Decisions, Decisions... Watch

Hiccups
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#1
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#1
Hiya,

I'm new here and this post should probably go into a different category so someone might want to move it!

I'm feeling a bit confused, I got 12 A*s at GCSE and I'm well on the way to getting AAAA at A-Level - I'm at the end of my first year; I did English Language, French, Geography and Sociology and next year I'll be doing Eng, French and Geog and maybe Chinese.

I've always been a bit of an all rounder, I'm very musical but decided I'd rather keep it as a hobby. I love French and although one of my main life goals is to be totally fluent, the literature and history of France doesn't really interest me. To me it's all about the language - I adore the English language too: the complexity of the rules and the extent of expression, the language over time and language acquisition, all that jazz. Although I love writing poetry I'm not too keen on literature. I'm fascinated by speech impediments, spelling, idioms... but then again I do love learning French too. Thing is, in my French lessons, if we're learning about the language itself and all the complex grammar and certain expressions I love it, but as soon as we talk about culture or literature or history I start to doze off.

For the last 3 years I've spent my summers in France, working in cafes and staying with friends. I love to see my French improve and I am good at it.

I just don't know what to do at uni - at first I thought seeing as all I want to do is be fluent I'm better off forgetting uni and just living and working in France. But I do love learning and I think I'd quickly miss academic life. So reading all this, what do people reckon I should do?

I suppose if I did have to learn about the culture and history of France I could grow to love it, to be honest I've never really done much research on it but perhaps this is something I could do. I love French films, but the first time I picked up some French lit (some short stories by Balzac) I dozed off - I'd rather just read a book of French idioms.

I'm thinking maybe French and Linguistics. Then I'd get the French-fluency bit and the language bit. Oooohh I'm so not sure. Or I could just do French with linguistics modules, but then it's about the linguistics of French not English. Or I could just do linguistics - but then I don't get the French bit.

I'm also unsure about doing Chinese. It does interest me but I'm worried it's going to be too much and I'd rather focus on my other subjects and also still have the free time that I'm enjoying at the moment!! :-) I was actually tempted to drop Geography too and just do Eng, French and Chinese. But I need the points from Geog and it would be stupid to just get 2 full A-Levels. The Chinese isn't even a GCSE, it's a Language Ladder thingy. I dunno, it just appealed to me because I like learning languages. How many brownie points would this give me though if I was to go to uni? Is it worth it?

I really need to start thinking about what I want to do. This summer I need to start working towards whatever I want to do at uni and starting reading up or doing some extra research and prep. But until I've decided what I want to do I can't. I'm the sort of person that needs to know what I'm aiming for.

xx

p.s I'd love to go to Cambridge and would love to do an ab initio language - but they are soooo focused on literature and it puts me off!!
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jonnythemoose
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There are loads of courses out there that are language focused. Check out Southampton's French Linguistic Studies page, which is French, Linguistics, and French Linguistics all rolled in to one tasty 4 year degree course. The individual units page is an interesting read, too. Southampton has a great reputation for modern languages too. The times puts it at #11 for French, tied with Bristol for 2009. (If you want to pay attention to the league tables)

Other unis offer courses that may have lit and cultural modules etc., but many will allow you to avoid lit entirely.

Regarding Cambridge, you can get by without doing any literature, but I do believe they prefer you to do literature. And yes, you're right that with an ab initio language, you'd have a compulsory lit paper.
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Anatheme
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Just a little thing, lol, if you want to work in France, DO NOT forget university. Nowadays it's impossible to get a good job without a degree, and the best would be to get a Master, because most jobs won't accept you if you don't have one (a Master, lol, not a BA). Here's another crappy thing about France...

Not interested in studying in France (well I reckon our unis are not that great but still) ? You could improve your French and study something you like (that's what I'm going to do, lol). If it interests you, I'd be glad to help you with French uni stuff .
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Lil Lee Lee
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My uni doesn't do much literature. I do German but most of my friends do French and most of their stuff is language based rather than literature. I'm afraid there's an element of culture and history lessons though

You can also combine it with English Language or Translation Studies for your linguistics side. Have a look here if you're interested.
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elin89
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Re Cambridge, in a post A Level language it is usually possible to avoid literature - in French that would mean doing linguistics. Unlike what someone said ^^ they dont discourage it, it depends on who your Director of Studies is, i know people who have linguistics people who push linguitics onto them.
in an ab initio language at cambridge you can't avoid literature in your first year, but its only a very small part and you can avoid it afterward. in 4th year there are specialist comparative papers (romance, germanic, slavonic etc) as well as the possibility of borrowing papers from the linguistics tripos. indeed you can switch to a full linguistics degree in your 3rd year.
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thatwhichiam
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I was reading your post with the words, 'French and Linguistics' reverberating round my head. You sound a lot like me only with less interest in the other cultural bits (only with French). Do French and Linguistics. Somewhere like Manchester (*shameless plug*) I think you can have quite a bit of flexibility and in your first year (and therefore never) you don't have to do literature.
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