Some parents teach their children at home rather than sending them to school. Is this a good or a bad thing for children?
Some people don’t like their children to go to school, so they decide to teach children at home. The advantage of homeschooling is having a parent as a teacher. Parents know best about their children. In addition, there are no bullies in homeschooling.
However, children who homeschool have difficulty in making friends of their age. Homeschooling doesn’t give children opportunities to study and play with other children. As a result, homeschooling can’t develop social skills in children. Moreover, homeschooling may not develop academic skills in children, because parents are not always experts in education.
Though there are some disadvantages about homeschooling, I support homeschooling. Homeschooling is the best way to develop individual characteristics of kids, because parents can give their children whatever the children want to learn whenever they want without caring about other children’s progress. In addition, these days, there are many good materials on websites for homeschooling kids. They can study at home even though their parents are not an expert teacher. (164 words)
Can you help me with a class project? I have to write about places which are special to people. Can you tell me about a place that is special to you? Where is it? What does it look like? It doesn’t have to be a famous place. Just explain why it’s important to you.
Write soon, Sam.
I’d like to give my answer to your question. My special place is Gunma in Japan. It is located 100 kilometers north of Tokyo. It has nothing special to attract tourists. However, the reason it is special for me is that I lived there for six years when I was a junior and senior high school student.
Gunma is very hot in summer. When I was a high school student, I belonged to a baseball club. Practicing baseball in summer was very tiring and exhausting. I was very sweaty and thirsty. However, at that time, drinking water when we were practicing was forbitten because it was believed to make players stronger.
In winter, Gunma is very cold and windy. I had to go to school 10 kilometers away from my home by bicycle against extremely strong wind. Temperature was extraordinarily low, but I didn’t wear a coat or sweater, because I was very hot pushing hard pedals of my bicycle.
Gunma is where I spent my best time, juvenile. Everything I experienced for six years in Gunma is my good memory even though it was bitter and exhausting. (190 words)
Question: Can a uniform make people behave differently from they really are?
A uniform has mysterious power and has an effect in some way on the mentality or behavior of the people who wear a uniform. Because human beings have known such mysterious effect since the early history of humankind though they can’t explain it in an explicit way, people have been wearing uniforms.
It is a noticeable fact that some profession have uniforms and others don’t. This seems to mean that one of the functions of uniforms is related to profession. Some kinds of professions. especially ones that require some expertise, seem to have uniforms. Doctors and other medical profession, police officers and pilots have uniforms. This shows that uniforms may have a role in distinguishing expertise from other professions. People can easily recognize what profession those people are engaging by seeing their uniforms.
Another function of uniforms is to make a sense of belonging in a group whose members wear the same uniforms. In a sense, uniforms are a kind of barrier that separate in-group from the outsiders. Uniforms give the persons in a group pride of being a member of that group.
I don’t know the exact origin of uniforms, but a uniform reflects quite a unique human character, because I have never heard of or seen animals wearing or inventing a uniform. (214 words)
（予想問題）Should people be persuaded to stop social media?
