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Exercise 4 Allergies

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For IGCSE ESL Exercise 4 Allergies, this is a good example of a summary which has the appropriate length and language to gain full marks in this part of the exam.


For IGCSE ESL Exercise 4 Allergies you should:
Hint 1Hint 2Hint 3Hint 4

Keep to the word limit – before the examination, check how many words you write on a line, then you’ll know approximately how many lines you will need.

Include all the key facts relating to the subject of your summary. This will mean looking again at the entire text and underlining relevant points.

Try to connect your ideas into a paragraph using linking words.

Use your own words instead of copying from the text as you have more chance of getting a higher mark for language.

TextExample of a summary

Read the article about allergies. Then write a summary explaining why some people develop allergies.

Getting Allergies

Allergy has become more and more common over the last 30 years. Now one-third of us are affected by an allergy at some point in our lives and half of these sufferers are children. In the UK, three million people suffer from asthma, and five per cent of children suffer from food allergy.

Allergy is a reaction that occurs when the immune system has a strange and unnecessary reaction to a substance which is normally harmless, such as pollen or peanuts. To defend your body against an attacker, the immune system remembers these dangerous micro-organisms and attacks them if it meets them again. This work is done by antibodies. The immune system in allergy sufferers makes antibodies against harmless substances because it mistakenly believes them to be dangerous.

An allergic reaction may not happen the first time a sufferer meets an allergen (the substance causing the reaction, such as pollen, milk or strawberries). Sometimes people can eat nuts for years and then suddenly become allergic to them. What has happened is that the immune system has now decided the substance is dangerous and has made an allergy antibody. This antibody then attaches itself to cells, which contain histamine. As they do that, the surface of the cells are broken, and histamine is released. The histamine and other chemicals inflame the tissues. This leads to the symptoms of allergy, such as swelling, rashes, sneezing, sore eyes and breathlessness. Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction of all and is most often triggered by wasp or bee stings or peanuts. This must be treated immediately.

Some people are born with the ability to make lots of allergy antibodies, and they are more likely to develop allergies and allergic disorders such as hay fever and asthma. We eat more processed foods, with a wide range of additives and colourings; more and more people have central heating and double glazing, making our houses warmer and less draughty-an ideal environment to breed the house dust mite.

There may also be a link between allergies and antibiotics. At one time our immune systems were kept busy fighting off disease and trying to win the battle for health, but antibiotics have reduced the amount of work our immune systems have to do. Now experts think they may direct spare energy to harmless substances such as strawberries.

A good deal of research is being devoted to finding a cure for allergies. Sufferers may be given medicine to control symptoms, and they may also be offered tests to find out what substances trigger an allergic reaction so that they can avoid contact with these in future.

More exercises available:

When learning vocabulary, especially helpful are exercises that are focussed on a theme or topic as these provide word retention practise so you can be confident to read, write, speak and listen successfully.

Exercise 1 (Questions 1 -4) - Short answer exercises

Exercise 2 - (Question 5) Gap-filled exercises

Exercise 3 - Matching

Exercise 4 - Multiple Choice

The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. So, our IGCSE ESL Word searches are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings. Word puzzles require not just a good vocabulary and a knack for spelling, but the ability to think logically and strategically. In the case of puzzles like our IGCSE Crosswords, it’s crucial to spell linked words correctly to be able to complete the task. 
Learning English requires not just a good vocabulary, but a strong foundation of all skills to communicate well. Here we provide activities for the IGCSE ESL for all the skills required to be successful in this examination.

Levels Links:
Learn English with our free material for different levels of English. We add exercises on grammar and vocabulary as well as whole text activities on a regular basis. In addition, we provide test practise activities for students who are preparing for the Cambridge Assessment English Main Suite as well as the English Language B for the IB Diploma. The material will also support students studying for the Cambridge Advanced courses.

We provide free resources across the full range of levels to provide the tools to communicate in English well.

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