What's the difference between a Modern Languages Degree or two separate ones? Watch

just_a_girl_x
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Hi, I'm looking at university courses starting in 2010 for modern languages. I've taken 3 for AS, French, Spanish and Persian which I hope to keep to A2.
Looking at university courses, I found one in Nottingham Trent called modern languages, allowing me to studying up to three languages to degree level, but very few universities offer this course. Why is this?
Thanks for any replies
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XDaydreamer
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It's so you can concentrate more fully on becoming fluent in one or two languages. I think you can do 3 at Durham if I remember correctly, but you're encouraged to drop one after I think the first year. It would be a lot of work.
You could always keep up the third language in your own time, that way it would be much less pressure than doing 3 to degree level. That's what I'm hoping to do
Do you speak Persian at home or something? I've not heard of that being offered at A level anywhere
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xmarilynx
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What do you mean by 'two separate ones'? :confused:

Not many places offer degrees where you can study three languages, because they're very challenging and less popular (because not many people take even one language A Level, nevermind 2 or 3). Sheffield, Durham, Nottingham, Salford, Portsmouth, St Andrews, Southampton, Birmingham and probably a few more that I've missed do though.
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Chocothunder
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I briefly looked into doing this too. Basically if you opt to study three languages then you miss out a lot of the 'culture modules', i.e. literature, film, history etc in favour of just doing more core language learning. I asked a few people who did it, and the general consensus seemed to be that by spreading their language learning over three languages they were worried that they wouldn't be 'fluent' in any of them by the end. Then there's the year abroad to consider, as it would be hard, and pointless, to split that three ways, as you wouldn't be in the countries long enough to benefit substantially from the experience. Or if you only went to one/two countries then you'd have varying competencies.
I know it's tempting to try and take on three languages, but I honestly think that:
a) It would be too hard to achieve 'near native fluency' in any of them, let alone all three, without seriously hard work.
b) There's nothing you can do with three languages that you can't do with 2, as many companies/organisations will simply see that you're a proven linguist, and just re-train you another language anyway.
c) There should be more to a languages degree than just core language modules. And even if you don't give a toss about learning about the culture, then these modules are often an integral part of increasing your vocabulary etc. anyway.

Crikey, I've written an essay! Just my opinion.
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Neelam1982
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Well, Im doing Arabic and IR - but we have the option of taking one free module a year, in place of an IR module. In my first year, I took French and from September, Ill be dropping the French and using the free module to take Chinese, which I will continue to do in my third and last year (second year will be spent at University of Alexandria, Egypt). Mine is a four year degree, with year abroad. However, outside and alongside University, in a local evening adult education college, I am studying for the French DELF and will continue to do so until I hit the DELF B2 level.

Strange thing is, learning Arabic and French at the same time in my first year makes my brain work in such a way that French is so much easier to pick, then if I had done the French on its own. I think its because Arabic is so much more complex and has a difficult grammar/structure, that when I come to French, its a piece of cake! I have even been getting coursework marks in the 75%-80% range for French and I am sure that this wouldnt be the case if I did French on its own!
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georgia
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Doing two languages can be hard enough, let alone three. Looking at the way my course is structured (all abroad time spent in Italy not France) and talking to fourth year students I doubt I'd get remotely fluent in French so I'm probably going to drop it. I just don't see how studying three is helpful.
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ScarlettDangerfield
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I study three languages and don't feel that I'm any less competent in them than my course mates only studying two.
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Anatheme
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(Original post by ScarlettDangerfield)
I study three languages and don't feel that I'm any less competent in them than my course mates only studying two.
I believe that's because you've not been abroad yet
Of course before you go abroad everyone has the same amount of contact hours for the language component, but that's going abroad that will decide how good or bad you'll be at a language when you come back from it and everyone speaks better than you.
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ScarlettDangerfield
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(Original post by Anatheme)
I believe that's because you've not been abroad yet
Of course before you go abroad everyone has the same amount of contact hours for the language component, but that's going abroad that will decide how good or bad you'll be at a language when you come back from it and everyone speaks better than you.
Yup, I don't doubt that I'll have to work harder at French in fourth year cos I'll only have been there for six weeks as opposed to six months. I still don't think it'll make the French part of my degree worthless though.
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just_a_girl_x
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(Original post by XDaydreamer)
It's so you can concentrate more fully on becoming fluent in one or two languages. I think you can do 3 at Durham if I remember correctly, but you're encouraged to drop one after I think the first year. It would be a lot of work.
You could always keep up the third language in your own time, that way it would be much less pressure than doing 3 to degree level. That's what I'm hoping to do
Do you speak Persian at home or something? I've not heard of that being offered at A level anywhere
I do yeah, because my family is persian but I don't want to do it at university. You can do it as an A Level though, OCR does it
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just_a_girl_x
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(Original post by ScarlettDangerfield)
I study three languages and don't feel that I'm any less competent in them than my course mates only studying two.
Do you mind if I ask why you decided to do three? Because, I really love learning new languages and want to learn as many as possible, but I'm scared of not being fluent in any of them. How are you splitting your third year? And do you really miss out on a lot of culture ect?

How is doing three languages at Birmingham?

Haha sorry so many questions! :/
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