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    hi, my daughter has been discouraged from applying to do french at oxford, she is writing the french bac next year, on the grounds that her high french marks will be discounted and a not insignificant part of the course will be grammar she already knows. She loves French literature. If not French, she would do Spanish and something ab initio (probably Russian). To clarify the title, we came to France when she was 7, both her parents are native English speakers.
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    Hi, I do German not French, but in my experience there are quite a few near-native/native speakers that get in. A love of literature is great, as it is actually the main focus of Oxford modern language courses. Also, if French is similar to German, a high level of grammar means you do less, or no, extra grammar classes in first year. The Oxford tutors aim not to make you sit through things that are too easy. I'd say definitely apply and if she wants the challenge to do French and Spanish or French and Russian. If she does two languages the native French will definitely be a massive advantage and there's no way it would count against her.

    Good luck!
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    How about something like History and Modern Languages? I'm doing straight History, but have still had the opportunity to take a module in which all source texts are in French. There's a French Society here, and at the Language Centre you can study separately to your degree. So your daughter's language/literature interests could be pursued even if they didn't feature at all in her course.

    Good luck to her
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    (Original post by jb0001)
    hi, my daughter has been discouraged from applying to do french at oxford, she is writing the french bac next year, on the grounds that her high french marks will be discounted and a not insignificant part of the course will be grammar she already knows. She loves French literature. If not French, she would do Spanish and something ab initio (probably Russian). To clarify the title, we came to France when she was 7, both her parents are native English speakers.
    I would definitely recommend doing French in combination with something else, not necessarily because she would find the French sole course too easy, but because it's the perfect opportunity to try new things. Something like French and Spanish could be a good choice - she still gets to explore French literature, but also has a more conventional experience of a ModLangs degree through the Spanish side.

    As people have mentioned, the course is very literature based, which I guess is a plus for your daughter, as if she had chosen any other university except Cambridge she would probably have been quite bored with the pace.

    Also, I wouldn't necessarily assume that the grammar classes will be entirely useless, as native French speakers still make mistakes and we cover some pretty obscure grammatical nuances that even my well educated French friends had no idea existed. Indeed, in my year we have around 7 or so native French speakers doing the course and, perhaps surprisingly, they did not all get the top 7 marks in first year language exams.
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    Speaking as a second year French and ab initio Russian student, two of our class were French educated and had sat the French Bac and were for all intents and purposes French. You just need to prove your interest in French Literature and your aptitude for Russian in the test. Grammar classes won't be useless because looking at it from an English perspective will be different to what you've already done and it doesn't necessarily give you a huge advantage. Obviously they do have an advantage in the language papers but overall this does not unbalance the course.
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    Daughter in question here – thanks for the encouraging advice! What you've said about the language side of the course is what I more or less felt but wasn't completely sure about. My only worry is that my fluency might go down differently at other universities where the course is more language-based...
 
 
 
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