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Found 6 results

  1. I'm planning to apply for a PhD in English (Literature) and I'm wondering about the foreign language component. All of the schools I'd most like to apply to require 1 or usually 2 foreign languages examined by the end of the second year or so. Yale also mentions on its admission requirements that they want 'preparation in languagessufficient to satisfy the language requirement' and Harvard says that 'While there are no specific prerequisites for admission, a strong language background helps to strengthen the application'. None of the others seem to mention languages at all in their admissions sections, only in the details of what's required during the course. Does anyone know how important the language background is relative to other elements of the application? My personal situation: I have a UK A-Level in Latin and a GCSE in German. I've been working on my German online (duolingo etc.) but I have no new qualifications to show evidence of progress. I did an informal assessment at the Goethe Insitut in London, and they reckon I could probably handle a B1 exam, which the internet reckons is about equivalent to a UK AS-level, halfway between GCSE and A-Level, but I don't know if it really counts for as much on an application. If I did take the exam, it might show that my German is ongoing and improving, but I have relatively little time to prepare for the exam, it's alarmingly close to the application deadline, so if my results don't come on time it might count for nothing anyway, and I think it might be a better use of time to work on my writing samples/preparing for GREs etc. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks a lot.
  2. I've looking for MA and PhD courses in the US. I like what the State University of Washington and NYU are offering. What I don't understand is why is it necessary to know a foreign language while doing PhD? What if I choose to research on something that doesn't require knowing any foreign language?
  3. Hello everyone, I have recently discovered the general direction I want to take my PhD research, which will require research abroad in at least 3 different countries, making particular use of interviews. I will have no problem getting financial support for this research, and I am not exactly a shy individual about interviewing people. However, I am not fluent in any of these three languages, which are unfortunately about as hard as foreign languages can get for native English speakers. I have had succes learning a foreign language to fluency in the past through formal training and self-study, and have self-studied another foreign language to a high level (not fluent yet) completely through self-study. Does anyone have any strategies/experiences to gain working knowledge of foreign languages for research? Thanks!
  4. Well, it's about time that this thread started! How's it going, fellow Boren-hopefuls?
  5. I have a question for you historians of philosophy: How did you acquire reading knowledge of a foreign language? Did you take a class? If so, which one(s)? Did you study the language on your own? If so, which books did you buy and/or self-teaching services did you use? I will begin pursuing a terminal MA this fall, and my main interests are in the history of philosophy. I like it all, but if I had to specify, I would choose early modern philosophy as an AOS. One conspicuous weak spot in my CV is a lack of reading knowledge of the four main languages historians of philosophy need to know. (Ancient) Greek and Latin will be easy--classes in the classics are almost always geared towards reading knowledge of the language. However, for those of you who have reading knowledge of French and/or German, did you take college classes or study the language on your own? Classes in German and French typically put a considerable emphasis on conversing in the language. All else being equal, I'd love to be able to converse in French and German, but what I'm really concerned about is reading knowledge. I appreciate any help you have to offer!
  6. Dear All, I would really like to hear about how feasible (or not) you think it is to learn a foreign language from scratch to meet the language requirement. I do know one modern language, but i'm wondering about the second. It would be wonderful to hear from people who have done this in the past, and how they went about it. In my specific case, the graduate school that accepted me does provide free language tutorials, but I'm also looking at how to manage these with the graduate coursework that one will have to do.
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