I think people should be persuaded to stop absorbing themselves into social media. Using social media distracted people from interest in things or people around them in real world. Mow a lot of people are watching their smartphones to access social network media in every place such as on the train or at cafes without showing no interest at all in everything surrounding them. This is a bit scaring scene to me. In addition, the addiction to social media or the engagement in networking for a long time cause health hazard such as lack of sleep or lack of exercise. They had better disconnect themselves from the network and go outside to play sports under the sun. This is a better and clever choice for them. (126 words)
I choose tap water because tap water is more eco-friendly than bottled water. First of all, for filling a bottle with water, factories have to be built. Building and running a factory consume energy and emit greenhouse gases. On the other hand, for providing tap water, huge factories are not needed. There is also no need for trucks to provide water, which are used for transporting bottled water to retail stores. Secondly, for producing bottled water, groundwater is exploited. However, water reservoir under ground has bee dried up because some bottled water companies pumped up too much water. In contrast, tap water use rivers or lakes as a source of provision, which has less impact on the environment. Some people prefer bottled water because they believe tap water is polluted, unsafe, and not tasty. However, this is what manufactures of bottled water persuade them to believe. There is no scientific evidence that tap water is unsafe. Moreover, the taste of tap water ranks top when blind tests are conducted. Consumers choose tap water as tasty if they cannot see brand names. Tap water is eco-friendlier, more tasty, and safer. This is whay I choose tap water rather than bottled water. (200 wards)
Exercise is very important for human health. The realization of the importance of exercise become increasingly enhanced. There are several backgrounds for this enhancement. First, obesity has been focused on as one of the causes of a health hazard, especially in developed countries. In order to solve the problem of obesity, taking exercise is strongly recommended both to children and to adults. Another background is the change of our life style. We lead a sedentary life, which means we work for almost whole the time sitting at desks. Of course, this is unhealthy life style. Therefore, taking exercise is needed to improve the quality of life. In this way, exercise contributes to our health by preventing us from becoming obese and stopping us from leading a sedentary life. In addition, research shows that taking moderate exercise helps people not only stay mentally and physically healthy, but also live longer and prevent dementia. In summary, exercise is very important because it has vast potential to solve the health problem that modern society is facing and promote people’s health. (177 words)
An American company has said its ambition is to achieve an AI that can beat humans. But can machines ever out-think humans?
I think machines can out-think humans. They have already beaten human beings in computations. No one human being can make mathematical computations faster than machines. Machines have the ability to calculate very complicated mathematical problems. In terms of mathematical ability, they are already far smarter than us. Some people may argue that computation is relatively simple, so it cannot necessarily be evidence that proves machines have more intelligence than human beings. However, recently artificial intelligence have beaten human champions of some intellectual board games such as chess or go. AI can study a vast number of the records of the past games, and from their learning they can anticipate what move the human opponent will take and create better move to win the game. Considering its fast pace of development, it will not be long before AI can decide for human beings what is the best for human being to do. What makes it possible is that computers have far more information or knowledge on which they make a decision, and they can far better judge what should be done and what should be avoided because they can calculate all the possibilities and probabilities in a second. It is obvious intelligence of machines have surpassed ours. (206 words)
Should students be asked to evaluate their teachers?
Yes, I think it’s a good idea for students to evaluate their teachers. They should be asked to express their opinion of how they like the lectures they receive, or how effectively the teachers teach subjects to them. So far, teachers have been evaluating their students by grading the results of exams and class attendances. However, this is one-way evaluation, and this is not fair. From now, students should be involved in education processes. The purpose of evaluation of teachers is to accomplish improvement in education environments and then to inspire students to learn more effectively. If grade from students is low, teachers should reconsider how to teach a subject and devise more appropriate approach to effective teaching. Classes will be revitalized, and students will have become more interested in studying subjects. In this way, mutual evaluation will produce good results both to students and to teachers. (147 words)
How do you think we should avoid food shocks and manage food waste in order to feed the increasing world population? Based on the article, give your suggestions and reasons for your point of view.
We should prepare for food shocks by increasing agricultural production in order to provide enough food with the growing population in the world. At the same time, we should control food waste, especially happening in rich countries, and make food more accessible to the people in poorer countries.
My suggestion for increasing food production is to make agriculture more adaptable to changing weather. Due to the unpredictable weather patterns these days, the land which has little rainfall becomes drier and drier. On the contrast, there are some areas where it begins to rain more often and more heavily. If we cultivate the same kind of crops as we have been, crops won’t adapt to the changed environment, and we can’t expect good harvest. However, if we apply scientific technology to plants, we could produce plants more resistant to extreme weather. In fact, we have already had genetic engineered crops which can survive dry weather or extremely hot weather. We should try to promote crops resistant to extreme weather to be widely adopted in many agricultural areas in the world.
