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    (Original post by Lizia)
    Well from what I've heard, they're planning to basically smoosh all the language departments into one big "divison" (was that the word?) and basically teach European-studies style courses, rather than the specialist ones currently offered by departmental academics. And they want to move all language courses out of the departments and into the language centre. And they want to get rid of a lot of the year abroad co-ordinators and just have one or two people act for every single country.

    I take most of this with a pinch of salt as I'm not 100% certain on it, but this is what my friends have told me, and she's pretty into the campaign.
    That's actually retarded, I mean I love the language centre but it's so crap, especially at organisation. I don't know anyone who has used it and has a positive view of it.

    On the other hand I think some of the language departments should be a bit broader. I originally came to UCL to study Russian and Spanish, but the Spanish department is limited to literature and almost NOTHING else. Seriously, why should studying languages limit you to literature? The Russian department on the other hand let you study loads of other things like history, economics and politics if you wanted to.

    I do think though that any changes shouldn't be forced upon current students. I think that's completely out of order.
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    (Original post by paddy)
    I originally came to UCL to study Russian and Spanish, but the Spanish department is limited to literature and almost NOTHING else. Seriously, why should studying languages limit you to literature?
    This is why I think French at UCL is a lot better than Spanish. I actually wonder sometimes if I should have gone to the SSEES or SOAS to do a more exciting language.
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    (Original post by rockrunride)
    This is why I think French at UCL is a lot better than Spanish. I actually wonder sometimes if I should have gone to the SSEES or SOAS to do a more exciting language.
    Russian is hard :sadnod:

    I just think it would be better if the only compulsory part of a language degree were language modules, and you could choose what else you wanted to study like in ESPS.

    Tbh I think they should just have ESPS but make it broader, i.e. you can study literature/culture/cinema etc as well as social sciences if you want to. That way your degree can be as broad or as focused as you want it to be.
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    (Original post by paddy)
    That's actually retarded, I mean I love the language centre but it's so crap, especially at organisation. I don't know anyone who has used it and has a positive view of it.
    Exactly. I've only been there one, but I found the staff pretty rude and unhelfpul!

    On the other hand I think some of the language departments should be a bit broader. I originally came to UCL to study Russian and Spanish, but the Spanish department is limited to literature and almost NOTHING else. Seriously, why should studying languages limit you to literature? The Russian department on the other hand let you study loads of other things like history, economics and politics if you wanted to.
    Oh, I agree that would be good! The French department is ridiculously focuses on literature. From looking at most of the second year options, you get to do history and politics, but you study it through literature from the time. Which is just basic literature studies, really. The Italian department is much better with courses on pretty much anything. It seems strange to me that such a comparatively smaller department can offer such a broader choice, but there you go!

    The way my friends made it sound, you'd be doing completely European courses- so a literature course would have French, Spanish, Dutch etc authors all mixed together, and you'd only study the big classics from each language. Likewise, a history course would teach what was happening across Europe in a certain time frame not specialise by country.

    Now this sounds moronic to me, so I think (hope!) my friends have misunderstood somewhere. Can anyone here correct me? I've heard other things as well, but they all seem equally disatrous! At the very least, it seems to be that specialised, more individual country-specific courses will be cut, which as far as I can see would mean cutting pretty much every Italian course. Like this year, I did a course in Italian neorealist cinema and literature, and another in modern Italian crime fiction. My tutor for the second is one of only three academics in the country. It was a brilliant course, but I can't see it surviving the cuts.
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    (Original post by paddy)
    Russian is hard :sadnod:

    I just think it would be better if the only compulsory part of a language degree were language modules, and you could choose what else you wanted to study like in ESPS.

    Tbh I think they should just have ESPS but make it broader, i.e. you can study literature/culture/cinema etc as well as social sciences if you want to. That way your degree can be as broad or as focused as you want it to be.
    The problem with ESPS is that doing that would completely undermine the reason for its existence and its academic character. ESPS is meant to combine social sciences and languages in a European conceptual framework. You do take some literature/culture courses as part of the language part of your degree (although not that many), and there's Language and Culture if you want culture without the social sciences.

    Also I think it should be pointed out that once you've chosen your specialisms by the second year you really don't have that much leeway and it looks a lot like a joint honours language/humanity degree. What exactly does the sort of degree they're proposing look like? Are the literature/culture courses going to be much less concerned with that of a particular language? Because if that's the case (and that's what it sounds like), that would honestly be rubbish.
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    (Original post by Lizia)
    Exactly. I've only been there one, but I found the staff pretty rude and unhelfpul!



    Oh, I agree that would be good! The French department is ridiculously focuses on literature. From looking at most of the second year options, you get to do history and politics, but you study it through literature from the time. Which is just basic literature studies, really. The Italian department is much better with courses on pretty much anything. It seems strange to me that such a comparatively smaller department can offer such a broader choice, but there you go!

