Modern Language Fair to draw nearly 1,300 to campus

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Modern Language Fair to draw nearly 1,300 to campus

It was schwere Kyrperverletzung (mayhem) in the Nebraska Union as 1,300 high schoolers filled the union for the 38th Annual Modern Language Fair. Dalten Heithoff of the Columbus High School German drama team helps assemble a backdrop before their presentation.
Craig Chandler | University Communications
Students participate in the UNL Language Fair in 2014. Nearly 1,300 are expected to attend the annual event on April 16.

UNL’s 39th annual Modern Language Fair will draw nearly 1,300 guests to campus on April 16.

About 1,050 students and 230 adult sponsors will arrive on campus for the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. and will spend the day on campus in Nebraska Union and Burnett and Oldfather halls.

The fair is a yearly event for Nebraska high school students to showcase their skills in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish through various competitive events. Students can participate in two competitive events in five different categories: drama, music, folk dance, poetry and poster presentations.

Competitive events mostly take place on the second floor of Nebraska Union and are judged by faculty and graduate students of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, which hosts the event.

When not in competition, students are invited to visit foreign language conversation tables, take language mini-lessons and international folk dancing lessons, and visit with various campus entities about UNL programs and opportunities.

Shannon Parry, coordinator of the Modern Language Fair, said the day is hectic, but fulfilling for her and the department faculty and staff who participate.

“Language Fair gives high school students an opportunity to demonstrate not only their acquisition of a foreign language, but also the culture,” Parry said. “Language education teaches students how culture affects the lens through which diverse groups of people interpret our world. This knowledge leads to both personal and professional successes in life.”

The day concludes with closing ceremonies at 2:45 p.m.

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