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'Language piqued my interest ' - Personal Satement. Linguistics.


menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 11, 2012   #1
Hi, i am an interntional student. I have written a new essay, taking a whole paragraph from the old one i had written before.

I am applying to a university in the U.K for the English Language and Linguistics Programme. The essay is not finished yet. I have yet to explain why i want to go to the U.K for my study. But would you mind checking my progress. I have tried to be as simple as possible. Let me know what you think. Do i make my point across about wanting to study English and Linguistics?

Help me and i will help you back. Thank you so much in advance.
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I was talking to this tiny, yet ridiculously warm looking lady on an almost empty bus going to the city. She appeared to be in her late 50s. I was in a less-than-good mood and to my greatest fear, she started talking to me. After the usual introductions, with a sweet nonchalance, she asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I replied, "I..ah...don't know." She raised her head and her eyebrows slightly, in unison. I tried to follow up with a smile, but failed miserably. With a dramatic flair in her voice, the lady said, "You will know when the time is right." And after what I had thought was an awkward silence, she added, "Take it one day at a time."

That was almost two years ago. I had been out of school, frustrated at my limited study options, hungrily searching for my vocation. As dramatic as it may seem, something clicked during that awfully tentative conversation with the lady. I realized I had to do what I had loved but had ignored before; I had to go back to teaching.

Language piqued my interest and teaching liberated me. So I combined both and freed myself. There are still people, including my father, who love flaunting the financial aspects of a technical degree. But they don't know what I become in a class. My father hasn't seen me evolve from a shy girl into an excited maniac when I help my students decipher English language. It's not just the English that gets me going. It is the idea of a language becoming tangible from picayune human needs and consequently, the sad falling of a tongue due to inevitable human greed.

Ever imagined a world where people spoke only one language, united by a single outlook towards life? Well, I have. And I can tell you there is nothing so serenely tragic about having no diversity to humble us. The ballyhoo that languages create is something that is unnerving but an essential part that holds us together. Maybe the day will never come when there is only one language. But maybe there will. Especially in today's world of ubiquitous technology that has made it easy for us to learn and possible to forget. I do not want to watch the progressive social phenomenon of language from the sideline; I want to be a part of it, right in the middle.

dreamer 3 / 18  
Mar 11, 2012   #2
Hello! :) I enjoyed reading your essay! A lot of descriptive writing (I guess that's your style).
In a distinctive way, you have shown your passion for teaching English! Job well done!

My only comment would be that you can work on elaborating what you mean by being "right in the middle" of it. And that is to state precisely what your goals are.

Maybe even mention a specific opportunity that the university offers, to help you accomplish these goals.
Or have you already thought about adding that, since you said this essay isn't complete yet?
Anyway, I learned a new word: ballyhoo!

All the best! :)

Edit: I just realized that I have read some your essays before this and I think you have a great talent in writing!
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 11, 2012   #3
Thank you so much for your awesome comment.

I am actually applying to a Creative Writing and Linguistics programme too. But i didn't want to focus on that since i don't know how to include my interest in Linguistics, English Language and Writing in one single essay.

I have added a line after "right in the middle". Maybe that will work.

I haven't thought of mentioning my future goals because i think there wouldn't be enough space to do that.

I will finish my essay in a bit. If you could, would you please read it again? That would be really amazing.

Thanks again. I will read yours too. :)
chalumeau /  
Mar 11, 2012   #4
You had some really great ideas! That said, I have to warn you that English programs expect perfect grammar. You have to get in the habit of checking your essays 10 times or more. I used to print out my essays and lab reports 4 or 5 times before I caught all the errors. Sometimes it's easier to catch the errors if you read your essay out loud. Are you also thinking of teaching English as a foreign language? If so, I would include some of your experiences. I have met very few people who have made the transition to native English speaker status. Actually, I can think of only one person. You have to work very very hard at it. Expect to wake up at 5 am. I wish you the best.
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 12, 2012   #5
Hema Preya:

Yes, it should be "interests". I wrote in a hurry. And "knowledegable admirer" sounded good in my head but i know it kinda doesn't make sense and leaves the reader a bit confused. I will change that. I also like "It's my time" idea. I think i will use that.

Really thank you so much for your feedback. It has helped me tremendously.