    The way my friends made it sound, you'd be doing completely European courses- so a literature course would have French, Spanish, Dutch etc authors all mixed together, and you'd only study the big classics from each language. Likewise, a history course would teach what was happening across Europe in a certain time frame not specialise by country.

    Now this sounds moronic to me, so I think (hope!) my friends have misunderstood somewhere. Can anyone here correct me? I've heard other things as well, but they all seem equally disatrous! At the very least, it seems to be that specialised, more individual country-specific courses will be cut, which as far as I can see would mean cutting pretty much every Italian course. Like this year, I did a course in Italian neorealist cinema and literature, and another in modern Italian crime fiction. My tutor for the second is one of only three academics in the country. It was a brilliant course, but I can't see it surviving the cuts.
    It sounds like they're interpreting that from the consultation a year or two back, when they came up with proposals something like that, but it was decided after consultations with the language department staff not to go through with those proposals. The scaremongering doesn't do anyone any good.

    The current proposals are made up of Phase 1 and Phase 2, phase 1 is administrative reforms, phase 2 is curriculum reforms and the like. Phase one is what is going on at the moment and what all the consultations and meetings are about. No one knows any details about phase 2 at the moment, so it can't be said yet what is going to happen to langauge teaching, and it seems more logical to be thinking about Phase 1 and what people agree with/disagree with in that, and then deal with phase 2 when we have more information about it.

    Having just had a departmental meeting about it, the most worrying thing at the moment is what is going to happen to departmental administrators. I can't speak for any other departments, but our departmental administrator is vitally important in the Scandinavian department. The proposals they've suggested change the system to more "teams" of administrators rather than the current individual ones, and will mean people either taking dramatic pay cuts or "voluntary" redundancy, and will mean we lose our first point of contact, who knows everything about our department, our courses etc. Whoever would become our new point of contact is not going to be able to speak Swedish/Danish/Norwegian/Icelandic (not to mention Old Norse and Faroese), isn't going to know anything about the cultures or anything like that. They also give utterly ridiculous workloads to the new positions they're creating, like having one person being in charge of all the undergrad students, all the affiliates and doing the year abroad stuff. That's over 1000 students across modern languages, studying 10 different langauges, and going to and from numerous different countries, which is never in a million years going to work.

    Oh, and to anyone wanting to write to the dean with their concerns/suggestions etc. make sure your spelling, grammar, punctuation etc. is utterly perfect, he has said that he will essentially ignore any letters he gets where this is anything less than spot on.

    C-
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    The problem with ESPS is that doing that would completely undermine the reason for its existence and its academic character. ESPS is meant to combine social sciences and languages in a European conceptual framework. You do take some literature/culture courses as part of the language part of your degree (although not that many), and there's Language and Culture if you want culture without the social sciences.

    Also I think it should be pointed out that once you've chosen your specialisms by the second year you really don't have that much leeway and it looks a lot like a joint honours language/humanity degree. What exactly does the sort of degree they're proposing look like? Are the literature/culture courses going to be much less concerned with that of a particular language? Because if that's the case (and that's what it sounds like), that would honestly be rubbish.
    As far as I'm aware, you don't specifically take literature/culture courses as part of ESPS, you take additional modules from the department of your main and/or minor language. If the language were Spanish then yes that would mean it would be a literature module, however if it were Russian then you could do any module within SSEES (i.e. Business, Economics, Politics etc subject to approval).

    And yes it would look more like a joint honours, but that's in the ESPS case. I'm not saying that that's how language degrees should be.

    In my opinion a language degree should be a LOT more flexible than most language degrees in UCL currently are. As I've said before, the Spanish department is like 95% literature, with the odd cinema module in the last year - I personally think that that's a disgrace, and was my reason for abandoning Spanish faster than a rat in a sinking ship. I can't be the only person who likes languages yet abhors studying literature. I'm not saying you should not be allowed study literature alongside language, I'm saying you should be able to choose.

    As for what UCL is proposing I have not a clue I am afraid. The only thing I know is that it involves the merging of language departments into one UBER language department. Aside from that I don't know, I just was intrigued when someone mentioned earlier that they wanted to make language degrees more like ESPS :dontknow:
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    (Original post by paddy)
    As far as I'm aware, you don't specifically take literature/culture courses as part of ESPS, you take additional modules from the department of your main and/or minor language. If the language were Spanish then yes that would mean it would be a literature module, however if it were Russian then you could do any module within SSEES (i.e. Business, Economics, Politics etc subject to approval).
    Not the case. The extra module that you take in Russian must be literature/culture, even in second and 4th year (as I have discovered to my impotent rage) You specifically must take at least 1 extra course on top of your language courses in your language department, and at least 0.5 of them must be literature (so the French majors have 1.0 modules on top they have to take, 0.5 of which has to be lit; a lot of people are taking Making of Modern France which obvs is history). Obviously that's not the case for straight or joint honours Russian, but between the ESPS requirements and the SSEES exclusionism (:mad: :mad: :mad: etc) that's what it ends up being. I got the module selection form for ESPS and Language and Culture students and it has to be Track A (lit/culture). Sigh.

