Texas Tech University

Melissa Langston chosen as one of the winners of the 2015 Many Languages, One World Student Essay Contest

Melissa Langston, a TTU student working on her MA in French with a minor in Political Science, was one of seventy students from more than 42 countries selected to represent each of the six official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, and Russian). The winners traveled to New York to participate in a five day Global Youth Forum hosted by ELS at the campus of Adelphi University, a United Nations Academic Impact member. They worked in their language teams to develop action plans focused on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, and on July 24 the students, together with their respective teams, made presentations before the UN General Assembly at a special meeting at United Nations Headquarters.

The Office of International Affairs is particularly proud that Langston studied abroad on three faculty-led programs: once to Binchester, England, with Dr. Chris Witmore on a Classical Archaeology program, and twice to Reims, France, with Dr. Carole Edwards to study French. It was Dr. Edwards who sponsored Langston for the Many Languages, One World Essay Contest.


Melissa

Melissa Langston

Langston's goal is to make a difference in the world, which is what motivated her to apply to the Many Languages, One World Essay Contest. She was drawn to the contest because she was interested in having the opportunity to meet with other young people to confront major global issues and strategize possible solutions to those issues. Langston has always been fascinated by foreign languages, and In the future she hopes to work for the United States government in some capacity.

Facts about the 2015 Many Languages, One World Student Essay Contest


  1. There were more than 1200 entrants to this year's contest.
  2. 70 winners represented more than 42 countries.
  3. The contest was conceived, created and was jointly managed by ELS Educational Services and the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI).
  4. All winners were invited to attend the MLOW Global Youth Forum in Garden City, New York at Adelphi University from the 20th of July to the 26 of July, 2015.
  5. The basis for the contest challenged full-time university students (graduate and undergraduate) from around the world to write and submit an essay examining the post-2015 global development agenda of the United Nations.
  6. Essays were submitted in one of the 6 languages of the United Nations and were written in a language that was not the student's first language nor in his/her primary language of instruction. In many cases students submitted essays in a language that was their third or fourth language.
  7. The official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
  8. Essay related to the post-2015 global development agenda.
  9. In teams the students worked in language to prepare action plans focused on the principles of the UNAI.
  10. The event culminated on July 24, 2015 with the students, together in their respective teams, making presentations before the United Nations General Assembly at a special meeting at United Nations Headquarters.
  11. Universities represented include MIT, Yonsei University (South Korea), University 1 Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and the fields of study range from art, human rights, medicine, law, business, communications, international studies and linguistics.
  12. 2015 marked the second year of the contest.
  13. The contest was covered by numerous international media outlets and is a trending subject on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
  14. ELS has more than 50 years of expertise in assisting international students (more than 1.1 million to date) achieve personal and professional goals through English preparation and academic skill preparation.
  15. ELS has the largest network of campus based English language instruction center in the world and offered over 80 study locations mostly on university campuses.
  16. More than 650 universities around the world accept completion of advanced ELS level (Intensive English Program) as proof of English proficiency.
  17. UNAI launched in 2010 by the Secretary General is a global initiative that aligns institutions of higher learning and research with the UN in actively supporting 10 universally accepted principles including in the areas of peace and security, human rights and sustainable development.
  18. The UNAI has more than 1,000 members in more than 120 countries.

International Affairs