Some People Say That the Only Reason for Learning a Foreign Language

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.

This essay question is in Cambridge IELTS 11 Test 3 Writing Task 2.

Sample Essay

There have been conflicting views on whether or not traveling or working abroad should be the sole reason for learning a second language. I believe this motivation should not be the only reason because knowing a second language can greatly improve a person’s odds of success in life.

Those who argue that the sole purpose of learning a new language is to visit another country may believe that they will never need to use multiple languages at home (here, “home” means your own country). They can simply use their mother tongue to accomplish any task, whether it is a project at work, ordering food at a restaurant, or shopping at a grocery store. However, I do not think this is true for everyone. There are people who might need to, for example, read books written in another language or hire a foreigner on a global freelancing platform, which makes foreign language learning necessary even if they have no plan to leave their home country. 

Those on the other side of the argument say that even if a person is not going to visit another country, they should still learn a new language to increase their chances of success in life. Being able to communicate in another language means that a person can learn from people who speak that language, whether through books or social media platforms. Consider the Chinese entrepreneur Alex Wong. He would not have been able to go from being broke to being a multi-millionaire if he had not mastered English. Doing so created opportunities for him to network in Facebook groups with American businessmen and be inspired by American hustle culture. I agree with this argument because, after all, almost everyone wants a successful life.

In conclusion, while there may be no need for most people to use a foreign language at home, I believe they should still learn one to improve their likelihood of succeeding in life. (315 Words)

How to Vary Your Language

A foreign language
  • Another language
  • A second language
  • A new language
Learn (a foreign language)

I recommend not changing the verb “learn” in your paraphrase of the question statement. However, you can use these verbs in your body paraphrase to vary your language: 

  • Speak (another language)
  • Use (another language)
  • Know (another language)
  • Communicate in (another language)

9 CommentsLeave A Comment

    1. Sorry for the late reply. You’re definitely right. I made some changes. Please have a read and see if you like it better now.

  1. I am not getting the essay, is this about why people “should” learn a foreign language or about why people learn foreign language ( for what reason they learn it in general)

    1. Hi Arna, in Body Paragraph 2, I discuss that people SHOULD learn a foreign language because it can increase their chances of success in life.

  2. Hi, your website and the essays you wrote are amazingly helpful, I really appreciate your kindness to share all these valuable information.

  3. In the second sentence, should it be written the “when living in its own country” instead of “their own country” because of “a person”?
    Thank you for response in advence.

    1. Hi, this is really a great question. The use of “their” as a singular pronoun that is gender-neutral is well established. This is better than “his or her”, which is clumsy. Simply search for “using their to refer to one person” on Google.

  4. Recently, the number of people learning a foreign language has increased on an unprecedented scale. Some society members allege that the true explanation to acquire another language is travelling or working overseas. Contrastingly, others assume that these are not the only reasons justifying second language acquisition. There are cogent arguments on both sides, which will be discussed in detail, followed by my own perspective on the matter.

    It is true that people eagerly tend to become familiar with a new language for either occupation or travel. To clarify, globalization has left a far-reaching impact on the economy of all nations and tremendously promoted the growth of multinational companies. While the number of working individuals rises, the demand to study all four skills of a foreign language will double. Accordingly, if people intend to visit a new country, they have to practice basic conversations in the target language to communicate with the locals whenever possible.

    Nonetheless, travelling or working is not the only reason why many are trained for. First, students urgently feel the need to study foreign languages because many degree programs make this process of learning mandatory. As the students learn these languages, they can perceive and appreciate cultural diversity. Society members, moreover, are motivated to acquire a foreign language since many professional careers in the United Kingdom and Australia require IELTS or TOEFL certification.

    In conclusion, although some of the reasons are travel or work-related, other justifications are purely personal or recreational in nature. Admittedly, I believe that making too much effort to acquire a second language will be more appreciated for either academic or professional purposes

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