Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Modern Languages at Oxford

Announcements Posted on
Post on TSR and win a prize! Find out more... 10-04-2014
Interview Discussion 30-01-2014
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Who's applying for modern languages at Oxford? Which college? And what sort of written work?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Meeee. Applying at Lincoln personally for French and post a-level russian. In terms of written work, I'm not sure yet what i'm going to send up, haven't obviously sent anything yet.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Hey! I want to do Spanish and English...(merton). Apparently they really do want one of the two mod lang pieces in english, or so the tutor told me when I emailed him. It seems kinda strange when I could write an analytical essay in span! I wonder why they do that? (As you may have guessed, I haven't sent mine yet either!! )
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Hi everyone!
    German at Wadham.
    I was planning on sending 2 essays in german, and a history essay (obviously in english)

    hunnibuni could you please clarify what you mean by one of the mod language pieces has to be in english?
    do you mean it has to be relevant to the country whose language you want to study (but in english)?
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Btw I'm applying for Balliol.

    Do any of u know what sort of written work they want? And what length?

    I read somewhere that the length should be about 1500 - most of the written pieces I've done in French etc are generally below 500 words. Not that I can't write more than that, it's just that they've always stipulated quite low limits...

    And as for the topic, can it be something quite random - eg persuasive essay about why smoking should be banned - or do u think oxford would expect something more academic - eg something on a literary text?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by hunibuni)
    Hey! I want to do Spanish and English...(merton). Apparently they really do want one of the two mod lang pieces in english, or so the tutor told me when I emailed him. It seems kinda strange when I could write an analytical essay in span! I wonder why they do that? (As you may have guessed, I haven't sent mine yet either!! )
    I think I submitted an English A level piece. They want something in English because you write your essays in English, so they need to see how well you can write. There isn't actually any writing, speaking or listening in the first year course (which is rather crap). The tutor at Merton is rather nice.

    I sent in two English essays for the Russian bit, a translation into English and then a short (maybe 300 words) Spanish language essay.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    read somewhere that the length should be about 1500 - most of the written pieces I've done in French etc are generally below 500 words. Not that I can't write more than that, it's just that they've always stipulated quite low limits...
    ^ A french tutor at Oxford told me the length isn't all that important, they receive lots of language essays that aren't that long.

    I've applied for French, have written an essay that's about 600 words long, and an English one that's about 1200 words.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tbtommyb)
    There isn't actually any writing, speaking or listening in the first year course
    This is false. 50% of your Prelims papers are language based. There is no tested oral element until FHS but most people do have oral classes.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    hunnibuni could you please clarify what you mean by one of the mod language pieces has to be in english?
    The truth is that we have such a variety of exercises - not all obviously done as part of a course - that we have to consider each set of written work individually. Any of the possibilities you mention is ok. I usually prefer one analytical piece in English (whether it's from the Spanish course or not) and another piece (one to two sides) in Spanish. Again these are sometimes translations, or short essays on topical questions, but it is common enough to have something on a literary or cultural topic too.
    The above is an email I received from the admissions tutor because I emailed to ask whether the 2nd piece should still be in english if I were to write about say spanish lit as I was given the impression he was suggesting I sent in an english essay for eng lit obviously in english. As I am applying for eng and span and therefore already sending in eng work I was surprised and he said that even on a span topic, one should be in english.

    A french tutor at Oxford told me the length isn't all that important, they receive lots of language essays that aren't that long.
    As you can see from my email, he suggests 1-2 sides which is prob anywhere from 1500-600...at a guess!

    sent in two English essays for the Russian bit, a translation into English and then a short (maybe 300 words) Spanish language essay
    What was the title of your essay...just to give me an idea as my teacher (who helpfully has the day off tomorrow and I really need to choos emy work over half term!) had no ideas - at first she said I should submit in spanish my immigration essay and then write something about almodovar/lorca in english...what do you think? I liked an essay I did on technology in modern society - I think it's more different and it brings out my character...I mean, you can tell I've written it if you know me but is that a good thing? I'm so worried about the work...how important do you think it all is? Did you find they dicussed it much with you at interview?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Yttrium)
    This is false. 50% of your Prelims papers are language based. There is no tested oral element until FHS but most people do have oral classes.
    Not for Spanish. All I have is literature, a translation class and a grammar class. We get translations into Spanish and the grammar class is in Spanish, but it hardly counts as an oral element. There's no composition as such. When I applied one of the Prelims papers was a Spanish language essay, but apparently that's been replaced with grammar questions. I think French and German have oral classes, I have no idea why Spanish is deemed unworthy of oral classes. It's really annoying me.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by hunibuni)
    What was the title of your essay...just to give me an idea as my teacher (who helpfully has the day off tomorrow and I really need to choos emy work over half term!) had no ideas - at first she said I should submit in spanish my immigration essay and then write something about almodovar/lorca in english...what do you think? I liked an essay I did on technology in modern society - I think it's more different and it brings out my character...I mean, you can tell I've written it if you know me but is that a good thing? I'm so worried about the work...how important do you think it all is? Did you find they dicussed it much with you at interview?

