Ari G.





What's the most challenging part about choosing a foreign language as a major?

I am considering majoring in French because I love the culture and I wish to learn more about it while studying abroad. I would just like to know what to expect for when I begin studying for it. #france #bilingual #academic-advising #language #foreign-languages #language-skills

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The most challenging part about majoring in a foreign language is simply learning the language and hitting a fluency level that will qualify you for jobs after you graduate. First, I would strongly recommend studying abroad for a minimum of one year in a French-speaking country. While you can learn the basics of grammar and a little bit of French literature and culture, if you want to truly learn the language and understand the culture, immersion through a study abroad program is the way to go. I learned more from one year of studying abroad than I did in my entire college and high school education combined. By the end, I could speak the language in more than just an academic environment, understood the culture, and gained a high-level of confidence with the language. Second, if you're majoring in a language, you may want to consider double-majoring in something like International Business, International Law, a technology-related field, etc. Language skills are a HUGE plus in today's job market, but they're not as powerful if you don't have the relevant education or job experience to back it up. It is possible to get a job where they'll teach you the skills, but it's harder. A couple of things to keep in mind if you want to major in French: - The tech industry is always in need of people fluent in major languages - If you're willing to work and learn, you'll rocket up the ladder. - The most difficult thing you'll run into besides actually achieving professional fluency is probably taking Gen. Ed courses that you have no interest in or taking courses like French literature if you're only interested in the practical reasons for learning a language.
Last updated Oct 06 '17 at 18:10

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If you have a passion for language study like I do and a aptitude for learning language then you will find that studying French in college a delight. However, you have to be prepared to put in the work. Many sometimes believe languages are an easy A but remember you are aiming to gain fluency in the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Not everyone acquire these skills at the same level. I remember listening was not easy for me and language labs sessions were the most challenging part of my undergraduate course. The lower level courses may be manageable but when you get to your junior and senior years that's when you really start the advance courses towards your major. Most of these classes are conducted in the target language by the professors; in this case French so you have to be able to keep up. You will be expected to respond in class in the target language as well so it is best for you to practice conversing outside of class. Many colleges and universities have French clubs and other programs that provide opportunities for practice and contact with the language and culture outside the structured classroom and there are study abroad programs as well. I would suggest you get involved and take advantages of these programs and activities as much as you can. Best if luck to you.
Last updated Nov 17 '17 at 16:34

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