Chalumeau:

I can't thank you enough for your suggestions but thank you.

I don't know how to be more specific with the linguistics part. I will work on that.
This is my first draft so i know i will be working a lot on improving it. I do read my essays out loud and try to find awkward sentences. This forum has helped me a lot because of members like you.

I am thinking of teaching English as a foreign language but i am also interested in Journalism. So let's see what happens. For now, i just want to study English and Linguistics.

Again, thank you very much for the feedback.
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 13, 2012   #6
Made some changes. I would love for your guys to read it again and give me suggestions.
Chalumeau:
The only reason i didn't make all the changes you suggested was my pride. haha. Your sentences are definetely better than what i wrote. I tried to put all your suggestions in my essay but i wanted to keep some of my sentences as well even if they weren't as good. I know it's stupid. But anyway, i would love for you to take a look at it again.

By the way, i have seen you give feedbacks to other essays and they are marvellous. Do you do this professionally? Are you a writer? Sorry for prying. Just wanted to know. :)
dreamer 3 / 18  
Mar 14, 2012   #7
Hi again! It is looking better and better, I must say!

A few minor comments:
"My dream of exploring languages and my want to preserve it cannot be achieved here, in Nepal where Linguistics is not offered at any university." - Should the comma come after ... cannot be achieved here in Nepal, where...

Also, is there a reason why Linguistics is capitalized? If it is an area of study, I don't think you need to capitalize it.

Hm.. I have read it about three times and I can't seem to find anything wrong with it. This is a good solid essay.

Good luck!
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 14, 2012   #8
I don't know about the comma but linguistics, as it turns out, should not be capitalized. I never really thought about it. Thanks. I literally googled "should linguistics be capitalized"

Thanks for your positive feedback. Even if you hadn't liked my essay, i wouldn't have known what better to do with it. I like writing but it is this polishing that i hate. By the end of it, it feels as if you have a completely different essay than what you had started with.

Good luck with your application. :)
dreamer 3 / 18  
Mar 14, 2012   #9
You're welcome!
I don't think yours is too far from when you started, unless you did revisions before that and you were talking about those :)
All the best to you too!
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 14, 2012   #10
Points taken. :)
I will make some changes now.
I really like the placement of the "speak hindi, english..." part on the second paragraph.

Revising has helped me quite a lot. I used to be really frustrated but now i have come to realize that i can benefit from other people's suggestions and opinions.

Thank you so much.
Chigozie 13 / 22 2  
Mar 16, 2012   #11
Your essay potrays a nice diction!!!
It would also be good to state why you chose to apply to that specfic university in UK. That would also show the admission conselor that efforts you have invested in getting acquinted with the university.

Good luck on your application.

pls help me with mine
chalumeau /  
Mar 17, 2012   #12
Next to me on an 1 ) almost empty bus sat this tiny, warm-looking lady, who appeared to be in her late 50's, 2) looking around at the passengers. We were heading to the city. I was in a less-than-good mood 3) and to my chagrin, she started talking to me. After the usual introductions, she nonchalantly asked, "What do you want to do with your life?"

4 ) To this, I replied shyly, "I..ah..don't know." She raised her head and her eyebrows slightly, in unison. I tried to follow up with a smile 6 ), but failed miserably.

5) With a dramatic flair in her voice 7) , she advised, "You will know when the time is right."

1) Good place for a parallel adjective? What I mean is try to find an adjective that has the same rhythm as "tiny, warm-looking." What about "empty, loud-motored" or "empty gear-shifting"?

2) How about inspecting?
3) when
4) Dialogue between persons requires a new paragraph.
5) " "
6) No comma necessary for a short dependent clause.
7) No comma necessary for a short introductory modifier.


That was almost two years ago. 9) I had been out of school 8) , frustrated. I was searching hungrily for my vocation. As cliché as it may seem, something clicked during that conversation. I realized I needed to do what I loved but had ignored before; I had to go back to teaching.

8) Use "and" in place of comma.
9) "Had been" needs something more. You could say, "I had been out of school for 3 months, when I wrote the school the letter..." In your essay, you were trying to express your emotional state in the past tense. "I was out of school and frustrated," is better. "I was frustrated as I had been out of school _____ months," is also acceptable.


