French and Spanish Personal Statement
To many, languages are merely a means of communication. To me, they encapsulate an entirely new world waiting to be discovered spanning literature, history and a way of life. I am pursuing a degree in French and Spanish as I realise I possess a desire to unearth new cultures and open doors that I feel only language skills can bring.
The ability to communicate in different languages has given me a whole wealth of experiences. A total of 5 weeks at the Lycee Francais Andre Malraux in Murcia, Spain, has been invaluable. The most memorable event for me was watching a play rehearsal during work experience: 'Cervantes et Moliere font chanter Malraux'. This was a play spanning three languages and cultures: French, Spanish and English. It was intriguing to see how they could be brought together by those who understood the culture of each country. These trips have greatly broadened my horizons and spending time at a bilingual school has given me opportunities to use both languages interchangeably which is challenging, but ultimately very rewarding.
My Extended Project builds on the study of languages and their respective cultures. I am presenting an evening looking at protest songs throughout history, across the world, with focus on the French Revolution, 'La Nueva Cancion' movement in South America and Jewish music from Medieval Spain. This project will develop my research skills and ability to independently plan, manage and complete a large project. Choosing to study the development of religious conformity in Spain from 1492 to 1598 for my A2 History coursework will show me the diverse roots of Spanish culture today.
'La Casa de Bernarda Alba,' by Lorca, and 'Le Tartuffe,' by Moliere, have introduced to me the study of language from a different perspective whilst also enhancing my ability to read more difficult texts. I feel Lorca cleverly represents his society and highlights repression of women through the nature of the almost masculine character of Bernarda. The controversy surrounding 'Le Tartuffe's' performance has raised my awareness to the ways in which literature can impact on society. To gain more knowledge about the linguistic side of languages and how they develop and survive, I am reading David Crystal's 'How Language Works'.
English literature at A-level has directed my love of literature whilst helping me to develop evaluative and analytical skills. Similarly, History has increased my ability to express myself coherently in an exam situation to construct a detailed argument whilst still considering alternative interpretations.
I enjoy the performing arts, particularly music, where I sing with Yorkshire Youth Choir and National Youth Choir and have studied music weekly at Yorkshire Young Musicians. In school, I won an award for commitment to performing arts for regular contribution to many musical ensembles and theatrical performances. This shows my ability to remain committed and persevere with many activities outside of my academic education. Visiting Auschwitz as part of the 'Lessons from Auschwitz' project was the most worthwhile experience. I learnt first hand what the human race is capable of and what horrors can happen due to prejudices in this world. It showed me that knowledge of others' cultures and beliefs is vital in putting an end to history repeating itself. As Head Girl I represent my school in school council and also in the wider community through our local and area youth councils. My activities as Head Girl have improved my leadership and organisational skills. I am confident I will enjoy university, take every opportunity I am given and strive to meet each challenge I am set.
Universities Applied to:
- Durham - Modern Languages (Offer - accepted)