Here at Oxford, the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages welcomes applications for German at all levels. This means that if you haven’t studied the language at A-level, you can still apply to study Beginners’ German as part of your degree.
Excitingly, 2023 marks the first year that prospective students can apply to study Beginners’ German as part of our Joint Schools degrees. This means that you can combine learning German from scratch with another of the following Humanities subjects:
So, if you’re hoping to study one of these subjects, but are interested in learning a new language, why not choose Beginners’ German?!
Take a look at our brand new video below to learn more about studying German for Beginners at Oxford, and to hear about the experiences of our current students who have chosen this excellent option!
Students taking Beginners’ German will receive intensive language tuition during their first year and further targeted language support specific to their needs during their second year. From the start of their course they will have some teaching on narrative works together with the post A-level group, and they will be fully integrated from the start of the second year, with access to all the course options in linguistics, literature, film and culture.
During the course, Oxford’s tutorial system and small-group language teaching will enable students at all levels to receive the appropriate tuition for their needs, which will build on the knowledge they have already acquired.
On the blog this week, we pass over to our friends at St John’s College and Christ Church to promote their exciting upcoming Modern Languages Study Days!
St John’s College – Wednesday 10th May
St John’s College, Oxford is pleased to welcome applications for our Year 12 Modern Languages Study Day. The Study Day is open to all Year 12 students currently attending a non-selective state-school in the UK.
What does the day involve?
Academic taster sessions led by Oxford Modern Languages tutors
An introductory lecture on applying to, and studying at, Oxford University
An interview session with a practice interview demonstration
A Q&A session with current Modern Languages students and tutors
A tour of St John’s College
To sign up: Complete the application form on our websitebetween 20th March and 8am Monday 17th April 2023. All events and resources are free to qualifying pupils. Travel awards and Digital Assistance Awards are also available for eligible participants. If you have any questions or would like more information, please do get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Christ Church – Thursday 1 June
Christ Church is excited to be hosting a Modern Languages Study Day on Thursday 1 June 2023. This day is aimed both at students who are currently studying languages and those who are interested in picking up new languages at university. It will offer a taste of Modern Languages at university across both cases.
You do not need to be studying a language already to do a Modern Language as part of your degree at Oxford. As well as degree courses in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Modern Greek, Oxford also offers joint-honours courses that can involve languages in different combinations, such as French and Beginners’ Russian, Spanish and Portuguese or Russian and Beginners’ Czech (with Slovak). Oxford also offers a range of joint-honours courses that combine languages with other subjects, such as English and French, Modern Languages and Linguistics, Philosophy and Beginners’ German. More detailed information about course combinations and content can be found on the Oxford courses webpage.
In this week’s blog post, recent graduate in Spanish & Czech from St Peter’s College, Joe Kearney, reflects on his decision to study Czech at Oxford and where the journey has taken him…
I chose to study Czech at Oxford because I wanted to try something completely different. At school I had studied French and Spanish, and I wanted to learn a language from a totally new language family.
The first year of Czech was certainly the challenge I’d been looking for. I sat in my first language class of the year, in front of the Czech lady (Vanda, she is lovely) who had been tasked with teaching me and my three classmates Czech from scratch, and wondering how I was ever going to learn what any of this stuff meant. The learning curve was steep, but incredibly rewarding. We started with the absolute basics: how the alphabet works, how to introduce yourself, how to order food in a restaurant. By the end of my first year I’d read my first short stories in Czech and I’d been to Prague and worked for a couple of months as a waiter in a pizza parlour! Learning a language from scratch is fantastic for anyone who fancies a bit of adventure.
We spent second year developing our speaking, listening, writing and translating skills, as well as reading more and more literature in Czech. Because Czech is a small course, with just a handful of undergraduate students every year, the course is really flexible. 20th century Czech history and literature fascinated me, and I was able to shape all of the rest of my degree around it. I learned about the interwar period in the First Czechoslovak Republic, the Czech experience under communism, and the Czech journey out of communism in the 90s and 2000s. Writers like Jiří Weil, Ludvík Vaculík and Bianca Bellová captured my imagination, and I was able to take my newfound interests with me on my year abroad, where I studied New Wave Czech film, a history of Czech photography, and modern Czech politics at the University of Ostrava.
In Ostrava I got a job as a waiter in a tearoom (the best language training anyone could get!), I went climbing in the hills with my Ostravák friends, and I travelled with a great group of Erasmus students. One of the best things about the Czech Republic, we quickly found, is that it is a fantastic basecamp from which to travel all around Europe. I visited France, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Poland, and even Sweden that year, as well as making use of the ridiculously cheap trains to get all around the Czech Republic. Some highlights were České Švýcarsko (Czech Switzerland), Skiing in the Slovakian High Tatras, and visiting Kraków, in Poland, and Stockholm, in Sweden.
My love for Czech grew immensely on my year abroad, and final year went by in a blast. More learning, and more opportunities to take the voyage of discovery further and further.
I would highly recommend learning a new language from scratch at Oxford. My Czech degree was a fantastic awakening to a new world of culture, travel, and wonderful people. I have never looked back!
A huge thanks to Joe for sharing his wonderful experiences of studying beginners’ Czech as well as the stunning photos taken on his year abroad in Ostrava last year (2021-22).
If you’re interested in following a similar path, you can find out more about Czech at Oxford here.
One of the wonderful things about studying languages at university is that you quite often have the opportunity to pick up a new language from scratch. This can be a wonderful chance to immerse yourself linguistically and culturally in something brand new. At Oxford, within the Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty, you can study Italian, Russian, Portuguese, German, Modern Greek, Czech or Polish as a beginners’ language.
In this video, Julie Curtis, Professor of Russian at Oxford, tells us a bit more about why that could be an exciting option…
A blog for students and teachers of Years 11 to 13, and anyone else with an interest in Modern Foreign Languages and Cultures, written by the staff and students of Oxford University. Updated every Wednesday!
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