For What Purpose Do You Learn

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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.

简  评
    “英语是中国社会的一大毒瘤”,现在经常能听到人们对英语学习的狂热如此抱怨。确实如此,世界上可能没有哪个国家像中国这样如此重视英语了:幼儿园的儿童学英语,福利院的白发老人也学英语;到外企应聘考英语,考古专业的博士生入学考试也要考英语。学校里,中国语文课时越来越少,英语课时越来越多。难怪有人说,现在有些学生的英语比汉语更好了。这种说法也许言过其实,但这种现象确实值得重视。本文提出了对这种现象的思考,针砭时弊,言之有物,语言流畅。但这篇文章的内容安排值得商榷:随想过多,分析不够。这也是中国同学写作文是值得注意的普遍问题。
    (点评教师:汪中平)

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