English Language and Linguistics Personal Statement

English language and linguistics explores the scientific aspects of the way we speak and how we interpret language, understanding the influence societal progression has had in dictating speech patterns. Society is a complex and diverse system, held together by communication through language. We have allowed this indefinable concept to hold great power and influence even though it is an action that seems to come so naturally to us. Studying English language has improved my understanding of how people around me use language, furthering my knowledge of the influence of societal views. Learning Functional Theory in correlation with an active evaluation of the changing world intrigues me and is an aspect of linguistics I am particularly passionate about exploring. This area of study analyses the notion of language, not as an inherent tool, but instead as a malleable and ever-changing entity. The internet age has served as a catalyst for change where mainstream influence has waned in favour of individual language contribution through social media pools. The way in which we speak, is now not only a product of our physical surroundings, nurture, and peer influence, but also one moulded by online movements.

I have always found myself questioning language which is the reason I decided to choose English language as an A level. Upon discovering that I can convey my own thoughts and ideas on specific areas such as accent and dialect, language change and gender, I have applied these to my own interests. This empowers me to gain my own independent, linguistic knowledge in politics, literature and music which are all topics I enjoy researching in my own time. However, this ability also supports me in my other studies of sociology and psychology as there are theorists, I am able to link to all three subjects. My personal favourites include Noam Chomsky and Albert Bandura who both carried out extensive research into topics such as child language acquisition and cognitive sciences. Furthermore, sociology and psychology have also enhanced my ability to analyse the actions of not just society, but also individuals. For example, being given the opportunity to engage in class discussions regarding an expansive range of different topics has provided a relevant insight into the differing views of my peers and how we communicate our contrasting opinions. I deem these experiences to be key learning points for me as I have been granted freedom to develop debating skills that will prove to be exceedingly useful for my academic future.

Taking part in a nurture programme and paired reading in school has not only improved my understanding of how language works for different people but has highlighted the importance of inclusivity and support for children within schools. Participating in a year 6 transition programme, leading and supporting the children improved my self-confidence and gave me an increased sense of responsibility. Working part-time in Costa has taught me how to work efficiently and effectively under pressure, both individually, and in a team.

I have always been an avid reader and being able to analyse texts from an array of different genres has considerably increased my curiosity on the use of language and how vastly different it is for everyone. Reading 'How Language Works' by David Crystal has provided me with a captivating insight into societies common questions associated with language and its functions. The segment on how we perceive speech was particularly enthralling as I can apply this thesis to the language I use and hear daily. Using this newfound knowledge to interpret and evaluate my personal interactions with my peers is a riveting, thought-provoking concept to me that makes conversations increasingly more enjoyable. Constructing my own ideologies and criticisms has furthered my aspirations to one day go into a career influence by this pivotal subject and I look forward to the opportunities a degree will offer.

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I submitted my application with this statement and received all my offers within the first month.
offers from:
University of Edinburgh
University of Leeds
University of Sheffield
Cardiff University
University of the West of England


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