sixdifferentways
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I'm currently in year 12 and I have my heart SET on going to Oxford. I think I will be able to get the grades I need so I'm only moderately concerned with that. What I am worried about is all of the other things I need to apply. I do some work with charity and volunteer in my spare time, as well as playing musical instruments and doing concerts, but I'm concerned because it doesn't really reate to what I want to study (French). If anyone has any ideas what I could do to have more to put on my application that would be brill
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Mona123456
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(Original post by sixdifferentways)
I'm currently in year 12 and I have my heart SET on going to Oxford. I think I will be able to get the grades I need so I'm only moderately concerned with that. What I am worried about is all of the other things I need to apply. I do some work with charity and volunteer in my spare time, as well as playing musical instruments and doing concerts, but I'm concerned because it doesn't really reate to what I want to study (French). If anyone has any ideas what I could do to have more to put on my application that would be brill
Listen to podcasts, read French literature, watch French films, go to French lectures, apply for any summer schools that are languages related, see if you can take a trip to France and do a short placement or exchange week, watch TED talks, and just ensure you’re on top of A Levels and entrance test prep. What A Levels do you take?
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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The French course at Oxford is very literature-heavy, so it would be good to do wider reading if possible (either in original language or translation) :yes:
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r3320
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(Original post by Mona123456)
Listen to podcasts, read French literature, watch French films, go to French lectures, apply for any summer schools that are languages related, see if you can take a trip to France and do a short placement or exchange week, watch TED talks, and just ensure you’re on top of A Levels and entrance test prep. What A Levels do you take?
this is great advice. all these things are entirely useful as you will be able to mention it in your personal statement. try going to oxford summer schools too. also, given you have a year (well less than that but in academic terms you do) it is prime time to really get reading. for instance, check on their recommended reading list for students studying languages!
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sixdifferentways
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(Original post by Mona123456)
Listen to podcasts, read French literature, watch French films, go to French lectures, apply for any summer schools that are languages related, see if you can take a trip to France and do a short placement or exchange week, watch TED talks, and just ensure you’re on top of A Levels and entrance test prep. What A Levels do you take?
That’s good news, I’ve just started listening to French podcasts recently!! Thank you so much for your advice! I currently take French, English Lit, History, and Psychology (I didn’t choose to do 4 my school forces us to 😂)
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sixdifferentways
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
The French course at Oxford is very literature-heavy, so it would be good to do wider reading if possible (either in original language or translation) :yes:
Oooo thank you for the heads up!! This will be very useful
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Mona123456
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(Original post by sixdifferentways)
That’s good news, I’ve just started listening to French podcasts recently!! Thank you so much for your advice! I currently take French, English Lit, History, and Psychology (I didn’t choose to do 4 my school forces us to 😂)
Great, that podcast will be helpful. Those A Levels are good, although if you feel 4 is too much, if your school lets you drop one after a year, it may be worth it. 3A*s is better than 2A*s and 2As. Anyway, best of luck!
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bimbibap
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(Original post by sixdifferentways)
I'm currently in year 12 and I have my heart SET on going to Oxford. I think I will be able to get the grades I need so I'm only moderately concerned with that. What I am worried about is all of the other things I need to apply. I do some work with charity and volunteer in my spare time, as well as playing musical instruments and doing concerts, but I'm concerned because it doesn't really reate to what I want to study (French). If anyone has any ideas what I could do to have more to put on my application that would be brill
I'd say lots of reading of French authors, and summer camps that teach french.
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Edd_Blake
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Based on my son's recent interviews, I'd agree that reading (and listening) widely in French is important. But most importantly, don't be afraid to let your interests guide your way and motivate you. Don't, for example, eschew any passionately-held interests because they aren't perceived as 'academic'.

For example, my son spent a lot of time on YouTube listening to French hip hop and rap. This led to other texts - e.g. interviews / newspaper reviews - that he genuinely enjoyed working through. An interest in Maître Gims, for example, can lead to discussions on culture and identity in modern France...

So yeah, don't forget why you love French, and don't forget to be a 17-year old during this academic process! I've got a feeling you'll do well...
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sixdifferentways
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(Original post by Edd_Blake)
Based on my son's recent interviews, I'd agree that reading (and listening) widely in French is important. But most importantly, don't be afraid to let your interests guide your way and motivate you. Don't, for example, eschew any passionately-held interests because they aren't perceived as 'academic'.

