BTN LiveBIG: Nebraska fair celebrates 38 years

Coming up on April 10th, 2014, the 38th Annual Modern Language Fair will be held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

This event is a yearly opportunity for high school students to showcase foreign language skills through competitions, including dramatic readings, musical performances and reciting poetry. An essay contest is also held with the chance to win one of four $1,000 scholarships.

When asked what she’s most excited about for this 38th year of the fair, Shannon Parry, the coordinator of the fair, immediately rattled off three additions they’re making to the fair.

First is that there will be a social media campaign surrounding the fair, complete with live tweeting.

Secondly, they’re adding a photo booth so students attending can have a souvenir from the day. And, they’ve added a keynote speaker. Vicki Scow, the Nebraska Department of Education’s director of world language education, will open the event with her address.

Nebraska Modern Language Fair 1

Parry was effusive about the fact that this event gives high school students a unique chance to explore the college experience before they head into the world of languages as university students.

“Language Fair is a wonderful opportunity for students of all levels to express themselves through their language studies, as well as engage with diverse cultures from around the world,” Parry said. “In our ever-changing and increasingly global environment, students who embrace language and culture will have a distinct advantage in any field.”

The scholarship contest was new to the fair last year and is open to eligible students who enroll at UNL and declare a major in French, German or Spanish. For entry, they are asked to submit a 300-word essay in their language of choice that relates to this year’s theme: “how will a degree in modern languages help me achieve my future goals?” Three finalists in each category go on to give a five-minute presentation at the event, which is judged by faculty and graduate students from the department of modern languages.

Students interested in Modern Languages, but not looking to compete, will also find numerous activities and opportunities to take part in while at the fair. From language mini-lessons available throughout the day to lessons to international folk dancing, they’ll find a variety of activities to engage with faculty, staff, and students while visiting the campus.

For more information, visit the website for the 38th Annual Modern Language Fair.

Nebraska Modern Language Fair 2

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