Sample Essay – 55

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Some people think that children should learn a foreign language at primary school, while others believe that it should be postponed until secondary level. Discuss both the views and give your own opinion.
Sample Answer – 1 (Bands : 5.5)
By : Kuljit Dhaliwal
Language is a very useful soft skill in one’s toolset, as it unlocks many doors and expands the group of people you can have a meaningful conversation with. Because, it is so important, many people argue about when is the best time for school children to learn a second language. If the most appropriate time is the primary years or if one should wait till their secondary years of school? there is no one fit all answer as both viewpoints have their pros and cons.
The first group argues that children should start learning a foreign language in their primary schooling. The advantage with this method is that, as per experts, it is easier to master and get proficient in a language as a child.

However, there are only so many skill one can learn in a given time and other skills like basic math and science are more important than another soft skill. Therefore, the second school of thought states: since children are more mature when they enter secondary school, they can make a better choice of what language they actually want to learn. In secondary school, students are also more likely to stick with the course and actually finish it.

In my perspective, very few languages enjoy the power and privilege of english. As it can play a decisive role in where one ends up on the economic ladder, for instance it is impossible to get in some industries such as aviation without a solid command of the language. Therefore, in my opinion, a foreign language such as english should be taught to children in primary years, provided they have a different mother tongue. However, if their primary language is already english, it make more sense to me, to wait till later years.

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