The Charts Below Show the Proportion of British Students

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
  • 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.

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”.

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

35 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. Hi Lillie, I’m really grateful for your wonderful essays! They help me a lot! I have a question: is it OK if we use items named “others” or “another XX” before other specific items? Would that sound a little weird?

      1. Take this essay as an example. There are several kinds of students, labled as “French only”, “German only”, “Spanish only”. These are quite clear types. But in this chart, there are also groups named as “another language” and “two other languages”. My question is that wouldn’t it sound better if we put these relatively unspecific items after those more specific ones (namely, “French only”, “German only”, “Spanish only”)?

      2. Ahh, yes. But then how are you going to group those categories. In my opinion, the whole point of these two charts is to show the proportion of students who were able to speak other languages increased. “Spanish only” should be the first thing to describe in details paragraphs. Which category should we describe next to reflect what the charts really want to show?

      3. I did a little expriment, but I’m not sure if it works. I’d really appreciate it if you can take a look:

        The pie charts display the proportions of students in a British school who can speak languages other than English (French, German, Spanish and other unnamed languages) in 2000 and 2010.

        Overall, those who can speak at least one more language in addition to English grew in percentage with a halved figure for those speaking no other languages, at only 10 pecent in 2010.

        Spanish-speakers had been the dominant group in both years, with a rise from 30 to 35 percent. The percentage of those speaking German did not show change of any degree, remaining at 10% in both years. In comparison, the French speakers presented a decline: dropping to 10 from 15 percent in 2000.

        Those who can speak another one and two other languages all experienced an upward trend of the same extent. The former group had a 5 percent rise, reaching 20 percent in 2010; ending up at 15 percent in 2010, the latter also saw a climb from only 10 percent in 2000.

      4. Hi, Silver. In my opinion, you’re just listing the six categories without any purpose. What do you try to say by grouping together “Spanish only”, “German only” and “French only”?

        In the overview, you say the proportion of those who were able to speak at least one other language increased. But your next paragraph doesn’t reflect this.

        With that said, this is a language test, not a data science test. So don’t worry too much about data grouping.

      5. I see. This problem has bothered me so long time. Thank you soooooo much for your patience and all the answering!

  2. hey Lil could you please look into my task and score me asap because my exams are tomorrow and i found that this website is cool to learn and gain knowledge

  3. The pie chart illustrates the proportion of British students who were able to speak several languages in addition to English at one university in 2000 and 2010.

    To begin with Spain language accounted for three in ten students in the year 2000 and slightly increased to just above a third in the year 0f 2010 respectively. Two in ten students sow no other language in 2000 and dropped to one in ten students in 2010.
    In addition, Two other languages and German show one in ten students similarly but two other languages increased up to 15 percent in 2010 while German remains one in ten. Meanwhile French and other languages also show 30 percent collectively, but by 2010 proportion of an the language accounted for a fifth showing the second-largest percentage used by the students to speak at the university.

    In contrast, usage of Spain language dramatically increase by showing the largest spoken language while no other language, French and German proposed one in ten students respectively.

  4. The pie charts display the amounts of British University students in UK who have the ability of speaking foreing languages apart from English in 2000 and 2010.
    Overall,while the percentages of people who only spoke Spanish,another languages and two other languages had the upward trends,the proportions of the figures which are no other languages and French had the downward trends over the period given.
    With regards to the amount of Spanish-only speakers, it was the most widely spoken language among the students in both years,which accounted for 30% in 2000 and 35% in 2010. Moreover, learners who could spoke two other languages ,at 15% and two other languages, with the figure of 10% in 2000, rose to 20% and 15% respectively.
    On the other hand, although the proportions of students who were able to speak no other languages and only French started at different rates,accounting for 20% and 15% respectively . Then both of the groups decreased to the same level which was 20%. The numbers of students who could interact with only German remained stable in 2000 and 2010.

  5. Can we use “Speaking” instead of “who spoke”, or “being able to speak” instead of “who were able to speak…”?

    Warmest regards,

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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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