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Open Afternoon at Trinity Hall 19 September 2014: Special Programme for Modern Linguists



Open Afternoon Special Program for Modern Linguists

Since the demands on modern linguists are different from those in other subjects, Trinity Hall’s Fellows (teachers) in this subject will be offering additional sessions during the college’s general Open Afternoon. Similar to the popular Study Skills days that we have held in the past, the programme will offer advice on how to prepare oneself for interview as well as providing a ‘taster’ of some of the skills demanded by the Modern Languages course.
11.45: Welcome and introduction to the Fellows.
12.00-1.00: Specific aspects of applying for MML, including preparation for the written test.
1.00-2.00: Lunch can be bought in the college’s Coffee Shop or in the cafeteria. The fellows will be present for this.
2.00-3.00: A general talk on admissions, for all subjects.
3.00-3.45: Introduction to writing a commentary on a literary text. We will split into smaller groups for this, and expect to have parallel sessions in French, German, Spanish. The texts chosen will be very short, and similar to those that candidates are expected to discuss during their admissions interview. We hope this will also be useful for those offering literature at A2.
3.45-4.30: An introduction to film studies. We will break into two groups, and through stills and clips we will consider aspects of Hable con ella and Das Leben der Anderen. There is no need to have seen either film in advance, but they are both well-known and fascinating. The sort of thing one could talk about in an admissions interview.
4.30-5.00: For those who are able to stay, we will have a short introduction to translation from a foreign language into English. This is rarely tackled in schools nowadays, but remains an important aspect of Cambridge studies. We will split into separate groups for French, German, and Spanish.

If you would like to come, please sign up via the online booking form, indicating the languages in which you are interested.


Studying Modern Languages at Trinity Hall is not quite the same as it is at other colleges. We have a long tradition of taking particular pride in our subject and of admitting more linguists than most other colleges.
We take extra care making sure our undergraduates settle down quickly and confidently. We teach them to think as much as to learn, but we also ensure they are particularly well prepared for their exams. So, for example, we encourage new students to arrive a few days before the start of term so that they can get to know each other and some of the fellows. At this point they meet one of those fellows over a light-hearted frisbee match with the second year linguists (no need to join in if you don’t like frisbee!). They meet another over a special wine-tasting, in which they are taught how to appreciate wine (but also to drink sensibly). And they meet others during pre-term sessions on the nature of the course and on how to structure the sort of essays that you need to write in Cambridge.
By the time lectures actually start, the first year is already a distinct group. And by their fourth year our linguists are confident, mature, and successful. We are regularly delighted at how well they develop and adapt to academic studies, and it is most gratifying that their results are so outstanding. Over the last nine years we have had 76 candidates take final exams, with no fewer than 34 getting a II.1, and 42 getting a Ist!
Modern linguists here clearly work hard, but they also know how to relax and the photos we have here give some flavour of the college as a place where learning and having a good time go hand in hand. Further, we are one of the oldest in Cambridge and lie at the heart of the city, nestling between three other colleges and the river. If you’re interested in Oxbridge, we’re definitely worth trying out!


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