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Writing Challenge #8: English Mania (NEW quiz and challenge)

NEW: Take the English Mania Quiz.
Update: I have now added an advanced challenge in the comment section. Find it on page 5 of the comments. (Don't look ahead until you try it. Answers on page 6.)


On Twitter today I came across a link to a speech titled "English Mania". In his speech, Jay Walker poses this question:

"Is English a tsunami washing away other languages?"

This month, let's practise expressing our opinion. Since you are all learners or teachers of English I'm interested in knowing your thoughts on the question above. If you have time, please watch the video below first.

In your response try to:

1) State your opinion
2) Give reasons and examples for your opinion
3) Conclude or summarize your opinion

*Please come back often to read and comment on the opinions.

Stating your opinion:
In my opinion
If you ask me
To be honest
To start...
I agree that
I disagree that
From my perspective
In my country/culture/family
I firmly believe

Stating reasons
The reason why
My belief
My feeling is that
First of all

Giving more reasons and examples
In addition...
Another reason...
Second of all

Conclude or summarize your opinion:
In conclusion
As a result
As mentioned
As I said (suitable for speaking)
In the end
All in all

Other useful expressions when expressing opinion:
to be honest
without a doubt
in some cases
it's conceivable that
on the other hand
contrary to

Image Source: Creative Commons Flikr user watch4u

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Tags: collaborative-writing, esl-writing, writing-challenge, writing-challenge-8, writing-exercise

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Comment by seyed amin tajer on December 17, 2009 at 13:43
i found it very useful , specialy for new cummer like me .
Comment by Tara Benwell on November 12, 2009 at 20:21
Great writing Sarah! I'm so glad you joined this discussion.

Comment by Expector Smith on November 12, 2009 at 11:00
Hi Tara,
I'm so happy to be here again. Sorry for my absence, during which something was wrong with my computer. I'll catch up with you all. I have read the new "Question of the month" you mentioned and found that the answers are beneficial to learners.
Comment by Tara Benwell on November 11, 2009 at 18:33
Hi expectorsmith,
It's so great to see your name again. I hope you'll read the new "Question of the Month" in ESL magazine which talks a bit about the "time and pain" of learning English that you mention.

Comment by Expector Smith on November 11, 2009 at 15:54
I'd say it's still an interesting topic, which might lead to the answer to some questions about whether we need to learn English. As you know, it's not easy to learn a foreign language - it really takes time and pain. But, once you've realized the importance of learning English, you'll know it's worth it. We are all doing the right thing here.

Incidentally, I'd like to thank Tara for the correcting - I saw my errors be corrected. Thanks again.
Comment by sarah on November 4, 2009 at 10:01

From my perspective, learning a new language washing away other languages as you can see now a day’s people try hard to learn one or two more languages so whenever day want to speak their own language , they automatically use some new word which recently has been learned ,My feeling is that this just happen because the world is under pleasure of learning a new languages ,Furthermore parents push their children to learn at a low ages to different language school also adult are really interested to learn , In conclusion, learning a new language such an English must be in a very rich environments what I mean is that must be teach very clear and useful in order not to wash the own language .to be honest this is very hard and need a brilliants idea.
Comment by juan carlo luna on October 15, 2009 at 14:40
From my perspective the English language is not a tsunami that washes away other languages. First of all why do people study the English language? One WORD oppurtunity. Oppurtunity for a better life, a job, to be able to pay for school or put better food on the table. Take it from my country the Philippines! As proclaimed the Philippines is the third largest English-speaking country in the world. In fact it is indicated in our constitution that "For purposes of communication and instruction, the official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and, until otherwise provided by law, English. People from my country starts studying the English language at the age of 4 up to college. So why do we study the language? well may be because of several decades of American colonial rule. As mentioned because of OPPURTUNITY our country is a Business Process outsourcing hub, there are more than 130 contact centers here in our country that employs hundreds of thousands of Filipino (call center agents) who are good in English.
Comment by Shaymol on October 2, 2009 at 12:13
I firmly believe that there is no language suitable for anyone other than her mother language and i totally disagree with the statement. Well almost all language are somehow mother languages to somebody and we get it as we have different cultures. Every culture has its own style, own language to communicate and to communicate with people with other culture we need a mutual language. Here comes the necessary of English as it is an International language and most of the schools/colleges/universities have this as subject or medium of instruction. I also believe that nobody feels comfort to speak English with his friends/families except using her native language. but yes it is English which is the only language whenever u foreigners as you might not what it her native language but surely English will be her second language or third language or whatever.

In the end, i would like to say that English is absolutely essential for all but not as a first language. It should be the second language and its impossible to wash out other languages.
Comment by Ronni Bala on August 24, 2009 at 6:37
Hi Tara,

Thank you very much for your corrections. It is really usefull. I am sure that I have my limitation in writing; however I will write to improve it and I know through your dedication, you will help to improve my English writing.

Once again, thank you very much and best regards,
Comment by Tara Benwell on July 16, 2009 at 16:00
You can now take my English Mania quiz here.

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