2017年04月12日

Homework Essay

I wrote an essay about language learning as a homework assignment. This will be a good practice for TOEFL or IELTS. I wanted to add more details but I am still a slow writer...

Question:
Do you agree? It’s of more value to enjoy language learning rather than studying for real world goals, such as getting a raise or a new job. (250-500 words)

My essay (before the feedback):
The other day, I had a discussion with my English teacher. He has taught English in numerous countries and realized that motivation is the key to success. Unfortunately, most Japanese students do not have the motivation to learn. Even if they feel they should study, their goals are practical ones, such as passing examinations or getting promoted. In my view, though, such goals are not so valuable as enjoying the language itself, for three main reasons.

To begin with, forced learning is not only ineffective, but also discouraging. In other words, it works only temporarily. There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from within yourself; extrinsic motivation comes from outside. The former is much more powerful than the latter. Once you get benefits from outside, you cannot keep your motivation without incentive pay.

In contrast, if you have true passion for the language, your experiences will be more than valuable. Some people predict that, thanks to advanced technology, similar to Alexa or Siri, you will not have to learn languages in the near future. I believe, however, no matter how advanced mechanical translators are, you could only convey superficial information through them. Communicating by yourself is much more enjoyable, leading to deeper understanding with each other.

Learning for fun also plays an important role in culture and society. As the world is globalized, more and more workers come to live in Japan, which has resulted in cultural conflicts. I think the root cause of the problem is lack of communication. If you learn their languages, such as Vietnamese, Tagalog, or Portuguese, it must be interesting, as well as great help for peaceful coexistence.

In summary, I strongly believe that the joy of language learning is far more valuable than studying for practical goals. As Nelson Mandela said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” (330 words)

My teacher said, "If a student is struggling with the language, how can he or she enjoy it?" That is a big problem...
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