CONTENTS: MML 2 WHY CHOOSE MODERN AND MEDIEVAL LANGUAGES (MML) AT CAMBRIDGE? 2 THE COURSE 3 MML LANGUAGES 5 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FIRST YEAR 6 HOW WILL I LEARN? 7 THE YEAR ABROAD 8 WHAT DO OUR GRADUATES DO? 9 APPLYING 10 MAKING AN APPLICATION 11 INTERVIEWS: WHAT TO EXPECT 12 ADMISSIONS FAQs 13 LINGUISTICS 14 WHY CHOOSE LINGUISTICS AT CAMBRIDGE? 14 THE COURSE 15 HOW WILL I LEARN? 16 WHAT DO OUR GRADUATES DO? 17 APPLYING 18 INTERVIEWS: WHAT TO EXPECT 19 ADMISSIONS FAQs 20 OUR FACILITIES 21 POLYGLOSSIA 22
www.mml.cam.ac.uk E: email@example.com T: 01223 335000 Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages University of Cambridge Sidgwick Avenue Cambridge CB3 9DA
WELCOME The Faculty’s mission is to provide undergraduate and postgraduate education of the highest quality in languages and language-related studies. The courses we offer prepare our students for a wide variety of careers. Yet we also want them to enjoy learning for its own sake and we encourage them to explore their interests to the full. Our courses provide our students with a unique opportunity: we try to ensure that they make the most of it!
e came top of the league table for Modern Languages and Linguistics in the University Guide 2014 published by the Guardian newspaper. A maximum score of 100 out of 100 put Cambridge amongst the top rated of all UK Universities for student satisfaction (with the course, teaching, and feedback), as well as student/ staff ratio, spend per student, and career destinations. Leaders in world-class scholarship and teaching, our academic staff are pioneering researchers
in a wide range of fields that include the phenomenon of human language itself, individual European languages and language families, and the literatures, art forms, film, history, and cultures associated with those languages both today and in the past. We currently have approximately 700 undergraduate students, 50 MPhil students and 120 doctoral students across six departments. Teaching takes place across all departments: our Linguistics degree is mainly taught in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics.
We offer two undergraduate degrees: - Modern and Medieval Languages BA/MML (R800) - Linguistics BA/L (Q100)
MML WHY CHOOSE MODERN AND MEDIEVAL LANGUAGES (MML) AT CAMBRIDGE?
Language is central to our human nature, and languages are fundamental to our society and culture. Our course requires you to study two languages from a wide range, one of which you can learn from scratch (see pages 3 and 4 for options and entry requirements). Our aim is that our students should acquire virtually the same grammatical accuracy, expressive range, and fluency as a native speaker in both languages so that they leave Cambridge after four years with spoken, written and translation skills at the very highest level. You will discover new cultures and make new friends. The third year is spent abroad. You will immerse yourself in one of the languages and cultures you have been studying whilst conducting your own research for a project of your choice.
“Know languages, know countries, know people” знай языки, знай страны, знай людей Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Our degree is extremely wideranging in its scope. We offer an exceptionally broad spectrum of options including courses on the culture, history, literature, art, film and philosophy of the languages we teach. The course also includes options in linguistics (both linguistic aspects of the languages you are studying, and courses that focus on the nature of language in general). After introductory courses in the first year, it’s up to you which areas you want to focus on. MML opens up countless career opportunities. Our course provides you with an impressive range of transferable skills valuable to any employer: knowledge of multiple languages and cultures, advanced communication skills, analytical ability, and research and computing skills are just a few.
THE COURSE Languages available:
French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
Year I/Part IA Developing your Language Skills
Year 2/Part IB Acquiring native or near-native fluency
Year 3/Year Abroad Project and preparation for Part II Oral
Year 4/Part II Specialisation and options
All students study two languages in their first year.
In the second year you will take five papers in total.
The main focus is on developing your language skills. You will be taught in classes pitched at your level. Classes are divided into ‘Use of the Language’, Translation and oral practice (taught in very small groups designed to develop fluency).
Whilst continuing to build on your language skills for both languages you will have the opportunity to choose from a wider range of options when it comes to papers covering topics such as literature, art, culture and history or even an introduction to a language you haven’t studied before.
The Year Abroad is a great opportunity to visit a country (or two) that interests you whilst developing your language skills ready for your final-year oral exam by studying, volunteering or working in the country of your choice.
