Modern Language Festival
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M.L.F. Modern Language Festival. The day students stopped imagining the food and visualizing the dances and actually experienced the culture for themselves.
Taking a language class here at Leyden not only benefits you by expanding your knowledge of other languages, but students get to learn of other cultures, allowing them to change their perspective of the world.
This year’s festival was the first time students, who take a language course, went to the North Gym in order to combine the multiple cultures represented in classrooms every day. In previous years, the festival was limited to classrooms, not fully embracing the term festival.
Food, dancing ,and games were present at the festival in order to reflect the culture of Italy, France and Latin countries such as Spain and Colombia.
Last year’s festival was constricted to one classroom per activity, while this year, teachers aimed to get the real feel of each culture by hosting all the events in one place.
The festival continued throughout the whole day, which is even longer for teachers who come early and leave later in order to make everything went as smooth as possible despite the long and tiresome day expected.
“Teachers have a harder day. Instead of teaching five classes we teach seven, and we are lucky to have student volunteers such as the Spanish, Italian, and French Honor Society students, and many more,” stated Ms. Michele Curley.
During the festival, students brought their “passports” to any section of the festival. “They [were] able to go around and have a taste of different cultures,” Curley said.“They receive a stamp for attending one part of the festival and move on to enjoy the next cultural filled event.”
One of the main attractions, also the most talked about, is the food. Foods such as Colombian arepas, French crepes, Italian cannolis, and much more were made fresh each period by Leyden teachers, for the hundreds of students who were present during the day.
Not only did Leyden students attend the festival, but Leyden branched out and extended an invitation to middle schoolers, from Hester and Rhodes, who are taking a language class. They experienced the festival first hand. By incorporating middle schoolers, Leyden student and teachers were able to build relationships and get a feel of the high school setting. Curley stated,“We want them to have fun and to learn something new about another culture that they did not know before.”
The festival has been in action for more than 20 years according to Cecilia Kipp, Department Chair of the Modern Languages. “It has been going on before I joined Leyden and that was over 23 years. We want students to participate in culture activity and include all the languages all at once. Like everything that evolves, we want it to get better and better each time.”