I corrected this essay first by myself this time.I hope this will be a little better.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Newspapers and magazines are the best ways to learn about a foreign country.
There is no denying that newspapers and magazines contain plenty of information about foreign countries. However, considering the startling development of our society, they are far from being the best ways to learn about a foreign country. From my perspective, surfing the Internet or living in a foreign country are more efficient and effective than reading newspapers and magazines to know about a foreign country.
We have progressed rapidly toward information era since Internet came into being few decades ago. With the expansion of Internet, people are able to exchange the latest information and even live events. For instance, once we possess a cellphone, a PDA, or a laptop, we can simply hook up to the internet whenever and wherever we are, and find almost everything we want to know at Google or Wikipedia, including a country’s history, language, population, religion, which reflect the culture of a country. Also, we can gain the information about a foreign country in local people’s perspective by communicating with them online. Internet may be the most efficient medium to learn about a country.
Besides, under the background of globalization, living or studying aboard provide us a chance to experience the real local traditions, which can definitely improve our comprehension about a country. For example, we all know about the Halloween “treat or trick” thing; but unless we take part in the festival celebration ourselves do we exactly understand how it is. Those are what newspapers and magazines cannot offer us because of their limitations. Even in some famous newspapers like Washington Post that you can barely find something about a foreign country’s folk culture. Experiencing a country’s local culture on one’s own surely is the most effective way in learning a foreign country.
Admittedly, newspapers and magazines, as the traditional method to learn about a country, do have some obvious advantages such as easy to carry and costless. These traditional style of mass media, however, couldn’t offer people a systematic and accurate introduction of a country, nor did they provide a vivid display of foreign culture.
To sum up, reading newspapers and magazines cannot compete with those modern methods to learn a country due to their congenital limitations. Although they might be the best in the past, they are now outdated.
TOEFL listening discussions: A conversation between a student and her coach