In your final year, you are free to specialise in one language or combine options from two or more languages.
During your Year Abroad you should research and write your project (worth one sixth of your final mark). This can either be a dissertation, a translation project or a linguistics project.
You will also choose three papers from a wide range of areas including film, history, and comparative studies. One of these may be replaced by a dissertation. You can also ‘borrow’ papers from another faculty.
You will also have an introduction to one or more of the following topics for each of your languages: literature, linguistics, thought, culture and history.
You will study translation and work on advanced use of the foreign language and analysis of texts.
For more information on the languages we offer and the range of papers taught by each Department please visit our website. www.mml.cam.ac.uk/undergrad
Would you like to study more than two languages? In the 2nd and 4th year you could choose to take an ‘introduction to language and literature’ for a language you haven’t studied before. Options currently include:
further language qualification in addition to your degree by taking a one-year course. Languages on offer include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. The language centre also has selfteach resources for an enormous range of languages.
Ukrainian Catalan Dutch Modern Greek Portuguese The Language Centre The language centre offers all members of the University language learning facilities and courses. You could obtain a
“Although starting a new language from scratch can be daunting, the support from the department and your supervisors means that you will quickly find yourself using the language in a way you never imagined possible” Simon, German and Russian (ab initio)
MML LANGUAGES Combining MML withâ€Ś
French (A Level only) German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies AMES (TT46)
You can study for a combined degree in MML/Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Choose one MML language from the list above and combine it withÂ Arabic, Hebrew or Persian. You would need to have studied one of the languages at A Level but the other can be learnt from scratch. If you wish to study this subject combination, you should apply for the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies degree rather than the MML degree. For more information about Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Cambridge please visit their website. www.ames.cam.ac.uk/htm Classics (R800) There are also options for combining MML with Classics at Cambridge. You can study any one of the modern languages listed above with Classical Latin or Classical Greek. Classical Latin is only available for those who have studied it at A Level.
As part of the Education degree you can choose to combine your studies with French, German or Spanish. You would need to have studied the language at A2. In order to take this course you should apply for the Education with MML degree. For more information about the Education course please visit the Faculty of Education website. www.educ.cam.ac.uk/courses/ undergradstudy Joint honours degrees We do not offer joint degrees with subjects such as History, English, Politics etc. but in the final year you can choose up to two papers from a list of designated courses that are taught in other Faculties: Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classics, English, History, Philosophy, Social and Political Sciences.
If you wish to study this subject combination you should apply for the MML degree. For more information about studying Classics at Cambridge please visit the Classics website. www.classics.cam.ac.uk/ prospective/undergraduate
DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FIRST YEAR 07.00
Rowing outing. Never sign up for a crew full of Natural Sciences students, this is the only time they’re ever available for water outings… End the outing by cycling really, really quickly to your lecture/class/supervision (quicker for supervisions obviously).
Italian Language class. If you’re an ab-initio then you’ll spend an hour going through grammar points with the soon-to-become infamous ‘Da Capo’ Italian language course book. Trust me, infamous. These classes can be a bit of a relief from the daily stresses of being in Cambridge, and you learn a lot as well. I gave myself a huge surprise in my first year when it turned out that I had actually learnt how to speak Italian, so definitely make the most of these classes.
MML Library to get books out for a bit of secondary reading for an essay. The library can be very warm and comfortable. Don’t fall asleep.
Home for a bit, catch up with people on your corridor, or catch up with a bit of supervision work. Always check email, it will become your life in so many more ways than Facebook ever was; only it’s actually quite important too.
Go to lunch in Hall with friends, or do what I did, and go to one of the many (potentially bankrupting) coffeehouses which Cambridge has.
ITA3 Lecture: Dante Inferno V
SP1 Lecture: Creoles and Pidgin languages
ITA3 supervision. Supervisor gives essay back, discusses a bit, spend the rest of the hour discussing the text with your supervision partners. Ask as many questions as time will allow.
Cycle home and check email for the twentieth time of the day, catch up on some more work, read through your supervisor’s comments for your essay. Do a bit of the reading from the library for an essay, then watch a bit of iPlayer.
Dinner in Hall. Meet friends there, decide to go to the pub later.
Go to erg session at boat house.
Bit of grammar work before pub, skype home and a friend quickly to catch up.
Gardies. You’ll find out.
