More than 200 Area Students to Participate in Annual Foreign Language Festival

UCCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 30, 2006 — Sprechen Sie Deutsch?  Parlez-vous français?  Habla usted español?

The Southeast Missouri State University campus will be hearing a lot of diverse languages when the Department of Foreign Languages and Anthropology hosts its annual Foreign Language Festival April 4, in the University Center.

More than 200 students from area junior and senior high schools will demonstrate their linguistic talents in both competitive and non-competitive events.  Dr. Alice Strange, a professor of French at Southeast, said the festival “is a fun and competitive way for students to practice their language skills.”

Students will be judged in spelling bees and pronunciation contests in French, German and Spanish.  They may perform songs or skits in a foreign language.  Students may also listen to speakers who have traveled or lived abroad.  A popular event is a scavenger hunt which requires students to find answers across campus to clues in foreign languages.  There also will be exhibits and interactive displays in anthropology.            “The festival is a great way for students to meet others who have an interest in foreign languages,” said Dr. Debbie DiStefano, chair of this year’s event. “It gives them a chance to use the language skills they have been learning in class and encourages them to continue their language studies.”

The event also provides students the opportunity to explore the language, and anthropology majors and minors Southeast has to offer

The event is beneficial for teachers as well. Dr. Dieter Jedan, chair of Southeast’s Department of Foreign Languages and Anthropology, said this is an excellent event because it “allows teachers to share experiences and refresh friendships.  Students come to Southeast to compare their respective levels of language skills while, at the same time, learning about Southeast’s majors in foreign languages and study abroad opportunities around the globe.”

For more information on the Foreign Language Festival, call Dr. Debbie Lee-DiStefano at (573) 651-2480.