Language arts expo to highlight student talent

Pratiksha Joshi
Staff Writer

The department of modern languages, in partnership with the Troy University Library and the Troy Study Abroad Program, is organizing its Modern Language Expo, which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 9 a.m. in the Trojan Center Ballroom A.
For the past seven years, there has been a Spanish component in the annual speech competition conducted by the Hall school of Journalism and Communication.
“Last year, other language instructors asked me if they could also include their languages,” said Johanna Alberich, assistant professor of Spanish and the chief organizer of the expo. “So, we decided to separate from the department of journalism and have a competition just for languages.”
The expo is a daylong session that provides students with the opportunity to showcase what they have learned from the various foreign language courses offered at Troy.
The expo will host a variety of different competition and presentation segments.
The speech competition will comprise several different categories, including a Spanish poem and prose section, poem sections for German, Japanese and Korean languages, and an art competition.
In addition, a study abroad presentation, as well as a session on implementing foreign languages into one’s post-undergraduate career, will be discussed at the expo.
The Spanish film festival will also kick off on the same day at 4 p.m. in Bibb Graves Hall, Room 129.
“We decided to make it one whole language day,” said Alberich.
The poem and prose sections allow students to perform their original poems and short stories, or works written by other authors, with a time constraint of three to five minutes.
“We love seeing what kinds of poems or stories each student picks because they have their own personalities, and it’s kind of reflected by what they pick,” said Alberich.
“And it’s really interesting to see that side of them, which we don’t normally see in class.”
The art competition is themed “Languages: Passport to the World.”
Submissions for the art competition are due on Friday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. in Wright Hall, Room 212.
According to Alberich, the art competition has been incorporated to provide students who believe their oral skills are not strong enough to participate in the speech competition with another medium to express themselves.
In addition, the Troy Study Abroad Program will have a table set up and will give a presentation about the various study abroad opportunities that Troy University has to offer.
“It will deal with topics like what students can do with the study abroad program after they graduate from Troy,” said Maria Frigge, director of Troy Abroad.
The expo will also include a session on several of the required foreign language exams such as the Praxis and Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), addressing any questions or concerns students may have.
According to Alberich, the expo will benefit all students interested in foreign languages while providing students with a fun learning opportunity and requiring students to tap into their creativity and challenge themselves.
“I truly enjoyed the process of preparing for the expo, as it challenged me in stepping outside of the usual practice a Spanish class requires,” said Savannah Renberg, a junior Spanish and English double major from Tampa, Florida.
Renberg participated in the Spanish speech competition held last year, where she performed a story by Gorge Luis Borges.
“I gained confidence in speaking Spanish and received understanding in the sounds of the language itself outside of a conversational setting,” Renberg said.
The performances will be judged based on how well they perform, rather than their grammar and pronunciation.
Afterward, participants will be given feedback about their performances.
The art and speech competition is open to all students with some knowledge in the target languages as well as native speakers of these languages.

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