• Nick Kemp

Task 2 Essay: Endangered Languages

Question: Several languages are in danger of extinction because they are spoken by a very small number of people. Some people say that governments should spend public money on saving these languages, while others believe that would be a waste of money. Discuss both views and give your opinion?

Band 8+ Sample Answer:

(Intro) It has been pointed out that some minority languages are now on the brink of vanishing, and some suggest that funding should be poured into saving these. While this may involve significant financial investment, I feel that the cultural and social benefits are more important.

(Body 1) On the one hand, some claim that preventing less commonly-used languages from disappearing would be a waste of money and resources. Firstly, language preservation requires governments to invest large sums in research and education projects, including possible expeditions by linguists and anthropologists to remote areas. Instead, this money could be channelled into public services such as building hospitals or schools benefiting more people in the community. In addition, rare languages are not able to bring in economic benefits. In fact, some widely-spoken languages such as Chinese and English have had a significant role in accelerating international trade and facilitating cultural connections/ties, whereas minority languages are unable to offer the same social and economic gains.

(Body 2) On the other hand, I strongly believe that these endangered languages should be rejuvenated for socio-cultural reasons. Culturally, languages can be considered the soul of a culture, meaning that saving them may help a community to maintain their origins and cultural values, helping cultural patterns pass from generation to generation. In a social context, facilitating linguistic diversity would effectively create equality in society as every language would be appreciated, whether it was spoken by certain tribes or the majority of the population. Therefore minority languages speakers could cohabit peacefully with others and contribute to a more integrated nation, which would further eliminate potential social unrest.

(Conclusion) In conclusion, while there are convincing economic arguments against preserving endangered languages, letting these languages die out would be a non-optimal choice in terms of cultural preservation and social inclusion. Governments should issue financial grants to encourage research and education programmes, especially in remote areas as they would benefit the most from this support. (319 words).

Essay: Student Essay, fully corrected and upgraded by Nick Kemp, former IELTS Examiner.

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