The Charts Below Show the Proportion of British Students

Lilie King

Lilie King

Scored a 7 on the Writing Test Twice

The charts below show the proportions of British students at one university in England who were able to speak other languages in addition to English, in 2000 and 2010.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 11 Test 2 Writing Task 1.

the charts below show the proportions of british students

Sample Essay

The pie charts display the percentages of British students from one English university who were able to speak languages other than English in 2000 and 2010.

Overall, the proportion of students who were able to speak other languages went up in 2010, with Spanish being the most commonly spoken one in both years.

Those who only spoke Spanish accounted for the greatest proportions of students in both 2000 and 2010, at 30 and 35 percent respectively. With an increase to 20 and 15 percent, those who spoke another language and those who spoke two other languages became the second and third largest groups in 2010. The proportion of those who spoke no other languages, in comparison, dropped by half to only 10 percent.

Of those who were able to speak other languages, French-only speakers were the only group whose proportion experienced a decline from 15 to 10 percent, while the proportion of German-only speakers stayed at 10 percent.

158 Words

Common Mistakes

Please don’t use “a foreign language” or “a second language” to paraphrase “another language”, because an increasing number of British school pupils have a first language which isn’t English and this will eventually work its way through to college and university student level. You can’t call someone’s first language a second or foreign language. So, don’t worry about repeating “another language”.

How to Write the Overview Paragraph

It would be too detailed if you say which categories increased, which ones decreased, and which ones remained unchanged. In this paragraph, we are better to look at the bigger picture: see all the yellow slices as a whole. Then, you will find that as a whole, it increased.

the charts below show the proportions of british students at one university

Here, I’m treating all the yellow slices as a whole, as the only alternative to “students who were not able to speak another language”. That’s why I used the singular form “proportion” instead of the plural form “proportions”.

Overall, the proportion of students who were able to speak other languages went up in 2010, with Spanish being the most commonly spoken one in both years.

Another reason for not saying “proportions” is that not all proportions increased. For example, “French-only” decreased.
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22 Responses

  1. Given are the pie charts illustrating the percentages of British students knowing other languages apart from English in 2000 and 2010.

    Overall, there was an increase in percentage of students who speak only English, while the percentage decreased significantly in the Spanish speakers group.

    To begin with, in 2000, 30% of British students in one university were able to speak only their mother tongue, followed by students being able to speak Spanish with 20%. There were similar numbers in the figures of French only and another language with 15 percent. Similarly, 10% proportions were taken in the German only aspect and the two other languages aspect.

    Despite the high percentage of respondents who were speaking Spanish in 2000, there was a drop of 10% in 2010, changing the Spanish only figure to be 10%, which was having an identical number with the German only figure and the French only figure. Conversely, there are a rise of 15% in the Another language figure and the percentage of trilingual group in 2010.

  2. It seems correct to say “a foreign language” because if your first language is not English you are still studying in England so your first language is a foreign language in that country.

    1. There are immigrants’ kids who are bilingual. Both English and Spanish, for example, are their first languages. They wouldn’t call Spanish a foreign language, would they?

    1. Hi, all the essays on this site were corrected and improved by native English speakers. I think they deserve at least an 8.

  3. he supplied pie charts provide information about the languages that British students from an English university are able to speak other than English, in the years 2000 and 2010.

    Overall, in both years, the most spoken language from British students was Spanish and the least spoken was the German language. However, those years presented some differences regarding the other languages.

    Particularly, in 2000, 30% of British students were able to use Spanish, whereas ten years later, it increased by 5%. Interestingly, one-fifth of the students in 2000 were not speaking any other language except for English, while this portion saw a decrease in 2010 and reached 10%, which was the same proportion that the German and French language maintained for the latter year. By contrast, in 2000, French was spoken by 15 percent of British students and German-held the same proportion for both years.

    Simultaneously, the students that were speaking another language accounted for 15% in 2000 and 20% in 2010. It is also worth noticing that the portion of British students speaking two other languages rose from 10% in 2002 to 15% in 2010.

  4. Please help me to correct my answer.

    The pie charts illustrate statistics on speaking skill on different languages as French, German, Spanish and other languages instead of English, British students at a university in UK in the years of 2000 and 2010.
    Overall, Spanish Language is most common language as has most significant growing proportion from the years of 2000 to 2010, while no changement has shown in German spoken British students within above 10 years.
    Ratio of British students having ability to speak another language and two other languages increased by 5% at the end of 2010.
    The percentage of British students capability to speak French language reduced from 15% to 10% within that 10 years period whereas British student unable to speak other language has dropped by two-fold at the end of 2010.

  5. The given pie charts represent the information about the languages that british students from one university were able to speak more languages other than english from 2000 to 2010.As we can see that,The most popular language was spanish spoken by british pupils in both years.30% students in 2000 and 35% in 2010 respectively.Where as,Two other languages and German language were the least spoken by students in 2000.They were only 10% undergraduates.Moreover,20% of students of one university did not knew no other language accept english in 2000.Pupils who only spoken english were decreased by 10% in 2010.

    After spanish language,Another language was the second popular language spoken by students at one university in 2010. 20% bristish students were spoken this language.Ratio of french and German language were equal.only 10% students knew these languages in 2010.In addition to this,The other two languages were more spoken by students as compared to German and French language.Their ratio were 15% who spoken this language.To conclude,Spanish was the eminent language as compare to other languages in both years and German language was the least in given period of time.

  6. you have used the word “proportion” many times, probably six times, therefore, i will give you a band 6 for this writing. Instead of proportion, you can use words namely, amount, volume, number, percentage, allotment

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and mark my essay. Unfortunately, the alternatives you suggested don’t work here except “percentage”. If the total number of students was 25K in 2000 and 15K in 2010, the number of students who were able to speak Spanish actually decreased. An increase in percentage doesn’t equal an increase in number, amount or volume.

  7. Hello Lillie, I read your “Common Mistakes” section after I posted my essay :’) Looks like I got it all wrong :’) Anyway, thank you for your help.

    1. Sorry for the late reply. Please don’t try to avoid using the original wording at the expense of accuracy. I’ll just give you one example here.

      ✖Speakers of another language and more than two languages have also strenghten their popularity by 5% between those years.
      ✔The proportions of those who spoke another language and those who spoke two other languages both increased by 5% between the two years.

      “Popular” and “popularity” are not suitable for this essay.

      Also, pupils are children in primary and secondary schools.
      A “student” is someone attending a post-secondary educational establishment (a university or college).

  8. Pie charts display the percentages of British students who were able to speak languages other than English at a certain university in UK, in 2000 and 2010. The languages in question are French, German, Spanish and another language.
    Overall, most of the students were able to speak at least one other language besides English. Furthermore, ratio of monolingual students seem to decrease between given years.
    Spanish is the most popular second language both in 2000 and 2010 with at least 30% and 35 % respectively. Speakers of another language and more than two languages have also strenghten their popularity by 5% between those years.
    On the other hand, pupils interested in French as a second language decreased from 15% to 10% in 2000 and 2010 respectively, while German as a second language maintain the same ratio (10%) on both these surveys. Yet, students who were able to speak at least one other language has enhanced their proportion by 10%.

      1. Hello Lilie, I read your eassy . After I would written this eassy . So I sending my eassy with your email address. So I was judged my eassy which sentence wrong or right.

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