This is the third question from the Official Cambridge IELTS Book 11.
This sample uses many of the skills we used in the Free 5-day IELTS Task 2 Writing Course, as well as more advanced techniques and language from the 4-Week IELTS Task 2 Writing Course.
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 these are not the only reasons why someone should learn a foreign language.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Recently, educators are interested in learning exactly why foreign language learning is popular. The question is, is it true that people on learn foreign languages for travel or work?
To start with, it cannot be denied that employment and travel are strong reasons for learning another language. Proponents of this view point out that the globalization of business has driven a strong demand for language proficiency. To put it another way, those who are best able to communicate in English and in the language of clients and customers, have an advantage when it comes to negotiation, sales, and every aspect of customer service. Consequently, these employers encourage language skills among their employees and recruits. Similarly, global tourism has greatly increased the number and variety of tourists, which in turn fosters a need to cater to these tourists in their own language. This is the main reason why many tourist destinations have English speakers, as well as increasingly now, Chinese speakers.
On the other hand, it is easily argued that there are other equally powerful reasons to do so. The first reason is overseas learning. Every year millions of non-native English speakers prepare for exams such as IELTS and TOEFL with the sole purpose of study. Another motivation is to better understand their spouses or families. As multi-national marriages and families become more common, there is a greater need to learn additional languages to deepen relationships. A foreign-language speaking spouse’s parents are a case in point. Finally, some people enjoy learning other languages merely because they enjoy the experience. These people may never travel, but find the different rules and ways of thinking fascinating.
In conclusion, while there is no doubt that foreign language skills are important for business, it cannot be denied that other strong motivations also exist. Therefore, I believe both positions have merit.
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