Modern Language Fest 2013

On November 1 students taking a modern language course were able to take part in the annual Modern Languages Fest at East Leyden.

“The Modern Language Festival is a celebration of our three languages and highlights the beauty of our three cultures,” department chair Celida Kipp said. “It provides us, the teachers, with an opportunity to show our students that language learning is fun!”

All the language classes, Spanish, French, and Italian, had different activities that students could participate in. Students were able to select the activities they were interested in participating in the week before.

One of the activities offered was Latin Dancing in the Little Theater. Students were able to learn some dance moves for specific Latin music, such as Bachata and Cumbia, with Spanish teacher Beatriz Porro.

Another activity was creating mini Guatemalan kites, known as barriletes, with Spanish teacher Lydia Chavez.

Junior Erik Zingraf, who participated in the barriletes activity said “it was pretty fun,” but he wished he could have made some salsa too since he likes food.

Along with the salsa making station, there were also many different types of foods, from arepas and cannolis to crepes and churros.

The various foods allowed students get a quick taste of the different cultures while also participating in some friendly competitions.

Junior Stephanie Pardo said her “salsa was pretty spicy, but it didn’t win the competition.”

According to Ms. Kipp, the Modern Language Fest actually started about 20+ years ago around the Christmas season.

Since the French, Italian, and Spanish cultures all share similar religious customs, especially when it comes to the Christmas season, it was a natural way to connect the cultures together for students. Throughout the years, the fest has evolved as a fun opportunity to show students how the three cultures are alike and to let them try something new.

This event takes a lot of planning and a lot of hands to make it work from planning to finalizing the day’s activities and gathering all the necessary materials.

Approximately 35-40 student volunteers stayed after school to help with set up for the fest. They helped decorate each of the rooms and then they stayed after school again to help take everything down.

Yet, despite all the work Ms. Kipp doesn’t see things slowing down for future fests adding that the reason why this fest is “still running is to let students try different experiences with cultures.”

As for next year’s fest, Ms. Kipp noted that “we will change all the art but not the food.”