Essay 286 – The potential benefits of foreign language study

GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 286

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In some educational systems, children are required to study one or more foreign languages. In others, foreign language study is not a requirement.

What are the potential benefits of foreign language study?
Do you think foreign language study is an important part of education?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer 1:

Many education systems offer one or more foreign languages, while some do not integrate them into their curriculum. Personally, I assert that learning a second language is a vital part of education because of the advantages it brings.

Foreign language study reaps many advantages of bilingualism. For a start, a second language improves children’s skills on SAT and GRE. One recent study has revealed that SAT-verbal scores increase with the duration of time pupils have studied the second language. Besides, a second language study provides a competitive advantage in career choices as it enhances employability. That is to say that, language education is crucial for the workforce of the future and being bilingual or multilingual can open up a horizon of job opportunities. An increasing number of companies than ever are operating businesses in several regions across the world, but they cannot do it without recruiting employees who can speak at least one foreign language.

In my opinion, foreign language study is an essential part of education in this conflict-stricken world. The reason is that it promotes empathy. Put simply, children in a multilingual atmosphere gain social experiences that offer routine practice in considering the different paradigms of thought, thereby helping them to become broad-minded, sensible, and tolerant individuals. In fact, if people are aware of the fact that human beings are all cultural products of their own environment and can recognize the cultural foundation for their own behaviour and attitudes, they are more likely to accept others in a more favourable light. Consequently, it will avert conflicts between nations. This is why foreign language study proves to be a core part of education.

It seems logical to conclude that foreign language study is a crucial part of an education system. Therefore, every school should create a conducive environment for learning at least one foreign language.

Model Answer 2:

The requirement of studying foreign languages in educational systems has been a subject of debate. While some educational institutes have made foreign language study mandatory for their students, others do not have this requirement. This essay will explore the potential advantages of learning foreign languages and present arguments supporting the view that foreign language study is indeed an important part of education.

One of the significant benefits of learning foreign languages is the development of cognitive abilities. Research has shown that studying a foreign language enhances critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and overall mental agility. Learning a new language requires understanding grammar rules, memorising vocabulary, and practising communication, which, according to different research, stimulate brain activity and improve cognitive functions.

Another advantage is the cultural enrichment that comes with foreign language study. Language is deeply intertwined with culture, and by learning a foreign language, students gain insights into the customs, traditions, and values of different societies. This promotes intercultural understanding, fosters empathy, and cultivates a global perspective, for example, which are essential in today’s interconnected world.

Foreign language study is an important part of education for several reasons. Firstly, it enhances communication skills. In a globalised society, being able to communicate in multiple languages opens up doors to diverse career opportunities and facilitates meaningful cross-cultural interactions. Proficiency in foreign languages enables individuals to engage with people from different backgrounds, build relationships, and bridge cultural gaps. Moreover, foreign language study promotes academic achievement. Research indicates that students who study foreign languages often perform better in other subjects, including mathematics, reading, and problem-solving.

In conclusion, foreign language study offers numerous potential benefits, including cognitive development, cultural enrichment, improved communication skills, and enhanced academic achievement. Considering the interconnected nature of the world and the growing importance of cultural competence, it is clear that foreign language study is an essential component of education.

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