Ashbash12345
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Hello,

I was wondering if you could help... I am thinking of applying for a double languages degree. With a year spent abroad.

Do you think I will achieve fluency after studying my languages degree.

Thank you in advanced : )
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Caz1234567
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The short answer is no. You will not be fluent. You will probably be able to speak quite a lot of the language but "fluency" is very different. I think the term "fluent" is too overused and instead of trying to achieve "fluency" (which is pretty much impossible), you should focus on learning the language and enjoying the process of learning it. Hope this helps!
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FionaMG
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It depends on several things, such as how much work you put into it, whether or not you have a natural flair for picking up languages and, especially with regard to your year abroad, whether you spend your time mostly around locals getting tons of practice or waste the opportunity by hanging out with other English-speaking students.

From personal experience, I spent my year abroad in France many years ago as an English language assistant. I had virtually no contact with English except in the classes I taught. I lived with a French family and socialised with French people. By the time I came back my French was so good I was able to pass for a native and, having spent the year in Toulouse, spoke with a noticeable southern French accent.

Fast forward 36 years and my daughter followed in my footsteps but she shared an apartment with another English language assistant and most of her socialising was with a large group of other English-speaking language assistants. Her level of French on her return was good but not a patch on mine all those years ago.

So ask yourself how much you want to be fluent. It can be done, but doing a degree with a year abroad will not guarantee it. You have to actively decide to make it happen.
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tinygirl96
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It depends
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hootdoot04
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What language are you studying? And how long have you been learning it?
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Ashbash12345
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(Original post by Caz1234567)
The short answer is no. You will not be fluent. You will probably be able to speak quite a lot of the language but "fluency" is very different. I think the term "fluent" is too overused and instead of trying to achieve "fluency" (which is pretty much impossible), you should focus on learning the language and enjoying the process of learning it. Hope this helps!
Okay great thanks for getting back to me ☺️👍
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Ashbash12345
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(Original post by FionaMG)
It depends on several things, such as how much work you put into it, whether or not you have a natural flair for picking up languages and, especially with regard to your year abroad, whether you spend your time mostly around locals getting tons of practice or waste the opportunity by hanging out with other English-speaking students.

From personal experience, I spent my year abroad in France many years ago as an English language assistant. I had virtually no contact with English except in the classes I taught. I lived with a French family and socialised with French people. By the time I came back my French was so good I was able to pass for a native and, having spent the year in Toulouse, spoke with a noticeable southern French accent.

Fast forward 36 years and my daughter followed in my footsteps but she shared an apartment with another English language assistant and most of her socialising was with a large group of other English-speaking language assistants. Her level of French on her return was good but not a patch on mine all those years ago.

