WCU’s Modern Foreign Language Department will host its 19th annual Foreign Language Contest on Thursday, March 29, in which local high school students can show their linguistic proficiency through various competitions.
The contests will be conducted in Spanish, German, and French, and there are also events for native speakers.
The competitions range from poetry recitation, where students recite famous works by authors of their respective languages; to the famous historical figure contest, where students enact the role of a famous historical figure of their target language concentration.
Over 15 area high schools are entering contingents in this year’s contest. Schools will come from as far as Asheville and Rabun Gap, Georgia. There are over 560 total participants in the contest.
Dr. Terry Ballman, head of the MFL Department, hopes this contest helps to give the contestants, and anyone who is proficient in a second language, pride in their abilities.
The events start at 9 a.m. and run until the awards show at 1:30 p.m. Awards include trophies and certificates that will be given out by Robert Vertabedian, the dean of WCU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
The major event is the quiz bowl, where students are quizzed on topics such as geography, language, and current events. The quiz bowl will be held in the Ramsey Auxiliary Gym this year in order to make room for the more than 300 people who show up to watch.
Dr. Mark Couture, assistant professor of Spanish, heads up the quiz bowl. He is in charge of officiating the event and preparing the questions that will be asked. Couture hopes that the quiz bowl, along with the entire contest, will help purvey awareness of the importance of other languages and of how they can be used in everyday life to promote understanding and appreciation of other cultures.
The department would also like to express its need for more judges for these events. If you are proficient in Spanish, German, or French, please call 227-3973 and ask about being a judge.