GMAT Essay Topic 446 - The following appeared in an article in a college departmental newsletter "Professor Taylor of Jones University is promoting a model of foreign language instruction in which students receive ten weeks of intensive training, then go abroad to live with families for ten weeks. The superiority of the model, Professor Taylor contends, is proved by the results of a study in which foreign language tests given to students at 25 other colleges show that first -year foreign language students at Jones speak more fluently after only ten to twenty weeks in the program than do nine out of ten foreign language majors elsewhere at the time of their graduation." Discuss how well reasoned . . . Etc.
In this argument, the arguer claims that Professor Taylor’s model of foreign language instruction is so effective that every student
In this argument, the arguer claims that Professor Taylor’s model of foreign language instruction is so effective that every student in this program improve his English largely. To substantiate the conclusion, the arguer provides the results of the foreign language tests, which indicate that these students do better in oral English than most of foreign language majors elsewhere at the time of their graduation. The evidence presented throughout the argument, however, is insufficient and therefore does not lend strong support to the conclusion.
In the first place, the arguer fails to provide the necessary information regarding the procedure of the survey, the size of the sample and the content of the test. If the tests only included the questions which were usually practiced in the program, for example, it is equally possible that those trained students would receive higher scores than untrained others. Furthermore, a different sample and procedure of the survey would also lead to a different result. For instance, there ere 200 students participating in this program, but only 20 of them took the tests. If so, the results would be unreliable.
In the second place, the arguer fails to provide any evidence that the universities in this study or the students involved are comparable. The arguer points out that students at Jones speak more fluently after training than do most of others at the time of their graduation. Yet another possibility is that these students in the program have been good at spoken English prior to training, and foreign language majors elsewhere cannot do well in oral English but some other parts of a English test such as listening comprehension and writing.
In conclusion, the arguer does not demonstrate that the training program is more efficient. To solidify the argument, the arguer would have to offer more concrete information about the procedure and sample of the survey. In addition, the arguer should provide evidence that the two kinds of students are comparable and they take the same tests.
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