Like so many events of the pandemic era, the 2021 Kentucky World Language Association (KWLA) World Language Showcase will take place virtually April 11.

This event is modeled after best practices in world language assessments, which allow students to show what they can do with language. It is open to late elementary, middle and high school students. Due to its virtual nature, schools may find it easier to participate without worrying about the cost of busing students to the event.

This is the Kentucky World Language Association logo.During the virtual showcase, students will be rated according to the proficiency levels from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in interpersonal speaking. Students who participate in this event get to see how well they speak their language of study with a person other than their teacher. The interviews will take place on Zoom.

To complete the students’ schedule that day, there are a variety of cultural and language lessons offered, including such topics as a Chinese tea ceremony, Russian and American Sign Language lessons, German fairy tales and songs, Spanish folktales and more. Students can interact with university faculty and students, as well as learn how their language of study can enhance their future career. The showcase concludes with an awards ceremony for the projects the students create and submit in late March.

Students must submit their projects via YouTube on March 26. These projects compare the student’s home culture with an aspect of the target language culture. Students do research on a subject of their choosing to create the intercultural project. They may take shape as a physical item such as an art piece, a construction model, a costume or a tri-fold board. Students also may submit a performance piece, such as a video of a dance, a dramatic monologue, a film, a poem recitation or a song.

Prefacing this project, the student will include a written description of how the target culture is similar to and different from their own, showcasing the student’s writing skills in their language of study. Students earn a proficiency rating for their writing and can win awards for their project.

Students can receive awards for first, second and third place projects among Novice and Intermediate students. Heritage speakers and immersion students of Spanish receive awards in their own categories.

The guidelines, scoring rubrics and online registration form are available on the KWLA website. Email questions to Lydia Kohler, showcase director, at

The cost of the event is $7 per student to cover administrative fees and awards. The registration deadline is midnight ET March 5.

Lydia Kohler teaches French at George Rogers Clark High School (Clark County) and serves as the showcase director at the Kentucky World Language Association.