French and Russian personal statement
Russian and Francophone cultures fascinate me. Already a devoted linguist due to my long-standing education in French and inspiring visits to Normandy and Paris; it was on a school history visit to the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg that really fell in love with Russian society and the Russian way of life. On my return, I wanted to immerse myself in everything Russian and I quickly set about learning to write the Cyrillic Alphabet, along with some basic phrases. The prospect of discovering something completely new and unknown captivated me. With my heart set on French and Russian, I am looking forward to expanding my linguistic capabilities with the challenge of learning a fresh language, so unrelated from both languages I have studied previously, yet being able to further develop both my knowledge and fluency of a language in which I am already confident.
In preparation for my course, I have decided to improve my understanding of the languages I intend to study through their film, music and literature. In recent months, I have enjoyed reading "Becket ou l'honneur de Dieu" by Anouilh, Zola's "Une Page d'Amour", and Chekhov's Four Major Plays in translation, all of which have given some insight into the literary heritage and customs of the individual countries. Watching films such as "La Cité des Enfants Perdus" and "Koktebel" has opened my eyes unto how these countries have developed and evolved their respective ideas and styles, and how their particular cultures have tackled the changes accompanying the modern world.
Always wanting to extend the use of languages in school life, and to help others who were finding difficulties in them, my teachers decided to appoint me as a French Subject Prefect. This mainly revolves around the mentoring of students from Years 7-9 who are struggling with the language, however also involved being a team leader on a Year 7 school visit to Boulogne and the completion of the Modern Foreign Languages Leader’s Award. Furthermore, I played a pivotal role in the running of activities and a café during European Languages week. My passion for languages also crosses over to my other hobbies. I am currently directing a performance of Tom Stoppard's version of Chekov's masterpiece, "The Seagull", and also used an excerpt from "Uncle Vanya" for an exam. I recently sang "Seul Devant ces Tables Vides" as well, in a local concert held at the Chapel Studio.
Outside the realm of language, I am part of the Air Training Corps, having reached Staff Classification. I have also completed my Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award with Expeditions in the Peak District (and will move onto the Gold Award in the summer of 2010). Additionally, I have attended Stagecoach Theatre Arts School for over ten years; having appeared in productions of "Blood Brothers" and "The Siege", reached Grade 7 in Drama with Merit as well as Grade 6 in Musical Theatre with Distinction. I have learned to dance in a variety of styles, including Ballet, Urban, and Modern Jazz. As part of a volunteering scheme, I spent an hour each week at St. Christopher's Special School working with children suffering either with severe ADHD or Down's Syndrome, to help them to acquire and improve communication abilities, as well as to expand their social skills and to promote a healthy interest in reading and numeracy.
I am looking forward to University with enthusiasm and hope to embrace the challenges and opportunities which studying a language of which I have prior experience and a new one will bring. Furthermore, with my dedication to extra-curricular activities, I will be able to take an active role in much during my time in higher education, especially in pursuits which are language based.
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