Why should you study a language in University?
Current life status: I bid farewell to Goa a few hours back and now I am on a plane back to Delhi, my hometown.
I am not even back in Delhi, but I am already missing the warmth and sunshine, the white sandy beaches, the lovely sea breeze and the indefinite lines of palm trees. As soon as I touchdown and come out in the cold, freezing weather of Delhi, it will physically hit me. It’s been a relaxing holiday and I don’t feel like going back to the rut of Warwick. Of course I am looking forward to meeting all my friends again, but more than that, I am most excited about the French exchange that is going to take place in Week One.
As a second year, I had the option of choosing six modules, apart from my core ones.
I had studied French for six years in school. I had taken a GCSE equivalent exam in French, after which I had to drop it, because my school in India did not permit me to do it at a higher level.
I loved the language and after doing it for six years in school, I did not want to give it all up. So, when I got the opportunity to take a language module in my second year, I was elated. It would be a refreshing change from all my other business modules, and, moreover, with it being one of the most spoken languages in the world, it would help me in the working world too by giving me an international edge. But, my biggest motive to take up the language was that I would finally be able to silence the French in the quiet floors of the library!
Since I had not been in touch with the language for a fairly long time, I was unsure of my level, but after showing my qualifications and meeting briefly with a tutor, I was told that Level 3, i.e, B1, would be appropriate for me.
In the beginning, of course, I was extremely apprehensive, as I had forgotten a lot of the language and it was like starting afresh. However, I was on the same boat as all my peers, as a lot of students in Level 3 or 4 (B1 or B2) had not studied French for a couple of years. The professors do realize this and ensure that the first few weeks of the first term are spent revising the grammar. Moreover, I was also nervous because in India, the way of teaching French was very different. Written, rather than oral French was emphasized on, and so I was almost incompetent in speaking the language, as we were never spoken to or expected to talk in French in class. With our teacher speaking in French in Warwick, and expecting us to speak in French, almost throughout the entire duration of the class, it was a bit difficult to understand and keep pace in the beginning, but, gradually as I attended more and more classes and progressed, I felt my listening and speaking skills were improving.
So, when our teacher announced that there would be an exchange program running for all French students, I was thrilled and immediately signed up. I would get the incredible opportunity to not only visit France in the first week of Easter break (dates scheduled for this year) but also stay in a French student’s home, immerse myself in French culture, and converse with an actual French student. At the same time, a French student would be coming to my flat, in the first week of Term 1 (dates scheduled for this year) and staying with you, to experience British culture and improve their English speaking skills. There would be several events and activities taking place during the exchange program, both in England and France, which I would share with you after the exchange is over.
I am not exactly sure if a similar exchange program runs for students studying other languages but I know that this “Warwick-Clermont Exchange Program” has been running for a couple of years now.
To conclude, I would really recommend that you study a language—it is so much fun and, speaking from personal experience, it is one of the classes I actually look forward to. I don’t think it is possible to take a module this year, since one term is already over, but you can keep this in mind when you choose your modules next year. At the same time, however, there is a society called World at Warwick, which holds weekly language exchange sessions, where you can interact with native students, of the language you are interested in learning. There are also free weekly language classes (which don’t add to your credits) which are also organized by the World At Warwick society. Hence, if you are not looking at something serious and just want to learn a language casually and not be assessed on it, you should consider these options.
On the other hand, if you really want to commit to a language, you should sign up for a language module (which counts towards your credit) or even take paid classes from the Lifelong Language Centre, apart from your regular modules of your degree. The latter option is for those who don’t want to include the language in their degree, but want to learn a language, in addition to their degree.
So, I hope I was able to convince you and you are inclined on choosing to study a language, if not French, so be it. Aaaand, you can even start a language at the beginner’s level (a lot of my friends have done this), so it is absolutely not necessary to know the language from before!
I just want to end this post by saying that you should really consider hope you all had a good and blissful holiday, and your Christmas break was not a myth, that is, it was not spent studying and completing assignments.
Hope you all have a lovely day and thanks for reading!