How will my course be structured?
Our heritage speaker’s course is tailored to the needs of students who come to university with knowledge of Polish, in particular as spoken at home.
In your first year, you'll discover the hidden aspects of Polish, with a focus on being able to communicate in a grammatically correct way in a range of situations outside of the home. We use a variety of innovative materials developed here at Sheffield which will let you systematically expand your skills in each of the four areas: listening, reading, speaking and writing.
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.
In the second year, you'll further develop your conversational skills and learn to use Polish in a professional environment; indeed, we aim for you to graduate knowing all the grammar and vocabulary needed to use Polish for work.
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. And because you already know Polish well, most of your work will rely on authentic Polish sources and will be presented in Polish, so you will develop your language skills as well.
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 language.
In your final year, you will consolidate the language skills acquired during your year abroad. Through a module that focuses on translating from English into Polish you will learn how to use your language skills in a professional environment; indeed, you will graduate knowing all you need to know to use Polish for work, whether in the UK, Poland or elsewhere.
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 authentic Polish sources and reporting on your findings in Polish. With two research active linguists teaching you, you will 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, by the end of your course here at Sheffield you can achieve the fluency and confidence of an educated native speaker, ready to use Polish in your professional life. You will also develop a detailed understanding of the rich history and culture which inform the Polish language. Powodzenia!