In order to learn a language well, we should also learn about the country as well as the cultures and lifestyles of the people who speak this language.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
You should write at least 250 words.
IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay Sample
Sample Answer 1:
Language and society are as inextricably linked as a chicken and an egg. Language is
the verbal expression of culture. I strongly agree that in order to learn a language
‘well’ you must also know the culture and lifestyle of the people who speak that
language. In the following essay I intend to support my views with my arguments.
It is true that some successful language learners have never learnt about the culture
and lifestyle of the native speakers. Such learners probably have a gift for learning
languages and would be successful under any circumstances with regular effort. For
most people, however, learning in a social context is the key to learn the language
Language is much more than just a means of communication. It is an art, a science, a
culture, an identity and a vision. It is a lifestyle. It is like seeing the world through
different eyes. For instance, the Eskimos have 24 different words for snow like – ‘aput’
means snow on the ground, ‘gana’ means drifting snow. Snow has a greater impact on
their culture than ours and so on their language. So definitely learning about their
culture and lifestyle would help understand the value of these meanings.
There are dialects, nuances and idioms of a language which can only be learnt if we
learn about the culture and lifestyle of the people. For example, Punjabi is the mother
tongue of people who live in Punjab. It has two dialects which mean ways of
pronunciation and speaking. The two dialects are quite different and can only be
learnt if you spend time with those people or learn about their culture. Then there are
the nuances in a language which means subtle shades of meaning which can also not
be learnt without knowing the lifestyle of people. Finally it is more enjoyable to learn a
language if we learn about the culture and lifestyle. We are more motivated to learn
To put it in a nutshell, I pen down saying that, it is definitely needed to know about
the culture and lifestyle of people if you have to learn a language well. It makes
learning fun and it helps to understand the dialects and nuances of the language.
Model Answer 2:
Learning a language can be easy but being able to communicate like a native speaker and having a well grasp of that language are quite hard as it takes more than learning words and grammatical rules of a language. It is scientifically proved that people often mean completely different things than what they actually say and even a slightest variation of our tone alters the meaning. I quite agree with the viewpoint that to learn a language really well, someone has to learn about the country where this language is spoken and without knowing the cultural, historical and people’s lifestyle someone cannot truly master a language.
First, in order to speak a foreign language people need to learn the grammatical aspects and vocabulary of this language and then practice it for at least a year. On the contrary we learn our mother tongue from our surroundings, parents, teachers, relatives and through life experience. We know when to use an expression, when to use sarcasm, when to shorten a vocabulary and when to avoid a word. This all seems natural to us only because we have learned it from our experience, not from books. However, in case of a foreign language we must learn the people and their life styles in order to properly learn this language. From instance, I had many Spanish speaking friends in my school and I had three courses in this language. I am capable of communicating in Spanish and express my ideas but if someone asks me how far I know about this language, I would say almost nothing. This is because I do not know the cultural and historical aspects of the Spanish people at all.
Second, people learn to communicate in a different language when they migrate to a different country. I personally know many who can fluently speak English after they have migrated and stayed in an English Speaking country. Some of these people were even less educated and since they had the exposure to the culture, people’s life-styles and environment of an English speaking country, they learned the language. From my experience I can say that, learning process of a language can be accelerated when someone has the disclosure of the country and its cultural aspects where it is spoken.
Thus knowledge about a country, its citizens, history, life-style, cultural and traditional aspects are quite important to learn the language spoken there. We learn better by doing something than reading about it and this is also true while learning a language as well. A language is better learned when we know about the people and the country who own it.
Model Answer 3:
Language is an essential exchange tool in our daily life. However, the process of learning is not an easy work. For the purpose of learning it well, some people hold the view that knowledge about a country and local cultures and lifestyles is also indispensable. Personally, I agree this view.
It is a universal acknowledgement that language is the carrier of one nation’s culture. To some extent, it represents a country. Through learning a country’s long history and traditional culture, we can have a broader and cleaner view of the essence involved in a language and therefore improve the whole understand of it.
Furthermore, the process of learning is monotonous, not to mention the language learning. However, if people can spare enough time to learn the local cultures when they are learning a language, they are bound to find interests and be motivated to learn no matter what difficulties they are confronted with. From this perspective, learning culture can spice up learning language.
On the other hand, grammar and vocabulary, the core sectors of a language, will be ignored if we spend more time on cultures of a country. However, if a suitable learning schedule is made, it is reasonable to believe that people will allocate learning time scientifically to guarantee an efficient learning.
Overall, despite it is a challenge for individuals to learn local cultures and lifestyles, the benefits outshine. Meanwhile, people need to arrange time in a reasonable way to ensure other sectors are not influenced.
Model Answer 4:
Nowadays, there is an increasing tendency for the individuals to master more languages besides their mother one, which has a good chance to get a good job in a foreign enterprise or travel to the whole world without language barrier. To learn a language well, some people insist on learning the country together with their cultures and lifestyles of local resident. As far as I am concerned, I fully agree with this opinion and would like to gain an insight into this opinion.
