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Learning foreign languages
Speaking (p. 7) Task 1 (Suggested Answer)

     Many people nowadays are learning foreign languages. It’s important for anyone who wants to work or study abroad. For example, if you’re interested in working in another country, or in having a job that involves working with foreigners, it’s necessary to know at least one foreign language.

     In my country, nearly every university student knows another language. English is the most popular, but it’s not the only one people are learning. I have friends who have learned two or more new languages. Most of them study languages at school, but there are other ways to learn. For example, there are free courses on the Internet.You can also learn with CDs and DVDs. And, of course, you can always buy a book and study without a teacher. But learning only from books can be a bit boring, so it’s nice sometimes to do some extra things to make learning more enjoyable. For instance, it’s fun to watch films from other countries, or to listen to international music and try to learn the song lyrics. And there are many people who improve their English by making friends on the Internet and staying in touch with them.

     I speak English and French, and I like them both because you can use them in so many countries. But I’d also like to learn an Asian language. I’m considering Japanese, because I’m interested in travelling in Japan.

Extra Questions (Suggested Answers)

 • Yes, it’s better to begin learning a foreign language from a young age, because it takes many years to master a language.You are also more likely to speak with a better accent if you begin speaking the language as a child.
• I’d love to take a summer course in a foreign country. It would be an excellent way to improve in a foreign language, and it would also be a wonderful travel experience.
• I can speak English well, but I’d still like to improve. In particular, I’d like to have a larger vocabulary. I also make mistakes in grammar.
• In my opinion, the hardest thing about a new language is the grammar. Even if you know a language well, it’s still easy to make mistakes when you are speaking, and it takes many years of practice to avoid those mistakes.

Task 2 (Suggested Answer)

     These days, it seems that wherever you turn, you see or hear something in what has become the world’s lingua franca, English. Because of this, it has been suggested that all children should learn English from a young age. There are, however, both pros and cons to this complicated issue. There are many reasons why learning English at a young age is a good idea. To begin with, children learn quicker and better than adults. There minds are still developing and are receptive to new concepts. In addition, having another language when they leave school will be an incredible advantage in the job market.  

   On the other hand, there are those that say that learning another language as a child is useless. Firstly, many children will not need another language in their daily lives. Also, that children should be concentrating on their native reading and writing skills, not those of a foreign country.

     To conclude, there are two very different sides to this controversial issue. It is very much a matter for the individual parents involved. But we should not forget the Czech proverb, ‘Learn a new language and get a new soul.’

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