For example, my son spent a lot of time on YouTube listening to French hip hop and rap. This led to other texts - e.g. interviews / newspaper reviews - that he genuinely enjoyed working through. An interest in Maître Gims, for example, can lead to discussions on culture and identity in modern France...

So yeah, don't forget why you love French, and don't forget to be a 17-year old during this academic process! I've got a feeling you'll do well...
That is so sweet of you thank you ) I’ve started listening to french podcasts about history and things and I wasn’t sure if it would be enough but this is really encouraging! Thank you for your help!
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HannahLGriffiths
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I never applied for Oxford, but I study German at a Russel Group uni. For including playing an instrument, I mentioned the language used in musical scores and the strong history of classical music in German society, which obviously links with French as well.
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Deggs_14
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Have you done any volunteering or something or the nature in France? I think this is important to demonstrate your cultural appreciation and that you've worked/volunteered in France. Often volunteering at the harvest time or ski stations. Also reading french literature is very important as the course is literature heavy. This will definitely need to be a paragraph or two in your personal statement as everyone studies at least one book usually in Y13, some do two for paper 2.

I would recommend the works of Camus such as La Peste or Le Mithe de Sysiphe, all of which have lots of philosophical elements to discover. Otherwise Le Petit Prince is a classic. I think demonstrating you can read and enjoy French 20th century literature is important.

Je te souhaite bonne chance
Last edited by Deggs_14; 11 months ago
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by sixdifferentways)
I'm currently in year 12 and I have my heart SET on going to Oxford. I think I will be able to get the grades I need so I'm only moderately concerned with that. What I am worried about is all of the other things I need to apply. I do some work with charity and volunteer in my spare time, as well as playing musical instruments and doing concerts, but I'm concerned because it doesn't really reate to what I want to study (French). If anyone has any ideas what I could do to have more to put on my application that would be brill
Hi sixdifferentways

My son got into Oxford for German, and he has written a chapter about it in my book "Oxford Demystified". Please see the link below.

Emile Zola is viewed as being very trendy: try my favourite, La Bete Humaine. It's all about a load of murderers (the murderer count is unfeasibly high) or try some Moliere like Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Also read poetry as this is what they will test you on (you will need to analyse at interview)

Practise the MLAT as well.

https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=6100480

Any more questions? Either ask me on this thread or pm me. Would be happy to help, as French is my subject.
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liverninthered
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Lots of good ideas offered already, but a couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly, Oxford ML department don't care that much about personal statements: they have interviews and admissions tests which are much better indicators of success. As such, don't get too worried about the personal statement, good or bad it hardly changes your chances of getting in.

Also, you don't need to go out of your way to do extra things to prove you're a good applicant. I would advise focusing on why you want to study French, ideally with a focus on literature, rather than reeling off a list of experiences (they care about how you think not what you've done)
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sixdifferentways
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(Original post by liverninthered)
Lots of good ideas offered already, but a couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly, Oxford ML department don't care that much about personal statements: they have interviews and admissions tests which are much better indicators of success. As such, don't get too worried about the personal statement, good or bad it hardly changes your chances of getting in.

Also, you don't need to go out of your way to do extra things to prove you're a good applicant. I would advise focusing on why you want to study French, ideally with a focus on literature, rather than reeling off a list of experiences (they care about how you think not what you've done)
You, my friend, are incredible. That’s the most helpful thing anyone has said to me so far!
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sixdifferentways
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(Original post by Deggs_14)
Have you done any volunteering or something or the nature in France? I think this is important to demonstrate your cultural appreciation and that you've worked/volunteered in France. Often volunteering at the harvest time or ski stations. Also reading french literature is very important as the course is literature heavy. This will definitely need to be a paragraph or two in your personal statement as everyone studies at least one book usually in Y13, some do two for paper 2.

I would recommend the works of Camus such as La Peste or Le Mithe de Sysiphe, all of which have lots of philosophical elements to discover. Otherwise Le Petit Prince is a classic. I think demonstrating you can read and enjoy French 20th century literature is important.

Je te souhaite bonne chance
Thank you! I started reading Le Petit Prince last night, I thought I’d start a little easier and work my way up to harder texts!
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Oxford Mum
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Good idea to work your way up to harder texts

Jean Anouilh’s alouette is also not too difficult
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