Friday April 19, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Alexandra Miskovich, a fifth grader at Green Street School, won first place, and Ruby Diamondstone, a sixth grader at Green Street School, won second place in the 2013 Vermont Foreign Language Association Essay Contest. They had to write a 150-word essay in English on the topic, "What language beside your own would you like to learn?" and a 75-word autobiography in French.

Alexandra and Ruby traveled with Alice Charkes and their parents to Montpelier on April 10 to accept their awards, to meet Gov. Peter Shumlin, to get a tour of the State House, to attend and be introduced to the House Education Committee, and to meet two House Representatives from Brattleboro, Mollie Burke and Valerie Stuart.

Here are the winning essays:

Arrivederci, English!

By Alexandra Miskovich

Most people, if given the chance, would choose to learn a fancy language, like French, or an exotic one, like Japanese. But what I would like to learn is Italian.

I come from a long line of Italians, so learning Italian would be a history lesson as well as a language class. Furthermore, I would someday like to go to Italy, and knowing Italian would help me understand the local people, as well as enable me to have a conversation.

In addition, Italian sounds nice and fluent when spoken properly. To be able to speak fluent Italian would be a dream come true.

Also, my literacy group is studying Italy, so knowing Italian would help me with my class as well as being fun and challenging. Italian words are so ... flowy, that they just slip past your lips and out into the world.

To conclude, I must say that not only would learning Italian help me in my class and with my family history, but the beautiful language would also inspire me.The words run down like a waterfall, bumping on rocks until they reach the bottom.

A Family Branch of Russians

By Ruby Diamondstone

I am writing this essay on why I would like to learn the miraculous language of Russian. I would like to learn Russian because my fathers grandmother only spoke Russian. He always tells me storys about her singing in Russian to him. He said that the words were like butterflies swirling out of his elderly grandmothers mouth. To picture this fully I must understand the Russian language further. Also one day I looked at a letter my great-grandmother wrote and it almost looked like a painting. The Russian alphabet has amazing characters. The letters seem to bend, twist and twirl like licorice. One day I would like to travel to Russia for the magnificent scenery and the beautiful culture but to fully enjoy the experience, I would need to speak or understand a little bit of Russian. That is why I would like to learn the miraculous language of Russian.