Students at the English Farm write some amazing G.B.C. answers, so we are going to share the best of the best.
This piece has had minor corrections by a teacher, but the logic, structure, and word choice are the student's.
Our question today: Some non-native speakers tend to be silent in meetings in which foreigners are present. Do you agree? Why do you think this is?
I agree with this argument because I have experienced many meetings like that. I've especially observed that Japanese and Korean people tend to be silent in international meetings.
We are based on Confucian culture which appreciates the seniority system. Namely, younger people should respect more elderly people, and sometimes it results in a meeting where only senior members talk. Furthermore, they are accustomed to context-based communication, i.e. you read between the lines and understand mutually without a clear description.
This might be the opposite in India or Middle Eastern countries, where you'd better be more talkative and positive to express your idea. There is one saying that a key to succeed in an international conference is to let Japanese speak and stop Indians from speaking. It is based on stereotypes, but I'm sure it partly tells the truth.
To sum up, I agree that there are some cases that non-native speakers tend to be silent, mainly due to cultural differences.
This is a strong answer because the speaker has a clearly defined argumentation style. The student:
- presents an interesting sub-claim: "We are based on Confucian culture which appreciates the seniority system."
- defines the sub-claim: "...younger people should respect more elderly people."
- explains how the sub-claim affects the topic: "...it results in a meeting where only senior members talk."
- includes an extremely short, powerful ending: "...due to cultural differences."
Use answers like this one as a mountain-top goal, and keep writing!
For another perspective on this question, take a look at this piece of student writing.
Confucian [adjective]—to describe ideas from the Chinese teacher and philosopher Confucius.
saying [noun]—a phrase commonly said either at present or in the past.