Practice Task 6 - Sample Essay 6A - Cultural Identity
Cultural identity is defined as one’s recognition and sense of belonging towards one’s culture. As globalisation begins to intensify in this era, the interactions among different cultures is likely to weaken individuals’ cultural identity.
One facet of globalisation is business. Businessmen seek opportunities overseas where a different culture takes place. In order to boost their performance in these particular cultures, employees may receive specific training on adapting to a target culture. With most of these businesses tend to travel to specific economic powerhouses such as the US and China, the adaption of a foreign culture seems to be converging at merely one or two points on the cultural continuum.
The other facet is language. English has played as the lingua franca since the last century and has attracted many learners from around the world. Language and its associated culture are inseparable. It is even more so when language learners choose to study the language with materials originated from that culture. During this learning process, culture is being absorbed subtly by students, sometimes to a degree when the language is spoken, the interlocutor find himself/herself speaking from another cultural identity.
Although the above two contributions of globalisation would benefit international economy and connection, the weakening cultural identity may not be a very positive development. I believe every single culture has its own merits which should not be given up. People could preserve their own culture while integrating into the globe by holding heterogeneous cultural values and learning to be flexible and respectful to other ones simultaneously.
The writer addresses the task appropriately, giving a good definition of cultural identity before moving on to reasons for the loss of cultural identity. The writer’s opinion as to whether this is a positive or negative development is reasonably clear. There is good vocabulary (‘target culture’, ‘economic powerhouses’, ‘cultural continuum’, ‘lingua franca’, heterogeneous cultural values’, etc.) and a good variety of structures. The writer also effectively adds caution to his/her claims (‘tend to travel’, ‘seems to be converging’, ‘may not be a very positive development’).
The writing would benefit from a clearer connection between the task question and the ideas put forward. For example, in the second paragraph, the writer seems to be only writing about ‘globalisation’ rather than globalisation as a reason for the loss of cultural identity. Better linking and effective topic sentences (e.g. ‘One of the main reasons for the loss of cultural identity is globalization…’, ‘Another reason for the erosion of cultural identity…’) would make the connection clearer.
The final paragraph lacks detail and clarity. What, for example, are the ‘merits’ of a single culture ‘which should not be given up’? It would have been better for the writer to have given more ‘evidence’ to support his/her opinion.
Practice Task 6 - Sample Essay 6B - Cultural Identity
Different countries usually have diverse cultures because of many factors such as differences in history, living style, government policies or education systems. Yet, it is global trend that people from different countries are interested in learning more about other cultures. It is argued that many countries around the globe are losing their cultural identity and thus becoming more homogenous. The main reasons are twofold.
The flow of information is greatly enhanced due to globalisation, therefore people all around the world are more willing to spread local histories, news and cultures to the different parts of the world. The number of visitors travelling to other countries is rising in a rapid scale. Although more intercultural communication has taken place, it may easily lead to a loss of sense of belonging if one overlooks the good of his or her own culture or even simply glorify other cultures. One’s cultural identity may gradually be disregarded when people fail to appreciate their own cultural uniqueness.
The high rise of technology help global citizens overcome geographical and time constraints, which means people’s sharing of information and cultures are not limited anymore. However, the predominant use of language in the process of communication may hinder people from promoting cultural diversity. For example, English is one of the most frequently used language in the process of communication because it is the most commonly known and learnt language by people from all around the world. Many local expressions may not be expressed completely and thus the cultural identity is harmed in the long run.
In my opinion, I think the loss of cultural identity brings more negative development than that of positive ones. The uniqueness in a culture is incomparable, that once a culture is lost, it is beyond repair and cannot be redeemed by anything. Although the unitary in cultures may bring a lot of convenience into daily lives, it is very important that every country understand the importance of their own culture and treasure their cultural identity.
This is a good answer to the question with lots of relevant ideas. The ideas are arranged logically and are easy to follow. The writer uses a good variety of structures with different tenses, active and passive voice, and modal verbs etc. to show his/her skill in English. There is good use vocabulary too (‘flow of information’, ‘sense of belonging’, ‘glorify other cultures’, ‘cultural uniqueness’, etc).
The writing could be improved by revising some ideas that are not expressed as clearly as others. For example, in paragraph three ‘the predominant use of language in the process of communication may hinder people from promoting cultural diversity’ should be ‘the predominant use of one language’ or ‘the predominant use of a limited number of languages’. The sentence ‘Many local expressions may not be expressed completely’ is rather vague. It would be better to write ‘many locally held concepts or perspectives cannot be expressed clearly in a foreign language’.
Practice Task 6 - High-level Answer 6C - Cultural Identity
Cultural identity is defined as one’s recognition and sense of belonging towards one’s culture. That culture is based on core values including a system of belief, customs and habits, which in turn are shaped by factors such as history, government policies or education systems. Yet, it is a global trend that many countries are losing their cultural identity and the world is becoming more homogenous.
One of the main reasons for this increasing homogeneity is globalisation and the shift in values and attitudes following in its wake. As new styles in fashion and ways of living penetrate global markets via the media and consumerism, the expectations and demands of indigenous cultures are changed. Adapting to these changes may easily lead to a loss of sense of belonging if a society overlooks the good of its own culture or even simply glorifies other cultures. One’s cultural identity may gradually be disregarded when people fail to appreciate their own cultural uniqueness.
At the same time, the rise of technology helps global citizens overcome geographical and time constraints, meaning that people’s sharing of information and cultures is no longer limited. This is especially true where communication takes place through a dominant language such as English. The problem is, however, that as language and culture are intertwined, cultural norms enshrined in an adopted language may super-cede local mores and values. The result may be a subversion of traditional perspectives, particularly where these are difficult to express in another tongue.
In my opinion, the loss of cultural identity brings more negative developments than positive ones. The uniqueness of a culture in its arts, language, and customs is incomparable, and once a culture is lost, it cannot be redeemed. Although unitary in cultures may bring convenience and economic advantage in daily lives, it is very important that every country understand the importance of their own culture and treasure their cultural heritage.