TOEFL® Writing Practice 37

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For this task, you will write an essay in response to a question that asks you to state, explain, and support your opinion on an issue. You'll have 30 minutes to write your essay.

Typically, an effective essay will contain a minimum of 350 words.

We recommend you practice organizing your essay for the first 5 minutes with a pen and paper like you will during your TOEFL exam.

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children should begin learning a foreign language as soon as they start school. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.
Word Count: 0
 

Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Children should begin learning a foreign language as soon as they start school. Use specific reasons and examples to support your position.

Word Count: 0

Sample Essay

I completely agree with and highly encourage the idea that children should begin learning a foreign language as soon as they begin school. As the world becomes more globally interconnected the best-placed people for success are bilingual. Also, children are known for absorbing languages easier than adults and so youth would the best time to learn. Along the same lines, if a person knows a language by the time they are in their teens they are capable of speaking fluently by the time they are going to begin using another language. Children who learn a language when young are at a great advantage over those that don’t.

To begin with, speaking a second language is a huge employment benefit. With the technological advances in communication and transportation of the last century, the world has become a much smaller place. Many businesses now work on a global scale, with design, manufacturing, and sales happening across continents. Therefore, the people who speak a second language are more beneficial to a company than those that don’t. To be ahead of the pack in looking for jobs requires that people now speak multiple languages fluently by the time they enter the business world. 

Moreover, considering the often-stated sponginess of children’s brains, there is no better time to begin learning a language than at a young age. In their formative years, children learn an incredible amount of their native language in a short amount of time. The longer they wait, the more a single language becomes ingrained in them and they have a harder time of learning a second. Therefore, when kids are young is the best time for them to begin thinking and speaking bilingually so they absorb as much as possible.

Coinciding with the two previous points, if people begin learning a language at the beginning of school they will be ready to use that language when they are older. Many young people begin traveling more in high school, and especially during university. If they don’t already speak a foreign language then they will not be prepared to be fluent at an age when it finally becomes most useful. Beginning to learn a language at the start of high school doesn’t produce fluency by the end of high school, and at that age, people could find great use in being bilingual. Starting young provides enough time to gain fluency.

Therefore, it would be in the best interest of any child to begin learning a second language when they begin school. The future business world requires the most successful people to speak multiple languages. The younger ages are the best time for beginning to master language, and the length of time studying would ensure fluency by adulthood. To be successful, all children should learn a second language as early as possible.

Learn How to Tackle TOEFL Independent Writing - Agree and Disagree Essays
Tip 1: Follow a standard TOEFL essay structure
Introductory Paragraph 1. Provide background information about the essay topic. Here are a few techniques:
  1. Begin with two sides of opinions on the essay topic
  2. Begin with the general public's opinions
  3. Introduce a fact that raises a question about the essay topic
  4. Introduce a debate on the essay topic
  5. Mention the advantage or disadvantage of a subject as a way to contrast
  6. your main opinion on the subject.

2. Write a strong thesis statement

Lesson: How to write a high-scoring TOEFL introductory paragraph part 1
Lesson: How to write a high-scoring TOEFL introductory paragraph part 2
Body Paragraph A
Body Paragraph B
Body Paragraph C (Optional)
1. Include a transition word/phrase at the beginning
2. Write a topic sentence
3. Include supporting sentences

Lesson: How to write a high-scoring TOEFL body paragraph
Conclusion Paragraph 1. Include a restatement of the thesis statement you wrote in your introduction
2. Provide a brief summary of your main ideas

Lesson: How to write a high-scoring TOEFL conclusion paragraph

There's no maximum length for your essay, but a good response is usually at least 300 words.

Tip 2: Use transition words and phrases

You need to use transition words and phrases to connect your ideas in your essay. You should have 2 transition words/phrases every 4-5 sentences.

Type of connection Transition words
These words can help you show the order of ideas. First/Second/Third
Firstly (or "First of all")/Secondly/Thirdly (or "Lastly")
For one thing/For another thing/Finally (or "Lastly")
In the first place/in the second place/Finally (or "Lastly")

Instead of "First", "First of all" and "Firstly", we can use "To begin with", "To start with", or "For starters". We can also use "First and foremost" to state that the first key point is the most important one among all key points.

Likewise, instead of "Finally" and "Lastly", we can use "Last but not least" to state that the final key point is just as important as the others, despite it being mentioned last.

These words can help you add information In addition, furthermore, additionally, also, next, moreover, what's more, on top of that
These words can help you conclude or to summarize: To sum up, in summary, in conclusion, to conclude, all in all, all things considered ,overall, taking everything into consideration, in a nutshell
These words can help you demonstrate contrast Conversely, on the contrary, by contrast, by way of contrast, on one hand/on the other hand
These words can help you compare or demonstrate similarity Similarly, likewise, by the same token, along similar lines
These words can help you state a result. As a result, as a consequence, consequently, therefore
These words can help you state a generalization. Generally, on the whole, in most cases, in general
These words can help you clarify a point. That is, in other words, to put it simply, That is to say, just to reiterate
These words can help you give examples. For example, for instance, take something, for example, to give a clear example
These words can help you state an alternative. Alternatively, as another possibility
Tip 3: Vary your sentence structure

To achieve a higher score or a perfect 5 out of 5 on the TOEFL English language criteria, you must show that you can accurately and flexibly use a variety of structures.

Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 1
Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 2
Lesson: Achieving sentence variety part 3
Tip 5: Vary your vocabulary

You should avoid using the same vocabulary throughout your essay. Instead, you can use synonyms or phrases that have the same meaning of words.

Here are some ways you can improve on this area:

  1. Read our sample essays and pay attention to words you are not familiar with.
  2. Utilize our TOEFL Vocabulary system
  3. Utilize our TOEFL synonyms exercises
 
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