Matt Lambert Spanish & Italian
HOW WILL I LEARN?
How will I be assessed?
Usually in small to medium sized groups of approximately 15 students. You participate actively and complete assignments outside the class. Many of these classes will be held in the target language. You will also do intensive oral work in small groups of 2-4 with native speakers.
Outside the 12-14 hours contact time you’ll have per week, you’ll also undertake independent study, making use of the Faculty Library, which has large collections in all the languages we teach as well as computing and printing facilities. The world-renowned University Library is just a short walk away from the Faculty and houses over 8 million books and journals, including over 1 million works printed in the various European languages. Plenty of quiet study space and excellent computing facilities are available for all to use, and there’s an excellent tea room that sells cake baked on the premises! Your College library also provides a convenient place to work and you will find many of the core texts needed for the course on its shelves.
You are given a degree classification e.g. I, II.I etc. at the end of the 1st, 2nd and 4th year of the MML course. This is mainly based on written and oral exams but not entirely. In Part IB you have the option of coursework based assessment for one paper. In the Year Abroad you will complete a project that counts towards your final mark and in the final year you can choose to replace one of your written exams with a dissertation.
Lectures In small or large groups (up to 180 students). Here the lecturer presents ideas and information and you take notes. Seminars Groups of 5-15 students. These are discussions between lecturers and students although sometimes they will be student-led. Students will be asked to prepare for seminars by reading. Supervisions Very small teaching groups of 2 or 3 students. You hand in written work in advance and then discuss it with the supervisor (usually a lecturer) and other students. The small group size allows you to explore subjects in more depth and direct discussion to what interests you. Supervisions are provided by your college.
See page 21 for more information on our facilities
You’ll be encouraged to do reading in vacations and will be set work to complete. You might like to visit the countries whose languages you are learning: it is not compulsory and isn’t expected but it can be beneficial. Many colleges have travel grants available to help with cover the cost of trips related to your studies.
THE YEAR ABROAD
You will spend your third year abroad in one of three ways. You can attend a foreign university, become an English-speaking assistant in a school, or seek voluntary or paid work. Can you see yourself… • • • • •
working with a law firm in Zurich? studying art history in Rome? volunteering as a pre school teacher in Ecuador? conducting an orchestra in St Petersburg? studying history or politics in Berlin?
year to suit your interests. You must spend at least eight months abroad and you must be in daily contact with the foreign language you’re studying. You could choose to spend the year in more than one country, spending at least 3 months in each. The Faculty has a dedicated Year Abroad Office, which will help you arrange your Year Abroad and support you whilst you are away from Cambridge.
These are all activities that our students have chosen for their year abroad. With the agreement of the Faculty, you can tailor your
“Travel extensively during your time abroad; it’s a great way to learn more about the country and a challenge for your language skills as well” Katrin, German & Russian
“Make the most of your year abroad and do something you’re passionate about!” Sonum, Spanish & Russian
“The Year Abroad is the perfect opportunity to try something different, to take a bit of a risk, and above all to discover a part of a new country, and to make it your own” Ellen, French & Italian
WHAT DO OUR GRADUATES DO?
MML graduates go into a wide variety of careers; the MML degree is a highly marketable qualification that opens up opportunities across all areas of employment.
And of course, the experience MML graduates have gained by taking a Year Abroad shows that they are mature, flexible and able to cope with new and challenging situations.
Recent statistics show that Cambridge MML graduates have better post-university employment rates than the average CU graduate, in fact you would be amongst the most likely of all UK graduates to find good employment. The course provides you with an impressive range of qualities valuable to any employer; knowledge of multiple languages and cultures, advanced communication skills, analytical ability, computing and research skills to name but a few.
Journalism.... banking.... marketing.... teaching.... publishing.... media and the arts.... post graduate study. 9
What are we looking for? You need to show us that you have linguistic knowledge, an aptitude for languages and a general interest in language issues.
If you have studied two languages at A-Level you could choose either to continue both at degree level or drop one and pick up a different language from scratch. Application routes
We also want to know that you are interested in and have an aptitude for studying some of the other things that are taught during the MML course, such as literature, history, film etc. Your application should also show us that you are passionate and motivated about learning new things that havenâ€™t necessarily been covered in your classes at school. You need to be taking at least one modern language at A-Level or equivalent and would be expected to achieve at least an A grade in it. If you have taken one modern language at A-Level then you would continue this language and pick up another from scratch, choosing from the options available.