10)Language piqued my interest and teaching liberated me. So I combined both and freed myself. I worked as an English Instructor at Kings Institute, one of the best in the city. I found teaching students at the consultancy more challenging and satisfying than teaching at a school. As an English Language consultant, I met housewives, ex-soldiers, teenagers, and journalists, who required more real-world teaching approaches. As a whole, working as an ESL teacher prepared me to face challenges from which others would run. 11) Due to my teaching experiences, along with Nepali and Hindi and English, I now can speak Gurung, a language with two generations of shelf-life left. There are still people, including my father, who love flaunting the financial aspects of a technical degree. But they don't know what I become in a class. My father hasn't seen me evolve from a shy girl into a linguistics maniac when I help my students decipher the world of English. 12) Regardless of what others might assume about people taking career gaps, I do not for one moment regret opting to work before attaining a degree.

10) I keep taking these sentences out. They sound like someone in an infomercial for language CD set. Additionally, you are analyzing the situation in the wrong place. We don't know anything about your teaching career yet. We don't know why teaching "liberated" you or why language inspired you.

11) "Gurung,..." You can't say what you said. Possibilities:
--"Gurung, a language predicted to be extinct in two generations."
--"Gurung, a language with two generations of fluency left."
--"Gurung, a language with two generations left of shelf-life."
--"Gurung, a language with an expiration date of two generations."
12) I changed "definitely" to "for one moment." I also changed "instead of" to "before." You are applying to a school, right? So "instead of" is incorrect word choice.


Ever imagine a world where people speak only one language, 13) united by a single outlook towards life? Well, I have. And I can tell you there is nothing as serenely tragic as not having diversity to keep us humble. The ballyhoo that languages create is an unnerving, but essential ingredient in bringing people together. Maybe the day will never come when there is only one language. But maybe it will. Especially in today's world of ubiquitous technology, it is easy for us to learn and just as easy to forget. I do not want to watch the progressive social phenomenon of language from the sideline; I want to be a part of it, right in the middle, taking linguistics as one of my core subjects.

13) ", and that language unite all cultures into a single entity?"
Sounds like a subjunctive. "Ever imagine that language be useful?"


Along with languages, writing is another field of interest. Writing is when I time travel: a reminder of what was, and what is; what I want, and what I have. In simple words, I hope to understand language as a bridge to be a better teacher and an empathetic storyteller. For that to happen, I have to study further.

My dream of exploring languages cannot be achieved here in Nepal, where a linguistics major is not offered at any university. If language is not a deterrent to further my education, distance is not either. 14) The lady on the bus told me that I would know when the time is right. Well, I know that the time is now; it is right. It is mine.

14) Wrong tense. "The lady on the bus told me..." is better. Use the "had" when you are in the past and thinking of a past farther back.

For example,
"On the bus she told me that my teachers had prepared me well."

It's getting better and better.
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 17, 2012   #13
I am really amazed at the amount of changes you are suggesting. This is definetely not my final draft. I really appreciate you doing this for me.

When i saw the red lines, i actually went to my kitchen, made tea, and got myself ready for the instructions.
I had an amazing mentor. He was american and a philologist. He used to help me correct my grammar and make suggestions regarding the writing style. Since he left our country due to visa problems, i have missed him a lot. I was also really worried about my essay. I could have emailed him but i didn't want be a burden. Anyway, the whole point of my story is that you remind me of him. Only i don't know you. But you have been amazingly kind.

I will work on my essay and make those changes. Maybe this time will be the lucky one.
Thanks
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 17, 2012   #14
This essay means a lot to me. So revision is of utmost importance. Especially since you are giving me such great constructive criticisms. I am taking ful advantage. :)

I have some last questions. I meant to write "almost" because the lady was inspecting "passengers including me. Or should i write "inspecting the surroundings". I like passengers better though.

The place where i work is the best education consultancy in my city. Its ESL program is not relly quite upto par as i would like it to be. Do you think it matters? or should i just go back to "one of the best in the city".
chalumeau /  
Mar 17, 2012   #15
"Next to me on an emptied-out, loud-motored bus sat this small-boned, kind-looking lady, who appeared to be in her late 50's, surreptitiously inspecting the remnants of rush hour inching toward downtown."

***Was it an evening bus ride? I never did ask you?***

Instead of "best in the city," you could use, "a prestigious education consultancy in ___."

