Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

Learning a foreign language offers an insight into how people from other cultures think and see the world. The teaching of a foreign language should be compulsory at all primary schools. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view?

Many youngsters today are bilingual as their parents teach them their mother tongue which might be different to the official language of a country or they begin learning a foreign language at a young age. The benefits of being fluent in a number of languages cannot be stressed enough. It is very difficult to get a good job or to communicate internationally if you only know one language.

Some key languages such as Mandarin, Spanish and English are widely spoken and it is a good idea to introduce these languages at a primary level. It is much easier for a child to learn vocabulary and grammar at a young age and by the time they become adults this language will be familiar to them. Children, unlike adults, are not shy to speak a foreign language and will have no barriers to learning it. Making language learning compulsory will save a lot of time, money and effort later on in life.

On the other hand it might be a struggle for children who have difficulties grasping their own language or those who have learning difficulties, for example dyslexia. Perhaps it is also hard for a child who has to learn to read and write comfortably in their own language first. However, I still believe that even weak students stand to learn something.

To sum up, someone who is monolingual has fewer opportunities than someone who is multilingual in today's world and this accounts for the popularity of language schools and the young age at which students begin learning a foreign language.

Question taken from Step Up to IELTS Self-Study Student’s Book p.108
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