2022 Solani International Student Scholarship Winner: Deborah Oluwatomiwa Ariyo, French Language Student, University of Alabama.

I am Deborah Oluwatomiwa Ariyo, a current French language graduate student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Before my admission to the University of Alabama, I have bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French from the Lagos State University, Lagos State, Nigeria. I have tutored French academically and professionally in colleges and high schools for more than five years. My skillfulness, experience, and knowledge have aided my mentorship of several enthusiasts of the French language. My passion for the French language was rhapsodized as a teenager before my admission into high school when my father enrolled me in a school where the French language was a compulsory subject. Unfortunately, this yearning of mine was daunted by the tutor’s teaching methods.

Nonetheless, I did not give up on my quest to acquire this language skill, which informed my decision to apply for the French language in the university, which was one of my proudest accomplishments as it was a second chance at learning the prestigious language of French. Through volunteering and partnership with government, non-government, and religious organizations, I plan to ensure that foreign languages acquisition is not lost in elementary and high schools, especially in my home country Nigeria. This is because the benefit of speaking a foreign language(s) are enormous. Research has also shown that multilingual are great multi-taskers, adaptable to new cultures, and have enhanced listening skills, a retentive memory, and an appreciation of cultural diversity.