The Laramie High School Spanish program will participate in World Language Day hosted by the University of Northern Colorado in April.

To practice the Spanish language in a fun and educational environment, World Language Day has competitions in skits, poetry, music, food, and extemporaneous speaking, among others.  In addition to the competitions, there are other activities for people who do not compete.

“There is a full range of activities for the participants to do … they can also go do Chinese calligraphy, or polka dancing, learn some Arabic,” said Diane Chamberlain, a Spanish teacher at LHS.

One of the benefits of this event is that students bring a renewed enthusiasm for learning language to the classroom both during preparation and after the contests are over.  Students and teachers can inadvertently get stuck in a rut while learning and teaching language and World Language Day helps shake things up.

“We’ve just briefly started talking about it and people are getting excited,” said Chamberlain.

These competitions require large amounts of preparation, and most of that preparation is expected to be done outside of class.  Leading up to their competitions, students will be practicing during lunch and after school.

Many of these students are also highly involved in other activities and have to make time to fit in this extra commitment.

The teachers who support the students every day in the classroom also gain benefits from seeing their students being excited about language in a new environment.

“Even when it’s exhausting, I look at their enthusiasm and say, yeah, this is why we do this,” said Chamberlain.  “I remember, this is why we do this.”

Participating in World Language Day also gives students a unique opportunity to experience a college campus in different ways than they may have had before.  Most of the activities are held at the student union.

Many universities and colleges, including the University of Wyoming have their own World Language Days.  The one hosted by UNC event is one of the largest and longest running World Language Day events in the nation.  Over 1000 students and teachers from the region attend each year.

“Our goal is to provide high school students with a unique opportunity to experience world languages and cultures beyond a classroom setting in a fun and educational environment,” said the UNC World Language Day webpage.

Any Spanish language student attending LHS is encouraged to participate in World Language Day.  There are levels of competition tailored to students from beginners to native speakers.

In addition to competitions in Spanish, students from across Colorado and Wyoming can participate in competitions and workshops in Chinese, German, French, Japanese, and American Sign Language.

World Language Day will be held at the UNC campus on April 17.  UNC has sponsored this event for the last 49 years. LHS students and teachers have participated in the event since before 2000.