Entry requirements Typical A-Level offer A*AA (A* subject not normally specified) Typical IB offer 42 points, with 776 or 777 at Higher Level For other qualifications please visit the Undergraduate Admissions website. www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply/requirements
Applying pre-results: If you are applying before taking youâ€™re A-Level (or equivalent) exams and your application is successful, then a conditional offer will be made to you, normally setting you a target of A*AA. Applying post-results: You can also apply after taking your exams, for an unconditional offer of a place. In this case, you would normally be expected to have achieved at least A*AA.
MAKING AN APPLICATION
Applying to Cambridge can seem a bit scary and confusing at first glance but it’s simpler than it may seem. Once you’ve decided which course you want to study you should decide which College you want to apply to. Your College is your home in Cambridge, it’s where you will live, eat and socialise. You will have some teaching in College too. There are 29 colleges which accept undergraduate applications, for a list of all the colleges and information on choosing one visit the undergraduate admissions website. www.study.cam.ac.uk/ undergraduate/colleges All applications should be submitted online via UCAS, specifying which College you have chosen. Applications are carefully considered and if you are successful at this stage of the process you will be invited for interview (normally in December).
We try to build a picture of who you are as an individual by assessing you in a number of different ways. Your personal statement and UCAS application, school/college record and reference and interviews all contribute to the admissions process. It may seem like we are asking a lot of you but this is so to give you as many chances as possible to show us what you can do. “In my personal statement, I reeled off a list of subjects that an MML degree would allow me to explore without really realising the significance of the incredible breadth of the course. I don’t think my appreciation will ever do it justice, but I’m incredibly happy.” Celia, German & Russian
INTERVIEWS: WHAT TO EXPECT
Interviews are our chance to meet you, to talk through your application and find out why you want to study MML at Cambridge. You can expect up to one hour of interviews in total, this could be split over two or three separate interviews. You are likely to be asked about the choice of languages you have applied to study. Most of the interview will be in English but you might be asked to have a brief conversation in the language/s you have studied to A Level (or equivalent). For at least one of your interviews you are likely to be asked to read a short passage written in one of your chosen languages and then to discuss it in English. You may be asked about your other A-Level subjects, cultural topics (in any language) that interest you, films, plays books etc. You may also be asked some questions about grammar.
You may be asked a question on a topic that is new to you: don’t panic! Just try to engage in an exploratory conversation and contribute what you can: we want to see your potential for exploring new issues. You will also be given a short written test to complete during the day when you attend for interviews. For more information about the written test and a specimen question please visit our website. www.mml.cam.ac.uk/ prospectus/undergrad/test Some Colleges publish information about interviews on their websites. You will be contacted if you the college you have applied to would like to interview you.
“The Cambridge interview is an enjoyable experience. It gives you a chance to engage with ideas in a foreign language and discuss them with leading academics.” Simon, German & Russian
How can I prepare to be interviewed about a language that I haven’t started learning yet? Find out about the language and the countries/cultures in which it’s spoken. Start learning some of the basics, if you have the opportunity. You could try reading some novels in translation. After all, you want to do this for you own sake too, in order to make sure that it’s the right choice for you. I’ve heard that I might be asked to submit essays before my interviews, is this true? Yes, some time before your interview you may be asked to submit some written work prepared in the context of your current studies. Usually this will consist of one piece in English, perhaps something you’ve written for one of your other A-Level subjects and at least one piece written in the language or languages you are doing at A-Level and would like to continue at Cambridge.
“During my interview, I was asked what I would gain by studying languages at university rather than simply going to a French or German-speaking country and getting a job. I wasn't expecting that, and got awfully tongue-twisted in my answer, but I'd be able to give a much better answer now. Languages at Cambridge did more than teach me grammar and vocabulary: it pushed me to think analytically; it introduced me to thinkers, writers and film-makers that I might never have encountered; and it forced me to consider the way I express my ideas, in written or spoken form. The Year Abroad I spent in Orleans, France encouraged me to be a lot more independent, while also introducing me to teaching (I currently teach English in Paris) and improving my French no end - being able to speak French fluently with native people is a great feeling that I wouldn't change for anything. If I can offer any advice, I'd suggest that applicants try to do some reading in a foreign language before they apply, just for the experience of it. It's far from easy, and there's not a lot of time to catch up during your first year! Otherwise, don't worry about your interview too much. Be yourself, be honest, and try above all to keep a clear head. Obviously, Cambridge professors are looking for talented students with a good grasp of foreign languages, but they're not expecting you to be flawless. After all, I gave at least one answer that I'm not hugely proud of, and I've come a long way.” MML Graduate- Joe Neill
For more information on Admissions Tests visit: www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply/tests
LINGUISTICS WHY CHOOSE LINGUISTICS AT CAMBRIDGE?
