For some, learning a new language can be a tedious and arduous process, but according to a prize-winning video created by two Troy students, it can be a pathway to becoming a part of global community and exploring the world.
Weixang Lui, a junior English major from China, and Guanyu Zhang, a senior psychology major from China, created a video podcast during the Fall semester as a part of an extra credit assignment for Spanish 2201. This video was part of a statewide contest put on by the Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers (AAFLT).
This video, entitled “Discover the Language-Troy University,” had to be only a minute-long and capture the theme of AAFLT conference: “Discover Languages, Discover the World.” Weixang and Guanyu’s submission was selected by Johanna M. Alberich, assistant professor of Spanish, out of several others to represent Troy University in the statewide contest. The submissions were judged over the Christmas Break and Weixang and Guanyu received the news that their video had won in early January.
Their submission features several students standing next to the Troy University’s global signpost in the main quad. Group by group, the students come up and introduce themselves in their native language. The video uses English subtitles to communicate the theme of how learning language brings people together and features 5 different languages, including: Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Nepali and English.
The topic of how language education leads to discover the world struck close to home in both Weixang and Guanya’s lives. As exchange students, they created the video specially to bring light to the purpose of language to bring unity in the midst of cultural diversity.
“Because we are the foreign students in Troy, we thought it would be better to get more foreigners together to show this topic,” said Weixang, “We need to come together to speak together.”
The video was also an opportunity to return back to some favorite past times.
“I always liked to make school plays in and middle and high school,” said Guanyu, “During the New Year’s celebration, I have directed plays to entertain my friends. If I have time, I might make a video again. It was really fun.”
Interestingly enough, the video does not incorporate any Spanish even though the video was created as a part of an extra-credit assignment in a Spanish class.
“Weixang and Zhang,” said Alberich, “are international students submitting a video for a Spanish class that uses no Spanish in it. They used all different types of languages in and they pointed out just how learning languages can open doors to a new world.”
Weixang and Zhang will receive a cash prize and certificate for their video. In February, the award for best video will be presented at the Foreign Language Teacher Convention and be collected by Alberich.
The video is available on YouTube for viewing under the title “Discover the Language- Troy University.” The AAFLT Video Podcast Contest is held annually during the Fall semester and is a part of a united effort to promote and advocate for the learning of foreign languages in the state of Alabama.