Friday, March 19, 2004

Language festival fosters fluency

Winners compete at state level

By William Croyle
Enquirer contributor


What: 2004 High School Foreign Language Festival.

When: 9 a.m.-4 pm. Saturday.Where: Northern Kentucky University (University Center and Landrum Hall).

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS - For many high school students, exposure to a foreign language is usually confined to the classroom.

But Saturday at Northern Kentucky University, hundreds of students from 16 high schools will participate in the 2004 High School Foreign Language Festival.

It's the 28th year for the event in this region, which is a prelude to the state competition at the University of Kentucky May 15.

"The purpose of the festival is to encourage the study of foreign languages," said Dr. Margo Jang, an English professor at NKU and director of the festival in Northern Kentucky. "It's a very big deal to the kids here and one of the largest festivals in the state."

German, French, Latin and Spanish will be the languages represented. There are team and individual competitions.

The lineup includes scenes performed from well-known plays; choruses; costume modeling; paintings; construction models; dialogues in which students have conversations with the judges; dance exhibitions; written grammar and vocabulary tests, and tests of listening comprehension.

There are nearly 40 categories and levels in each language. One to three winners in each category will advance to the state competition.

The event will take place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The performances will be in University Center. The event is free to the public.

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