Linguistics Personal Statement Example 4

It was not until part-way through my GCSE courses that I first heard the term: ‘linguistics’ – but it was much earlier that I encountered linguistics itself. During my first year of primary school, I found myself fascinated by the manipulation of language, and the sheer vastness of potential meaning therein. It was rare to find me without a book, and eventually, I became captivated, too, by how making use of pragmatics could affect an audience. Hence, I competed for and won several LAMDA awards, and excelled in English classes consistently.

By the time I reached secondary school, however, the guidance of a gifted linguist of a German teacher led to another entire area of skill taking the place of English as my all-time favourite for a few years: learning foreign languages. In those first few months, I would often be sat silently at my desk, enchanted by the new idea that my thoughts and my mother tongue are not perfectly compatible; I learned to express ideas in German with words that English lacks, I learned of the diminishing roles of cases in English, types of words, subtle semantic differences – in essence, I consciously learned language for the first time.

Since then, I have been exploring the many branches of this science with profound interest. I have noticed myself regarding challenging my linguistic knowledge as a hobby, something I do daily, for fun, with a view for scientific truth and not for my own first impressions and principles. Initially raised a devout prescriptivist, I am now a descriptivist; even as recently as June, when I first drafted this document, I was militantly opposed to Chomskyan universal grammar (making mention of it herein), of which I am now a supporter. As such, I embark on a multitude of academic journeys in linguistics, ranging from corresponding with Professor David Crystal to write a set of research papers, to reading extensively and critically, to creating my own language to contribute to the Language Creation Society: ‘Draenei’. I do translations into Draenei, which has its own writing system, with intent to share my work with Blizzard, the company whose work inspired my take on the Draenei language. Most recently, I have begun preparation for my EPQ project, in which I explore how far we can go in creating a ‘believable’ piece of chat software, bringing in elements of AI technology and theory.

When not studying or teaching anything to do with language, I am often training for regional prone rifle competitions, with the view to compete internationally, having already won several awards since I began in 2012. Encouraging intellectual growth is another core value of mine, and as such, I have joined Mensa for my own benefit (Verbal IQ of 162), and have founded an education-focused organisation myself, creating competitions (e.g. With Leangap for young coders) with elite groups to give fellow students opportunities to improve their own career prospects. Related to my linguistic studies, I teach myself Swedish, and do rather a lot of in-school tutoring of MFL students, and assist English-learners and other young MFL students outside of school as a job. I also occasionally translate into English as a means of income.

Given my reputation within the school as far as linguistic matters are concerned, I am often called upon to represent the department at open evenings, and as such, am now a Language Prefect. I thus have the good fortune of being exposed to my main academic passion every single day, which gives me time to improve myself as a budding linguist, and, crucially, confirm this belief: I will contribute to this science.

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Author's Comments

University of Cambridge - No
Edinburgh University - Yes
Lancaster University - Yes (Attending – unconditional)
University of Kent - Yes
University of Essex - Yes


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