The Modern Foreign Languages department hosted its 43rd annual Foreign Language Day on Thursday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Curtiss Hall and the Malcolm Field Theatre.
Eight regional high schools attended this year, bringing 435 students in total to campus and making the event the largest language fair in mid-Michigan.
The program offered eight mini events, including contests for skits, songs and posters, all presented in either Spanish or French. Additional languages, such as German, have been presented in previous years, but this year were represented only with posters.
Monika Dix, the modern foreign language department chair and an associate professor of Japanese language, literature and culture, helped coordinate the event, which gave students a chance to showcase their language skills.
“I really like to see how much fun the students have performing,” Dix said. “This day gives them the chance to actually do something with the languages.”
For Maribel Colorado-Garcia, an assistant professor of Spanish, the event gives students the opportunity to have fun and show their passion.
“The students always have such great energy, such passion for language,” Colorado-Garcia said. “They have such enthusiasm in their presentations. You can tell they are doing something they love.”
Winners were named in each of the eight mini events.
Makayla Flores from John Glenn High School took first for the posters.
Caro High School took first for the display contest.
“La Legends de la Flor de Cempasuchil” from John Glenn won the skit contest.
“No ilores for mi Argentina” from the Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy won the song contest.
Birch Run High School won the International Awareness contest.
“Papaoutoi” from John Glenn High School and “Ego” from Caro High School tied for rst place in the Dance Contest.
Trevin Phillips, a student from Caro High School, was thrilled to attend the event.
“It’s so great getting to see all the different talents,” he said.
Phillips participated in the International Awareness Contest, which quizzes students over their knowledge of other cultures.
“I look forward to getting to know more about foreign countries,” Phillips said.
Trinity Souva, also from Caro High School, was excited to see what others were presenting.
“It’s amazing just being able to see other schools,” she said. “Some of the dances they presented were very cool.”
Dix also noticed how supportive students were of each other, regardless of what school they came with.
“It’s a very friendly competition,” she said.
Colorado-Garcia was deeply passionate about the event, which she saw as a stepping stone for students interested in continuing their language education.
“When they leave here … I hope they recognize that we welcome and encourage diversity of language at SVSU,” she said. “I hope they see SVSU as an open door to formal language studies. They should keep in mind that language is alive and very personal, and it is essential to personal growth.”