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IELTS activity: Do our ears get bigger with age?

We explore whether our ears get bigger as we get older in this IELTS reading activity. 

In an IELTS class, we were talking about our families, particularly about grandparents and great-grandparents, and about getting older. While looking at photos on each other’s phones one student asked the question: “why are older people’s ears bigger than young people’s?” This seemed like a strange question but, as we discovered, it wasn’t.

Before reading the science article below, check the meaning of the 7 useful academic IELTS words in the box and then put them into the correct space.

             concurred   research   validity   phenomenon   journal  produced   mean

As people age we may notice that their ears appear to get bigger but does this really happen? The scientific ________of this frequent observation has sometimes been challenged by those who maintain that ears do not grow larger with age. They say that, in fact, this is just an illusion ________ by the shrinking of the main body which then gives the appearance of ear growth. Is there actually any valid scientific research into the ________?

In 1994, Drs A Smith and K Young, based at LMT in the University of Prepbyrn measured the ears of 2,138 children and adolescents. They reported in the medical ________ “Paediatrics Today” that, with age, ear length increases at a steady pace year on year. Dr Jane Amery, a GP based in Paris, Texas studied 314 with the ________ age of 69. She found that, on average, ears get bigger by 0.18mm a year.

In 1995, The Irish Medical Journal, published a study that ________ with Dr Amery. Their longitudinal study of 350 patients aged 30 and older concluded that "there is a strong correlation with ear size and age”. So, why do ears grow longer with age? That is a question for further ________.

Bell London teacher teaching his students.

Answers

As people age we may notice that their ears appear to get bigger but does this really happen? The scientific validity of this frequent observation has sometimes been challenged by those who maintain that ears do not grow larger with age. They say that, in fact, this is just an illusion produced by the shrinking of the main body which then gives the appearance of ear growth. Is there actually any valid scientific research into the phenomenon?

In 1994, Drs A Smith and K Young, based at LMT in the University of Prepbyrn measured the ears of 2,138 children and adolescents. They reported in the medical journal “Paediatrics Today” that, with age, ear length increases at a steady pace year on year. Dr Jane Amery, a GP based in Paris, Texas studied 314 with the mean age of 69. She found that, on average, ears get bigger by 0.18mm a year.

In 1995, The Irish Medical Journal, published a study that concurred with Dr Amery. Their longitudinal study of 350 patients aged 30 and older concluded that "there is a strong correlation with ear size and age”. So, why do ears grow longer with age? That is a question for further research.

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