新州民族语言学校联合会举办的英语写作与美术作品2010年赛中魏晓洁 (PEGGY WEI) 同学的英语作文获得了15-18岁组的第一名。她的文章如下：
How Learning Another Language Will Benefit Me and My Community
Learning another language is the first step to understanding another culture. As many communities are multicultural in this day and age, learning a different language will benefit me and boost my understanding of the world. By being able to communicate with people from other countries, everyone will gain a new appreciation for unfamiliar cultures, traditions, entertainment and lifestyles. It will also open new opportunities and improve the chances for employment.
Studying a different language will benefit me in many ways. Gaining the knowledge and understanding of different cultures allows me to view situations from various perspectives. Along with this, a tolerance and acceptance for people of different nationalities will also be developed – if every person had this acceptance, then world peace would definitely be achieved. Understanding other cultures is crucial as our communities are becoming more multicultural. Learning another language will help me recognise the cultures of people from my family and community and thus, I will have the confidence and ability to communicate with them.
Communication with a wider range of people is another advantage that comes with learning another language. Communication is the first step to meeting new people, friendship, and trust - from these both sides will be able to gain help and support of all sorts. Being multilingual will allow understanding of a broader variety of people as well as allowing the combination of cultures to solve a problem or do something such as cook a multicultural meal. Also, learning another language and speaking to a person of that language will demonstrate an appreciation and respect for the other person’s culture in a way that is otherwise impossible to express. Learning a different language will also help improve a person’s own native language by constantly comparing the two languages and translating them. Studying another language opens up more things to learn and the more education received, results in a better understanding of the ever-changing world.
As the world continues to develop and transform, more people are travelling overseas to experience new customs and places. Even though popular overseas tourist attractions will usually offer English translations, it does not mean they can educate visitors about the country’s culture. Experience will be the only thing that can teach culture – it reaches the heart. Viewing will merely show actions that serve as any old memory. Furthermore, translating pieces of text or speech will rob it of its complete meaning. Understanding another language will give access to original pieces of script/speech and hence, allow us to fully appreciate it. Learning the native language of a country will permit an unlimited access to all its attractions, not just the popular tourist spots. This will give tourists a far better understanding of that country’s society.
Learning another language will also grant me more options in my future. There is a far greater chance of employment for a person who knows more than one language. In addition, seeking out possible places for studying or working is not limited to only one country – students who can speak another language have the superior opportunity to study abroad. A person’s future is the fundamental requirement to living a successful and long life. Learning another language will definitely offer higher chances of a flourishing future.
As my parents and their families are of Chinese background, and I of Australian-Chinese background, learning Chinese has aided me in communicating with my relatives and learning about the way they live, their customs, their values and much more. Likewise, I am able to describe my lifestyle to them – this has brought us together as a family even though we live in differing countries. Learning the language of my background has lead to an understanding of my heritage. I believe that even though my ancestors are from a distinctly different background, we are still closely connected because of our understanding and ability to converse with each other.
The ability to understand is absolutely crucial and has the potential to drastically affect our lives. Education and knowledge are important because it allows us to make our own choices while knowing the advantages and consequences of those choices. Learning another language is directly connected to education - not only gaining the understanding of a different culture, but also understanding one's own culture to a deeper extent by viewing it from another perspective. As language covers a large area in education and grant advantages to other areas such as culture, communication, "open options" and family heritage, learning another language will in the same way educate people in a variety of topics as well as give people more of a chance to succeed. It is extremely worthwhile and will stay with us for our whole lifetime.