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IELTS essay, topic: People should follow the customs and traditions of their new country (agree/disagree)

This essay topic was seen in a recent IELTS test in India

People should follow the local customs and traditions, when they come to live in a new country. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Band 8 Essay

The globalised world these days makes it simpler than ever before for people to relocate and start building a life in a new country. As everyone comes from their own cultural background, a question arises of whether or not people should be expected to follow the customs of their host country. I completely agree with the view that while learning about the local customs may require some time and effort, it is valuable and will aid the integration of the newcomers into society.

In many cultures following the local customs means showing respect, which is an important moral value in nearly every culture. The opposite is also true: disregarding traditions is often seen as a sign of disrespect. In order to establish good neighbourly relationships and feel welcome in the new place, it is important to demonstrate the effort to become part of the community. By expressing an interest in learning traditions, new arrivals gain a chance to interact with their neighbours and colleagues, get to know them and build some connections in the new country.

Another positive aspect is the enhanced feeling of belonging that people get from participating in activities others around them are doing. When a national festival is in full swing, standing on the sidelines might make people feel excluded and perhaps even homesick, whereas joining others opens up opportunities to attend special events together, go to parties, meet new people and feel part of the celebrations. In Australia, for example, Easter is a very special time of the year and some of the traditional activities include Easter egg decoration and gifting, and baking hot cross buns; sharing your designs and recipes with others is an excellent conversation starter.

In conclusion, learning the customs and traditions of one’s new country doesn’t mean a loss of their own culture. On the contrary, it is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of cultural connections and should be embraced as a positive experience.

Teacher’s comment: The writer gave a thoughtful response to the task prompt, including relevant, expanded, and supported ideas that completely satisfy the requirements of the task. He/she properly handled all cohesion issues, logically organised the information and thoughts, and used paragraphing appropriately and effectively. A broad range of vocabulary is evident. There are essentially no errors in the word choice or collocation; uncommon lexical items have been used appropriately throughout the entire essay. The writer has used a range of language structures, while ensuring that the majority of the sentences are error-free. These elements work together very well and make an IELTS Band 8 or 8.5 for this essay quite likely.

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