    And yes it would look more like a joint honours, but that's in the ESPS case. I'm not saying that that's how language degrees should be.

    In my opinion a language degree should be a LOT more flexible than most language degrees in UCL currently are. As I've said before, the Spanish department is like 95% literature, with the odd cinema module in the last year - I personally think that that's a disgrace, and was my reason for abandoning Spanish faster than a rat in a sinking ship. I can't be the only person who likes languages yet abhors studying literature. I'm not saying you should not be allowed study literature alongside language, I'm saying you should be able to choose.

    As for what UCL is proposing I have not a clue I am afraid. The only thing I know is that it involves the merging of language departments into one UBER language department. Aside from that I don't know, I just was intrigued when someone mentioned earlier that they wanted to make language degrees more like ESPS :dontknow:
    Yeah, I too am intrigued. :holmes: I don't know, I think a department which structured courses the way ESPS does, but with languages only and cultural instead of social science divisions (so you could specialise, say, in thought/intellectual history, literature, cinema, politics/history of the country/ies/area of your chosen language, or pick and choose from all of them) would be quite advantageous, but although I hate on ESPS a lot I rather like being a bit special .
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    Not the case. The extra module that you take in Russian must be literature/culture, even in second and 4th year (as I have discovered to my impotent rage) You specifically must take at least 1 extra course on top of your language courses in your language department, and at least 0.5 of them must be literature (so the French majors have 1.0 modules on top they have to take, 0.5 of which has to be lit; a lot of people are taking Making of Modern France which obvs is history). Obviously that's not the case for straight or joint honours Russian, but between the ESPS requirements and the SSEES exclusionism (:mad: :mad: :mad: etc) that's what it ends up being. I got the module selection form for ESPS and Language and Culture students and it has to be Track A (lit/culture). Sigh.
    Ah I did not know that :holmes:
    Idk, I was a bit disillusioned with language degrees when I witnessed the horror that is the list of all available modules in the Spanish department. Honestly I still think that language(s) + other subject is a great idea, it's just too bad that UCL hasn't managed to do this well (i.e. by making it ESPS and therefore ridiculously selective).

    (Original post by littleshambles)
    Yeah, I too am intrigued. :holmes: I don't know, I think a department which structured courses the way ESPS does, but with languages only and cultural instead of social science divisions (so you could specialise, say, in thought/intellectual history, literature, cinema, politics/history of the country/ies/area of your chosen language, or pick and choose from all of them) would be quite advantageous, but although I hate on ESPS a lot I rather like being a bit special .
    Yeah definitely. It would be nice if all the language departments expanded beyond just literature into history, politics etc. Heck I don't see why they shouldn't/can't go so far as economics and business, that would have been my ideal :moon:
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    I wrote an article about the languages debacle.:cool:
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    (Original post by paddy)
    Ah I did not know that :holmes:
    Idk, I was a bit disillusioned with language degrees when I witnessed the horror that is the list of all available modules in the Spanish department. Honestly I still think that language(s) + other subject is a great idea, it's just too bad that UCL hasn't managed to do this well (i.e. by making it ESPS and therefore ridiculously selective).

    There's Modern Languages Plus, too.
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prosp-students/...ng/index.shtml
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    (Original post by Meg_Lili)
    There's Modern Languages Plus, too.
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prosp-students/...ng/index.shtml
    Massive fail though tbh :sadnod:
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    Wow, I can't vote for the SSEES Committee in the elections :nothing: I SPEND EIGHT HOURS A ******* WEEK IN SSEES LIKE A THIRD OF MY FRIENDS ARE AT SSEES WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?!?!?! I ******* HATE MY DEGREE.
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    Well actually it's more like a fifth. But still.
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    Wow, I can't vote for the SSEES Committee in the elections :nothing: I SPEND EIGHT HOURS A ******* WEEK IN SSEES LIKE A THIRD OF MY FRIENDS ARE AT SSEES WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?!?!?! I ******* HATE MY DEGREE.
    I feel your pain :sadnod:

    Also understand your SSEES hate. Lordy am I glad I'm not in that department anymore.
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    Have you all voted in the union elections yet??
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    Vote Karski for Student Activities Officer. I hear he can divide by zero.
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    hellooo i'm looking for maths people willing to answer some questions about UCL plzzz PM me or quote
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    (Original post by anastasia(*^.^*)jam)
    hellooo i'm looking for maths people willing to answer some questions about UCL plzzz PM me or quote
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=783795
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    (Original post by Meg_Lili)
    There's a 47 page document on the website somewhere about the proposals for the reform of the Modern Languages depts, if people want to read it...Wouldn't exactly recommend it for light reading though.
    Hi, could you give me the link to this - am thinking applying to UCL and this may change my mind. Thanks.
 
 
 
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