French and Spanish Personal Statement
My earliest memory of learning a language is embracing my first words of Welsh at nursery school and since then the learning of different languages has always fascinated me. I have been increasingly intrigued and captivated by their usage to the point where I love to constantly challene myself when learning a new language.
This interest has developed over the years and has motivated me to apply to study modern foreign languages at university. Through my current study of both Spanish and French I have kindled a yearning to experience foreign culture, language and to ultimately achieve fluency.
My love for Spanish culture has developed throughout my time in the sixth form, particularly through the cultural elements of the syllabus such as "Volver" and "Como Agua Para Chocolate". I have developed my understanding of Spanish culture through the study of literature and film and I look forward to being able to continue this further at university. "Como Agua Para Chocolate" in particular has helped me to gain an understanding of social issues such as the Mexican Revolution and the use of magical realism as well as the worldwide Hispanic culture. This is an area I am particularly excited about exploring as an undergraduate.
My study of French has enabled me to develop my communication skills and understanding of language as a whole and complement my skills in both. I have especially enjoyed studying Sagan's novel, "Bonjour Tristesse" and have become very interested in the social context of the novel, "Les trente glorieuses", as well as the life of Sagan herself. Another topic of study, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, has been "La Haine", which has greatly enhanced my knowledge of French culture and history, as well as an understanding of immigration within a French context.
My other courses of study at A level have helped me to develop skills which I feel will prove themselves useful in the study of modern languages at an undergraduate level. For example, through my study of history I have developed my critical analysis skills and am able to deconstruct arguments with a great deal of clarity. I also studied maths at AS level which has provided me with the ability to think systematically and I believe the study of languages relies on both persistence and logic.
In addition to my academic work, I take pride in having taken an active part in my school community. In my role as international prefect I took the initiative to set up a year seven languages club, helping the school achieve Fair Trade status, and welcome international visitors, including exchange students to the school. My role as international prefect has allowed me to utilise and develop my communication skills, as well as transform my passion for languages into achievements that have benefitted the school as a whole.
Outside of school, I have a keen interest in British and foreign film and I run and attend a Spanish film club. I am also greatly interested in European film from other languages such as German for example 'Das Leben der Anderen'. Through watching foreign films I have broadened my awareness of different societies. I feel that immersing myself only in my national culture would prevent me from experiencing the richness of cultural diversity.
Since September 2009 I have had a part-time job at Waitrose which due to the customer-facing nature of the job I have developed my ability to work well with others which has also been enhanced by being a member of my school choir for several years. Moreover, balancing work and study demonstrates my commitment to diversifying my life experience and developing a wide range of skills which I hope to utilise in my university life. Studying modern languages will provide me with the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the cultures which I am genuinely fascinated by. I believe my combination of passion, skills and desire to learn will be a valuable asset to my university study.