Another academic year draws to a close this afternoon, and for finalists in Modern Languages & Cultures, this is a major milestone. Ahead of all students lie revision week and two weeks of examinations. However, finalists have been enjoying putting their language skills to the test over the past fortnight in oral examinations.  In Italian, in their final-year oral examinations, students were invited to propose topics that are current in Italy, which led to lively discussions around contemporary debates such as combatting food wastage, equal marriage, and prostitution. Meanwhile, in French, students were called on to discuss one of four selected topics, based on contemporary news sources. These included French citizens working in London, recent spelling reforms, and hackers taking on Islamic State.

Phoebe Atkinson preparing for her French oral examination

Phoebe Atkinson preparing for her French oral examination

On the German & Business Studies programme, students acquired various skills related to the German-speaking world, which they then applied in their final oral examinations. Students presented notional mergers between multinational and German brewers, gave management consultant-style advice to a fictional automobile industry client, and attempted to introduce the UK to German Apfelwein, which is similar to cider and yet different. Students gave the product a local touch by using organic British apples from Kent and Somerset.

Natalie Thompson, Lauren Newsham and Martin Matičević after their business German presentations

Natalie Thompson, Lauren Newsham, and Martin Matičević after their business German presentations

Meanwhile, in Spanish, students not only reflected on their work over the course of the semester, but were given the chance to discuss a topic picked at random, including the Pope, Catalan independence, animal testing, and new technologies. For students of Portuguese, their final flourish involved presentations on topics discussed over the course of the year, including feminism, immigration, and tourism.

Focus now shifts to the final pieces of coursework and written examinations. The Department wishes all its students the best of luck for the next phase of their studies.