Essay 16 – Reason for learning a foreign language

GT Writing Task 2 (Essay Writing) Sample # 16

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people say that the only reason for learning a foreign language is in order to travel to or work in a foreign country. Others say that these are not the only reasons why someone should learn a foreign language.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

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

Write at least 250 words.


Model Answer 1:
Travelling and migration are two primary reasons for many to learn a foreign language. However, the advantages of learning a second language are multifaceted and are not restrained by the need to communicate to people who use this language. I personally believe that the reason so many people are interested in a second language is diverse.

Adults often enrol in a language course or invest time to enhance their language skills as they understand how crucial it is to be able to communicate with native people when they travel to a different country. The communication skills often determine their professional success or enjoyable holidays in a country far away from home. Similarly, proficiency in a language is often a criterion for immigration. For instance, anyone seeking to migrate to Canada needs the proof of his English, and sometimes French, proficiency. Thus many people learn the language solely for professional and migration requirements.

Nevertheless, there are many other reasons for people around the world to learn a second language. For children, a foreign language is an academic subject and they need the skill, specifically in English, to be able to continue their education while tertiary level education is dominated by the English language in many countries. Furthermore, skill in a foreign language is helpful for better cognitive development and it is backed by scientific research. Finally, people, in this age of technology, learn a different language to make friends beyond the border of his country and read books written in other languages. It also helps their ability to understand the diversity of cultures and traditions.

To conclude, travel and immigration might be the reasons for learning a new language to many, the importance of learning a foreign language goes beyond these two objectives.


Model Answer 2:
Learning a foreign language is a university accepted trend and is utterly advantageous. However, a group of people opine that this skill is required only when someone needs to travel to or work in a different country. I, however, believe that skill in a non-native language is beneficial at every stage of life – beyond the travel and migration facilities.

To begin with, the main objective of learning a language is to communicate with people. From the pre-historic era, people mainly learned a language when they stayed in a foreign land for a long. Thus the skill primarily is required for travellers and immigration seekers. For instance, immigration authority gives extra points for migration seekers and this is a good example how knowledge in a foreign language can help us migrate to a country we prefer.

However, in this modern era, learning a foreign language is not confined to travel and immigration requirements. Rather it is thought to be a necessity for developing someone’s cognitive power, communication skill and understanding of other cultures. For instance, most of the Asian countries have English as their second language and this is a primary requirement for higher studies. Without skills in English, someone can scarcely face an interview. Many books are written in English in those countries and children start learning it from the very beginning of their academic life. Travel or migration requirements are not the only reasons schools teach a foreign language to students. Moreover, it is scientifically proven that people who know a second language are better in academic and professional life. Millions of people who have never travelled or intend to work in a different country learn a foreign language and those people have many online friends who speak the language.

To conclude, travel and immigration are just two examples where people with foreign language skill avail benefits but they are not the only reasons to learn it. There are several other reasons for learning an mastering a foreign language.

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