KWLA event allows students to showcase language studies


The Kentucky World Language Association’s (KWLA) 2020 State Showcase for world language students will be March 7 in the Cathy and Don Jacobs Building at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The showcase allows students to show what they can do with language through assessments and projects that represent their language of study.

The event, which is open to students in grades K-12, is modeled after best practices in world language assessments.

The showcase portion of the day will involve students being rated according to the proficiency levels from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Each participant will take the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages listening and reading examinations and receive an official proficiency rating that can be reported on their high school transcripts. An individual interpersonal speaking assessment will also be given in person for each student in his or her language of study.

For the competition, students create a project that compares their culture with an aspect of the target language culture, which may take shape as an art piece, a construction model, a costume, or a trifold board showing their writing skills in their language of study. Students also may choose to submit a video of a dance, a dramatic monologue, a film, a poem recitation or a song, along with a written description of how the target culture is similar to and different from their own. Students do research ahead of time on a subject they love related to the target culture of their language of study to create the project.

The top students will be recognized in novice and intermediate categories. Heritage speakers and immersion students of Spanish will receive awards in their own categories.

There also will be a variety of cultural and language lessons, including such things as a Chinese tea ceremony, Russian and American Sign Language lessons, German fairy tales and songs, Spanish folktales and more. Students are able to interact with UK faculty and students, as well as learn how their language of study can enhance their future career. The showcase also includes local businesses and organizations for which world language students are a vital part of their future workforce.

The registration deadline is Feb. 14. Visit KWLA’s website or email Lydia Kohler for more information.