Some people say that the only reason for learning a foreign language is in order to travel to or work in a foreign country | Cambridge IELTS 11 Writing Test 4

IELTS Writing Test Task 2 Essay

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic:

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. Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.
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IELTS Essay | Reasons for learning a foreign language

There are various reasons why people might learn a second language other than for the obvious and practical motives related to traveling or working overseas. Language learning can be undertaken for several other beneficial reasons, as discussed below.

Similar to other learning activities, language learning for an individual is a journey of exploration of a previously unknown topic. This in itself can be a positive motivational force; simply the act of immersing oneself in a new activity, and if done as part of a group such as in a traditional language class as part of a language course, there is also the social element of the experience which might attract individuals to participate in learning a second or even third language. Opportunities to interact socially with others of a like mind are typically plentiful in such situations and the language learning experience can be shared and enjoyed mutually.

In addition, learning another language offers a tremendous opportunity to gain insight into a foreign culture and appreciate the differences between that culture and the culture of the learner. More specifically, those interested in international cuisine may seek to enrich their knowledge through learning the language of the country from which their favorite dishes originate, or an individual in a personal relationship with another from a different culture may wish to learn the language of their partner in order to interact more fully with them and their family. These are only two examples of a myriad of possible situations which might lead to an individual wishing to learn a foreign language.

While travel and employment opportunities overseas might be the primary reasons; and clearly being able to speak the language of a country in which one might be spending an extended period of time is not only practical but also offers a greater probability of fully experiencing the local culture, they are by no means the only reasons why people decide to learn another language.

In conclusion, the range of possible reasons which might motivate people to learn another language are wide and varied, and in a world which is subject to ever increasing globalization, opportunities to use a second language in practice are ample without the need to physically travel or actually be working in a foreign country.

IELTS Writing Task 1 & Task 2