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Advice - How valuable are languages to Universities? watch

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    Hi all,I will be applying to University in a few years and I`m considering learning a language to bolster my application. However, I wasn't able to timetable in a language this year without sacrificing other more relevant subjects to the field I plan to enter. This leaves me with two options - teach myself a language, or wait a year or two and crash a Higher. The problem with the latter option is that I will still have to drop another subject to take up the language.Is it worth teaching myself a language? If it is, which language is most valuable to Universities?Thanks.
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    If you have a language GCSE you know the basics of the language in question and can have a simple conversation in that language. If you wish to study in said language (any subject of your choice) then take it to A level and spend a year or two living in a country whose official language is that language.
    For an Englishman the obvious choices are French and German. Mandarin Chinese is becoming more popular but it is difficult for non-natives to speak the language
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    (Original post by EA_Hughes)
    Hi all,I will be applying to University in a few years and I`m considering learning a language to bolster my application. However, I wasn't able to timetable in a language this year without sacrificing other more relevant subjects to the field I plan to enter. This leaves me with two options - teach myself a language, or wait a year or two and crash a Higher. The problem with the latter option is that I will still have to drop another subject to take up the language.Is it worth teaching myself a language? If it is, which language is most valuable to Universities?Thanks.
    You need to check whether the unis for the course you have in mind actually require a language GCSE - sometimes they do, but it is unusual. If there isn't a requirement for a language GCSE, you won't add necessarily add anything to your application and could detract from it. Self-teaching is hard work with uncertain results.

    When you say 'sacrificing' relevant subjects, you might like to consider whether they really do matter at this stage. Plenty of people go to read economics, or sociology, or even psychology - for example, there are plenty of others - at uni without having studied it beforehand. Unless the subjects concerned are mainstream sciences or humanities, I wouldn't worry about not doing them.

    Also, if you are thinking in terms of a humanities subject at university, a language can be helpful for some courses at some unis.
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    One of the universities I`m thinking of applying to recommends two years of a foreign language, but I don`t think they require it as such. I`m assuming that my three years of broad general education French don`t count in this respect. I`m thinking about going into the technology sector, so a language doesn't really relate, but it is a very competitive course to get into.
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    (Original post by EA_Hughes)
    One of the universities I`m thinking of applying to recommends two years of a foreign language, but I don`t think they require it as such. I`m assuming that my three years of broad general education French don`t count in this respect. I`m thinking about going into the technology sector, so a language doesn't really relate, but it is a very competitive course to get into.
    This is the key word - if the course is realy competitive to get into, you'll need the language to stand the best chance of success. I agree with you that this doesn't relate to the standard three years of 'broad general education'.
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    With that in mind, am I better off trying my hand at a foreign language on my own, or waiting until next year and seeing what options I have with that timetable? If I crashed a Higher in fifth or sixth year, would I be able to argue that I had completed two years worth or work?

    Another option that I briefly considered is building up a base in one of the languages my school offers this year, so that next year if the timetable doesn't work out I could study for an exam on my own time, but with the support of a languages teacher.
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    I am fluent in 4 languages and my University's didn't give a flying hoot. But if youre course requires a language then consider learning one.
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    (Original post by EA_Hughes)
    With that in mind, am I better off trying my hand at a foreign language on my own, or waiting until next year and seeing what options I have with that timetable? If I crashed a Higher in fifth or sixth year, would I be able to argue that I had completed two years worth or work?

    Another option that I briefly considered is building up a base in one of the languages my school offers this year, so that next year if the timetable doesn't work out I could study for an exam on my own time, but with the support of a languages teacher.
    This would be the better option, as long as you don't end up distracted from your main studies.
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    Thanks for the help. I do a lot of self-studying so I`m pretty sure I can handle the workload - I`m sitting my maths a year early, which means a lot of unsupervised learning from notes booklets and textbooks, plus I`m working independently of the class in computing science. Do you think a crash Higher next year would count as two years worth of work, or would I have to look into doing Advanced Higher in 6th year as well?
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    (Original post by EA_Hughes)
    Thanks for the help. I do a lot of self-studying so I`m pretty sure I can handle the workload - I`m sitting my maths a year early, which means a lot of unsupervised learning from notes booklets and textbooks, plus I`m working independently of the class in computing science. Do you think a crash Higher next year would count as two years worth of work, or would I have to look into doing Advanced Higher in 6th year as well?
    You should consult your teachers on that one
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    (Original post by EA_Hughes)
    Hi all,I will be applying to University in a few years and I`m considering learning a language to bolster my application. However, I wasn't able to timetable in a language this year without sacrificing other more relevant subjects to the field I plan to enter. This leaves me with two options - teach myself a language, or wait a year or two and crash a Higher. The problem with the latter option is that I will still have to drop another subject to take up the language.Is it worth teaching myself a language? If it is, which language is most valuable to Universities?Thanks.
    As said above, it depends on the university and program you want to get into. That's where you have to start looking. If it's not requested there and you don't want to learn it but would rather learn something you're more interested in which you can see the practical use of, then don't bother learning the language you'll never use and will forget within a year anyway.
 
 
 

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