinations to be trained afterwards. In short, children were very rarely taught to learn for 7 themselves. This had continued for so long and the practice had to be abolished. Once this was realized, many new methods of teaching were tired and many new aids had been used for a better education of children. Today the school is a very complicated organization; the teacher is no longer the sole arbiter. The children, instead of being passive listeners, have been made active participants. They are handling, feeling, planning, creating and learning with newer tools and aids. The subjectivity has give place to healthy objectivity. In order to make education relevant and meaningful, children are exposed to almost life like situations. They must know how to live as good citizens and honest members of society. They must know how to live as good citizens and honest members of society. The way the school creates situations with these ends in views is important. On the intellectual side, the library and the laboratory must play a vital role. They complement and supplement more and more, and the use of library and the laboratory must be encouraged through proper assignments. The playing field, various camps, many organizations like the Junior Red Cross, etc. have to be fully utilized to shape the character of the child. Beside the text books, there are other aids for learning. They much be judiciously used. In fact, there are hundreds of ways in which the audio-visual aids can be used with advantage. Examinations must not be used to show weakness but must be a yardstick for proving the all-round education of the student. The questions must be objective and reliable. The examinations must be welcomed by the students. In order to satisfy the diverse population, there must be diversity in programs, approaches, resources and aims and room for experiment. Examinations should be a challenge for students. The world is shrinking and nobody can feel parochial. So education must equip students for world understanding and world citizenery. Science and technology must find their places in any scheme of education. Any system of education must help turn out a fully developed and all-rounded personality. Essay topic: Describe a village you know well I was born and have grown up in the country in a small village beside a beautiful river. My village is surrounded in a hedge of green bamboos. Most of the houses in the village are built of brick and have red tiled roofs. 8 In the middle of the village there is an old pagoda with high trees around it. On the first and fifteenth days of the lunar month, the villagers often go to the pagoda to give offerings to The God of Agriculture. On the right of the village flows quietly a clear and blue river. When I was young, I used to swim in the river with my friends. How can I forget the wonderful time on this river fishing or rowing a boat with my boyhood friends! On the left of the village lies the village green where village meetings are often held by village officials. On this ground covered with soft grass we used to fly kites on windy autumnal evenings. The majority of villages live on agriculture. They get rich thanks to their fertile rice- fields and their diligence. Harvest time is certainly the busiest and the merriest time of the year. During the harvest, the villagers often get up very early in the morning. They cheerfully go to their rice-fields to harvest the bumper crop – the fruit of many months of hard work. My villagers are very friendly and helpful. They are willing to offer mutual help in any case and always get on with one another harmoniously. My village is rather small indeed but I like it very much because I was born and have grown up there and spent my happiest childhood among the simple and hard-working villagers who always feel attached to their native land. Essay topic: Do you think that homework should be abolished? Discuss its value. Homework is a bitter pill for many students. Teachers always give homework. They are given to help students to revise what has been done in the class and also the finish task set in school which the pupil could not finish on time. Education and mastery of knowledge, is a matter of skill so the more practice one has the better skill. There are skill subjects and knowledge subjects. Both these categories require drill and repetition. The teacher, to some extend, drill the student in the class but each individual student cannot be expected to do the same amount as skills of students vary from each other. Homework need not necessarily be repeating what has been done in the class, it may be more study. The student goes through references and acquires more and better knowledge. The world of knowledge is so wide that the class alone cannot bring everything into the grasp of the student. So the student must take up some initiative of his own. This is one of the purposes of homework. The school also must see that the students are overburdened homework. The teachers must see to it that the homework is distributed evenly throughout the week. Still there are subjects like mathematics or transcription in the lower classes which require daily 9 attention. There are other aspects of school work which can be attended to during the weekend, for example, map making and drawing diagrams. Simply because some boys find homework too much to cope up with, it cannot be abolished. The school should provide some facilities, so that the boys can conveniently attend to their home work and the teachers can come willingly forward to help such boys. Essay topic: Should teachers give pupils too much homework? Discuss. Many people now think that teachers give pupils too much homework. They say that it is unnecessary for children to work at home in their free time. Moreover, they argue that most teachers do not properly plan the homework tasks they give to pupils. The result is that pupils have to repeat tasks which they have already done at school. Recently many parents complained about the difficult homework which teachers gave to their children. The parents said that most of the homework was a waste of time, and they wanted to stop it. Spain and Turkey are two countries which stopped homework recently. In Denmark, West Germany and several other countries in Europe, teachers cannot set homework at weekends. In Holland, teachers allow pupils to stay at school to do their homework. The children are free to help one another. Similar arrangements also exist in some British schools. Most people agree that homework is unfair. A pupil who can do his homework in a quiet and comfortable room is in a much better position than a pupil who does his homework in a small, noisy room with the television on. Some parents help their children with their homework. Other parents take no interest at all in their children’s homework. It is important, however, that teachers talk to parents about homework. A teacher suggests suitable tasks for parents to do with their children. Parents are often better at teaching their own children. Essay topic: The importance of examinations Life today has become so complex that examinations have come to play an important part in one’s educational career. Examinations are considered so important that most students are afraid of them. The ability to pass an examination is indeed a valuable quality. It shows that the student is able to express his thought and ideas to a manner others can understand. It also shows that the student has acquired a certain amount of knowledge in some branches of study. Besides, the mind of a student, even if he is dull, receives good exercise when he prepares for an examination. A student’s success in an examination, therefore, helps employers and others to assess his mental or general ability. 10

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