The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s 43rd Language Fair is March 31 at the Nebraska Union.
Hosted by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, the event allows high school students to showcase their foreign language skills through competitions including dramatic readings, musical performances, and poetry recitals. Some 350 students from across the state will participate in a variety of events, including competitions in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Japanese.
There are also non-competitive opportunities such as international folk dancing lessons and campus tours. A poster session room is also available where ambassadors will be available to talk about their experiences in the department. Participants can also talk to those who have studied abroad and are conducting research.
The event has not been held for the last three years due to the pandemic and resources. The event relaunch includes new experiences and features.
A community center will allow participants to discover ways in which understanding languages and cultures are critical assets in Nebraska and introduce them to potential careers that use those skills. Partners from the university and the Lincoln community include El Centro de las Americas, Lincoln Literacy, Catholic Social Services, the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance, the Asian Community and Cultural Center, and the Nebraska Department of Education.
“We are thrilled to be able welcome high school students from around Nebraska and to introduce them to the rich cultural and language opportunities that exist here at UNL,” Nora Peterson, associate professor of French and chair of the department, said. “New language and culture lessons, and partnerships with stakeholders from the UNL and Lincoln communities give UNL students the chance to have exciting global experiences right here on campus and to connect with members of various cultures from around the world.
Other additions this year:
- A mini language and culture lessons in 15 different languages, partnering with women at ECHO Collective ranging from Iraq and Afghanistan to Karen.
- Teachers’ lounge.
- A short film competitive event.
Registration is at 8 a.m. and opening ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. The day wraps up with a 1:30 p.m. awards ceremony.