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TitleMat Clark - Writing Essay
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Page 1

Topic 1: Increasing travels between countries enable people to learn different cultures or to increase tension
between people from different countries?

Globalisation is a catch-all term that refers to any activity that involves more than one country, for example, travel
from one country to another. The dramatic increase in transnational travel in recent years has sparked controversy
over the potential impacts of this trend on individual countries, especially those new member states of globalisation.
Some people are concerned that the upsurge in new arrivals will prompt local hostility against visitors, instead of
promoting their understanding on mutual cultural background. This notion should be rejected as one can see many
facts in favour of this development between countries.

The first reason why international travels would never bring conflict is rooted in the fact that both visitors and locals
are economically motivated. International travel opens up opportunities for business development throughout the
world. Entrepreneurs are interested not only in the domestic market but also in the overseas market. Foreigners
should learn the culture of a country before winning over the local people. In turn, locals should show their
hospitality to visitors in exchange for their trust. They share a view that acceptance of each other's cultural
background is a necessary condition for cooperation.

Understanding a culture has other implications. Differences in social background, cultural values and religious belief
might make the discrepancy of foreigners and local inhabitants on some issues indelible; however, the higher
interaction, the higher level of communication and understanding. Arabians, for example, used to consider
westerners as their foes. Now they have concrete relations with their western allies in many fields. In the initial
stage, their divergence seemed inherent but over time, with better mutual understanding, they take the same position
on many issues.

Undeniably, it is likely that in some resorts, foreign visitors repel the local community with their scant regard for
the local environment and conventions when they first arrive. However, it should be noted that most offense is
accidental, rather than intentional. Instead, visitors disobey rules and conventions simply because they have no
knowledge of them. This situation is expected to be improved with the passing of time when visitors from different
countries increase their knowledge of a local culture.

According to the above analysis, we can observe that the increase in the international travel should not be taken as
the cause of any conflict that arises between two countries. Alternatively, one should recognise its role in improving
mutual understanding between two countries.

1. catch-all = all-embracing

2. hostility = enmity = resentment

3. rooted in = derived from = based on

4. entrepreneur = tycoon = mogul = industrialist

5. discrepancy = disagreement = difference = divergence

6. foe = enemy = rival

7. concrete = tangible = solid

8. over time = in due course = sooner or later

9. resort; tourist resort; holiday resort; beach resort; scenic spot; place of interest

10. repel = revolt = repulse

11. scant = limited = scarce

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Page 2

Topic 2: When international media (including movies, fashion shows, advertisements and other TV
programmes) convey the same messages to the global audience, people argue that the expansion of
international media has negative impacts on cultural diversity. What is your opinion?

As international media companies expand across the world, the growing popularity and uniformity of some media
programmes (such as TV shows, movies, fashion shows) is causing worldwide concern. Many people have strong
views toward this trend. In my opinion, international media is closely linked to cultural globalisation and cultural
homogeneity.

The dominance of international media is a sign of Western cultural imperialism and has the potential to thwart
cultural diversity. It is not a secret that international media is owned and operated by a handful of giant
corporations, such as Time Warner. They control large sectors of the media market and place national media
companies at risk. The contraction in the number of media owners will cause a proportional reduction in the variety
of programmes broadcasted. For example, painting, music and movies accessible in the media have a small number
of genres, imposing restraints on one's knowledge of artworks of different cultural backgrounds.

In addition to seizing control over those creative industries, global entertainment companies affect cultural diversity
by reshaping the perceptions, beliefs and norms of ordinary citizens in different countries. Most of the cultural
values and ideals promoted by the leading mainstream media are of American origin. American culture values
individuality, maximisation of one's benefits and material wealth, rather than communal life and family solidarity,
the values and norms previously treasured in many Asian countries. Unfortunately, many Asian people now imitate
American people, causing the alteration of their perceptions of family. This radical change can be attributed to those
movies and TV programmes that portray the success of American individuals or corporations.

The loss of media diversity is also responsible for people's narrow sense of ways of life. The ruling class of many
countries speaks English, favours Western food, wears Western-style jackets and even prefers Western weddings.
Young people are captivated by American basketball and some even daubing the names of NBA stars on their
school sweatsuits. All these transformations in life are the result of the audience's exposure to Hollywood movies,
TV shows and sports reports. The loss of media diversity will lead to degradation of culture and to a minimisation of
cultural diversity. It is a worrying trend, as people need cultural diversity to preserve and pass on their valuable
heritage to future generations, including lifestyle.

As shown above, international media, controlled by a handful of transnational media corporations, is exporting
Western culture worldwide and putting many indigenous cultures at the risk of extinction. The uniformity of media
programmes has led to that of artworks, norms and ways of life wherever international media goes.

1. dominance = domination = power

2. sign = symbol = mark = signal = indication

3. thwart = prevent = spoil = ruin

4. a handful of = a small number of

5. contraction = reduction

6. proportional = relative

7. perception = view = opinion

8. ideal = value = belief = principle

9. solidarity = unity = harmony = cohesion

10. be captivated by = be obsessed with = be passionate about = be addicted to = be keen on = be enthusiastic about

11. pass on = give = impart = convey

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Topic 66: Some findings have revealed that cities around the world are growing large. Could you outline the
possible causes and predict consequences?

