The Question

It is beneficial for people to spend some time living in a country where they must speak a foreign language. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

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The Sample TOEFL Essay

Nowadays, it is very common for people to live abroad, far from their country of origin. The question is whether it is beneficial to live in a country where we must communicate in a foreign language. Personally, I believe that it is not advantageous to live in such an environment. I will explore the reasons why I feel this way in the following essay. 

To begin with, we often feel lonely and isolated if we have to use a foreign language to communicate. When we speak in a second language, we aren’t always able to express exactly what we want to say. Sometimes our communication is limited to basic phrases that don’t really carry much nuance.  As a result, we can fail to form meaningful connections with the people around us. In the long run, this can cause sadness and depression.  Deep conversations are not particularly important for tourists, but they are critical for people residing in a country for a long time. For instance, my brother spent six months living in Germany right after his graduation from university, and he said that he was only able to form superficial relationships with the people in his neighborhood.  He tried his best to deeply connect with them, but it was impossible due to his limited ability to express himself.

On top of that, language difficulties can make it nearly impossible to accomplish normal everyday tasks.  In situations where comprehension is important, like when we talk to a teacher or government official, strong language skills are important.  A few misunderstood words could make it extremely challenging to do something that seems simple, like paying a parking ticket or enrolling in a university class. As a result, we might end up wasting a lot of time or even having to pay money for a translator. When we are living far from our family and native environment, this can make our lives very impractical. In contrast, in our own country (or a country that shares its language) these tasks are much easier to accomplish. In such an environment it is much easier to make progress in our personal and professional lives.

To sum it up, living in a country where we are required to speak a second language can be very challenging so I don’t think it is always advantageous to move to a foreign country.  This is because it might cause us to feel emotional distress, and it can be difficult to carry out simple tasks in our daily life. 





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