I realized I made a mistake above!
"I realized I needed to do what I loved but had ignored before: teach English. "
Originally, I had used "teaching" alone.
Or, just use the word "education."
chalumeau /  
Mar 18, 2012   #16
Next to me on an emptied-out, loud-motored bus sat 1) a tiny, warm-looking lady, who appeared to be in her late 50's, surreptitiously inspecting the surroundings. We were heading to the city. I was in a less-than-good mood when 2)to my chagrin, she started talking to me. After the usual introductions, she 3)nonchalantly[/ s] asked, "What do you want to do with your life?"

1) Use "a" instead of "this." It's slightly better introduction to someone or something you don't know.
2) Read this list for cliches to avoid.
cstl-cla.semo.edu/mspeight/en100a/handouts/cliches.htm
"Much to my chagrin" is one of them. It's not that it's totally wrong. It's just overused.
3) "Nonchalantly" is the wrong word to use here. I've tried to correct it, but it keeps appearing in every draft. Here's a better example of the word:

"After the doctor told her she would need several stitches in her arm, she nonchalantly replied, 'What? This tiny scratch?' "

In my dictionary it says, "A nonchalant person is not likely to become warm or heated about anything..."

It's a direct, put-you-on-the-spot type of question. How about "gently asked" or "wondered aloud" ?


To this, I replied shyly, "I...ah...don't know." She raised her head and her eyebrows slightly, in unison. I tried to follow up with a smile but failed miserably.

With a dramatic flair in her voice she advised, "You will know when the time is right."

That was almost two years ago. I was out of school and frustrated. I was searching hungrily for my vocation. As cliché as it may seem, something clicked during that conversation. I realized I needed to do what I loved but had ignored before 4): teaching.

4) Colon before a list (of one). A semicolon separates independent phrases.

I worked as an English Instructor at Kings Institute, a prestigious education consultancy in the city. I found teaching students at the consultancy more challenging and satisfying than teaching at a school. As an English Language Consultant, I met housewives, ex-soldiers, teenagers, and journalists, who required more real-world teaching approaches. As a whole, working as an ESL teacher prepared me to face challenges from which others would run. Due to my teaching experiences, along with Nepali, Hindi and English, I 5 ) now fluently speak Gurung, a language with two generations of shelf-life left. In addition to speaking these languages, I 6) can also read basic Latin. Watching my students learn inspired me to make more of myself every time I taught a lesson.

5) "learned to speak" stay in the past tense
6) "learned to read"

There are still people, including my father, who love flaunting the financial aspects of a technical degree. But they don't know what I become in a class. My father hasn't seen me evolve from a shy girl into a linguistics maniac when I help my students decipher the world of English. 7) Regardless of what others might assume about people taking career gaps, I do not for one moment regret opting to work before attaining a degree.

7) You aren't describing a career gap. You chose to delay your higher education. I also tried to narrow the focus on you and not "people." You are talking about yourself. Suggestion: "Despite what others may say about my college gap, I do not..."

Ever imagine a world where people speak only one language, and that language unite all cultures into a single entity? Well, I have. 8) And I can tell you there is nothing as serenely tragic as not having diversity to keep us humble. The ballyhoo that languages create is an unnerving, but essential ingredient in bringing people together. Maybe the day will never come when there is only one language. But maybe it will. Especially in today's world of ubiquitous technology, it is easy for us to learn and just as easy to forget. I do not want to watch the progressive social phenomenon of language from the sideline; I want to be a part of it, right in the middle, taking linguistics as one of my core subjects.

8) It seems as though it's still not quite right. I don't like having "I," "you," and "us" all in the same sentence. Suggestion:

"And I can assert that there is nothing as serenely tragic as not having diversity as a humbling block."
Instead of "stumbling block" I used "humbling block." I suppose "humbling atmosphere" or "humbling environment" would also work.


Along with languages, writing is another field of interest. Writing is when I time travel: a reminder of what was, and what is; what I want, and what I have. 9) In simple words , I hope to understand language as a bridge to being a better teacher and an empathetic storyteller. For that to happen, I have to study further.

9) Your words aren't that complex. Usually people use, "in simpler words" or "in simpler terms" to describe a complex idea in elementary terms.

