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Dr. Blazed
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#1
Report Thread starter 16 years ago
#1
Bear in mind, when I say "first draft", I did this in about twenty minutes, so be nice please

Ever since beginning to study French and Latin, I have been fascinated by languages, the way in which they relate, and the cultures in which they have developed and continue to develop. This interest has truly fuelled my desire to better my knowledge of modern languages in order to progress in both my understanding of etymology and the daily lives of people throughout Europe.

I have enjoyed further exploring the subject of linguistics, particularly whilst reading An Invitation to Linguistics by R.L. Hudson – the section on how we perceive regional accents was absolutely fascinating.

In my opinion, crucial to the understanding of languages is the understanding of culture, and studying a Slavonic language such as Russian would open up to me a far wider picture in terms of European politics and relations. In French lessons, the way in which the emergence of the European Union has affected both internal politics and daily life in France over the past few decades has interested me a great deal, and studying how this institution has affected relations with Russia will be of great interest to me.

Work experience in a local recording studio as well as a supermarket has given me a number of vital transferable skills which could prove essential in completing a modern languages degree, such as listening and speaking to customers whilst solving any problem that may have arisen.

An important part of my sixth form life has been volunteering to help a French class comprised of first years for one hour a week over the past year has not only furthered the aforementioned skills, but also gifted me the opportunity to continue to study the French language and how it is taught. I found this particularly beneficial to my own studies.

As well as this voluntary work, I have dedicated a great deal of time to performing in and producing a number of concerts over my school life, enjoying not only being able to perform, but the educational experience of working with others in new ways.

Having played guitar in a variety of jazz-based styles for many years, I have developed this musical passion into regular performances outside of school, from a nightclub in a London to local churches. However, I have also enjoyed attending a range of concerts given by others, most notably Rostropovich conducting a Shostackovich concerto.

Keeping physically as well as mentally fit is important to me, and I have competed competitively in squash tournaments, cycle daily and train in karate twice a week. This not only keeps me fit, but also promotes a sense of discipline within myself, which I feel has benefited my academic work greatly.

By the end of an undergraduate degree course, I expect to be a more astute, mature and well-developed person, and my thirst for greater knowledge of languages will continue to drive me in this respect.


Any comments/improvements etc. would be much appreciated.
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Ellie4
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It's good for a first attempt, but the balnce of it is wrong. You should talk about why you want to do the course for a good 2/3rds, and only mention extra-cirriculars/jobs etc in a paragraph at the end.
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Claude
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You should have perhaps one sentence detailing what a great person you are; the rest should be about your subject, you muppet.
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Dr. Blazed
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(Original post by Ellie4)
It's good for a first attempt, but the balnce of it is wrong. You should talk about why you want to do the course for a good 2/3rds, and only mention extra-cirriculars/jobs etc in a paragraph at the end.
Yeah, I realise this, I was going to extend on the parts about how wonderful languages are, but do you have any comments on the stuff I've actually written ?

(Original post by Claude)
You should have perhaps one sentence detailing what a great person you are; the rest should be about your subject, you muppet.
Helpful. Thanks.
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Geogger
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I'd suggest fewer paragraphs, it looks very "bitty" and lacks coherence. Try also to link in your other subjects you do at A level to show how they might help linguistically, culturally, philosophically etc.
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Wagamuffin
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For such a subject I think you should put a lot more emphasis on the literature and topic itself; my sister had horrible references but managed to get into oxford french and russian, she said very little about her extra-curriculars and such (about under 1/3 as far as i remember).
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dieeiervonsatan
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I think you start off good, but it trails off a bit. I'm no expert but..

"Ever since beginning to study French and Latin, I have been fascinated by languages, the way in which they relate, and the cultures in which they have developed and continue to develop. "

I like the latter half of the sentence, but it seems that everyone starts their statement with "I have always been fascinated with ___ ever since I was born.. ". I like the next few paragraphs, you should expand more on that, (I think there's too much stuff not directly relevant to your course) though I'm sure you already realise..

"Keeping physically as well as mentally fit is important to me, and I have competed competitively in squash tournaments, cycle daily and train in karate twice a week. "

competed competitively?

By the end of an undergraduate degree course, I expect to be a more astute, mature and well-developed person, and my thirst for greater knowledge of languages will continue to drive me in this respect.

I personally think you need another few lines to create some sort of memorable ending.
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gringalet
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I think that you should probably explain a lot more why you want to study these particular languages – the literature that interests you, a period of history, a philosophical thinker; maybe the linguistic side of things interests you, such as the Romance languages. You seem to be particularly interested in politics, and so history, so are you studying history – or, indeed, politics – at A-level? I'd mention something about that maybe.

Since you're planning on ab initio Russian (I presume?), I think it's important to show how dedicated you are, as it's not a language you've studied before. Learn a little, or at least learn to read the script, read some literature in translation, a history of the place, and mention this in the statement – it can only help to show your dedication and enthusiasm, and also help you decide if you really do want to study it. You probably should do so for French too. (Sorry if you've already done all this!)

I'd also check what actually courses are on offer at the unis you're applying to – there's no point in blathering on about your love of medieval French literature if it's not on offer at the universities!

God, I sound as if I actually know what I'm talking about – I'm not at uni, but I'm planning on studying German and ab initio Modern Greek, so we're kind of in the same boat. You can PM me if you want to swap notes!

On a slightly different note, French and Russian seems to be quite a popular combination – does anyone know why?
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Miss Mirabilis
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#9
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i haven't got much to add just this bit in the 5th paragraph '[QUOTE=Dr. Blazed] but also gifted me the opportunity...' Tiny thing but just in case you've not noticed it, it should be 'given'. It's only your 1st draft after all. Everyone seems to have given you good advice. I too am struggling to construct a personal statement...grrr bit of a nightmare knowing how to gauge everything, what proportion to write on each bit, etc. I'm going to try and mention literature a fair bit though. I think i'm going to apply to do French and Spanish, but I'm considering Catalan ab initio too, or instead of Spanish. I'm not really too sure about the whole thing, except that I know I want to do MML. I'm hoping that over the summer I'll think the whole thing out a bit more. Good Luck with it.
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