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IELTS TASK 2: social and practical problems caused due to language barriers

rayng123 1 / 1  
Jun 30, 2020   #1

living in foreign countries and language issue

HI everyone! I am going to take the IELTS exam and I will be very grateful if you could give me your precious comments. I spotted several grammatical errors but I didn't correct them since I want to provide the authentic text that I have written under the time limit. The followings are the details of the topic.

Write about the following topic:

Living in a country where you have to speak in a foreign language can cause serious social problems as well as practical problems. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

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

Write at least 250 words.


To a large extent I agree with this statement. In the following paragraphs I would like to explain what social problems and practical problems would be caused due to language barriers.

First and foremost, one of the social problems which causes difficulty in a foreign -language-speaking country is the barriers of communication. Effective communication requires mutual understanding, and this is more or less dependent on language proficiency since high level of proficiency allows speakers and listeners to express and receives ideas respectively without difficulties. A person may encounter communication difficulties if he or she is not competent enough in a foreign language. This can cause some huge problems such as misunderstanding, conflict and sometimes even verbal or physical violence.

Apart from communication difficulties, cultural differences is another issue aroused from living in a foreign-language-speaking country. Even if one could achieve a high level of language proficiency so that he or she can communicate with native speakers with difficulties, they may still encounter the cultural difference involved in language use. Take British English and American English as an example, even though they are both a variation of English and share the same syntactic and similar phonological systems, the usage of words are quite different, such as biscuit versus cookie, truck versus lorry and pavement versus sidewalk. There differences are subtle, but may sometimes be considered by native speakers as unusual, if not unnative. This may also affect the empression from others, causing some degree of discrimination.

In addition to the above two social problems, one practical problem for living in a foreign-language-speaking country is the employment issue. One cannot deny the fact that language is an important factor when it comes to finding a job in a foreign country. Not only is it about your language competence, but also about your nativeness in the language, where your accent is considered to be a reference to measure your nativeness. Truth be told, accent is one of the aspects in language proficiency that ss very difficult, if not possible, to improve. However, this may be the first thing noticed by the employer in a job interview. The accent issue, together with the aforementioned potental problems in language use, may affect how the employers view your nativeness in the language, and therefore how they consider your job application.

All in all, living in a foreign country where speaking a second is necessary could be problematic. Personally, the issues mentioned in this article should be deeply considered before moving to a foreign country.

(418 words)

Thank you for your help!
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 12,678 4113  
Jun 30, 2020   #2
I realize that you are a highly qualified typist. That is, you have an admirable typing speed since you were able to type almost 500 words. However, the essay you provided, though wordy, is not of the quality that will help you get a high level score. You see, the scoring is not based on the number of words you can type, it is based on the perfect quality of the discussion, reasons, and lack of grammatical and vocabulary errors. Hence, exam takers are always advised to write only 275-290 words. That is so you will have the opportunity to edit the essay before submission. Now, I am glad that you said you noticed your errors in the presentation. You should have taken that time to correct it already. It is better for you to get no corrections from a contributor or less corrections, than to have you leave errors in the essay which could affect the review of your work. Self-editing is important in the Task 2 essay, so you should take the chance to do it whenever you get the chance.

Now, the opening paragraph is lacking in presentation. You need to summarize the original topic presentation by restating it in your own words. While your response to the question is properly formatted, you should not simply state your response to the question. That is only half the required task for that paragraph. Always include the following:

- Rephrased topic
- Reason for the discussion
- Response to the given discussion question

By properly delivering the first paragraph requirements, you will be able to achieve a maximum TA score consideration. That is the most important part of the scoring section so you should work hard to perfect that part.

You over discussed the essay. Based on the required discussion topics, you need to have only presented 2 reasoning paragraphs based on the topics:
- Social problems
- Practical problems

Always remember to look for the discussion instructions and topic outline from within the original prompt. Outline it first so that you do not waste time writing an unnecessarily long essay. For this, the outline would have been:

Topic: Living in a country where you have to speak in a foreign language
Discussion points: serious social problems as well as practical problems
Discussion Question: To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Outlining helps you write a proper draft. It also helps to properly focus the discussion / reasoning paragraphs so that you do not write too many words composed of irrelevant discussion points.

The concluding paragraph should have been properly formatted to represent:
- The rephrased original topic
- 2 discussion topics
- Opinion / restated response
- Discussion closing sentence (optional)

So the format for your essay is off. It should only represent:
- Restatement + question response
- reason 1
- reason 2
- Concluding paraphrase

One last note before I sign off on this discussion. Try to insert the use of first person pronouns in the essay since you are being asked to discuss your opinion, based on a yes or no extent question within the essay. It will help you increase your GRA score since you will be presenting a well rounded discussion that proves your ability to use pronouns, which is a foundation rule when it comes to English writing. You must known how and when to remind the reader that he/she is reading your personal opinion, based on the given discussion topic. It keeps the reader on track and helps the reader understand whose opinion is being presented.

A generalized opinion, one that does not use pronouns, lessens your GRA scoring consideration as the speaker in the essay is not clear to the reader. Without pronouns, it appears that you are presenting a general discussion, rather than a personal discussion, as per the requirements of the discussion instructions.

I avoided reviewing the grammar problems for now as we have to first make sure that you know how to properly format your response, as expected by the examiner, before we move on to the grammar errors. Correcting that will not be useful if you did not properly present the discussion in the first place.
OP rayng123 1 / 1  
Jul 1, 2020   #3
Thank you so much for providing me the detailed comments on my essay. I am really grateful for your recommendation of writing strategies. Actually I have written the essay by hand and re-type the essay for the sake of uploading online, but I have completed the two writing tasks within the one-hour time limit. Concerning the corrections, it is true that I didn't leave time for proof-reading. After reading your comments, I think I have written too much for the essay and I should spare some time for self-editing and proof-reading. My pre-writing strategy is a bit immature as well probably because this is the first time I did the writing tasks.

However, I have two more follow-up questions concerning your comments.

There is one aspect in your comments where I am confused. You said that I should include the reason for the discussion, but what does it mean actually? Does it mean that I should explain for the reasons why the discussion is important? E.g. Given the fact that immigration has become more common due to globalization, Ones should consider whether they are competent enough to speak a second language in order to survive in a foreign country?

Also, you have mentioned that a rephrased topic is needed. Does it mean that a topic is always required for task 2?

Thank you again for your comments. They are really useful and I will improve my writing through this directions.

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