So ask yourself how much you want to be fluent. It can be done, but doing a degree with a year abroad will not guarantee it. You have to actively decide to make it happen.
Wow sounds like an incredible experience!!! Thanks so much for your reply ☺️👍
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Ashbash12345
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(Original post by hootdoot04)
What language are you studying? And how long have you been learning it?
It would be Spanish and I’ve been learning it in school for 5 years... also thanks for your reply 👍👍
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Ashbash12345
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(Original post by tinygirl96)
It depends
Yeah I suppose... also thanks for your reply 👍👍😁
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FionaMG
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(Original post by Ashbash12345)
Wow sounds like an incredible experience!!! Thanks so much for your reply ☺️👍
My pleasure. I'm glad to have been of assistance. Good luck with your studies going forward.
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black tea
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I did a GCSE in a language I speak fluently and the person who did my oral exam was a teacher of that language but not a native speaker. When she spoke, it sounded fluent, but I genuinely struggled to understand what she was saying. So Idk. I feel like you have to be fully immersed in an environment where a language is spoken in order to become fluent, and in my opinion, a year is not enough.
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Zarek
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With aptitude and effort you could be pretty good. A colleague of mine, admittedly very bright and already trilingual, went to work in Sweden and was fully operational in 6 months. I spent a year working in Italy with weekly lessons and pretty much every day was an exhausting adventure.
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Ashbash12345
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(Original post by FionaMG)
My pleasure. I'm glad to have been of assistance. Good luck with your studies going forward.
😁😁😁
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Ashbash12345
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(Original post by Zarek)
With aptitude and effort you could be pretty good. A colleague of mine, admittedly very bright and already trilingual, went to work in Sweden and was fully operational in 6 months. I spent a year working in Italy with weekly lessons and pretty much every day was an exhausting adventure.
Okay thank you for your reply 😁👍 I would like to go to Italy one day, it looks like a beautiful country, and ive heard great things about their food. 😁😁
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Ashbash12345
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(Original post by black tea)
I did a GCSE in a language I speak fluently and the person who did my oral exam was a teacher of that language but not a native speaker. When she spoke, it sounded fluent, but I genuinely struggled to understand what she was saying. So Idk. I feel like you have to be fully immersed in an environment where a language is spoken in order to become fluent, and in my opinion, a year is not enough.
Yes that makes sense 🙂, thanks for your reply 👍
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Lukeey!
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I think it depends on which language you’re learning . If it’s an easier language like French, Spanish, Italian, etc then it’s definitely doable, but if you wanna study a difficult language like Japanese or Chinese then probs not.
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Ashbash12345
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(Original post by Lukeey!)
I think it depends on which language you’re learning . If it’s an easier language like French, Spanish, Italian, etc then it’s definitely doable, but if you wanna study a difficult language like Japanese or Chinese then probs not.
Yeah that makes sense! Thanks for your reply 👍
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majesson
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To add to what others have said, the fact that it's typically seen to be "easier" alongside the fact that you've been learning it for a while and will spend a year there - well, that's nine years (including one in the country), so if not fluent then certainly good.
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SirNoodles
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There's no way of measuring "fluency" as such - it's a word that is used too loosely nowadays and it's more of a subjective concept in accordance with each person's idea of "fluency".

If you mean proficiency, I doubt the uni course alone will get you to great proficiency. It's down to you to work hard in the course and practise the language as much as you can outside of the course! I'm not a uni student yet myself but, when it comes to languages, classes never suffice themselves and practising with natives or content/material in that language is crucial. Of course it also depends on what language you're learning because learning Spanish in any time period is a lot more of a doable task than learning say Chinese or Japanese in the same time. Good luck with your language learning
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ad4155
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As many others have said in this thread, it really depends on the effort that you are willing to put into your studies.
Speaking from personal experience, you need to ensure that you are taking your head out of the textbooks and interacting with the language in a real life, modern context: watching tv series in that language; making spanish friends (easier said than done); even reading a Spanish Twitter feed can help.

I studied Japanese and French at degree level, spending my year abroad in Japan, and then living in France for a year immediately after my degree. I didn’t feel like I was fluent upon graduating - I could discuss complex topics, but for everyday, modern use of the language, I still felt like I had a long way to go. This was mainly because I spent a lot of time reading textbooks and doing homework rather than actually using the language in my everyday life. That’s why I moved out to France after my degree to work as an English teacher. At first, I surrounded myself with English speakers as I was too nervous to go it alone and have a normal, everyday convo in French. I found that in a lot of situations, I had no idea what the vocabulary for certain words were, (e.g. going to the pharmacy and asking for tweezers) However, one day, I decided to bite the bullet and went to a French colleague’s party. It was so hard to begin with, but after consistently hanging around with French people for about a month, I noticed I was getting much confident, speaking more fluidly, and not having to search for a random piece of vocabulary every 20 seconds. It’s a shame that I had to return, as I was really getting into my flow just before I left France.

Don’t make my mistake and bite the bullet as early as possible. Yes it will be hard, maybe even embarrassing on some occasions, but I promise you that you will improve so much and come back feeling like you can take on the world.

A great tip is to pretend you are not English. That way they can’t force you into speaking your mother tongue
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