German Personal Statement
The study of language has always been appealing and is the focus of much of my time and energy, but the study of the German language is what mesmerises me most. Before understanding German I was first intrigued by its sound, and as I began to learn it, I became fascinated by its complexity. German’s unique syntax initially grabbed my attention and led me to appreciate many other areas of grammar. The more complex structures I learn, the greater desire I have to be able to master them.
As my ability has grown since first learning German, so has my love for the language and discovering new ways to extend my vocabulary and knowledge of it. I have begun to read German parallel texts which have allowed me to engage with German in a way which not only interests me but also improves my awareness of grammatical structures and introduces me to new writing styles. I particularly enjoyed reading ‘Die Blasse Anna’ as its sense of mystery captivated me in a similar way that some English texts have. In addition to this I have read some religious materials in German, in which I have read about familiar subject matter but have been exposed to unfamiliar constructions.
The time I have spent in Germany has been used in a variety of ways to enable me to build on existing skills and develop new ones. This summer I participated in a church youth convention in Blaubeuren, near Stuttgart, where I was able to communicate with my peers in German but I also developed an understanding of more complex and in-depth ideas. I was able to explore a new vocabulary and immerse myself in both the language and culture. Earlier this year I took part in a cultural trip to Berlin, where I was able to see the contrast between what I had learned about the GDR and the Berlin of today. Having been privileged to hear from someone who had grown up in the GDR I was able to gain a better vision of what life had really been like which gave me a new perspective. These opportunities have improved my confidence in spoken German as well as being valuable learning experiences.
Alongside my A level studies I am working towards completing the ‘Personal Progress Programme’, in which I have accomplished eight ten hour projects amongst many other tasks, such as volunteering in a primary school care club and taking part in charity work. For the past year I have volunteered at a local radio station where I have been involved in presenting a regular show. These activities have helped me to explore new skill areas and be involved within the community. Within school, mentoring a GCSE pupil for German proved to be quite challenging, but it was also rewarding to find effective methods to explain more advanced concepts in a simpler way. Part of my work experience was spent at the City Learning Centre producing learning materials in French, German and even Spanish, allowing me to apply my language skills in a work environment.
I enjoy many aspects of English literature, particularly poetry which I take pleasure in reading, writing and analysing. These are skills which I hope to acquire in German as it would combine two of my main areas of interest. The first poet of the German language I was introduced to was Rainer Maria Rilke, whose works have fuelled my curiosity for German poetry and the desire to understand it further.
Germany’s culture, history and literature have all inspired me to pursue the study of German, yet developing the ability to speak and write in the language has led me to admire it even further. Being able to communicate in German has increased my enjoyment of it and given me a greater appreciation for the German language. I hope that by continuing my studies to degree level I will be able to extend my current interests but also broaden my knowledge by focusing on many other aspects of German.