FREE IELTS SAMPLE ESSAYS: Some governments try to control the way a national language is used. For example, they may restrict the introduction of foreign words, or use of dialects, or they may demand that a certain language be used in schools. What are the benefits and disadvantages of these policies? Do you think they can ever be effective?

Language is linked to the identity of a nation, and speakers of a common language share many things, but does this give governments the right to restrict the way a language is used or taught?

It can be argued that a nation maintains its culture through its language, and so there is a need to restrict the use of foreign words and changes in pronunciation. However, in reality this approach is fruitless, because language is a living thing and it is impossible to stop it from changing. This policy has been tried in some countries but it never works. People, especially young people, will use the language that they hear round them, and which separates them from others; stopping the use of some words will only make them appear more attractive.

As for spelling, we all know that the English system is irregular and, I believe, it would benefit from simplification so that children and other learners do not waste time learning to read and write. On the other hand, some people may feel, perhaps rightly, that it is important to keep the original spelling of words as a link with the past and this view is also held by speakers of languages which do not use the Roman alphabet.

While it is important for people to speak who speak a minority language to be able to learn and use that language to be able to learn and use that language, it is practical for education to be in a common language. This creates national pride and links people within the society. Realistically, schools are the best place for this to start.

Ultimately, there is a role for governments to play in the area of language planning, particularly in education, but at no time should governments impose regulations which restrict people's linguistic freedom.

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