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Hi everyone, my name is Emily and I’m a third year English Language and Linguistics student.

I’m originally from the Wirral, which about a 20-minute drive from Liverpool City Centre and moved to York for University. I have always had a love for languages and for the English language. They were subjects I was good at in school and always got my best marks in. At A-level I took English language and literature combined, Religious Studies and Drama and Theatre Studies. At this point I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do in the future, so I took subjects that I was good at and ones that I was interested in or enjoyed. Although none of my A-level subjects reflected it, I also had a secret love for science, especially the brain; I always thought (and still do) that it was so interesting. So, when the time got near, I did some research into careers that combined my love for English with my love for science and came across Speech and Language Therapy (SLT).

I chose to do English Language and Linguistics at University because it has aspects of everything I enjoyed and was passionate about. I could learn about the English language itself, how sounds were formed, and the language was created over time. But it also had aspects of society too, so the impact that language choices had on society and vice versa, which was something I hadn’t really thought about before. And lastly, it had my science element, where I could learn about how language interacted with the brain and what aspects can result in speech and language problems. Not only this, but this particular degree also meant I could go into so many different career paths if I changed my mind about becoming a speech and language therapist. I could go into journalism, editing, research, teaching, SLT and so many more.

Now I am coming to the end of my degree, I still want to pursue a career in speech and language therapy and am currently in the middle of applying for places on postgraduate courses. I wouldn’t change my degree for the world, because it’s given me such breadth of knowledge that I can now take to a post-graduate degree. It also gave me time to uncover different aspects to language that I love and nurture my passion language and for speech and language therapy.

One of the main reasons I chose to do this course at York St John was because of the 2-week compulsory work placement you have to complete in your second year. I know how much employers value work experience, but it is so hard to get, and so incorporating it into the degree was a brilliant way of insuring I obtained the experience I needed. Not many institutions offer placements to non-vocational courses and so this was a big plus side to YSJ.

My main advice to anyone thinking of studying this subject is, if you are passionate about language then jump at the chance. I would say that research is key; look into the course and see if it encompasses everything that you want to learn and are interested in. If you have a passion for language as a whole, it is a brilliant degree to find out what it is you love specifically about language, which you can then develop into a career.

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