It is obvious that we can gain more benefits through learning a foreign language. For instance, we can know more about the outside world, especially for the youngsters, broaden their horizons and mature their minds. However, it is a little difficult for us to learn a language well even we have learned for many years, as we cannot experience their real life and customs in the daily bias, which plays a significant role in mastering a foreign language.
There is no denying that any language has its own history and application custom. To learn a foreign language well, we also need to spare no effort to concentrate on its history, in terms of their country, the cultures and lifestyles of local inhabitants. First and foremost, it is easy for us to grasp some words as a lot of them have history background. Through learning the country history, we can try to memorize more words by heart. Furthermore, it is a good experience for us to travel to other places throughout the world in the future. We can share the views with them, thereby improving the mutual understanding between us.
In conclusion, I firmly insist on that learning more information about the foreign country as well as their customs and lifestyles in order to learn a foreign language well is more beneficial than grasping the language itself. We can gain more skills through this method.
Model Answer 5:
The topic of whether students should learn about the country when they are studying a new language is of concern for many people. Some suggest that the understanding of culture and lifestyles of the local people plays a vital role in language learning while others disagree. As for me, I strongly agree the former.
Those who encourage learners to get familiar with the native cultures hold the following reasons. Firstly, it will boost the study interests of the students. As some students find that simply memorising the vocabularies and grammatical structures is boring and tedious, the foreign cultures such as living habits and local music seems interest people more, which can easily satisfy the learning desires of them. When people feel that the cultural background of a country is appealing, they are willing to put more effort on the subject.
Secondly, the knowledge of lifestyles and speaking manners benefits the communication with the native speakers. In order to interpret the language more precisely, speakers should be able to use or understand, for example, the correct slangs and idioms in the sentences when delivering their ideas. This can only be achieved by investigation of the culture and mindset.
However, there are some others say that it is a waste of time to investigate irrelevant things. Numbers of them believe that they will never travel to other countries, so it is unnecessary to comprehend the local characteristics. For example, some students who enroll in a language course just want to be more employable as being multilingual is ideal when hunting a job. Thus, only the very basic linguistic skills are needed as they do not want to spend time on irrelevance in the class.
To sum up, I strongly recommend people to learn the cultural background and historical tradition because it can significantly improve the study efficiency.
Model Answer 6:
Today more and more people are feeling inclined to learning more than one languages. As every linguistic expression has a different format and expression, it sometimes raises a question as to whether people should learn about the traditions and ways of life of people associated with the language being learnt. Some people think this factor has a bearing on learning ability while some feel this aspect does not have any relevance.
Every linguistic expression is based on the experience and surroundings of the speakers using it. It is a universal rule that a language is the best indicator of the culture of a civilization and the literary meanings define the ways the people using that language think. To pick up exact and deep understanding of any linguistic expression it therefore becomes imperative for learners of another language to also get knowledge about the traditions and life of original users of that language.
On other hand, some people firmly believe that this argument is grossly inadequate and irrelevant in today’s perspective. As per them, individuals are often learning new languages simply out of compulsion as it may be required to enhance their chances of making it good in professional life.
Besides the compelling factors of profession, it is not necessary for pupils seeking to gain proficiency in another language to grab hints of social customs of native of language as the language may be intended for usage within the surroundings of their own community and country for e.g. Many Asians learn English for using it to communicate within their states and seldom travel out of country.
As per my opinion picking up a language today is not in anyway connected to first exploring native traditions and social set-up of original users of that tongue.
Model Answer 7:
Perhaps the single most important skill that separates humans from other animals is the ability among humans to readily use vocal and written symbols to communicated ideas ranging from simple to highly abstract. This communications revolves not only around the idea to be conveyed but also around the sociocultural environment it is being conveyed in. As such it Is of high importance to be able to understand the dynamic relation of a culture and its language. This essay seeks to establish that being well acquainted with the related culture eases the process of learning language in its entirety.
Firstly, Language formation is a process that goes parallel to the cultural journey. As such a large part of the vocabulary deals with culturally exclusive things or traditions. As these words may not have any parallels in another language it is hard if not impossible to get a functional grip of these words. An example that can be stated here is of Eskimos who are a tribe that have 32 different words for ice, all addressing slightly different states of frozen water. It is not possible to understand all these meanings without having delved into the Eskimo life itself.
Secondly, Language can be very ambiguous depending upon the sociocultural conditions it is functioning in. Even words having close parallels in another language do not guarantee a proper multi-dimensional view of the word. As an example, famous American Guitarist Jack Johnson once got himself into an awkward situation during a practice session with musicians from a 3rd world African country. All he had said was that he was starving and needed to eat. What he did not realize was that the word ‘starving’ does not mean in Africa what it means in USA. The situation could have easily been avoided by being acquainted with the terrible conditions of the 3rd world countries. Understanding well the context of culture and lifestyle is crucial to the proper use of language.
Thus it is evident that language learning and cultural understanding are two complementary processes. In order to learn a new language well it is imperative to integrate the cultural content so that the dynamic relation between language and the condition it functions in can be understood.
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