My dream of exploring language cannot be achieved here in Nepal, where a linguistics major is not offered at any university. If language is not a deterrent to further my education, distance is not one either. The lady on the bus told me that I would know when the time was right. Well, I know that the time is now; it is right. It is mine.

Anything else?***It has been a pleasure helping you revise the essay. I wouldn't put anything too important on this website. It's public, and there's always a chance someone might try to steal your work.***
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 19, 2012   #17
Yes, i am done. I changed "nonchalantly" to "wondered aloud". I put the college gap sentence as well. I kept all your suggestions pretty much.

I can't imagine someone putting someone else's work as their own. Especially if that work was discussed online but i guess anything can happen.

Thank you so much for your time. If i get in, which is a big IF, i hope you will be around to help me with my scholarship essay. :)

Keep up the amazing work.
Again, THANK YOU!!!
chalumeau /  
Mar 19, 2012   #18
I did receive scholarships to go to college, so my writing skills must not have been that bad in high school.
I received an A (ok some A-minuses) on almost all of my senior year English papers.
I received the highest grade (on the scale from 1 to 6) on the state essay prompt. I passed the AP English exam too.

I'm trying to learn a foreign language at the moment. What method do you recommend? My memory is not as
good as it once was. Rosetta Stone was great for learning nouns but did not help with grammar.
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 19, 2012   #19
Impressive!

What language are you trying to learn? Nepali is my mother tongue. I learned English at school and through T.V(mostly American sitcoms)and movies. Hindi, i also learned by watching t.v and movies. Now, i am learning Italian using a "Teach Yourself" book on Italian and through couple of movies. I initially started with Rosetta Stone too but it was going a bit slowly for my liking and like you said, i knew Italian words but couldn't get anymore than that.
kyolive - / 1  
Mar 20, 2012   #20
htly close me eyes, enjoy with the lovely melody and dream about my bright future. Have you ever listen to music and it would give you positive energy? I do. When I first hear the piano music, Dream Wedding by Richard Clayderman, I was deeply touched by the harmonious tone and I felt release from the song. Since I am in love with it, I practiced hundreds of times to play Dream Wedding with piano smoothly. Whenever I feel stressful from schoolwork, I am upset with friendship or even I get confused about my future, playing Dream Wedding can always calm my mood, and help me to reconsider what should I do next. Moreover, the music inspires me with positive thinking and I have full c
dreamer 3 / 18  
Mar 20, 2012   #21
Hi Menuka! I apologize for not being on this site for awhile. I fell sick, I think it has something to do with all the application stress lol cause the timing was just perfect :/

Anyway, I see chalumeau has done a great job here! After reading through this thread, I don't think I can help much more. I feel that with each revision, apart from the minor sentence adjustments, your story gets more refined.

All the best!! :)
And chalumeau, wow - keep up the great work! :)
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 20, 2012   #22
Thanks. I really hope i get in because i really love that school. Anyways, best of all the luck with yours too. :)
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 20, 2012   #23
That was almost two years ago. I was out of school and frustrated. I shouldn't have dropped out knowing it would put an ugly dent on my career but it had to be done. Running after subjects out of spontaneous whim in a hope to run into my passion was not getting me anywhere. Still, I was searching hungrily for my vocation. As cliche as it may seem, something clicked during that conversation. I realized I needed to do what I loved but had ignored before: teaching.

Is the new line okay? It doesnt really justify my dropping out or change of majors, does it?
chalumeau /  
Mar 21, 2012   #24
I shouldn't have dropped out knowing it would put an ugly dent on my career but it had to be done. Running after subjects out of spontaneous whim in a hope to run into my passion was not getting me anywhere.

"In retrospect, I realized that dropping out put an ugly dent in my career, but I still felt that the dent had to be made. Running after...? (I don't seem to remember this part...)"
teeeeeeeeeeto 1 / 3  
Mar 21, 2012   #25
Lots of comments by great minds. Generally, i like your essay, but it is also important to realize that the errors made as they relate to the previous comments which describe and correct them. Good essay, and i don't think there is basically much to be added of correction. Goodluck
OP menukagrg 7 / 98  
Mar 23, 2012   #26
Chalumeau-
I added the line later but i think it was because i panicked. I didn't feel as if i had justified my dropping out enough. I deleted the line again and submitted as it previously was.

Tito-
Thanks :)


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