Driverless cars may become more common in the near future. As the article explained, there are advantages and disadvantages in driving these types of vehicles. Based on the article and your own experiences and ideas, please answer this question: What are possible compromises that allow people fully to benefit from the new technology of self-driving cars. （２０１７年２月実施 国際教養大学・A日程）
The most acceptable compromise is that driverless cars are to be programmed to save the most people if accidents can’t be avoided. In this case, people will be reluctant to buy automated cars, because people hope to protect themselves first of all if they are passengers in a self-driving car. However, using self-driving cars gives the society great benefit because accidents caused by human errors or mistakes will be reduced if artificial intelligent have take the place of human drivers.
The article discusses the problem of how driverless cars are programmed when an accident happens. However, first of all, there will be fewer accidents if automated cars are widely used. Human beings sometimes break traffic rules. They speed over the limitation. They drive a car after drinking alcohol. These will lead to serious accidents, the killing of pedestrians, passengers and drivers themselves. However, artificial intelligent never breaks traffic rules. It never drinks alcohol, so its judgement never be disturbed.
Describe your future career and how you plan to prepare for it.
I’d like to be an English teacher in high school. To realize my future plan, I am studying hard for an English competency test. The test requires four skills in English, and I myself must be proficient in English in order to teach English in the future. (47 words)
In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of Japanese style work-life balance.（２０１７年２月実施・北海道大学・医学部及び他学部）
The workplaces in japan give people who work there some advantages such as job security and seniority system. Once a company accept a person as a full-time worker, they wouldn’t fire him/her unless there is a sufficient reason to do so. Workers can continue to work for the same company until the retirement without worrying about being fired. On the other hand, companies require the loyalty from their employees. They work longer, late, on weekends without being paid in order to show their loyalty to their company. (87 words)
What can people in Japan do to improve the experiences of international tourists? (2017.2月実施・九州大学・医学部および医学部以外)
To improve the experiences of foreign visitors to Japan, we should offer a real-life experience to them. Now, more visitors than ever come to Japan from abroad. They go to famous tourist spots such as Kyoto. Seeing such historic sites may be a very good and enjoyable experience, but they will go back to their countries without knowing what the life of ordinary Japanese people is like. Thus, if we offer a room of our house, for example, as accommodation, they will have an idea of the life of Japanese people. They surely go back to their home country with good experiences and memories. (104 words)
・Why should their children inherit this enormous wealth, for which they personally have never worked for a day?
・It is hard to feel sympathy for today’s super-rich, who by and large have gained their wealth as assets rose rather than by years of effort.
・Today, many charities gain considerable funding because moneys would, if left untouched, fall to the government via the estate tax.
・Not all countries have an inheritance or estate tax.
・Some dislike the state interfering with the efforts of individuals. They argue that this is a tax which punishes hard work and success.
・Estate taxes take again from someone who has already paid taxes throughout a working life.
・in places such as UK, where considerable amount of the nation’s heritage has been held by noble families
・abolition of the U.S. estate tax would boost GDP and create around 140,000 jobs.
Should the Japanese government abolish the inheritance tax?
No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.
・a decent national minimum wage would actually stimulate the domestic economy.
・Putting cash into the hands of the poorest ensures it would be spent locally, thus boosting consumption.
・As the bosses at two leading US discount retailers have stated recently, they are in favor of an increased federal minimum wage: most of their customers are among the poorly‑paid.
・a modest increase in wages did not appear to cause any significant harm to employment; in some cases, a rise in the minimum wage even resulted in a slight increase in employment
・Efficiency is actually encouraged by a minimum age.
・Workers are encouraged to gain new skills and to invest in their surroundings.
・Poorly‑paid workers quit early….Yet where hourly rates are higher, it is clear that workers are happy to stay and master the business. This rewards the companies that invest in their workers and reduces hiring costs. Most long‑established firms that have agreed to pay a decent living wage have reported a better standard of work.
・for employers, the minimum wage provides an indirect incentive to invest in technology and increase productivity. Firms can no longer simply count on cheap labor to maximize profits.