IELTS Model Essay: Young People’s Cultural Interests

In this IELTS Model Essay, I will answer a 2 part direct question essay on the topic of young people’s cultural interests.

Here is the question:

Some people believe that young people know more about international pop and movie stars but know very little about famous people from the history of their own country.

Why is this?

How can more interest be created in young people to gain more knowledge about their own famous people from history?


My Essay

Having a deep and rich understanding of your own country’s culture is essential to being a good and active citizen, but there is concern that today’s youngsters know more about global superstars from the music and film industries than they do about their own nation’s political and cultural icons.

There are perhaps two main reasons why the younger generation have this obsession with celebrity. The first is that the entertainment media has a strong hold over their minds through both printed media like magazines and social media, through which the latest celebrity gossip often goes viral. The second cause is that, in order to gain a thorough understanding of famous historical figures, one needs to either read about them or be taught about them. However, the quality of history teaching in many countries is poor, preferring to focus on events and processes rather than people.

To solve this problem, we must firstly improve history education. This can be done by teaching children from a young age about the people who have moulded their country’s past and still influence it today. For example, if children in the UK were to learn about the life of famous figures like Emmeline Pankhurst and William Wilberforce, then they would have a much more vivid and memorable understanding of history than if they simply studied wars and revolutions.

Secondly, countries need to dedicate special days to celebrate the lives of famous historical figures. These could take the form of festivals and drama productions, which could be attended by families with young children. For example, in my home town there used to be an annual event which commemorated the life of a famous local resident; this event has not been run for years, but I still remember going to it as an impressionable 7 year old.

In summary, young people’s understanding of their nation’s key historical personalities has been steadily undermined by the entertainment industry and poor teaching approaches, but by improving education and celebrating our heritage, this problem can be solved.

(336 words)

About the author

Charlie is a former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 100,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.