You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Some people think children are more successful in foreign language studies than adults.
To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.
You should write at least 250 words.
Sample Answer 1:
Learning at least one foreign language has become a necessity in the modern world. Although some people believe that one can easily acquire a new language after extensive learning, others claim that age also plays a considerable role in foreign language acquisition. Indeed, it is much easier for children and teenagers to master a new language than it is for adults and especially elderly people.
To begin with, younger individuals tend to be fast learners due to their developing acquisition skills. Most children and teenagers are used to learning new things, which make mastering a new language as easy as a piece of pie. For instance, toddlers are able to pick up a new language if their parents interact with them using this particular language. However, adults are unlikely to learn a foreign language in the same way.
Then again, adults are too busy at work and have to worry about supporting their family, which certainly distracts them from the process of learning. A good illustration of this case will be evening language courses. Tired after work, adults are not able to make the most of their lessons and thus, cannot learn effectively. Younger people, in their turn, spend a lot of time studying and possess a range of skills to help them improve their foreign language.
Undoubtedly, there are individuals who are so talented that they can learn a new language at any age. However, one has to remember that such people are often a rare exception rather than a common fact.
Research shows that the brain pattern of a child is in better condition to accept new things that the brain pattern of an average adult. This gives a competitive advantage to the curious young people to learn new things easily than the adults. The trends of quickly learning how to operate a computer by younger people are much more efficient than the learning process of an elderly people and this is true for learning a new language as well.
To conclude, learning a foreign language is a challenge for most people. However, younger people have better chances to speak a new language faster compared to those who are over thirty.
(Submitted by Yulia)
Model Answer 2:
The viewpoint that children are better learners became almost a common sense, although it is not always true in terms of learning foreign languages. When it comes to making an approach to, for example, Japanese or French, adults have proven themselves superior learners because of their experience of getting knowledge of their own language and their performance is generally better motivated.
Every adult has some amount of education and it means that he has already received a general understanding of the structure of the native language. Thus, this more or less categorised base usually serves as a template for foreign grammar or vocabulary. A person only has to place new material on certain shelves in his memory and operate them like it his own language. Children, in contrast, are usually confused by any grammar, even of their country. Bringing foreign language to curriculum adds embarrassment because they do not have sufficient understanding of grammatical of semantic categories and can not bring to order such huge amounts of information.
Grown-ups also appear to be more enthusiastic about language studies. As a matter of fact, this skill for them is a tool that can be used to achieve career goals. Obviously, a more motivated individual do better, and even if his abilities are modest, through practice success can come very fast and a lot of success stories can prove it. Kids, though, usually consider second language lessons as a fun or, otherwise, something boring and, even if they tend to absorb knowledge like sponges, without use it rapidly disappears. With no proper encouragement youngsters just do not know they have to practice new words and grammar in order not to forget them.
Thus, while it would not be a mistake to suggest children are naturally better learners, let us not forget that adults are usually better suited to language studies.
(Approximately 304 words)
(This model answer has been prepared by the site developer. However, please note that this is just one example out of many possible answers.)
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