EPQ question - foreign language?

(10 Posts)
AtiaoftheJulii Thu 14-May-15 19:47:59

DD2 wants to do languages at university, and was thinking that she'd like to produce something like a magazine article in one of her languages - obviously the log etc would be in English. Does anyone know whether this would be acceptable? We've looked at the EPQ websites, and they say dissertation, performance or artefact. Could an essay in an MFL count as an artefact? She's going to see her head of 6th form studies tomorrow, but I thought I'd see what MN had to say in the meantime!

Millymollymama Thu 14-May-15 21:35:09

I am not sure just an essay/article would be enough. If the universities accept this qualification instead of a 4th AS, as some of them do, then one would assume it is more than an essay. I understand it is supposed to involve research and presentation and show independent study. Does one article show this?

Without being too rude, why does she need the EP for MFL? They can possibly, at a handful of Universities, lower the grade requirement in one A level, but MFL courses at universities tend not to be AAA except Oxford and Cambridge (maybe a handful of others but when my DD got her offers, they were typically ABB or AAB eg Durham and Bristol). I agree it can help with the personal statement but is no substitute for the A level grades if these are missed. You can definitely get a place at the top universities without it. Has she been advised to do it? My DD did lots of independent study, including grammar and reading to be prepared for her Oxford interview which was very worthwhile.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 14-May-15 22:16:47

The dissertation option is a roughly 5000 word piece, having done research etc, and then presenting the final essay. I guess she's thinking along those lines except she wants to write the final thing in Spanish - all the research would still be done, it could still be presented, and so on.

She doesn't need it. She's looking into it atm, and interested in doing a longer piece of writing than she does at school. Obviously she could do this in her own time anyway smile

Millymollymama Fri 15-May-15 00:36:08

I do agree that doing the extra work is good,but for languages a wide variety of books, poems, cultural knowledge and language work can be useful rather than one long piece. Is she pretty fluent already? As DD was applying to Oxbridge, she did lots of extra work but it was of a great variety. The universities are so short of good MFL applicants, you don't have to go above and beyond to get a place, except at the very top end. However, if she wants to do it, then why not?

DoctorDonnaNoble Fri 15-May-15 05:37:08

Our students who are interested in languages look at other things for the EPQ. Investigating cultural issues of a preferred language, or looking at the history of language change. Doing research in a variety of languages would be looked highly upon by the OCR mark scheme.

AtiaoftheJulii Fri 15-May-15 06:46:21

That's interesting - one thing I read last night when I was trying to find out said that if you were studying two languages, just pick one language/country/issue, don't broaden or muddy things by trying to compare the two.

If she's still interested in the topic that she was talking about a couple of weeks ago, that would certainly involve a lot of research in the original language, and there would be plenty to use in her second language too (in fact in any European language!). It would also definitely involve acquiring cultural knowledge smile She could just do a straightforward dissertation on that if she wanted, that's not really what I'm trying to ask about.

e.g. I've seen computer programs being produced as the artefact - so writing in a computer language is ok; would a piece in an MFL be equally ok? I can argue it either way, lol. Think my dd's head of sixth form will just have to find out from the exam board for her.

DoctorDonnaNoble Fri 15-May-15 06:52:08

The school will have an assigned moderator who can help. I've had students produce websites before. The majority of marks go on the process and the evaluation rather than the project itself - that might be worth considering. The web site of the relevant board would be worth a look. I've only ever done OCR.

Lemonsole Sat 16-May-15 20:17:31

Students at my college have produced work in French, Spanish or Italian, where the artefact that they have produced is a children's story, that they have illustrated, a local history guide and a travel guide. MFL teachers have given help while not being their EPQ supervisor. It should be fine. All secured offers and places for MFL at the unis of their choice, and were asked about it in interviews and post-offer visit days.

lechie Sat 16-May-15 21:06:33

Hi, I co-ordinate and moderate the EPQ.

Yes, in theory, a magazine artefact in French would be acceptable. However, I'd bear a few things in mind:

It has to represent 90 hours of independent work. So how is she going to get 90 hours out of it...? She won't just learn the language and then write the magazine. She'll need to research her target audience, look at styles etc... Let's say she was doing something to help young British children learn French. She would need to research what young British people want in their magazines, what language they learn in schools (what would be appropriate material to include etc), the format it should take etc... I would also strongly encourage her at the end to get the artefact reviewed by her language teacher and her target audience. This is often overlooked but so important for the A04 marks (AQA board).

Otherwise, if she's doing a report based essay, she could do an analysis of two French novels, a study of an issue in French that requires her to read French documents etc. Just remember that she needs to have a question for a report, as she will be judged by the extent to which she answers her final question.

Hth but feel free to pm if you need to know any more.

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 16-May-15 21:34:56

Lemonsole thank you, very encouraging to hear that similar has been done previously!

And lechie some really useful things to think about, thank you so much. Really appreciate the pm offer, and may well take you up on that over the summer smile

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