    The Spanish one? I think it was an essay on La Casa de Bernarda Alba, so probably about honour or one of the characters or something. I can't remember what it was exactly, sorry. Just submit an English essay that shows you can analyse literature and then something in Spanish that shows you can write coherently in Spanish. Remember that it needs to be marked by your teacher. I doubt they'll care whether it shows your character or not, as long as it's decent Spanish. I don't think the work is too important, I can't remember it being mentioned in any of my interviews, for Spanish or Russian. However, just because they don't mention it doesn't mean that they won't be taking a good look at it. It's really easy to get hung up on things but it really isn't *that* important, as long as it's good. They say you need to get each piece of work stamped by your school, but I forgot to get a couple of pieces stamped and no-one ever mentioned it.

    Quick note about interviews - they usually start with something you've mentioned in your PS and then go off from there, so don't spend too much time going over them. For my Russian interview I spent ages on a book I mentioned, The Idiot, and then almost the first question was "so, apart from The Idiot, what else have you read?". I think they could tell I hadn't really thought beforehand on the other book, which is possibly what they want as then they can see your thought process. Also, the Spanish tutor at Merton is a Golden Age specialist so don't do what I did and mention that you'd read Don Quixote and then forget to read it.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    hi everyone,
    ive decided to send in an essay in German on German reunification, as well as a translation piece.
    the question is... should i also submit a history essay in english which is of no relevance to german?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    ^ I'm pretty sure that they are looking for whether you can write convincingly and coherently on an analytical piece. So from that stance, History work would be fine.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    You are an abolsute star tbtommyb!! Thank you so much for the very detailed answer! Rep coming your way! I haven't read Don Quixote either...something I do feel rather ashamed about considering its sort of greatest work of spanish lit status! In fact, slightly worryingly, I don't think I've read anygolden age lit at all! At the moment my spanish reading, apart from Lorca, Esquivel and Dario, is sadly limited. Are there any golden age lit texts you can think of that would be relatively quick to read? And do you think its important to have read something that specifically relates to the tutors own research interests? Sorry, by the way, about all these questions - I have an unhealthy tendency to panic rather a lot!!! :-) (As I'm sure you never would have noticed! :rolleyes: )

    ive decided to send in an essay in German on German reunification, as well as a translation piece.
    the question is... should i also submit a history essay in english which is of no relevance to german?
    Can we do that? I mean, can I send two spanish things and an english one as well all for spanish because I thought it specifically said only 2? :confused:
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Oh argh! I'm so confused now! I have applied for French sole (though I hate that word!...) and I have one French essay written, and an English literature one - but now I'm perplexed as to whether I need two French essays and optionally an English one?
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    ring 'em!
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by hunibuni)
    You are an abolsute star tbtommyb!! Thank you so much for the very detailed answer! Rep coming your way! I haven't read Don Quixote either...something I do feel rather ashamed about considering its sort of greatest work of spanish lit status! In fact, slightly worryingly, I don't think I've read anygolden age lit at all! At the moment my spanish reading, apart from Lorca, Esquivel and Dario, is sadly limited. Are there any golden age lit texts you can think of that would be relatively quick to read? And do you think its important to have read something that specifically relates to the tutors own research interests? Sorry, by the way, about all these questions - I have an unhealthy tendency to panic rather a lot!!! :-) (As I'm sure you never would have noticed! :rolleyes: )
    I don't think I'd read any Golden Age stuff, don't worry about it. Lorca is on the course anyway, so chat about him. I'd only read the A level texts, and maybe one or two others, they don't expect you to have read a great deal in Spanish but make sure you have recently read something decent in English. The poem you get before the interview will probably be in English, btw. I found reading an introduction to poetry like Stephen Fry's book really helpful, since English A Level isn't really that technical. And don't bother playing to the tutor's research interests. Thanks for the rep, btw.

    Can we do that? I mean, can I send two spanish things and an english one as well all for spanish because I thought it specifically said only 2? :confused:
    If they say two, only send two. Different tutors in different colleges might do things differently.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I'm worried about getting a poem and for whatever reason not being able to understand it properly! Any hints?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Well, if you can't understand it that's probably the idea. You have about half an hour to look at it, so you should be able to work out the structure, even if you can't figure out what it actually means. If you don't know any words, just ask the tutor.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I applied for Spanish and Linguistics...from what I can understand from the written work specification on the main site I need to submit two pieces of work for each language currently studied (i.e. 2 French, Spanish, English + Italian)...

    Got them all done now though and ready to submit...more worried about the Spanish paper at interview though. From the sample paper it looks pretty evil!

    Anyone have any older copies or something, or at least advice as to how to prepare?

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?

    this is what you'll be called on TSR

  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?

    never shared and never spammed

  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By completing the slider below you agree to The Student Room's terms & conditions and site rules

  2. Slide the button to the right to create your account

    Slide to join now Processing…

    You don't slide that way? No problem.

Updated: December 22, 2007
Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.