Bringing languages of the world together

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The University Center was crowded with high school students at this year’s annual World Language day, an event UNC has sponsored for the past 47 years.

Over 20 different high schools throughout Colorado and Wyoming, such as Mountain Vista and Frontier Academy, and over 1,000 students attended World Language Day to celebrate and compete in different challenges. Some schools came as far as Durango to attend the event.

All the competitions had specific rules on how many participants each school could allow and how long each performance had to be. Scoring was based on fluency, pronunciation, creativity and various other criteria. The requirements were based on the type of competition they were in.

UNC students and professors helped judge all the events. The events ranged from telling stories, to sharing heritage, poetry, show and tell, skits and much more.

This year the event consisted of six different languages: German, Japanese, Chinese, American Sign Language, French and Spanish. This was the first year that the ASL was in included in the event. UNC junior Andrew Moline, currently minoring in ASL, helped judge a few different competitions.

“After so many years of World Language Day, it was great to see ASL finally included in the competitions,” Moline said. “Getting to judge the competitions and seeing so many high schoolers teachers coming to promote the deaf community and culture is awesome.”

Moline helped judge the ASL number story competition. During the competition, a few people spoke at the beginning when they did the introduction; the rest consisted of only signing to one another, even after each performance was done.

The show and tell competition consisted of students bringing in something to describe. Each school was only allowed one competitor for each language and competitors could not go over the 90-seond time limit. Every language participated in this competition except ASL.

UNC junior Maggie Martin, who minors in French, acted as the judge for the French speech competition.

“I love seeing all the students getting so excited about learning languages,” Martin said. “It’s refreshing to know the younger generations still care about other cultures.”

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