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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of minority languages from the real IELTS exam.

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IELTS Essay: Minority Languages

Some feel governments should invest in preserving minority languages, while others feel this is not a good use of resources.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Many are of the belief that it would be worthwhile for governments to prioritise the preservation of various minority languages. In my opinion, despite limited potential efficacy this sentiment is justifiable.

Detractors of this proposal argue that investment is unlikely to have a major impact. In order for minority groups to earn a living and enjoy the conveniences of the modern world, they require knowledge of a nation’s most widely spoken language. In fact, many indigenous peoples themselves desire to move away from their hometowns to live in large cities and join the modern workforce. For example, in the Hmong people of Southeast Asia, it is typically the older generation that seeks to communicate in their native tongue and preserve traditional ways of life. The younger generation, generally, would rather learn the most useful language and integrate with the dominant national culture. Therefore efforts by governments oppose what individuals desire and are unlikely to be successful.

Nonetheless, there is cultural value in preserving a language. A language uniquely represents and codifies the external world. Everything from the verb structures and choice of nouns to the intonation and rhythm of the language present a singular way of interacting with and deciphering the world at large. For example, in many languages there are words that are not precisely translatable and users therefore are more likely to see events and objects differently. As the world becomes increasingly globalised, I would argue that the importance of a plurality of perspectives only becomes more crucial. If such languages die out, they will likely never be resurrected and the world will be poorer for the loss.

In conclusion, regardless of the potential challenges faced in preserving minority languages, their continued existence is essential to diversity. Governments must therefore make every effort to ensure their survival.

Analysis

1. Many are of the belief that it would be worthwhile for governments to prioritise the preservation of various minority languages. 2. In my opinion, despite limited potential efficacy this sentiment is justifiable.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Detractors of this proposal argue that investment is unlikely to have a major impact. 2. In order for minority groups to earn a living and enjoy the conveniences of the modern world, they require knowledge of a nation’s most widely spoken language. 3. In fact, many indigenous peoples themselves desire to move away from their hometowns to live in large cities and join the modern workforce. 4. For example, in the Hmong people of Southeast Asia, it is typically the older generation that seeks to communicate in their native tongue and preserve traditional ways of life. 5. The younger generation, generally, would rather learn the most useful language and integrate with the dominant national culture. 6. Therefore efforts by governments oppose what individuals desire and are unlikely to be successful.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.
  5. Stay focused on the same main idea.
  6. Finish by adding extra detail.

1. Nonetheless, there is cultural value in preserving a language. 2. A language uniquely represents and codifies the external world. 3. Everything from the verb structures and choice of nouns to the intonation and rhythm of the language present a singular way of interacting with and deciphering the world at large. 4. For example, in many languages there are words that are not precisely translatable and users therefore are more likely to see events and objects differently. 5. As the world becomes increasingly globalised, I would argue that the importance of a plurality of perspectives only becomes more crucial. 6. If such languages die out, they will likely never be resurrected and the world will be poorer for the loss.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. Conclude by relating it back to the overall topic.

1. In conclusion, regardless of the potential challenges faced in preserving minority languages, their continued existence is essential to diversity. 2. Governments must therefore make every effort to ensure their survival.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Many are of the belief that it would be worthwhile for governments to prioritise the preservation of various minority languages. In my opinion, despite limited potential efficacy this sentiment is justifiable.

Detractors of this proposal argue that investment is unlikely to have a major impact. In order for minority groups to earn a living and enjoy the conveniences of the modern world, they require knowledge of a nation’s most widely spoken language. In fact, many indigenous peoples themselves desire to move away from their hometowns to live in large cities and join the modern workforce. For example, in the Hmong people of Southeast Asia, it is typically the older generation that seeks to communicate in their native tongue and preserve traditional ways of life. The younger generation, generally, would rather learn the most useful language and integrate with the dominant national culture. Therefore efforts by governments oppose what individuals desire and are unlikely to be successful.

Nonetheless, there is cultural value in preserving a language. A language uniquely represents and codifies the external world. Everything from the verb structures and choice of nouns to the intonation and rhythm of the language present a singular way of interacting with and deciphering the world at large. For example, in many languages there are words that are not precisely translatable and users therefore are more likely to see events and objects differently. As the world becomes increasingly globalised, I would argue that the importance of a plurality of perspectives only becomes more crucial. If such languages die out, they will likely never be resurrected and the world will be poorer for the loss.

In conclusion, regardless of the potential challenges faced in preserving minority languages, their continued existence is essential to diversity. Governments must therefore make every effort to ensure their survival.

Answers

of the belief believe

worthwhile important

prioritise place more importance on

preservation keep alive

various different types

minority languages less widely spoken languages

despite regardless of

limited potential efficacy no much actual effect

sentiment feeling

justifiable reasonable

detractors critics

proposal suggestion

investment money, time, etc.

major impact large effect

minority small group

earn a living make money

conveniences modern luxury’s

modern world today’s world and lifestyles

require knowledge need to know about

most widely spoken language common languages

indigenous peoples groups native to a country

desire want

move away leave

hometowns where you are from

modern workforce working at companies, in cities, etc.

