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Transcript: Languages Pathway Introduction

Hi, I'm Dr David Lees, I'm Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Modern Language and Cultures at the University of Warwick and I'm here today to talk to you about the Language's Liberal Arts pathway at Warwick.

As a Liberal Arts student at Warwick, you can choose to take the Languages pathway. In this pathway, you will encounter a whole range of languages and cultures as you extend your degree. You will begin with an initial language module and as you go through your degree course, you'll start to take more modules in the School of Modern Languages, emerging with 90 credits in Languages in your final year.

Now normally the Languages pathway begins with one single language, so this might be a language that you have already at A level, or it could be a language that you choose to start from scratch (what we call our 'ab-initio'), or it could be at intermediate level, so it could be a level perhaps a GCSE level or equivalent. Now normally if you begin your language at 'ab-initio' level or indeed anywhere below A level, you will normally need to have an A level in another language. So, for example, you might have an A level already in French, but you choose to start Spanish from scratch. That's absolutely fine, that's what you can do.

So in your first year, you will begin with one language module, normally 30 credits in your chosen language. As you go through the degree, you'll start to take more languages in our School on the Languages pathway. So in your second year, your intermediate year, you will take one language module which will be your core language, continuing on from your chosen language from your first year, and then you will take up to 30 credits of culture modules. Now in a moment, I'll talk to you more about what culture models mean, but culture models explore a whole range of different themes and ideas and are usually connected to your chosen language. Sometimes they can be what we call cross-School modules so you'll encounter different linguistic contexts but usually exploring one single connect [indescript].

In your final year, you will take 90 credits with us in Languages and that can include a whole range of modules. Normally you will take your final-year language module which will be 30 credits, and then you can choose to take up to 60 credits of culture. This might include cultural models connected to your main language or chosen language, or this can also include what we call cross-School modules, exploring as I say potentially one or two unifying themes across different linguistic contexts. You can also choose in your final year, if you choose to do so, to take our SMLC undergraduate Modern Languages Dissertation module, or indeed our Independent Research Project module, where normally you are allocated supervisor in the area of interest to you and then you have a series of supervisions to develop a dissertation research project.

Now cultural models deal with a range of themes and ideas usually related to your main language, so this might be, for example, a module connected to history or politics or film or culture in some way, literature perhaps, related to the language that you've chosen to study. You may also choose potentially one of our cross-School modules, which is usually a module that connects several different languages, so usually French, Spanish, German, and Italian, examining one or two unifying themes. So you might look at for example translation studies, for example, across all four of those main languages.

In your final year, you would normally take 90 credits of language models on the Liberal Arts Languages pathway. So you'll take your final-year language module connected to your main chosen language, and then you'll take up to 60 credits of culture modules. This might again include modules which are connected to the culture of your chosen language, or they may be what we call cross-School modules, or indeed they may be the Modern Languages Dissertation module, or the Modern Languages Independent Research Project module. In both of those modules, you're normally allocated a supervisor in your chosen field who will take you through the process of writing a project, usually of between five thousand and ten thousand words in length, related to a particular topic you're interested in and usually relates to the specialism of that particular colleague.

So on your Liberal Arts Languages pathway, you may choose to go abroad if you wish to do so. If you want to go abroad on this pathway, we recommend that you go abroad in your third year, having completed your first two years at Warwick. That's to enable you to develop the linguistic skills necessary to be able to thrive while you're abroad and usually we believe this is the best course of action for students on this pathway. If you would like to go abroad you'll go abroad to a country where chosen language is spoken, so it could be a French-speaking country, it can be a Spanish-speaking country, a German-speaking country, or indeed an Italian-speaking country. So you would choose to go abroad and spend that time usually through one of our partner institutions abroad in the relevant country, connected to our School of Modern Languages here at Warwick, or you might choose to go and work as an English Language Assistant through the British Council working in different schools in your chosen country, or you can go on a student negotiated work placements. You don't have to go abroad on this Liberal Arts Languages pathway, but if you want to go abroad it's entirely up to you and if you would like to go abroad, we recommend that you make that decision at the end of your first year in conjunction with your tutors in Liberal Arts and indeed with the Head of Liberal Arts. The best thing really to think about really is to say you know if you want to go abroad to develop your linguistic and wider cultural skills, that is a brilliant opportunity for you to develop your linguistic skills and as I said you would need to make that decision at the end of your first year, otherwise you can choose to spend all three years at Warwick.

If you have any questions at all about the Languages pathway with Liberal Arts at Warwick, please don't hesitate to contact me my contact details are now on the screen. Thank you.