French and Spanish Personal Statement

My passion for language first unveiled itself at the age of seven, when my elder brother began learning French at middle school. I remember quite vividly the afternoon he returned home with the ability to count to ten and say the alphabet in a foreign tongue, and I insisted he teach me everything he knew.

From that moment on, I was captivated by the French language - I had found something that I loved!

Taking into account how advantageous foreign languages are in our ever shrinking world, I think it is sad how very few British people are able to speak a second language. I have seen first-hand the benefits of such an ability; my own father lives and works in Germany thanks to his command of the German language and he praises it as being one of the best experiences of his life.

Having travelled around Europe and experienced a variety of different cultures, I have developed a real fondness for Spain. On my last trip to the country, I enjoyed conversing with the locals but became frustrated with the confines of my GCSE standard Spanish and realised how much I missed learning it.

Spanish is undeniably a beautiful language and being one of the most widely spoken in the world, it is also one of the most valuable. I recognise this and hope that a degree in French and Spanish will not only develop my confidence and proficiency but act as a stepping stone for my future, whatever career path I may choose to pursue.

My zeal for language intensified as I grew older and in my final year at middle school, I won the student award for French. I was thrilled with this achievement and it served to further propel me along the language route. Along with French I have chosen to study English Literature, Psychology and General Studies at A-level, all of which I have represented at various open days for prospective students.

This demonstrates my responsibility and commitment to my studies. I think my chosen subjects complement each other really well and I have no doubts that the knowledge I have gained from each will be invaluable to my further studies in modern languages.

Learning to organise my time has been essential in accommodating a weekend job as a sales assistant in between studying for four A levels, and I also work during the holidays as a receptionist in a GP surgery, which requires excellent communication skills and the ability to cope well under pressure.

I am an avid reader; my passion for books not only extends into the realms of poetry (as can be seen with the publication of one of my own poems*) but also into French literature.

Studying “L’Etranger” in class has inspired me to delve further into this aspect of the course and I have particularly enjoyed reading “Le Chateau de Ma Mere” of my own accord, which has improved my comprehension skills considerably.

For my oral presentation this year I have chosen to study “L’Occupation” as I am very interested in how the war affected France; my visits to sites such as the American War Cemetery, Normandy beaches and Pointe Du Hoc have fuelled my fascination with this period of French history and I am really looking forward to learning about it in more depth.

During my free time I volunteer at a children’s French club to obtain experience of teaching and further my understanding of how pupils acquire new language. Engaging in discussions with the teacher of the club, who is native French, has not only increased my fluency and confidence in speaking, but enhanced my vocabulary as well.

Moreover, I take great pleasure in tutoring English to both younger and foreign pupils and hope this will stand me in good stead for the future, as it is one of my aspirations to be a teaching assistant during my year abroad.

Not only have these activities made me a passionate, hard-working and ambitious person, they have nurtured my enthusiasm for language and I cannot wait to immerse myself in my degree course.

Profile info

This personal statement was written by 'PrettyGreenEyes.x for application in 2011.

'PrettyGreenEyes.x's Comments

I applied to do a 4-year course in French and Spanish and received offers from Hull, UEA (East Anglia), Sussex, Leicester and Birmingham. I have accepted places at Leicester [firm] and UEA [insurance].

Just looking for some feedback on my PS and wondering which aspects of it you think I did well and which aspects you believe I could have improved?

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