Are you curious about our most crucial human attribute language? Does a subject which straddles the divide between arts and sciences appeal to you? Language is central to our human nature, and linguistics is the systematic study of human language. Linguists not only describe the diverse characteristics of individual languages but also seek to discover the deeper properties which all languages share. These common properties may give us an insight into the structure of the human mind. The study of Linguistics draws on techniques and knowledge from disciplines as diverse as computer science, philosophy, physics, biology, sociology, and psychology and neuroscience. This variety is what makes linguistics fascinating: at one moment you might be poring over a medieval text for evidence of how the grammar of a language has changed, and the next, learning about how the larynx creates sound energy for speech.
Our course is wide-ranging in its scope and encourages a balanced approach. We offer a range of options from many branches of linguistics. The first year introduces you to the various themes and topics, then its up to you which areas you wish to focus on. We have state of the art facilities to enrich your studies and enable you to put what youâ€™ve learnt into practice, and conduct your own experiments. The interdisciplinary nature of Linguistics and the breadth of our course provides our graduates with the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers across every sector.
THE COURSE LINGUISTICS AT A GLANCE
In the first year all students take papers in the following:
In the second year you take four papers in total. Choosing from a range of papers, you can broaden your knowledge of the topics that interest you.
In your final year as well as choosing two new papers, you take a compulsory general theory paper, and during the year you will research and write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.
• • • •
Sounds and words Structures and meanings Language, brain, and society History and varieties of English
This gives students a solid foundation for further study in linguistics.
There is also the option to ‘borrow’ papers from other courses e.g. Classics and ASNC.
Current options include: • • • • • • • • • • • •
Phonetics Cognitive speech processing Phonology Morphology Syntax Semantics and pragmatics Historical linguistics The history of ideas on language History of French or History of English Language acquisition Psychology of language processing and learning Computational and corpus linguistics
Part IIB includes an element of individual research as you write a dissertation on a topic of your choice as long as it falls within the scope of the papers on offer within the course. This allows you to study in depth an aspect of linguistics that you have found particularly interesting, and to come up with your own original discoveries. The dissertation provides an excellent preparation for anyone considering postgraduate study and you will also gain valuable transferable skills in identifying an interesting research question, in analysing data, and in reporting your findings in a longer piece of writing. In addition, you will be taking two papers chosen from our broad range, and you will take a compulsory general theory paper, which helps you draw together the various separate subjects you have learned and gain an overview of the field of linguistics.
HOW WILL I LEARN?
Lectures In small or large groups. The lecturer presents ideas and information as a starting point for your independent study. Practical Classes In Part II lectures in some subjects are supplemented by practical classes.
and linguistics from the twelfth century on. There is also an extensive linguistics section in the Faculty library. Colleges have the basic texts that are used on the course, and they are usually happy to obtain more specialised books for your individual work. The Department has a collection of working papers and research reports. All in all, you are likely to have access to some of the best resources in the world.
Supervisions Supervisions are provided by your college. Small teaching groups, typically involving 2-4 students, where your written work is discussed. You would also have individual supervisions on your dissertation project. Independent study Outside your contact time per week (6 â€“ 9 hours) you will undertake independent study. Students have access to the vast holdings of the University Library, which boasts one of the most impressive collections of electronic resources, and together with some college libraries has rare manuscripts, and early printed books which contain a rich stock of texts on grammar
How will my work be assessed? You are given degree classifications at the end of each of the three years of the Linguistics course. The assessment is based mainly on written examinations, but where appropriate (for instance in Phonetics) there are separate tests of practical skills. The dissertation in the final year is an important opportunity to show your ability to work independently in a sustained way on a project of your choice.
WHAT DO OUR GRADUATES DO?
