IMAT 2012 Q21 [Conclusion |Linguistics]

Roughly 60 percent of today’s world population is bilingual or multilingual and it is argued that this is a new phenomenon. Today Spanish and Arabic are widely spoken whilst English is the world’s most commonly spoken and written language. However, 500 years ago it was Latin which was the main language of education, religion, commerce and government in the Western World despite this not being most people’s first language. In the 17th century, French and Italian gained in importance as languages of international trade.

Which one of the following can be drawn as a conclusion of the above passage?

A. English will one day be replaced as the main language of communication.
B. Speaking another language has always been an important practical consideration.
C. The majority of bilingual or multilingual people speak English.
D. The number of bilingual or multilingual people in the world will continue to grow.
E. English is the most common world language today because of the spread of the internet.

Summary of Steps to Solve Drawing Conclusion Type Questions:

  1. Read the Question (Every question)
  2. Go through the text and underline evidence
  3. Read the answer and eliminate the outliers
    • (easiest to eliminate contradictory conclusions)
  1. Using the underlined evidence and examples, prove each conclusion. Ask yourself “is this another piece of evidence? Or is this proved and strengthened by what’s in the text?”
  2. Remember to ignore bias and disregard answers that may be true in the real world, but are not supported in the text.

The focus of this text is on language, how it has changed over the years and how multilingualism has always been around. This can be the conclusion, that although it may be argued that multilingualism is a new phenomenon, it has actually been around for much longer. Now let’s dive into the answers:

A. English will one day be replaced as the main language of communication.

We cannot conclude this from the text. Although it talks about how language has changes in the past, we cannot predict it in the future. We are also talking about the rise of multilingualism, so there could even be an increase in english speakers. Therefore A is incorrect.

B. Speaking another language has always been an important practical consideration.

The beginning of the text says that it is argued that the high percentage of bilingual or multilingual is a new phenomenon, while the author argues it is not. He uses evidence from 500 years ago, where Latin was the imain language despite not being most people’s first language (shows that they know more than one language). He also uses the 17th century as an example by showing that they are 2 most important languages in trade at the time (bilingual or multilingual). Therefore B is the answer.

C. The majority of bilingual or multilingual people speak English.

This cannot be concluded from the passage. It just says that English is the most commonly spoken and written language, but it does not say if the majority of bilingual or multilingual people speak English. They could speak French and Italian for example. Therefore C is incorrect.

D. The number of bilingual or multilingual people in the world will continue to grow.

The rate of growth or if there even is growth cannot be concluded from the text because it is not mentionned. In addition, the author is trying to improve bilingualism and multilingualism are not new phenomena, so if anything D is completely wrong because the author is proving that it has always been around and therefore the multilingual population not growing much or subject to little change. Therefore D is incorrect.

E. English is the most common world language today because of the spread of the internet.
There is no mention of the internet and there could be other explanations for the growth of English (ex. Travel, television, radio, etc…). This answer requires to heavy of an assumption that is very weak without hearing from hit
‘Therefore E is not the answer.