For What Purpose Do You Learn


For What Purpose Do You Learn Foreign Languages
        For what purpose do you learn foreign languages? To students, foreign languages are their curriculums. To job hunters, foreign languages are the stepping stones to success. To applicants for admission to foreign schools, languages are indispensable. With the Reform and Open Policy carried out, foreign languages have played a more and more important role in today's society. Competence for languages is one of the basic qualifications.
      Furthermore, craze for language learning has been a social phenomenon. From children to senior citizens, everyone takes great pains. But think it over  for what purpose are you learning the language? Only for occupations? For examinations? Language learning has been too utilitarian.
      A rather queer phenomenon emerges from society that one can speak English or other languages so fluently but is not able to recite one of famous Tang poems. Many people, especially the young, try hard to master the foreign language but neglect the study of their own mother tongue.  An advertisement of dairy products has caused my curiosity. The protagonist of the ad was a little girl aged only four.  What astonished the spectators was that the girl could speak three different languages, English, Japanese and French. WHAT AGENIUS! She is by no means inferior to other child prodigies. The advertiser took advantage of this amazing fact to exaggerate the effects of the products. Nevertheless, for what purpose does the girl spare no efforts to master the three languages? Even to an adult, it is a difficult task.She must have lost the fun playing with her peers.  She must have been for hours at end reciting the same word under the supervision of her parents. She must have been wondering why she should make such sacrifice. It is her parents who force her to learn in order to stand above. They might have been influenced by the idea that the earlier one child starts to learn the language,the easier he will master it.  This is not unique, but comes in pairs. The age of the learners has been younger and younger.But educators have found that learning languages too early will affect the development of child's linguistic competence.  The probable result is that the child might be Jack of all trades but master of none or, even worse, she might be unable to express
herself in her mother tongue .
     It should be lamentable if Chinese tradition culture should be discarded and forgot. Maybe it is just an unwarranted anxiety or groundless fear. But one shouldn't forget his roots no matter when and where he is.
     From my point of view, people have lost themselves in language learning. It is like killing the goose for eggs. One of the aims of learning is to gain a further insight into other different countries, to acquire oneself with the cultures and customs, not just to master the language. The process of learning is a treasure house. It is like an exploration of a new continent.

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