Linguistics graduates, like other humanities graduates, find employment in a wide range of professions. Linguistics provides a broad interdisciplinary training, developing communication, analytical, and critical reasoning abilities. Our graduates emerge with the kind of transferable intellectual skills that are highly sought after by employers. Professional destinations include business, civil service, finance, journalism, marketing, public services, teaching and postgraduate research. Additionally, familiarity with the range and essence of human languages is a huge advantage in careers where rapid learning of unfamiliar languages may be involved, such as the Diplomatic Service. Other careers for which linguistics provides a particularly good preparation include speech and language technology (for instance developing speech recognition and translation software), language teaching, speech therapy, and forensic linguistics (for instance investigating cases where authorship or voice identity may be at issue).
“I chose Linguistics, having really enjoyed English Language at A-level, because I wanted to study topics like child language acquisition and the history of the English language in greater depth. The Linguistics course more than lived up to my expectations: there are so many more areas to study than you realise when you first apply. I especially enjoyed conducting my own experiments in the phonetics lab – it was great to be able to learn practical, as well as theoretical, aspects of Linguistics. My final year dissertation was about how morphology affects the visual recognition of jumbled words – I originally got the idea from an internet meme, and then found that there was in fact quite a lot of research around the subject. I’m currently working at the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, using the general skills that I gained from my degree – researching, writing clearly and concisely, organising my time, attention to detail (being a linguistic pedant is useful when your job involves proofreading!) – and am thinking about further study in Linguistics in the future.” Alicia Danks, Linguistics Graduate “Before I started my degree I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in at Cambridge, being from a state school and the only pupil to go to Cambridge that year, I felt that I would be out-of-place amongst the many private school students. However, I quickly realised that those who thrive at Cambridge are the ones who work hard and embrace the plethora of opportunities it provides, regardless of their socioeconomic background. A Linguistics degree teaches you to think critically and analytically. You are required to read a wide range of theories and to judge for yourself which ones best fit the observed data. As linguistics is a relatively new subject there are still lots of uncertainties which means that you are encouraged to form your own opinions, whether they comply with the most popular way of thinking or not. I’m now studying Speech and Language therapy at City University, where I am at a great advantage amongst my fellow class-mates for having a relevant degree.” Rachel Sheldon, Linguistics Graduate
What are we looking for? The main requirement for studying linguistics is a lively curiosity about the nature of language. It may be that you've been wondering why languages change (making Shakespeare hard to understand, for instance), or that youâ€™ve been puzzled by how automatic speech recognition software can get a perfectly clear word wrong. Weâ€™re looking for people who ask themselves 'why?' or 'how?' in relation to language, and can show us that they are passionate and motivated about learning how to address such questions.
For more information and advice on applying to Cambridge please visit the Cambridge Admissions Office website. www.study.cam. ac.uk/undergraduate Making an application The procedure for making an application is the same as for the BA/MML. Please see page 10 for details.
Because linguistics is interdisciplinary we welcome applicants whose profile is scienceoriented as well as arts-centred. Some formal study of language, either through learning languages or through English Language A-level, does however serve as a good preparation.
Entry requirements Typical A-Level offer A*AA (A* subject not normally specified) Typical IB offer 40-42 points, with 776 or 777 at Higher Level For other qualifications please visit the Undergraduate Admissions website. www.study.cam.ac.uk/ undergraduate/apply/requirements
INTERVIEWS: WHAT TO EXPECT
Interviews are our chance to meet you, to talk through your application and find out why you want to study Linguistics at Cambridge. We want to know that you are truly interested in the subject, and that you have an aptitude for studying linguistics. We will also try to find out how motivated you are to learn new things that havenâ€™t necessarily been covered in your classes at school. You can expect about one hour of interviews in total, which could be split over two or three separate interviews. You are likely to be asked why you want to study linguistics. It will help if you can give us concrete, real-life examples of things that you have done to explore your interest, and if you can tell us what they have taught you about your interest, or about linguistics (or language more generally). We will also ask you to discuss why some words or sentences that we will give you are interesting for linguists. You may also be asked about other subjects you have studied, or about other topics that interest you.
You may be asked a question on a topic that is new to you: donâ€™t panic! Just try to engage in an exploratory conversation and contribute what you can: we want to see your potential for exploring new issues. Depending on the College you apply to, you may be given a short written test to do outside the interviews. Some Colleges publish information about interviews on their websites, and if you are invited to interview they will send you information about your interview by post.
