Flo-Joe for Cambridge English Exams

Cambridge English: Proficiency

Check out students' answers to Flo-Joe's CPE Writing tasks with a teacher's feedback

Writing Class: Article

Task Type: Article

You have recently read an article from a youth magazine on the problem of inactivity in young people. The magazine has invited its readers to respond to the topic by writing a short article of their own, which answers the following questions:

Why are our young people becoming 'couch potatoes', and what can we do to solve the problem?

You should focus on young people in your country (or a country that you know well).

Write the article for the readers of the magazine. (around 280 - 320 words).

Makeover: Tammo

Read Tammo's answer to this question below. Try correcting the piece of writing yourself first: use the marking codes to think about what might be wrong (or what's good) about the piece of work. Then when you're ready, click the green buttons in the text for our feedback.

There is something wrong with our teenagers. They are less active than those a few decades ago. They spend less time in the community, fewer of them are seen outdoors doing sports. But what has increased is the time teenagers spend using their smartphones and playing computer games, accompanied by an unhealthy diet largely made up of fast food. The consequences are devastating: their waistlines have expanded and the rates for depression and suicide among the youth have skyrocketed. But what are the reasons for this? And what can we do to rectify the status quo? Gd

Identifying the root causes of lifestyle changes in teenagers is a complex topic. Lifestyles reflect the current zeitgeist exemplified by the emergence of digitalisation and social media. Apps enable us to constantly be connected with our friends and the community at large. However, the term social media is a delusion. Despite all its benefits, social media keeps people from really experiencing social interaction. People remain glued to their screens and become sedative WW , whereas our ancestors lived as hunter-gatherers foraging for subsistence. Studies have shown that modern-day hunter-gatherers are extraordinarily fit and healthy. Their health is attributed to group endeavours such as hunting and a pure diet. Gd

There are various ways to make our youth healthier and fitter. Parents should encourage their kids to engage more socially and explain to them the benefits of eating responsibly. Teachers can promote activities boosting confidence and fostering creativity. In addition parents need to supervise their children to do more exercise. Yet this is impractical when they are out at work. Gd

The task ahead is huge: To embrace the benefits of digitalisation and to reactivate the beneficial behaviour patterns of our ancestors. To achieve this requires concerted action by all involved parties. The health of our teenagers hangs in the balance. We must all be concerned, but we should not imagine the worst in the first place. Gd


You have addressed the task appropriately and given a full and very thoughtful answer to the question. You’ve written this in the format of an article and chosen a style that is both engaging and thought provoking. The reader would be fully informed of your views. The article is organised logically with clear paragraphing. Linking words and discourse markers are used very well.
You clearly have an almost native-speaker level of written English. This article is evidence of your ability to use vocabulary and grammar flexibly to express simple and more complex ideas. When few errors are made I try to offer suggestions of more advanced use of vocabulary but in this case I feel you have written something that requires little in the way of improvement in terms of use of English. ‘Sedative’ is generally used to describe medication. Hopefully, ‘lethargic' fits the bill from your point of view.

Marking Code

/\ Word(s) missing

- Omit word

C Capitalization

Gd Good

O Organisation

P Punctuation

PE Poorly expressed

R Register/Formality

SS Sentence Structure

S Spelling

T Tip

WF Wrong form

WO Word order

WT Wrong tense

WW Wrong word