College of Arts & Science at Miami University
Digital Storytelling by International Students
English as a Second Language Composition (ENG 109)
(with Zi Ye, April 2010)
A full text transcript of the video is available below.
(In this video Zi Ye, a sophomore at Miami University, describes an assignment — a digital story — she created for an ESL Composition course (ENG 109).)
"My original thought of the ENG 109 class is kind of like, 'Oh. Do boring English writing.' But actually this class is really interesting and I can bring different sides of myself — bring my past, past memories in China and my friends. My experience with my best friend in China was Laybur and I was homesick when I first came to Miami. My trouble and also my personal interest of music. I can bring all my different sides of me to one class and show it in the project.
Actually, my video is kind of like my personal 'e-mercial' and the part of me that's not shown in front of everybody. But, through the video, I can let them know that part of myself, and we can also talk more deeply about our thoughts, about friends, and your ability to accept the new environment. Because I know there is a lot of problems for international students to get used to the new environment here. But it's not only for international students. It's also for local American students because they also have problems going from high school to the university.
I think the music is really my personal interest and I don't want to give up things up when I came to Miami University or I came to the United States. So, when I had the idea to learn the oboe, I ran to my professor's office and said, 'Hey, can I learn oboe?' I want to keep learning it because in my high school I also played oboe in my high school symphony band.
When I first came here, I was really scared. In my first months I feel I stayed in a little circle because all my friends speak the same language, all look nearly the same. But then I feel like I came to the United States, I want to make friends with Asians or with Chinese, which is the thing I did in high school. But I also want to expand my vision. Because the purpose I came here was to experience a different culture, how Americans make friends or how they lead their lifestyle. When I'm in China, I studied really hard in my high school. In my mind, school is the place to study and any way of entertainment is unethical or something. I came to the United States to study not for fun. But later I learned that, you know, one sentence: Study hard and play hard. I mean, I feel it's a wonderful time in my life. I can't spend that wonderful time only for study, but also to expand my society network. Then I started to fit in, attend more social things and add more student organizations.
I feel that my first year here is successful because I met my personal goal. I have achievement in my academy results. I also have achievement in my social work."