See also www.study.cam.ac.uk/ undergraduate/info/faq.html Do I need to have studied a foreign language at A Level to apply? No. Studying English language or a foreign language is good preparation for the course, but it is not a course requirement. Is it better to have studied English or a foreign language? Either serves as good preparation. How do I prepare for the interview? Reading about linguistics is a good start. Think about what you’ve read and which aspects you found particularly interesting or striking. Consider why you thought it was interesting and try to summarise what you’ve learnt about language/linguistics. Then try to see whether you can apply what you have learned in some other area that you know about, or some other aspect of your life. For instance, if you have read or thought about language change, you could ask yourself what differences you have noted between your own speech and that of your (grand) parents,
friends, or whoever else might be interestingly different from you, and think about why those differences may have arisen. For general information and advice about interviews see: www.study.cam.ac.uk/ undergraduate/apply/ interviews Is there anything I should read before the interview? There isn’t anything specific that you are required to read, but prior reading will help you to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the subject, and it will give you more opportunity to think and talk about it. What is the balance between theoretical study and practical work? This is difficult to quantify, because you will often be engaged in theoretical study while you are carrying out practical work, for instance when you look up something in a course book in order to carry out a practical assignment in the Phonetics Laboratory. Theoretical study will take up the majority of your time, though.
The Library has over 111,000 books and 3000 films as well as journals, foreign language magazines, CD-Roms- and CDs. You should find all the books you need for your course here.
Within the Department there is a well-equipped phonetics laboratory, including a soundtreated room for making recordings and running experiments, a network of Unix workstations with speech analysis and synthesis software, and electropalatography for monitoring tongue movement during speech. All students following courses in experimental phonetics use the laboratory.
Visit our website for more information. www.mml.cam. ac.uk/lib Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) The CALL Facility provides easy access to a range of specialist language learning packages as well as a wealth of other language resources, from live foreign language satellite TV to online versions of Oxford Language Dictionaries. The Language Centre The Language Centre offers language-learning facilities to all members of the University. Whether you want to take a course in Italian through film or take an introductory course in Icelandic, the Language Centre could help. www.langcen.cam.ac.uk
Psycholinguistics Laboratory The Department also boasts a psycholinguistics laboratory. This includes an eye-tracker for monitoring eye-gaze during reading and other languagerelated activities. It also has computer-stations equipped with software and hardware for many types of behavioural experiments. Students who follow the course on psychology of language processing and learning or who undertake a dissertation with a psycholinguistic component use the laboratory.
"Hi! We're from Polyglossia, the University's society for Modern Languages. With over 400 members from within the MML faculty and others, we're the society for anyone who enjoys studying and talking foreign languages, as well as their cultures. We publish Polyglossia magazine, made up of fascinating articles written by students in both English and other European languages on a wide range of topics: travel, history, art, current affairs. This is a great opportunity for students thinking about a career in journalism or photography, or who simply has something to say! In addition, we host a variety
of social events: bar nights, film nights, garden parties, talks. This gives our members the opportunity to meet one another, to discuss their interests and most of all make new friends! We also hold a careers event each year, giving students a chance to think about what they might do after graduation, and how a Modern Languages degree will serve them in the world of work. Being a student of languages at Cambridge is an exciting and varied experience; at Polyglossia we hope to match that and bring together the many interests and passions that make our faculty such a diverse and interesting one!"
Come to our Open Day Open Days provide an excellent opportunity to find out more about our undergraduate courses, see our facilities and meet staff and students. The day will include: • • • • •
Talks explaining the courses we offer and tips on applying. The opportunity to meet staff and students and ask them questions. Sample lectures to give you a taste of what it’s like studying here. Time to see our facilities. The opportunity to visit a College for lunch.
Our Open Day is held annually in March- for dates and to book a place please visit our website and follow the Open Day link. www.mml.cam.ac.uk The University and individual Colleges also hold other Open Days throughout the year. For more information please visit the Admissions Office website. www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate
Image Credits Page 2,11, 14, 16, 17, 20: Photos taken during the making of MML The Movie Pages 5, 12, 21 and back cover: Adam Merton Page 7: Liudmila Basmakova Page 8: Simon Ellis, Jessica Donnithorne, Eliza Apperly Page 9: Kirsty Potter Page 22: Sonum Sumaria Page 23: Jessica Cherry, Rachael Crossman Inside back cover: Harshil Arora The information in this prospectus was accurate at the time of going to print (February 2012).