Hmong an ethnic minority from Asia

typically usually

seeks tries to

native tongue native language

traditional ways of life old modes of living

integrate join in

dominant national culture main culture of a country

efforts trying

oppose go against

desire want to

successful works out

nonetheless regardless

cultural value important for the culture

uniquely represents new ways of showing

codifies makes into a symbol, language

external world outside world, reality

verb structures how verbs are used

intonation the tone of your voice

rhythm the musical quality of a language

present a singular way show a unique method

interacting with communicating with

deciphering figuring out

at large in general

not precisely translatable can’t be put in another language

users people who speak a language

increasingly globalised more and more similar

plurality of perspectives different ways of seeing the world

crucial really important

die out become extinct

resurrected brought back to life

poorer for the loss the world loses out

regardless of despite

potential challenges faced possible difficulties

continued existence stay alive

diversity differences

make every effort try hard

ensure make sure of

survival remain alive

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ɒv ðə bɪˈliːf 
ˈwɜːθˈwaɪl 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz 
ˌprɛzə(ː)ˈveɪʃən 
ˈveərɪəs 
maɪˈnɒrɪti ˈlæŋgwɪʤɪz
dɪsˈpaɪt 
ˈlɪmɪtɪd pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈɛfɪkəsi 
ˈsɛntɪmənt 
ˈʤʌstɪfaɪəbl
dɪˈtræktəz 
prəˈpəʊzəl 
ɪnˈvɛstmənt 
ˈmeɪʤər ˈɪmpækt
maɪˈnɒrɪti
ɜːn ə ˈlɪvɪŋ
kənˈviːniənsɪz 
ˈmɒdən wɜːld
rɪˈkwaɪə ˈnɒlɪʤ 
məʊst ˈwaɪdli ˈspəʊkən ˈlæŋgwɪʤ
ɪnˈdɪʤɪnəs ˈpiːplz 
dɪˈzaɪə 
muːv əˈweɪ 
ˈhəʊmˈtaʊnz 
ˈmɒdən ˈwɜːkˌfɔːs
hʌmʌŋ
ˈtɪpɪk(ə)li 
siːks 
ˈneɪtɪv tʌŋ 
trəˈdɪʃənl weɪz ɒv laɪf
ˈɪntɪgreɪt 
ˈdɒmɪnənt ˈnæʃənl ˈkʌlʧə
ˈɛfəts 
əˈpəʊz 
dɪˈzaɪə 
səkˈsɛsfʊl
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs
ˈkʌlʧərəl ˈvæljuː 
juːˈniːkli ˌrɛprɪˈzɛnts 
ˈkɒdɪfaɪz 
ɛksˈtɜːnl wɜːld
vɜːb ˈstrʌkʧəz 
ˌɪntəʊˈneɪʃən 
ˈrɪðəm 
ˈprɛznt ə ˈsɪŋgjʊlə weɪ 
ˌɪntərˈæktɪŋ wɪð 
dɪˈsaɪfərɪŋ 
æt lɑːʤ
nɒt prɪˈsaɪsli trænsˈleɪtəbl 
ˈjuːzəz 
ɪnˈkriːsɪŋli ˌgləʊb(ə)laɪˈzeɪd
plʊəˈrælɪti ɒv pəˈspɛktɪvz 
ˈkruːʃəl
daɪ aʊt
ˌrɛzəˈrɛktɪd 
ˈpʊərə fɔː ðə lɒs
rɪˈgɑːdlɪs ɒv 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈʧælɪnʤɪz feɪst 
kənˈtɪnju(ː)d ɪgˈzɪstəns 
daɪˈvɜːsɪti
meɪk ˈɛvri ˈɛfət 
ɪnˈʃʊə 
səˈvaɪvəl

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Many are o_______________f that it would be w___________e for governments to p__________e the p_______________n of v__________s m___________________s. In my opinion, d______________________________y this s___________t is j_____________e.

D____________s of this p____________l argue that i____________t is unlikely to have a m________________t. In order for m__________y groups to e____________g and enjoy the c_____________s of the m____________d, they r_________________e of a nation’s m____________________________e. In fact, many i_____________________s themselves d________e to m_____________y from their h____________s to live in large cities and join the m________________e. For example, in the H______g people of Southeast Asia, it is t__________y the older generation that s________s to communicate in their n_______________e and preserve t______________________e. The younger generation, generally, would rather learn the most useful language and i____________e with the d_________________________e. Therefore e________s by governments o________e what individuals d_________e and are unlikely to be s____________l.

N_____________s, there is c________________e in preserving a language. A language u__________________s and c__________s the e______________d. Everything from the v_______________s and choice of nouns to the i____________n and r________m of the language p______________________y of i__________________h and d________________g the world a__________e. For example, in many languages there are words that are n___________________________e and u_________s therefore are more likely to see events and objects differently. As the world becomes i_________________________d, I would argue that the importance of a p___________________________s only becomes more c__________l. If such languages d_________t, they will likely never be r_________________d and the world will be p____________________s.

In conclusion, r_________________f the p_________________________d in preserving minority languages, their c________________________e is essential to d_____________y. Governments must therefore m____________________t to e_______________e their s_______________l.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/the-disappearing-languages-of-asia/259530/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Talk about a language you would like to learn. Include

What is the language

Why you want to learn it

If you will learn it

Writing Practice

Practice with the same basic topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Some believe that we should invent a new language for international communication.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?


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