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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Modern Languages Student Specification

In the information below each of our admissions tutors has made some observations on the skills and qualities they see as important when they consider an application for BA Modern Languages.

Intellectual independence and curiosity
Apart from language learning ability, we seek to attract students with intellectual curiosity, the ability to question received wisdom, broad cultural and social interests, and an eagerness to experience other cultures, not least during your year abroad. At Southampton you will be introduced to a broad interdisciplinary range of approaches and areas consisting of linguistic studies, social-political studies, and cultural studies, including literature, film and the media. You will have the opportunity to take these further and to specialise and focus on particular aspects of any one or more of these different areas.

Language learning
You will have achieved a good A level pass, or equivalent, in one or more languages, and will start your studies at stage three or four of our seven stage framework. You will also have the opportunity to learn a new language as a beginner and will be able to choose from a range of languages including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. Your language learning will be directed by experienced language teachers and you will be encouraged to make use of the facilities of the Language Resource Centre and the online multimedia resources which will be available for each course on the University's Virtual Learning Environment and on the Modern Languages website.

Reading Skills
We expect you to be able to read sensitively; we are particularly keen to attract students who read widely and adventurously. Our courses cater for a very broad range of intellectual interests and are designed to encourage you to discover new ones.

Data collection and analysis
You should be eager to discover and to work out the kinds of issues that will be raised by your chosen degree course. At Southampton you will develop your ability to understand and analyse what you take in, and to work out what you fail to comprehend, and why. Normally you will be required to undertake an investigative project abroad which will be closely related to the country in which you spend your third year.

Oral communication and listening skills
One of our chief aims is to develop the ability of our students to communicate orally, both in English and in the languages they study. You should therefore be keen to listen to others and to take an active part in seminar presentations and discussions and not expect to be spoon fed.

Writing ability
You should be able to write intelligibly and effectively in English and be eager to develop your ability to do so in the language, or languages, you study. We look to develop clear, sensitive writing that is capable of expressing your ideas properly.

Study skills
Apart from the other skills outlined in this section, we expect you to be an independent learner, able to make the most of the excellent learning resources we provide, including ample computer workstations and multimedia language learning facilities. You will need to know how to organise your time and prioritise your commitments.

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