We discuss with one of our students why they chose to study Languages at Oxford?:
I love languages, cultures and literature, and this is why I decided to study French at Oxford. In the course, there are some core modules which I have to study: Grammar, Translation and Oral. Apart from these, I am free to choose whatever modules I like! In general at Oxford,
the options available are quite literature-heavy so I am mostly studying literature at the moment. I have chosen a broad range of options, specialising in modern literature from 1715 to the present, as well as looking in detail at the playwright and writer Samuel Beckett. Also, I need to select one non-modern option, so I am studying three medieval French texts – it is fascinating to see how much the French language has changed. This has sparked my interest in the development of French as a language, so after my Year Abroad, I will probably also pick a French linguistics module too.
What does a typical day look like?
On Mondays, I get up at 8am, have breakfast and use the time before my 10am tutorial at the Taylor Institute to work on some work which is smaller and easier to complete – for example, a translation or grammar exercise. I will then go to my tutorial at College, where we discuss the essay I have handed in the prior morning and talk about key philosophical ideas in Beckett’s plays. Usually, we talk more generally about his
works as a whole at first and then look at specific passages and the language he uses. After this, I go to the Taylor Institute library for an hour and read a chapter about Beckett’s work from my reading list. My next lecture is also in the Taylor Institute and starts at 12. It is entitled Rupture and Reformulation: Twentieth Century Experiments in Poetry and Prose, which I think will be useful for knowledge of modern French literature. After this, I head back to college to meet a friend for lunch at the coffee shop, and then work from 2pm until 5 on my essay on French Romanticism. I go to a translation tutorial at 5 in college, where my tutor gives us a literary passage in French and we each translate a line into English, discussing possible ways to translate it as we read. After this, I have dinner in the dining hall at 6pm, go to singing practice at 7:30-9:30, get back to college for 10pm and watch an hour of TV before going to bed at 11.