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Language Learning: The Wedding Banquet

No, not the movie called The Wedding Banquet, but something far more interesting, in my opinion.

On April 20, 1997, a certain couple was married in a huge ceremony in Taiwan, and Dr. Wu Sue-mei of the Modern Languages Department at Carnegie Mellon University has taken photos, videos, and other artifacts (such as the invitation and menu) from the gala affair and turned it all into an online language and culture lesson.

As a former teacher of languages myself, I can tell you that as a format for language lessons, this resource succeeds where a great many fail: you become so interested in the content itself that at times you forget it’s a “lesson.” (Attention Beijing: All you who write those boring “Hali hen nuli. Ta bijiao zao qichuang…” primers, take note.)

With sound files you can read along with, annotated photos of the ceremony and banquet, lists and sound files of “wedding vocabulary” (including the menu!), an image of the invitation, and a video gallery that “takes you there,” this “Wedding Banquet” is a great resource – and model of a resource – for foreign language study.

In the classroom, after covering vocabulary and customs, an instructor could take the lesson a few steps further by having students act out wedding scenario “skits,” talking about other weddings they have attended, comparing wedding traditions in other countries…and maybe even trying to replicate that carved fish ice sculpture you’ll see in one of the pages.

But if you came here really looking for the movie of the same name, here you go:

The Wedding Banquet
The Wedding Banquet

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