Here’s an activity that I recently used with a couple of students I tutor. They were having trouble with their IELTS writing skills because their punctuation wasn’t very good. In addition, they were having trouble putting their articles in the right place. What I did was give them the following sample answer and have them correct it.
Why don’t you have a try, and then check your version with the real essay below?
IELTS Task 1 Practice
Read the sample answer and add punctuation and capitalization. Once you have done that, read it again and add the missing articles.
this bar chart shows amount of free time that people have during a typical week it is divided by gender and split into different demographic groups of categories including both men and women men always have more free time however there are two categories exclusive to women
groups who have most free time are those who are unemployed or retired included in these groups are both males and females and in each case men have slightly more free time than women in both groups men have a little over eighty hours of leisure time each week compared to women who have slightly less than eighty hours housewives an exclusively female category have a lot of free time too with fifty hours each week
those who are employed full time have less leisure time with about forty-five hours for men and thirty-five for women another all-female category is part-time employment group which has forty hours of leisure time per week
If you’re using this page as a teacher, I would recommend having your students pair up to do this activity. It really helps for them to discuss and share their ideas to overcome problems like article use. Speaking in L1 is not a problem here, and may be very beneficial. If you have a small class, you probably want to check in on them and ask “why” for some of their choices, whether correct or incorrect. Push them in the right direction so that their final answer is as close to the correct version as possible. As long as they are engaged, it doesn’t really matter if this activity runs long.
Compared your answer with the correct version below.
This bar chart shows the amount of free time that people have during a typical week. It is divided by gender and split into different demographic groups. Of the categories including both men and women, the men always have more free time; however, there are two categories exclusive to women.
The groups who have the most free time are those who are unemployed or retired. Included in these groups are both males and females, and in each case the men have slightly more free time than the women. In both groups, the men have a little over eighty hours of leisure time each week, compared to the women, who have slightly less than eighty hours. Housewives – an exclusively female category – have a lot of free time, too, with fifty hours each week.
Those who are employed full time have less leisure time, with about forty-five hours for men and thirty-five for women. Another all-female category is the part-time employment group, which has forty hours of leisure time per week.
**Note that in the introduction, the final clause (using a semi-colon) could also correctly be a full sentence itself.