Of those issues that have concerned the government, academics and the public throughout the world, urban sprawl is
one of the most prominent. There are conflicting views toward this growing trend. While it has been taken as a
positive development in many newly emerging cities, it is increasingly perceived as a threat to rural environment
and considered as a trigger for numerous urban problems. The objective of this essay is to evaluate the forces behind
this trend and its consequences.

Population growth is widely recognised as the primary reason. The room in the city centre is so limited that it fails to
provide enough housing to accommodate an ever-growing population. Another problem that has intensified in the
inner city is infrastructure shortage and poor conditions of buildings. Lack of amenities, such as water and
electricity supply, waste disposal, swage treatment, to name but a few, has left no choice to urban dwellers but to
resettle in the suburbs, where they have easier access to new facilities

City dwellers are not always moving outward unwillingly. The continued increase in household incomes gives
renewed impetus to urban development. People nowadays have higher expectations for quality of life and a growing
appetite for lower-density housing with a larger open space. It is possibly the main reason why the real estate market
has its focus now on the outskirts of the city, but not on the centre. In the meantime, the affordability and ubiquity
of car ownership has made transport a less serious concern for those living in suburbs. They can commute daily
between the place of work and the place of residence with ease.

The sustained expansion of cities will make a marked impact on the society in several dimensions. The high traffic
volume between suburbs and urban areas would cause severe air pollution and reduce the lands suitable for fanning.
Urban sprawl requires large developments, causing areas to lose some of their unique qualities and characteristics.
From the economic perspective, the relocation of a high population in suburbs will pose adverse fiscal impacts on
the local government in infrastructure construction. To those who used to live in suburbs, the inflow of new
inhabitants would damage the community spirit and make relations between neighbours fragile.

Urban sprawl is, therefore, a trend which has a strong effect on the environment, communities and government
budgeting. When urban decay and citizens' desire for higher standard of living make this trend irreversible, the
emphasis should be placed on planned and sustainable development.

1. amenity = facility = service

2. disposal = clearance

3. treatment = handling = dealing

4. to name but a few = to mention but a few = and so on = and so forth

5. renewed = new

6. impetus = momentum = thrust = drive = force

7. quality of life = living standard = the level of comfort and wealth

8. real estate = property = housing

9. outskirt = suburb = the periphery of a city

10. in the meantime = meanwhile

11. ubiquity = prevalence = popularity

12. commute = go back and forth

13. with ease = easily = effortlessly = without much effort = without difficulty

14. marked = noticeable = distinct = manifest

15. inflow = influx = arrival

16. inhabitant = dweller = citizen = resident

17. damage = injure

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Page 131

56. Habit + accumulated, bad, clean, dressing, eating, fixed, good, old. ordinary, personal,
regular, smoking, social, unconscious

57. Health + environmental, good, ill, mental, physical, poor, private, public

58. Heritage + architectural, cultural, family, industrial, musical, national, natural, rich

59. Idea + bad, basic, bright, clear, general, good, ingenious, new, original, smart, whole

60. Implication + economic, financial, important, legal, political, possible, practical, profound,
serious, significant, social

61. Income + disposable, extra, gross, high, low, net, personal, private, steady, taxable

62. Industry + government-controlled, heavy, light, local, manufacturing, new, private

63. Insight + clear, deep, fresh, important, interesting, new, profound, real, valuable

64. Issue + central, complex, contentious, current, economic, environmental, ethical,
important, key, latest, main, major, political, sensitive, social

65. Job + demanding, full-time, manual, odd, part-time, proper, regular, sedentary, steady,
temporary

66. Knowledge + detailed, full, general, intimate, personal, public, scientific, specialist

67. Language + foreign, foul, improper, local, native, official, ordinary, second, spoken, written

68. Lifestyle + active, alternative, bizarre, comfortable, extraordinary, healthy, lavish, natural,
new, outdoor, precarious, present-day, sedentary, simple, traditional

69. Mistake + big, costly, expensive, fatal, fundamental, great, honest, serious, terrible

70. Need + basic, desperate, educational, immediate, individual, particular, pressing, real,
social, special, urgent

71. Objective + broad, clear, economic, environmental, key, main, major, national, overall,
primary, prime, principal, stated, ultimate

72. Occasion + different, formal, odd, other, particular, rare, separate, social, special

73. Opportunity + ample, economic, educational, equal, golden, ideal, rare, unique

74. Outcome + educational, eventual, final, likely, logical, positive, possible, satisfactory, social,
successful, ultimate

75. Parent + biological, elderly, foster, lone, loving, prospective, single, over-tired, working

76. People + American, British, business, disabled, elderly, like-minded, local, old, young

77. Personality + dominant, forceful, friendly, great, kind, outgoing, powerful, strong

78. Perspective + alternative, broad, different, fresh, global, historical, international, proper, social,
sociological, theoretical, wide

79. Population + adult, ageing, Asian, elderly, foreign-born, general, global, homeless,
indigenous, local, native, rural, teenage, urban, working

80. Problem + economic, emotional, financial, immediate, major, mental, personal, practical,
serious, social, technical

81. Purpose + dual, general, main, medical, particular, practical, present, primary, sole, useful

82. Reason + apparent, good, legal, main, major, obvious, personal, possible, real, special

83. Relationship + causal, close, direct, effective, family, human, personal, reciprocal, same-sex,
social, special, strong, working

84. Research + basic, further, historical, medical, recent, scientific, social

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