Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, College of Arts & Sciences, Appalachian State

Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. My name is Windy Xie. I am a professor at Appalachian State in the
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. I am a professor of Literature at Appalachian
State University. I am a professor of Spanish and Linguistics. I am studying English Literature and French. I am a professor of Portuguese and Spanish. I am studying Spanish here at Appalachian. I am studying International Business and also
French. Language study is not just really about the
language. I always try to emphasize that in that vehicle
of language you are getting so much other stuff, like culture, ways of seeing the world. If you’re studying Japanese , German, French,
Mandirin, Russian I mean there are absolutely opportunities to go to countries where those
languages are spoken and actually have an immersive experience. You get to go to beautiful places, you get
to make wonderful friends, and you get to make connections with professors that will
stay with you the rest of your life. All my French professors I have had multiple
times, I know them very well. So here at Appalachian if you’re getting involved
in the Language department, it is very small and it is very close knit. It is not just getting involved in a major,
you are getting involved in a family. I think that studying language and culture
is extremely important thing for students my age and even just in general because it
is a very important way of getting to know people. I sometimes say that the United States is a monolingual
culture and that we tend to think that everybody kind of speaks English. Almost everywhere else in the world being
bilingual is kind of a given. The department like the department of Languages,
Literatures and Cultures is sort of in the vanguard of trying to open up eyes in this
country to the importance of learning about other languages and cultures. Anything worth doing in this world is going
to challenge you. I think that is pretty easily understood. For example, running a marathon is not easy,
but the satisfaction that you get from that is overwhelming. Getting a college degree is not easy, but
the satisfaction that comes from that is wonderful. Learning a second language is not easy, it
challenges you in ways that you don’t anticipate. That requires the navigation of linguistics and
cultural ambiguity. One thing that we’ve developed recently is
a course for Spanish heritage speakers. And so we’ve developed a course specifically
for students that already speak Spanish, but maybe need to improve some of those reading
and writing skills, and this is something that is near and dear to my heart because
this was my experience growing up. We also have the neighbors learning center,
which is a residential community for Appalachian students and also for international students
to come here. It is a place where students get together
and learn language together, interact, and have an informal relationships with their
professors. So the campus is small, the class sizes are
small and we have contact with our students. We are easily approachable, it is a nice place
to learn languages. Something that is really important about learning
a second language is being willing to be humble enough to step in uncharted waters and just
immerse yourself in different language and different culture and be okay with not being
able to communicate everything you are thinking or feeling. The value of learning the language of Chinese
is multifaceted. Chinese has been spoken by one fifth of the
world population, so it is very important language to learn, but also has practical use of language
because the graduates go on to have very successful careers. It really opens up doors for international
business because I can work for an American company, but be a sales rep for another country. France, Belgium, Switzerland, just to name
a few countries who speak French, but not only that anywhere in Latin America, anything
like that. The more languages you speak, the more people
you meet. The more friends you make, the more communities
you learn to live with. And I think that is rewarding. I think my favorite word in Spanish is libélula
which means “dragonfly.” And it is mostly about the way that it sounds. Libélula just a beautiful word. And probably in Portugese one of my favorite
words is Pipoca which means “popcorn.” My favorite phrase in French is actually jeme fe sway, which means you are making me sweat
which is essentially “you’re driving me crazy.” I always really loved chesemay in Spanish
“I gossip or joke.” Es pan comido it’s literally translated to
“it’s eaten bread.” It’s so easy, it’s bread that has already
been eaten. You don’t even have to chew. Ce n’est pas grave and it’s kinda just like
“it’s okay, it’s not a big deal, it’s not serious”. Ce n’est pas grave. Te amo which means I love you. It’s kinda cute. It is nice to hear. Zàijiàn. Which is “goodbye.”

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