How will my course be structured?
At Sheffield, we give you the skills and confidence to use Polish in a variety of situations. However, we also know that any language - especially Polish - is supported by a wealth of culture. You will be taught by both native- and non-native Polish speakers, using a variety of innovative materials to study the language and culture of this fascinating land.
Our beginners' course is tailored to the needs of students with no previous knowledge of Polish. In your first year, you'll discover the ins and outs of Polish grammar, with a focus on communication. We use a variety of innovative materials developed here in Sheffield which will let you systematically develop each of the four language skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing. After one year with us you'll be surprised to see how good your Polish is!
As a country Poland has a compelling history and a fascinating present, which you learn about during student-led history seminars. This approach will also develop your research and presentation skills.
In the second year, you'll continue developing each of the four language skills. Modules at Level 2 focus on expanding your vocabulary, deepening your knowledge of the grammar, and developing your speaking ability. In other words: we are getting you ready for your semester abroad!
In addition to a language module, you will also explore Polish culture. In the Readings in Polish Culture module you will study texts - from classics to comics - that introduce the key aspects of Polish culture. You will discuss these texts in class and use them as the basis for a portfolio of activities about Polish culture.
The highlight of the year is the Polish play. In the past students have performed Zapolska's The Morality of Mrs Dulska, Balladyna by Juliusz Słowacki, Zemsta by Fredro and a nativity play.
You will have the option of spending part of your year abroad studying in Krakow, Poland. This is your opportunity to become part of life in Poland, and you will find that your speaking and listening skills develop rapidly as a result. You will also develop a real understanding of Polish culture. We find that our students come back from their time abroad as more confident individuals who have developed skills far beyond mastering a new language.
In your final year, you will consolidate the language skills acquired during your year abroad. You will further develop your conversational skills and learn to use Polish in a professional environment; indeed, you will graduate knowing all the grammar and vocabulary needed to use Polish for work. We achieve this through reading and talking about selected topics from Polish politics, literature, culture, history, folklore.
In addition to your language work, you will also have the option of doing an independent research project. This will allow you to choose an area which particularly interests you and explore it in depth, using Polish sources; with two research-active linguists teaching you, you'll be in a unique position to embark on your first real research project and collect new data by searching large electronic text corpora or running experiments. If you are considering taking a postgraduate course - whatever the subject - the research skills you learn here are excellent preparation for the challenges of further academic study.
In a nutshell, you will start the study of Polish from scratch here at Sheffield, but by the end of your course you can achieve the fluency and confidence necessary to use the language in your professional life, whether in the UK, Poland or elsewhere. You will also develop a detailed understanding of the rich history and culture which inform the Polish language. Powodzenia!