Languages/Linguistics Personal Statement
My decision to study languages at University stems from a fascination of the complexity of language and the changes which languages go through. As I am Scottish, I often speak in a regional dialect and I find myself engrossed as to why people speak in dialects and why speakers of the same language can have difficulties understanding each other. For some time, I have been intrigued by foreign languages as well as my own. After studying three foreign languages and English at school, the decision to study languages seemed a natural one. My biggest ambition in life has been to learn a foreign language and French really stood out to me in first year when I took part in my school's French club and we put on a play. As this goal developed, so did my love for not only foreign languages, but for my own language and the theory behind languages.
Another passion in my life is music. I have been studying Clarinet for five years and teaching myself Tenor Saxophone for two years. In March 2006, I was awarded Trinity grade five Clarinet at distinction level and I am currently preparing to sit grade seven Clarinet. I take part in many music groups in my school and East Lothian. Studying advanced higher music this year has also fuelled my love for languages and I am doing extensive research on French composers. As well as music, I love taking part in sporting activities. I swim regularly in my free time and I take part in the tennis club at school. Finally, my part-time job at Domino's Pizza has taught me valuable lessons in money management and being more confident.
I contribute to a number of areas in school. Last year, I was a prefect and this year, I have been chosen for the role of House Captain which entails running the House Council to discuss ideas for the school. I find this exciting as I get an opportunity to make positive decisions. My other duties include helping out at Parents' evenings and register classes and speaking to groups of pupils. In other areas, I take part in the Amnesty International Group where I raise money and campaign, school magazine and the prom and yearbook committee. In these areas, I have the opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge such as politics, journalism and responsibility with organising events.
Through studying advanced higher French, I have discovered French literature, something which I find highly enjoyable. For advanced higher, I read 'Le Silence De La Mer', by Vercors, and was immediately captivated and encouraged by my ability to not only read the book, but understand and analyse the novel. I find speaking to the language assistants at school to be a rewarding experience as I get the chance to practise the language and gain knowledge of the assistants' culture and life. Overall, I enjoy the advanced higher course as I am able to express myself more than ever before in a foreign language. From a linguistics point of view, I find the work of Steven Pinker very stimulating, particularly his views on first language acquisition which I read in his book, 'The Language Instinct.'
I have many areas which I believe studying language could lead me in the future. Through my own research, I have become highly interested in the area of teaching. I am intrigued by how young children learn languages and I feel very strongly that children should be taught languages from a very early age. I love the opportunity to promote this by helping out at a Spanish club at a local primary school.
I find that all of the activities I take part in and subjects that I have studied have made me a well-rounded, independent person, with worthy knowledge from many disciplines. I believe I will be committed to University as I understand how to study well through doing my advanced highers self study and I believe I am suited well to for a degree in languages. I cannot wait to start my degree course as I will be able to develop and refine skills I already have and gain new knowledge.
This personal statement was written by Ldesu for application in 2010.
MA French and Linguistics at The University of Edinburgh
Sent my application away at the beginning of dec 2009 with AABB in Scottish Highers. Received 5 unconditionals and I accepted my offer to the University of Edinburgh to do French and Linguistics.
N.B. Where it says my grades are A levels on my profile, they are infact Scottish Highers. Likewise for GCSE levels, they are Scottish Standard Grades.
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